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SEO tips for E-Commerce websites

Allrighty, you want to boost your e-commerce website to start making sales, here’s some more easy tips. If you’re a completely new site, I suggest you read my previous SEO starter pack tutorial, which basically goes over connecting your business to google services, creating your first back links and ensuring your website is fast. I’m also going to assume your website structure is good (I won’t get into site structure but you can read this post by John Romaine of SEO Point to learn more). Now, without further delay:

Tip 1) Create Excellent Long Tail Descriptions for All Your Products

You’ve probably heard this before, but I can’t emphasise it enough. Your writing needs to be superb on all your pages.

Just last week I was reviewing a e-commerce site that sells protein powder (My dog is licking her lips but that’s from the beef she had before).

The product description was literally “1kg Whey Protein Powder, 30 serves. Made In Australia”. Do you think a description like this will a) Sell or b) Get ranked on Google?

My advice to this client was to vastly improve the product descriptions. Here’s a better description the client came up with:

“1kg of Certified Australian made protein powder. This is a milk based whey product, healthier than heavily processed soy and pea varieties. We pride ourselves on maximising protein content, while having minimal amounts of sugar and carbohydrates. We do not use any artificial flavouring and encourage people to add stevia or honey for additional sweetness. There’s nothing else inside, give us a call if you have specific dietary questions”, and went on to include information about whether the protein is vegan, kosher, what certifications it had, expiry information, bulk buy information, nutritional info, recommended recipes, manufacturer info, etc.

Notice how it’s much more compelling, accurate and engaging?

In Summary: your product description should be as long as necessary, and contain all the relevant information about your product that may be salient for your audience. In the above example. The long tail descriptions are excellent for search engines, to understand your product, and also for humans searching for specific protein powder.

Tip 2) Include an FAQ or Review Section For Your Products/Services

The main advantages of this is to enhance user engagement as well as increase the amount of information on your website. You might sell the best electronics in Australia, and your website is going to back you up on that, but no one cares about you. They only care about what you can do for them, and what happens if they team up with you. 

People generally want social proof of what you’re like, have you asked your friends or family “Do you know a mechanic around here that won’t rip me off?“, it’s the same psychology applying here. So include a review and FAQ section that the public can contribute to, if your products are good, then you’ll get mostly positive feedback, and you can address the odd negative review, and others will respect the fact you’ve tried to help this person. A review section allows people to understand what your product has done for other people, and be better served to judge what it can do for them.

Lastly, you’ll improve the user experience and trust between you and your prospective customer.

Tip 3) Create a Huge Array of Media & Momentum

Look, you’ve already got shit loads of work to do. If that doesn’t keep you busy, it’s time to start experimenting with your marketing. It’s hard for me to give advice to ALL e-commerce types of websites, so I’ll keep it general. Overall, find the easiest ways to generate media and momentum. Here’s some tips I’ve helped clients employ over the years:

  • If you’re a florist, instead of just selling one lot of flowers, create a page specifically for wedding flowers, funeral flowers, mothers day flowers, essentially generating ways to sell more products to less people. Offer a fashion magazine company a free flower set for a photo shoot, in exchange for a backlink and photography.
  • If you sell Healthcare booking software, you could target a local clinic and review their website. Write them a personalised, signed letter in the mail, include screenshots of their booking system, and how it could be improved to benefit both the business and the customer. Provide them value, “I noticed your existing booking system does not work correctly on mobile devices and does not email a reminder for those who half filled in your form, your website administrator should be able to fix this easily”. If someones truely interested, they’ll chat to you, and writing letters cost $1, maybe only one in two hundred will work, but it’s easy enough to send out 10 a day.
  • Get creative. There’s honestly so much you can do, podcasts, videos, asking clients for video testimonials, run competitions, send trials, phone people that have bought your product just to chat, talk with local suppliers.

 

And that’s it really, just keep contributing to the quality of your company information, and offer resources for your customers, in time, customers and Google will love you.

SEO starter advice for small businesses

Hi All,

This post is intended for new to medium businesses that have just created a website and are looking to improve their visibility in local search. If you’ve already got a good idea about SEO, then this post isn’t for you.

I’m going to keep this fairly brief and easy, the following are actionable steps you can take.

  1. Sign up for Google My Business – https://www.google.com/business/ – This should take you all of 10 minutes, fill everything out correctly, ensure your profile is up to date and has some high quality pictures. Google will send you a letter in the mail of your business address, to verify you own that business, the letter will contain a 5 digit key you will need to complete registration.
  2. Sign up for Google Search Console – https://www.google.com/webmasters/ – This is fairly easy, you’ll need to verify your site by pasting a script in your header file, or by uploading a tiny file to your site (this proves to Google you own the site). Search Console is essentially a system for you to adjust your Google search presence and view your traffic. Connecting to Search Console will speed up Google’s process understanding your site. Submit you’re sitemap.xml, which is a small file that is essentially a digital map of your website and its content within, if this sounds confusing to you, just search for “How to submit a Wix/WordPress/Squarespace (whatever you built with) sitemap” in Google.
  3. Ensure all your pages are content rich and extremely well written. You should aim for 300-600 words per page (or longer if the information you are writing is salient). It’s fine if some pages (like your contact page) have less than 300 words. If you’re a new e-commerce website, ensure you’ve got SUPERB descriptions on ALL of your products. This written copy is to assist search engine robots understand your website, and you will be judged you on the quality of your wording. Use heading tags correctly too, to represent hierarchy, with H1 being the “Master”, for example;
    <H1>Services</H1>
    <H2>Flower Delivery Newcastle</H2>
    <H3>How It Works</H3>
    <H3>Our Delivery Area</H3>
    You get the idea right?
  4. Ensure your website is fast. Make sure your images are all compressed. Meaning, the file size should be as small as possible, without sacrificing quality (there’s a free tool online for this – https://kraken.io/ )- however you can also compress images using Preview if you’re on a mac, or Paint if you’re on Windows. Images should never really exceed 400kb, but under 200kb is the sweet spot. Next, if you’re on a mac, open the application “Terminal”, if you’re on Windows, open “Command Prompt” or “cmd” for short.
    Type in ping rhyshughes.com.au – this is the same if you’re on Mac or Windows.
    You’ll get a result like this:

    What you’re looking at is the time= field, this is how many milliseconds it takes your site to respond. My site (pictured above) takes on average 23 thousandths of a second to respond. So this is very fast, and creates a snappy experience for your site users. Let’s ping a slower site, say www.wildelegance.com.au and view the results:Notice how it’s around 182ms, or almost 0.2 of a second to respond? That means it’s already around 8 times slower than my site, so the user experience is somewhat compromised.
    If you’re in Australia, you should aim for under 100ms response time, the lower the better, 5 to 40 ms is brilliant. If your website is over 200ms latency, then you’ve got issues. More than likely, you need to speak with your web host. If you’ve bought hosting with companies like Wix, BlueHost, GoDaddy etc, then your actual host (the physical location of the server that stores your website) is overseas, and your customers connection will be slow.
  5. Ensure your websites meta descriptions are elegant. If you don’t know what “Meta Descriptions” are, they are essentially a description of your web page, and these Meta Descriptions are displayed in search engines, for example;
    If you’ve built your site with WordPress, install Yoast SEO to edit these, if you’ve made your site in Wix or some other builder, you should be able to find the settings to change these per individual page. There’s no real right or wrong way to do these, just make sure your meta descriptions are accurate, compelling and informative. Just like in the example above.
  6. Sign up for a Facebook business page, link this to your website and add your phone number. Also sign up to localsearch and yellow pages, they’ve both got a free signup.

 

And that’s it, six actionable items you can do now to improve your search engine optimisation from day 1.

Soon I’ll update this post and give you some more tips, let me know if you have any questions.

PS Step 3 is the most important.