When a new year begins, it’s important to outline your e-commerce business’ goals and strategize on best practices to use in order to improve sales and ensure sustained growth. Search engine optimization continues to dominate as one of the best ways to drive traffic to e-commerce websites through organic search. SEO trends change over time and adapting to these changes helps to ensure your business remains relevant online and stands out in your industry. Check out some of the top SEO strategies you should be following in 2019.
With most consumers doing their shopping via mobile phone or tablet, it’s imperative today more than ever to provide your e-commerce website visitors with a mobile-friendly version of your site. The quality of your website’s UX, short for user experience, should be a big focus for your business this year. The ease with which users can navigate your web pages is key to avoiding abandoned carts and incomplete sales. Your website might seem flawless in design and functionality from the desktop view, but that doesn’t guarantee that every page will translate well in a mobile view. Creating a mobile-friendly version of your site means you must consider how online shopping is completed in this digital age. Most people are on-the-go when doing their online shopping. Because of this, ease of navigation and a smooth checkout process on your website’s mobile version are necessities.
Not only is your mobile version important to customers, but it’s a must-have now that Google has rolled out mobile-first indexing. But what is that exactly? Mobile-first indexing is a new (2018) implementation by Google where they use your website’s mobile version as a starting point for what they include in their index and as a baseline for how they determine website rankings. Without a mobile version, your website will still be indexed based on the desktop site. Nevertheless, the lack of a mobile-friendly user experience can negatively impact your rankings as compared to other e-commerce businesses in your industry. The desktop version of a website was once considered the primary version. However, with technology and the web adapting to world of more on-the-go Google searchers and consumers, the mobile version is now considered the primary.
“Siri, how long will my commute to the office take this morning?”
“Hey Google, where is the nearest Indian restaurant?”
“Alexa, what’s the weather for today?”
Sound familiar? If so, it shouldn’t surprise you that by 2020 it is predicted that at least 50% of all online searches will be voice-based. Apple, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are just a few of the many companies thriving with the implementation of voice search capabilities. This innovation is making it possible for consumers everywhere to receive on-demand information without lifting a finger. Understandably, this is changing the way information is gathered and in turn is impacting SEO strategies worldwide. To understand this better, imagine the way you ask a question in a conversation, versus the way you might in a text message. We tend to shorten things when we type them to cut down on time and get straight to the point, but in spoken conversation we are typically more formal and thorough. We might type “best restaurants Baltimore” into Google’s search bar in a web browser, but when we use voice-assisted devices we tend to speak in full sentences and with more detail, as if we are speaking with an actual person: i.e. “Alexa, what are some of the best Italian restaurants in Baltimore, Maryland?”
Tailoring the SEO keywords, meta titles and descriptions included on each page of your website to better reflect common voice-search queries prevalent in the e-commerce industry will help to keep you ahead of the curve and ensure that you’re still high-ranking once voice search becomes the standard for online queries.
One tried and true SEO strategy that hasn’t lost its value is quality content. Whether you make a goal to restructure the text on each page of your website or resolve to hire a content writer to create blog posts to publish on a regular basis, SEO keyword-rich content that will entice readers and draw online shoppers to the website remains at the top of the list of best-practices for increasing rankings and growing e-commerce businesses. Quality content not only improves your appearance in Google searches but also keeps your website’s visitors engaged and interested. Traditional marketing strategies are known to simply talk at people, while content marketing talks with people.
Although most internet users who visit your website are there to shop, that doesn’t mean consumers aren’t interested in additional content. Sharing stories about your brand will help sell your audience on the lifestyle of your company and the products you sell. If you believe in your business, consumers will too. Never pass up an opportunity to make your customers feel like they’re on a more personal level with your brand.
As outlined in Strategy #3, adding quality content to your website gives you a great advantage. Another excellent way to push content to consumers is through video. Help create and sell an emotional appeal of your brand by posting product demonstrations or showing your products receiving recognition from popular sources. You can also show consumers that your brand is strong and reliable with recorded customer testimonials.
A good strategy for video is to provide text content and descriptions along with it. For example, if you make a video highlighting new products, attach a blog post to it that gives additional information and links for customers to go directly to the product pages of those mentioned in the video. By using a more visual marketing medium, you’re appealing to those consumers who typically overlook text-rich posts and providing a better visual for who you are and what you have to offer. Focus on video content that is tailored to the Gen Z and Millennial audience, as these are currently the most active viewers of video on the web.
Another fantastic way to increase visibility online is to utilize your business’ social media profiles as efficiently as possible. Here’s a quick checklist of what you should plan on doing consistently throughout 2019 to improve brand awareness, increase sale, and boost social media engagement:
There is an endless list of ways you can engage with your customers on social media. Consumers love to feel like they are on a more personal level with the businesses they purchase from and making sure you stay active on social media is of huge importance in 2019.
Last but not least, security should be a top priority for your website in 2019. In the past, many websites have been able to get away with operating without an SSL, short for Secure Sockets Layer. But as data breaches become a more and more common occurrence, consumers become less willing to enter personally identifying information and payment information into e-commerce websites that they shop on. Security is a continuous concern among consumers everywhere, and over 60% of shoppers today say they will leave a website if it is unsecure and doesn’t contain https in the URL. As a bonus, Google is known to reward secure websites with better rankings and good visibility on their search results page.
By following these popular SEO trends, you’ll be a step ahead of your competition in the e-commerce industry and pave the way for consistent growth in 2019. To learn more about how AT Integrated can improve the SEO on your e-commerce website and secure your online shopping system, contact us today.