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Only up to a few years ago, not many of us shopped online. Today, the online market volume is growing by several billion euros annually. This year, forecasts predict that online trading will account for more than 11 percent of total retail sales. The competition in online retailing will increase, and the more players will be pushing their way onto the market. Only those who use and are thinking about the right SEO strategy will be successful.
Amazon shows many online shop owners in the truest sense of the word, how to do it right. The company owns between 15-30 percent of the European e-commerce market, and the trend is growing rapidly. The following SEO measures for shop operators show you how, as a shop operator, can gain a good foothold in today’s ever competitive online market.
1. BE ORIGINAL – CREATE UNIQUE PRODUCT DESCRIPTIONS
One mistake made by many shop owners is the use of identical product descriptions from competitors. Often, some if not most online shop owners simply copy the manufacturer's product texts. Search engines and especially Google, whose market share in the UK is 85 percent, prefer unique content in its search results. If a product description is missing completely, the corresponding products will most likely not be indexed and therefore will not appear in a Google search.
2. KEEP YOUR CUSTOMER IN MIND – ASK; WHAT DOES THE CUSTOMER WANT?
Many shop operators do not give much thought to what their customer want. This means that the customer has to be addressed specifically in the product description. The best way to do this is to create a questionnaire with the most important questions. Conversations with friends and relatives can also help to understand what might be important for the customer and help give you an idea of what may work for your product description.
Let's use a simple example of selling motorcycle helmets. You should ask yourself the following questions:
· Why should customers buy my motorcycle helmets?
· What do customers already know about motorcycle helmets?
· What safety standards must motorcycle helmets have?
· Where are the helmets produced?
Indeed there are many more questions you could ask and the more you ask, the deeper your understanding will be of your customer. In any case, you should know the needs of your target group and keep them in mind at all times. Also, you should provide if possible additional useful information to your customers. For example, tips on how to get your motorcycle ready for the new season, or which route you should experience with your motorbike. Individual products can be optimally linked to these advice topics, which can then be found in your shop
3. ALLOWING PRODUCT APPROVALS
According to studies, more than 70 percent of shoppers only make a purchase decision when they have looked at reviews from other customers. Therefore, it is important to allow customer reviews for your products as it will give both your customers and you an insight into the performance of your shop and where it can be improved. Also, their product pages are continually growing due to unique content, which they do not even have to take care of themselves. The site is constantly being updated, which in turn leads to beneficial ranking factors in search engines.
4. TAILOR RICH SNIPPETS
Rich snippets are semantic extensions for search engine crawlers, which are partially displayed in search results. With comparatively little effort, you can improve your ranking factors through the structured optimisation of your website. With the help of snippets, you attract attention in search results and thus increase the number of clicks on your site. Using the above example of motorcycle helmets, a Rich Snippet for a product could contain the following information:
5. CREATE SEO CONTENT FOR PRODUCT CATEGORIES
In addition to a unique product description, the use of frequently used search terms (keywords) is essential for search engine optimisation. Even the most detailed and unique product text will not rank well if the search engine does not recognise what this page is all about. Therefore, both the title, text and captions have to be provided with so-called keywords, which are often entered by search engines and refer to the respective product.
6. AVOID KEYWORD STUFFED CONTENT
The art of good search engine optimisation is to find the right balance between creating good content with a sufficient number of keywords that will be recognised by Google to rank well but not to be considered as spam. In the past, crude phrases such as "buying a good motorcycle helmet offer safety" were often used. The idea of this was to use the keyword combination "buy motorcycle helmet" without ever integrating into a well thought out text. Nowadays, practices like this are less and less common as they result in penalisations from the search engines.
7. STRATEGIC PLACEMENT OF CATEGORY TEXTS
It is not only the product texts that play a central role in SEO Basics. The category texts are also to be optimised specifically for the search volume and placed on the page. In general, Google rates content at the top of a page as more relevant. However, you should still avoid placing complete category texts above the products.
This, in turn, would have a negative effect on their conversion optimisation, because the products would then lack valuable space in the customer's first viewing space as they "enter" the site. Again, the right balance needs to be found between important texts and other content.
8. IMPROVE SERVER SPEED AND PAGE LOAD TIME
On the Internet, there is hardly anything more annoying for the customer than waiting for a page to be set up. The latter may leave the page being annoyed and changes to the competition in the search results. Short loading times are therefore just as important as keyword optimised pages. Many advertising companies that offer shop systems do not have the problem on the screen. Most of the time, professional SEO agencies first point out the problem. Fast loading times are essential for both search engine ranking and usability.
(screenshot of Google PageSpeed Tool)
9. CONSTRUCTION OF INTERNAL LINKING
Internal linking is used in search engine optimisation to distribute the "power" of links better and to strengthen subpages that receive fewer backlinks. In online shops, the internal linking can already begin on the start page to address deeper structures of the online shop. Also, internal links allow users to click through the structure of the online shop. This, in turn, increases the user's time spent in the online shop. For example, the following subpages can be linked optimally:
· Related Products
· Products of the same manufacturer
10. OPTIMISE PRODUCT IMAGES
An online shop lives from product images. These should not only be attractively designed and available in high quality. Search engine optimisation also plays a decisive role for images. On the one hand, images should be optimized for the Internet to shorten loading times. On the other hand, images must be appropriately labelled so that they can also be "read" by search engines. If there are several product images, the photos can also be numbered.
However, Google will increasingly be able to evaluate image content without having to resort to the image designation. The search algorithm can already recognize fonts, objects and colours. For the time being, however, naming the images should be an integral part of the optimization process.
11. AVOID ERRORS WHEN CHANGING YOUR ASSORTMENT
If an assortment change occurs, new product pages must be created. In order not to lose well-placed pages due to deletion, the URLs of the deleted product pages should be forwarded to the new product pages by means of a so-called 301 redirect. So the rankings are preserved because Google now knows that instead of the old page for this search result the new page should be displayed.Sanjeev Nanda likes this.
TEXTS FOR ONLINE SHOPS: THE 6 FACTORS FOR CREATING SUCCESSFUL TEXTS
We can write a lot about how good texts should look like for online shops. Sometimes it helps to look through the eyes of the customer see things from their perspective. Text creation for online shops is extremely complex, therefore, creating high-quality texts play an essential role in a search engine ranking, high user satisfaction, good conversion rates and thus high sales. The most important success factors are keywords, structure, scope, rich media, uniqueness and relevance.
FACTOR 1: DETERMINE KEYWORDS AND RELEVANT TERMS
To record the relevant search terms of potential customers, there is the Google Keyword Planner. This will determine the search volume for terms and provide keyword ideas. The keyword planner gives the copywriter much information, for example, which terms are important for headlines, meta tags etc. However, helpful information can be used for the reader from text content and structure.
Two types of information can be obtained from keyword research for the creation of texts. On the one hand, it can be used to determine alternative terms and spellings of the main keyword. On the other hand, search terms of related product categories can be found in the "Ad Group Ideas" section. These are particularly interesting if they are semantically related to the main keyword.
Example: The important keywords for tumble dryer or condenser dryer texts would be words such as: "tumble dryer", "dryer", "condenser dryer” etc. For the creation of the text, however, terms such as “washing dryer”, "exhaust air dryer" and "heat pump dryer" are also important. A text that answers the important questions on the subject of "Buying dryers" must in any case take these terms into account
The keyword planner with relevant keywords (screenshot of Google Keyword planner) will help you with the topic "tumble dryer".
FACTOR 2: TEXT STRUCTURE FOR A BETTER USER EXPERIENCE
Texts on an Internet should be able to be scanned quickly and easily by users for the main information of the product. Therefore, it is vital that the text structure must ensure that the user can quickly identify where they can find the information that is important to them.
For the selective way of reading the text must be clear, structured according to importance and optically adapted. Second-order subheadings (h2) are practically always used. Longer texts can also benefit from third order headings (h3). It is also important to divide the paragraph into paragraphs taking into account the paragraph length. Rule of thumb: In case of doubt, it is preferable to use a heading or a paragraph separation.
In general: Anything that loosens up the body of text may and should complement the text. Lists, comparison tables, highlights. See also point 4 "Rich Media".
Brands in Google search results: Sensibly structured text offers a good user experience and benefits for SEO.
A text with a good (html-)structure has further advantages. Google uses things such as tables of contents and brands in its results pages to guide users to the information they want. This can then jump directly from the search results to a specific section of the text. This can have a positive effect on the click-through rate (CTR) of search results.
FACTOR 3: ASSESSING SCOPE AND PRIORITIES
The length of a text is not a quality criterion. More importantly, he answers the reader's questions in the best possible way. Also with regard to SEO, no general formula can be derived as to how long texts have to be for them to reach the top positions in the search engines. From the SEO point of view, factors such as product type and competitive situation always play a role in the required text length.
Sometimes texts with a length of 200 words are sufficient and then again texts of 2,000 words too short. It is important that the number of words is selected depending on the topic and the available information.
Tip: Product categories that are particularly important for the online shop's sales should also be given preference when it comes to content. Shop owners should invest heavily in content that answers the questions of users and makes them buyers. Shop pages with many accesses, but few purchase deals can be an indication that there is a lack of helpful, convincing content in these places.
FACTOR 4: UPGRADING TEXTS WITH RICH MEDIA
Copywriters are word specialists. But successful content in online shops goes beyond pure text. For unique content, the images provided on the product pages, category pages, and other landing pages are very important.
Ideally, original images from the company should be used which support and supplement the information in the text. On top of that, graphics and images help to structure the text and make it more user-friendly and accessible. Using your own images means that pictures and graphics are unique on the net. Material that can be found in other places creates duplicate content in the worst case: a stumbling block for good Google rankings.
If you use your own pictures and the text is optimised with regard to important keywords, you can also win more visitors with the Google image search. When optimising images, file names, alt- and title-tags should be provided with relevant keywords.
All important facts about pictures and videos at a glance:
· large and high resolution
· use your own/unique pictures
· Describing images in text
· assign alt- and title text
FACTOR 5: UNIQUENESS IS COMPULSORY
Texts in online shops should always be unique. It is urgently necessary to avoid the one-to-one adoption of product descriptions from manufacturers. Often these texts are fact-heavy and dispassionate, which doesn't necessarily convince potential buyers. It can also create duplicate content, which can have a detrimental effect on Google Rankings.
Screenshot of IKEA Products
Therefore, a lot of energy should be invested in a text to capture the user's emotions. The texts must be understandable and above all unique in order to stand out from the 0-8-15 product descriptions and category texts of other online shops.
FACTOR 6: CREATE RELEVANCE
The most important factor for online shop copywriting is relevance. You can only be considered successful if content is helpful, if you answer questions, make decisions easier and convince potential customers.
One possible way to find relevant shop texts is to answer all possible questions about the product or service. In addition to the relevant tools such as answerthepublic. com keyword questions, relevant content can be identified in other ways. Forums on the topic offer a deep insight into the target group. In addition, frequent support questions can be processed into relevant content.
The SEO aspect also plays an important role in this area. User signals, such as e. g. length of stay and access to other shop pages, give Google important hints on how "relevant" the content offered is, i. e. whether the user is "satisfied" and whether the text of the online shop has satisfied the user's search intention.
CONCLUSION: CONTENT MUST CONVINCE GOOGLE AND INSPIRE USERS
Successful texts in online shops put the user at the centre of attention - both in terms of content and structure. The guiding question for content creation should always be: What do potential customers want to know and in what form can this information be best presented?
The user should be offered relevant and attractive content, whereby the SEO basics should also be considered. Often this goes hand in hand: well-structured texts with meaningful headlines have better chances of achieving good Google rankings. If the user feels that he or she is being picked up by well-prepared information, entertaining content or emotional stimuli, he or she will enjoy in the shop and very probably become a customer.
About the author
Herbert Buchhorn is the CEO of Clicks Online Business (offices in Berlin, Dresden, Cologne, and Munich) and an expert in search engine optimisation (SEO). Since 2007, his online marketing agency has been successfully working for companies from a wide variety of industries throughout Germany and internationally. He regularly publishes specialist articles on the subject of SEO & e-commerce in various online and print magazines, is an acknowledged speaker at conferences and regularly holds seminars and workshops on the subject of online marketing.