Category Archives: Ecommerce

If you are setting up a website in order to sell your products online, then you’ll probably have spent quite a bit of time researching the pros and cons of the different ecommerce platforms available to power your business. Whilst there are many factors that you need to take into account when choosing your platform, it is vital to consider how it can support your search engine optimisation strategy.

Unfortunately, some ecommerce platforms may limit your ability to control the way that you optimise your website and this could lead to a fall in rankings and ultimately a drop in sales. It can also be frustrating as a business owner if you are not able to take advantage of the latest SEO updates and strategies because your online shop does not support them.

Luckily there are some great ecommerce platforms out there which can help to meet all of your business needs. WagadaHQ have identified four key SEO features which your ecommerce platform needs to have to enable you to optimise your site fully. If you ensure that these are supported then you will be able to provide both a great retail environment for your online customers and you can also help your website to move up the search engine rankings.

  1. Ensure that you can include an integrated blog on your website

We love blogging. Not only is it a great way to share information and communicate with your customers, but it’s also vital for your SEO too. Blogs are the best way to ensure that your content stays fresh and relevant and they are the perfect place to include up-to-date keywords and long tail keyword phrases. They also help your site to get linked to, can be shared on social media and show Google that you can add real value to your customers’ lives.

Ideally, your CMS would offer the option to set up an integrated blog section. However, this can be tricky in some ecommerce platforms. Installing a WordPress blog into the directory of your site is an option but it means you may need to continually switch between WordPress and your online store, which is far from ideal. For example, VisualSoft allows you to access a WordPress blog via the dashboard, but it does just open this in a new tab.

Luckily there are platforms available, including Shopify, which actually include a blog in its ecommerce platform. This is well worth considering if you are keen to blog and to take advantage of the SEO improvements that regular blogging can offer.

That being said, if your ecommerce platform and blog CMS differ, you must ensure that they are available on the same domain (i.e. example.com and example.com/blog).

  1. Keep control of your metadata

If you want to increase your chances of ranking for your chosen keywords and phrases, you need to have the ability to include optimised page titles, meta descriptions and URLs for each page.

If you have generic page titles it can damage your page ranking and can also lead to issues with duplicate content. If you decide on an ecommerce platform that doesn’t let you control this data, there is a risk that you will be left with generic titles for all of your pages. The result of this is that you are unable to take full advantage of any keyword strategies you may have.

As with many ecommerce websites, you will often find that URLs are ugly, non-optimised and non-optimisable (they may become excessively long, feature upper and lowercase lettering or include punctuation). If you’re building an ecommerce website, try to take control of your URL structure initially.

We definitely recommend that you choose a platform which lets you retain the ability to individually choose each page title, meta description and URL. There are a number of platforms which let you do this including Magento, so make this feature a priority when deciding on your platform for your online store.

  1. Manage your automatic redirects and canonical URLs

Some online stores will use multiple domain names. However, when you do this there is a risk that customers may follow links which could take them to the wrong place or simply become broken over time. Of course, this can affect your search engine ranking as it means usability is poor and customers could get frustrated and ultimately decide not to buy from your website. The way round this is to set up canonical URLs or 301 redirects but this can be time-consuming.

If you think this could be an issue for your site, then it can be a good idea to choose a platform which automatically redirects your users and the search engines to your primary domain. Platforms such as SquareSpace can do this for you and save you time and effort whilst improving the online shopping experience for your customers.

If you have multiple domains or URLs, you may also want to consider a platform that enables you to implement canonicals. These let you hold content in a number of different places online whilst making sure that Google is aware that it should only take note of the one page/URL you want to rank. This is also important if you want to use a number of URLs for products within the same category.

If this is important to your business then WooCommerce is a platform which has support for canonical URLs built into it – and even better there is a basic version of it available for free!

  1. Ensure you can edit your Robots.txt files

This sounds quite technical but what it actually means is that you have the ability to tell Google’s ‘bots’ that there are certain pages that they should ignore when they are crawling your website to index it for their search engines.

When you run an online store, there will often be pages that you don’t want to be searchable online or that you don’t want Google to index. For example, you might have a special offers page which is only available to customers on your mailing list. Alternatively, your blog could be creating hundreds of author archive URLs such as example.com/2017/09. Such pages won’t rank, so you would want to block them in your robots.txt file in order to improve your website’s crawl budget and/or any indexing issues.

On big ecommerce websites, faceted navigation can also create major issues in relation to crawl and indexation. Every permutation of refine/sort creates another page (of near-identical content) which can quickly lead to hundreds of thousands of pages. If this is the case, Google’s crawl budget ends up being spread too thin. The best solution for faceted navigation URLs is to block these in your robots.txt file (you’ll also want to noindex, nofollow and canonicalize these pages – so again, ensure that your ecommerce platform enables this).

BigCommerce is a platform which allows you to directly access robot.txt files and so is definitely one to consider.

We think it is definitely worth taking the time to consider your SEO needs when choosing your ecommerce platform. You should make sure that you choose one which will offer you the best option for a great consumer experience and will help your site rank well in the search engines. We know that there is a lot of choice out there, so if you are feeling slightly confused by it all, get in touch with Wagada. We are SEO experts and can help you find the ecommerce platform that works best for you, your SEO and your business.

How to rank well on AmazonWe all know how important Google is for your search engine optimisation but, if you have a product to sell, did you know that setting up your SEO for Amazon can also be really important? In the field of e-commerce, Amazon is storming ahead of Google with three times more search volume for products. In fact in 2012 the New York Times stated that product searches using Amazon are growing whilst Google searches were remaining static. In this article we’ll look at how you can rank well for your products on Amazon.

So what’s the difference between a Google search and an Amazon search?

The key difference between Google and Amazon is how they make their money – and this in turn affects how they decide to measure success and rank their products. Google aims to make its profit from selling advertising, whereas Amazon wants to actively sell the actual products and make money from the sales. This means that Google will focus on issues such as click through rate and search refinement, whereas Amazon will be driven by product sales and profit margins made from selling those goods. Therefore Amazon really wants its sellers to optimise their products for a high conversion rate.

How can you rank highly on Amazon?

Make sure your listing is detailed and formatted correctly

When optimising for Google you have a blank page for your website. However when you set up your product page with Amazon you will be given a formatted page asking for certain details. Amazon knows what it needs to see in order to rank a product highly, so pay attention to what it is asking and make sure you fill in all the fields. Give as much detail as possible as this will really help customers when they are filtering products i.e. if you are selling a phone and it is green make sure you put the colour in too.

Look at your search terms

Customers on Amazon can be very specific with their search terms so make sure that you add any additional relevant search terms to your product – as this can really help to make your product more visible to customers. It can be worth taking the time to do some usability testing to see what terms your customers would use to search for your product as there may be some that you have not considered! Products such as Keyword Snatcher can help you to specifically identify keywords which people search for on Google.

Get the price right

Price can be a factor in how you are ranked so it is important to make sure that the price of your product is in line with other Amazon sellers. If your product is significantly more expensive than competing products you may find that people will not buy it and as your sales slip down, so does your place in the rankings.

Have a compelling and relevant title and bullet points

It is really important to get the title of your product right and to make sure that the descriptive bullet points underneath fully cover everything that a customer might want to know. Make sure that the title is really descriptive and includes all the key words that customers might use. You should also add in your brand name to your title as customers often search for products by brand.

Use images to your advantage

Amazon has stated that images with a zoom function have enhanced sales so it can be a great idea to get high quality images with a zoom facility. Make sure your product images are clear and show off your product to its best effect.

Encourage Reviews

Good reviews show potential buyers that your products are good quality and that you are a reliable seller. A positive review can really help to encourage customers to choose you over your competitors, therefore pushing up the rankings. Make sure you always contact customers after a sale to ask them to write a review.

In summary, to rank well on Amazon you need to look at your SEO slightly differently than you would on Google. The main focus is on having a product that sells well as this will increase your visibility and status. By making sure that you give Amazon all the information that they need, thinking about customer search terms and having a competitively priced product with a good image you should start to see your ranking rise.

In the ever-changing online world, building customer loyalty has become a big challenge for many businesses. It used to be the case that you just needed to show people that you have what they wanted in order to gain a customer. Nowadays, with the saturation of the online market you have to compete for the top spot and to demonstrate to the searcher (as well as the search engine) that you have what they need.

Statistics suggest that 80% of future revenue for a company will come from 20% of the existing clientele. So clearly it is important to focus on retaining your existing customers. With the increasing difficulty of showing people that you have what they need, how do you build a loyal online customer base that will return?

Building Customer Loyalty Online with Content Marketing

Having fresh and relevant content on your website is an important part of Google’s decision about your site’s ranking. But it’s not just about this. Having interesting and engaging content for your customers will encourage them to come back to read more. It might even encourage them to click further through your site. Curating content of interest to your readers is another way of doing this. It can be a great form of contribution to your online presence and suggests to customers that you are aware of what interests them. If you create interesting content then customers are more likely to share it and so you are more likely to get links back to your site, which is why Wagada are here to help with our Content Marketing services.

Usability

Another important way of building customer loyalty online is by having a site that they enjoy and find easy to use. To improve your click-through rate, it is important that your customers easily find what they want and have a smooth transition through the pages of your site. If they have found it difficult to navigate your site then they are less likely to purchase something and even less likely to return. Your site’s usability is therefore very important. By having relevant links on your pages, not only will the customer enjoy the experience but Google also likes anchor texts which are relevant, which will improve your ranking.

Engagement with Customers

Social media is a great way to engage with your customers, raise your online profile and promote your products, services and ideas. It is therefore important to choose a platform that suits your customers as it will be too time-consuming for a smaller company to manage lots of profiles. So it is better to carefully target what you do. This might be dependent on your target market: age, gender, interests, personalities and so on.

Proactively engaging directly with customers can make them feel like you care personally, which is valuable when encouraging loyalty. Asking questions about their opinions is a great way to do this, whether you are getting feedback or simply trying to engage them in conversation. Being vocal about mistakes or when things go wrong gives a “human” feel to the company and you will be thought of more as people rather than as a company disconnected from their customers.

Be Personal

Not only is it important to engage with customers online through social media, it’s also important to give a personal touch to your brand on your website. Telling the story of your company on your home page or the about us section can help people to relate to your company. Businesses may be online but customers want to see the personality behind the brand and the website. Once you have achieved this, you can then share the story further with guest blogging or on social media.

Of course, it is important to encourage customers to your site in the first place. One way of doing this is by embedding a virtual tour of your shop on your website with Google 360 Photography, this offers a personal experience to potential customers. They can experience the look and feel of your shop simply by looking at your website or on Google maps and it is a great way to encourage customers to choose your services over another competitor.

The ways of building customer loyalty have changed in this increasingly online world. But with good quality content, a customer-friendly site and a personable approach to your customers you can not only engage and retain customer but improve your website search engine ranking as a bonus.

We offer services for both Content Marketing and Google 360 Photography!

Building a community for your brand means using social media to engage your customers and involve them in your company’s day-to-day activities. Social media turns your customers into your supporters. They share your content, feed back on how you’re doing and engage with your posts.

It’s easy to see how building a community could help your brand, but it can also directly affect your search engine ranking.

Google is getting cleverer. Stuffing your pages with keywords and amassing a large quantity of low quality links is no longer going to be enough to get to the top of the search engine rankings.

It now wants to see a coherent social strategy, lots of quality content and an engaged audience – all of which is much more difficult to fake.

Building a Community Boosts your Search Engine Ranking

Social signals are now a small, but important ranking factor. In the same way that links allowed Google to see that people were talking about you, social signals demonstrate the reach of the company. Google can see how many followers you have, how much engagement is taking place and what content is being shared.

You wouldn’t retweet a poorly written blog article, so lots of retweets gives a strong indication to Google of the quality of the content on your site.

Your Community Shares your Content

If your community is sharing your content for you, this gives you more opportunities to gain inbound links from other sites. High quality, relevant links are still important for search engine optimisation.

Is this the end of manual link building? Perhaps not, but if you can get your customers to share your content, your outreach and link building is done for you.

Use Your Community to Identify New Keyword Phrases

What questions are your customers asking on social media? What keywords are they using? People do not always use the keywords that we expect when describing your products and services.

The way they talk about you to each other on your Facebook page gives you a very strong insight into their world and the language they are using. If you create content around these key questions and phrases, you will better meet their needs. Ranking for the longer, more unusual phrases will be easier, and an engaged, interested audience is more likely to spend longer on your site, and is more likely to convert.

Building a community for your brand is an excellent way to boost your search engine ranking, engage your audience, find out the needs of your customers and spread the word about your products and service.

Find out how Wagada can help to build your community, contact us.

Inbound marketing is about attracting people to buy your products and services, rather than reaching out to them. Entice people into your website with search engine optimisation, blogging, some fabulous content and social media. Once you’ve netted your prospects you need to convert them into customers with compelling calls to action, intuitive functionality and irresistible landing pages. Inbound marketing covers the entire journey from setting the bait, attracting your leads and securing the sale.

Top Tips for Inbound Marketing:

 

1. Get found on Google

Billions of searches take place on Google every single day. If your website is not appearing in the search results when people are looking for your products and services then you are missing a massive opportunity to generate new leads for your company.

75% of people never scroll past the first page of search results.* So you need to be appearing on that first page if you want to reach the maximum number of people.

Google takes a variety of factors into account when it assesses your relevancy to a particular search term. Many of these factors involve improving your website: simplifying the navigation, adding fresh content and highlighting the key terms covered, making SEO a valuable activity and worthwhile investment.

2. Ramp up your social media

Social media presents a great way to reach your target audience. You can use it to promote your blog articles and draw people into your website. It can be used to communicate news and events, and gather a following of interested people who might one day decide to convert into customers. It also maintains contact with previous customers to encourage a repeat purchase.

3. Boost your blog

Companies who blog have more website visitors and more pages indexed by Google. They have more opportunities to attract potential customers through long-tail keyword phrases. Your website starts to attract people who are interested in the exact things that you are offering.

Well-written and useful blog articles attract inbound links from other websites, which in turn boost your search engine ranking and draw traffic into your website.

4. Compelling calls to action

Your call to action is a button or piece of text which alerts the website visitor of the main task for that web page. Your calls to action make it clear to your customer what they need to do and how they go about it.

Many websites leave users floundering at the bottom of a page, with no clear direction. A strong call to action entices them to make the sale, or get in touch, or request a white paper.

Website users make quick decisions and are very task orientated. If they cannot immediately see what is expected of them, they could go elsewhere.

A good call to action jumps out of the page and encourages a website visitor to act. The text should clearly and briefly indicate what they will doing. Examples of strong calls to action include: ‘Sign up for a free trial’, ‘Buy now’, ‘Download our free report’.

5. Your home page as a channel

Your site’s home page should be a channel which you use to draw people in. It is not a landing page. Use your calls to action to show your visitors what you want them to do, and how.

6. Experiment

A/B testing allows you to compare changes to your website and the effect they have on conversion. Changing colours, text and button positions can all make a big difference to your conversion rate.

7. Captivating landing pages

Ensure that your landing pages are targeted to the audience you are attracting and the action you need them to complete. Keep it simple, with a very prominent and central call to action.

Remove unnecessary elements and outside noise from the landing page: its one aim is to get people to complete the task you have in mind. A landing page with lots of options will dilute the effect you are seeking and act as a distraction.

A well-designed landing page will instil trust in the consumer. If your landing page includes a form, test it for usability and keep it as brief as possible.

Wagada can help you to boost your website traffic and conversion rate. Contact us for more information.

* Source MarketShare.Hitslink.com, October 2010

There are many great reasons to get a business blog and with the easily available blogging software out in the marketplace there’s really no excuse not to.

A blog transforms your website from a static online brochure to a vibrant and fascinating hub for your marketplace. A well-written blog engages your customers and keeps them on your website for longer, it brings more quality visitors as well as increasing your search engine ranking.

Needless to say that content must be of high quality and unique. Don’t stuff with your keywords and check your grammar and spelling – a blog with spelling mistakes will not inspire confidence.

If you haven’t got one yet, start a blog because:

  1. You’ll get more opportunities to make use of your keywords…
    Just make sure you’ve done your research and you know which keywords to target.
  2. The search engines likes updated content…
    The search engines like to see that a website is being maintained and a constant stream of fresh content is one way that they judge this. This month Google has tweaked its algorithm yet again with their so-called ‘Fresher’ update which prioritises more recent information.
  3. Other people might link to you…
    Great content will attract links from other websites. This gives you a double win situation: Google will think your website is worth ranking and you’ll get more traffic from relevant sources. If you write something really exciting it could start to spread on social media websites.
  4. It allows you to offer useful hints and tips…
    Your clients (and potential clients) will love you for it.
  5. It is useful to customers to see that a website is updated frequently…
    It shows that the company is actively maintaining its image and can be reassuring when buying online.
  6. It helps customers to get a flavour of the company…
    Let your customers get to know you and develop a relationship.
  7. It keeps users on your website for longer…
    A blog will keep you users engaged, giving you more time to use your persuasive copywriting skills to get them to purchase!
  8. It enables you to be a thought leader…
    Have an opinion and let everyone hear about it.

If you don’t know what to write in your blog let Wagada write it for you. We offer a content creation service and can keep your blog updated on a regular basis.