Steps You Can Take for Higher SEO Rankings

For many eCommerce business owners, SEO seems like a complicated endeavor. You are told to be patient with the results. You are told that it takes extensive research. You are told about the importance of search engine optimization and the things you should update for better optimization.

As complicated as it seems, SEO is not a hopeless endeavor. It’s quite the opposite in fact. You know that you want to improve your SEO rankings, but just need the guidance to take the best practices to get you there.

There are five things that you can do, or find a digital marketing agency to complete, that will help you be set up for SEO success. Check out these steps with us here at Genius eCommerce. This is who we are and what we do.

Coding – One of the most important parts of SEO rankings is the behind the scenes work that coding does. Having a good code to your website does not achieve rankings alone, but if your code is not in order, it can prevent you from reaching the success you want even if everything on the surface is being done well. Technical SEO is an aspect that you simply cannot overlook.

Content – Your content still rules overall. After all, Google reads words first and foremost and looks for the ways it is relevant to search terms. For better Google rankings, you want to have a content marketing plan that focuses on specific keywords and carries some meaning. Relevant and meaningful content helps to boost your domain authority and quality content connects with people who will be reading.

Link Building – A piece of advice you hear a lot when college students are preparing for graduation is to make connections and start networking. Essentially, that is what link building is to your SEO efforts. Building links is making new connections and increasing your domain authority.

Social Shares – Social media has no direct effect on your SEO, but it does go hand in hand with building domain authority and backlinks. Creating connections helps increase your relevance and authority as a leader in your industry. The more shares you can get by promoting your content on social media, the more people will see it organically. This, in turn, helps build up your brand and give it a recognition, which can help you get more clicks from results in search engines because of recognition. Because people may already know the brand from social media, your bounce rate could go down with people visiting having an idea of what to expect from you. That can only improve your conversion rate, establishing that trust in people.

Keyword Ranking – A key part of SEO is choosing keywords that can help improve your overall rankings. The problem is that far too often, SEO clients choose to keep it basic and target words that are broadly searched. With so much competition for the top spots for these keywords, you can easily get lost in the shuffle. That’s why the best way to start your campaign is to do extensive research on keywords where there is an opportunity to achieve the top ranking spots. Using keywords that are more specific to your goals can help you get to the places you want to rank.

With SEO, there are no guarantees or shortcuts to achieving success. It does take patience and research to get the results. With that in mind, having the right team to guide you along the way with the research and strategy can put you on the right track. Taking these steps may not be the easiest thing to do, but it is the most effective in the long run, and that is ultimately what will allow you to achieve the success you desire.

How To Write SEO Friendly Content for eCommerce

You’ve heard the saying that content is king and it really is true. Content marketing has a number of benefits that include building a brand, increasing sales, and generating new leads, and it continues to be an effective method for not only connecting with readers and turning them into customers but also in building authority with search engines.

Content marketing is a fit for every type of business, but there are certain tactics you should take when writing SEO content for eCommerce. Today, we will review some tips for writing SEO friendly content.

Set Goals – Before you even begin to start writing content, you need to set some goals for yourself and your business. What are you trying to accomplish with your content marketing? You may be more focused on establishing your brand or demonstrating why people should buy your products. You may be targeting a new audience. Maybe you are writing for the purpose of gaining better rankings on search engines. Whatever the reason may be, establish it early and use it as motivation when creating content.

Know Your Audience – As you prepare for writing, you want to identify the audience you are writing for so you can produce content that is specifically for them. You can ask yourself a variety of questions about your audience and determine certain things like the age demographic, the type of work they do, what their interests are, what their needs are and why they may want to buy your product. All of these things can help you determine who you are writing for so you can specifically target your audience.

Content Types – Content comes in all forms and you don’t have to be married to one in particular. You may write a few blog posts or articles that are informative. Videos or infographics can be used for a more visual approach, or you may choose to record an audio podcast for people to listen to. All of these types of content help distribute your content marketing across a variety of platforms so that people can connect with you in different ways.

Quality Writing – Content marketing is not just as simple as writing content. You have to make your content, your articles, videos, podcasts and anything else you produce informative and provide value to the customer. Your content should help answer the customer’s questions and solve their problems. The writing should flow naturally and include the keyword you choose to target in a natural way as well. You do not want to stuff your content with the keyword too many times or force the keyword into your content. You also want to check for any grammar or spelling errors and should keep your writing clean and polished.

Share Content – Once your content is published, it should be shared with any followers you have on social media and any other places where you post regularly. Making an announcement of new content attracts readers and bring back loyal followers. It will also help you get on a schedule as you post new content in the future.

Track Your Progress – As you produce content, check your progress. See what kind of results it has on traffic on your website. See what type of content brings the most visitors. Compare these results to your goals set before you started your content marketing campaign and track what connects with your visitors and what isn’t working and adjust your campaign accordingly.

At Genius eCommerce, SEO and content marketing is who we are and what we do. We help you get the tips you need to achieve success in your SEO campaign. Continue reading the Genius eCommerce blog for more.

BigCommerce and Your WordPress Site

WordPress is an amazing option for businesses that are just starting out with their online presence. The WooCommerce plugin allows businesses to easily add eCommerce functionality to WordPress websites. Since late 2018, there has been a new option for WordPress users to dip their toes into the eCommerce world. Businesses no longer have to choose between WordPress’ flexible platform and BigCommerce’s proven eCommerce engine. For WordPress-based entrepreneurs wondering if they should consider adding BigCommerce to their site, here are some factors to consider.

Your Content and Your Commerce

If you have a well-established WordPress site, you undoubtedly have built a network of content related to your business. While migrating that information to a new platform is possible, it is a time consuming and sometimes risky procedure. If you have dedicated time to building your brand through WordPress, the BigCommerce plugin is a great way to add the checkout options your business needs. 

Increasing Your Scalability

If your business is growing, adding BigCommerce’s functionality is a great option. As you start to do more business on your site, the increased activity can drag down your page’s performance. Letting BigCommerce handle the eCommerce side of your business will leave your content pages running smoothly as your user interactions grow. You get all of the advantages of your WordPress site and BigCommerce’s powerful eCommerce platform. 

More eCommerce Options

Choosing BigCommerce for your WordPress site means WordPress developers can quickly add a huge array of eCommerce options to your site. For example, with the BigCommerce plugin, you have access to 65 payment gateways and seamless access to all major global carriers for your shipping needs. Shopping carts developed through this BigCommerce platform can easily integrate sales and discount codes from your website and make the user experience quick and easy. You can also use this BigCommerce plugin to expand your business’ sales across multiple popular platforms like Facebook, Amazon, and eBay.

Additional Security 

Adding BigCommerce to your WordPress site means that you can use their secure checkout service. Working with BigCommerce means that your checkout process is PCI secure out of the box. You will not have to worry about securing your customer data as your business expands. 

 

If you feel like your business is growing beyond your WordPress’ sites current capabilities, adding BigCommerce’s plugin might just be the perfect way to handle your checkout process. If you’re not ready to move off your established site, but you need to broaden your eCommerce horizons, this plug-in is a perfect way to get the best of both worlds. 

Here at Genius eCommerce, we are dedicated to helping your eCommerce business succeed. To stay up to date on the latest eCommerce news and tips, check back in with us for regular updates.

 

Three Valuable eCommerce Features that Require Development

When you partner with an eCommerce platform, you gain the suite of development options offered by that platform. While these options are often more than sufficient for setting up an eCommerce site for any business, there is no way for platforms to offer all of the features their clients would like. When developing your eCommerce website and comparing it to other sites in your industry, you might quickly develop a list of features you would like for your site that are not baked into your platform.

In order to add these features to your website, you need a webpage developer who can physically code them in. By hiring a development team familiar with your eCommerce platform, customization is virtually limitless.  Web development can greatly improve the appearance and function of your website, leading to greater user retention.

Mega Menus

Mega menus are an amazing feature for your eCommerce site. Unlike a standard drop-down menu, these menus often feature categories and subcategories so your customers can browse a wider range of options at a glance. While standard menu options are a standard feature for all eCommerce platforms, they do not include options for creating these comprehensive menus.

Developers can easily create gorgeous mega menus with any of the options your business needs. Whether this includes several subcategory options or the inclusion of images with your menus, almost anything is possible with the right coding.

Search Features

Another common feature that requires development is custom search. Most eCommerce platforms come with search features that allow for faceted search. This allows users to customize their search in terms of brand, size, color, and other common facets.

If your business requires a more specific facet, you’re going to need a custom search. For example, if you run a business that sells plants, you might have customers who want to search your products by how much light they require. This functionality will be valuable in assisting your customers to make purchases, but no platform is going to have a “light level” facet built into their search functions.

Auto-completing search terms are another feature that customers appreciate. Several developers are able to add coding to your search features to include auto-complete and recommended search features. Features like these make it easier to navigate your site and add a professional touch that users appreciate.

One Click Purchasing

Another valuable function that many platforms do not include is one-click purchasing. Made popular as a feature for Amazon Prime, the eCommerce giant now offers this to all of its customers. Rather than adding a product to a cart and then moving to checkout, one-click purchasing takes the customer straight to checkout.

For sites that link customer payment data to account, this can even be used for instant purchases with no further steps. These tools are extremely valuable for cashing in on impulse purchases and streamlining the purchasing process. Having customers view their cart before checkout can lead to indecision. The faster you can allow a customer to go from the initial desire for a product to purchase, the less chance that your customers will reconsider.

 

To learn more about features that will improve your eCommerce site’s performance, turn to Genius eCommerce. Our experts are here to keep you up to date on the latest tips and news in the world of eCommerce.

 

eCommerce Migration and Your SEO Campaign

Sometimes you need to migrate your eCommerce business to a new platform. If you need your website to feature functionality your current eCommerce platform doesn’t offer or you’re overpaying for features your business doesn’t need, it might be time to consider a migration

One important consideration to make when you migrate your business is how it will impact the efficacy of your SEO campaign. SEO campaigns can last for months to years and often involve an extensive network of links. Moving your platform means all of that work and link equity might be placed in jeopardy.

Protect your Links

If your migration is going to affect your URL structure, you will need to implement 301 redirects to your old links. Without doing this, your SEO backlinks from offsite content will no longer direct to your website and Google will no longer associate your business with them. This can quickly drop your Google search rankings.

For internal links, be sure to physically actually change them rather than using more redirects. Too many redirects will slow your website down and negatively impact the user experience.

A new platform will also mean new SEO options. Making sure your SEO data is compatible with your new platform is crucial. If you know that search engines will analyze your new pages differently, you will have to adjust your strategy to match.

Use a Sandbox

Sandboxes exist for a reason. Before you implement your migration, test the new website and make sure all your links work properly. Generate a migration checklist and ensure all your concerns have been addressed before you pull the trigger. By testing your links before you move, you can make sure that your migration doesn’t affect the SEO equity you have spent months building.

A sandbox is also the perfect place to test your new website’s functionality. Making sure your website maintains all its features will ensure that the work you’ve put into your SEO pays off in high visit durations instead of bounces.

Check and Double Check Everything

If you want to avoid significant content errors, it’s important to index your website. A thorough analysis will help find any broken links or duplicate content before you migrate your data. Migrating is the perfect time to take care of these problems so they don’t follow you to the new site. Too many broken links can negatively impact user experience and Google’s opinion of your site.

You will also want to check your analytics before you implement your migration. Knowing factors such as average traffic rates and keyword rankings will be crucial once you migrate. Comparing your pre and post-migration analytics will be the basis for determining any adjustments your SEO strategy might need.

You will likely notice at least some drop off during migration. This is completely normal and is no reason to panic. You are migrating for a reason that will help your business, and your traffic will increase as long as you continue to execute an effective SEO campaign.

At Genius eCommerce, our goal is to keep vendors up to date on the latest in eCommerce. Check our blog to find more information about SEO strategies and tips to help your business succeed.

Measuring SEO Success: The Metrics You Should Know

Achieving SEO success takes time and patience. One way to stay on track in your approach to SEO and stay the course with your strategy is to know that it’s working, even if on the smallest level.

How can you measure your SEO success? There are so many different performance metrics you can track, so you should know which ones you need to focus on and understand so you can accurately track your progress. Today, we will look at the metrics you should know.

At Genius eCommerce, this is who we are and what we do. We aim to be a guide for you through your eCommerce SEO efforts, informing you of trends, tips, and tricks to achieving SEO success.

Organic Traffic – A strong indicator of SEO success is in organic traffic. If your SEO campaign is working well, you should be seeing more organic traffic and conversions. If you don’t see much of an increase or very little early on, don’t let that discourage you. SEO takes some time to go to work and the early metrics can give you some insight on what is working. For example, if organic traffic is increasing and conversions are not, you may need to look at the keywords you are using and see if there is a better fit for your business. If your organic search traffic isn’t increasing but conversions are, you have likely improved the quality of traffic reaching your website.

Conversions from Organic Traffic – Conversions are the real measure of success in eCommerce. In Google Analytics, you can see the revenue, transaction, and eCommerce conversion rate under the eCommerce tab. These are the numbers that show how your business is doing. Compare these results to the results you got before starting SEO to get an idea of how your SEO campaign is working. SEO is designed to bring more visitors to your website, but conversions are the number that really matters.

Bounce Rate – Are you getting clicks to your website and then having people leave right away? This is what the bounce rate measures, the number of people who reach your website and then leave almost immediately for whatever reason. If your bounce rate is dropping, it can mean two things, that you are getting more relevant traffic to your website or that visitors are spending more time browsing the website and looking at multiple pages. Usually, a decreased bounce rate can come with an increase in conversions.

Time on Site – In a similar way to bounce rate, the amount of time people are spending on your website is an indicator that more relevant traffic is finding its way to you. The longer people stay on your website, the more likely they are to make a purchase. If the average time on site is increasing, it means more visitors are finding a way to stay engaged and active on your website.

Rankings – When you finalize a list of keywords, the goal is to improve your rankings. The higher your rankings are, the better the campaign is performing. It can be easier to start by targeting tail keywords, keywords that have more than one or two words so that you are targeting things that are more specific and have a lesser search volume. These keywords tend to be best because they are more specific and cater to the visitor who knows what they are looking for and wants to be directed to that right away. There is a better chance that these keywords give you more qualified traffic. While rankings are an indicator of SEO success, it is not everything to SEO. You don’t want to get so caught up in the rankings that you start to try to produce content specifically to improve rankings and not offer anything relevant to the customer or show your authority or expertise in your industry.

Now that you know the areas you should be familiar with when it comes to analyzing your SEO success, it’s time to get out there and start to improve your eCommerce business with an SEO campaign. At Genius eCommerce, you can get the best tips, tricks, and trends to stay updated on the best practices of SEO throughout your campaign. This is who we are and what we do.

Continue to read the Genius eCommerce blog and check back for more updates.

How SEO and Web Design Work Together

Every eCommerce website should share the common goal of trying to attract visitors with a website that is both SEO friendly and visually pleasing. It may not seem like the design of your website has anything to do with SEO, but in fact, it does.

We at Genius eCommerce are going to take a look at how the two are linked, why design is just as important as SEO, why people tend to focus more on SEO and more. Our goal is to provide you with insights and information about how you can improve your eCommerce SEO.

Design vs. SEO

Obviously, SEO targets specific keywords that are relevant to your business with the goal of bringing traffic to your eCommerce store. We tend to look at SEO on the surface and simply think about the content itself — that if the keyword is featured and you can start ranking for the words to generate organic traffic, then you are on your way to success.

Targeting the right keywords and getting people to your website on SEO alone doesn’t do the trick though. Consider what could happen after people get to your website. The website may have content that relates to the search query, but be in need of a better user interface. Even if you get people to come to your website with the right keywords, that isn’t enough.

If you are a business that has not put in the effort to improve your website experience, customers may not care to do business with you. People want to see businesses that care about appearance and a good website design makes people more likely to stay on the website.

Why People Focus on SEO

SEO is so important to eCommerce success because it can help create a better flow of traffic. Naturally, people are going to look at statistics and want to see them rise. While the rise in numbers may look good on the surface, your SEO efforts aren’t completely working if you don’t have a great design to go with it. Customers like to hang around websites that are nice to look at. Here are a few tips for bringing SEO and design together.

Optimize Content – Content is everything. You want to consider the search terms and keywords you are trying to rank for and make them a big part of the content. Use long tail keywords and phrases that are going to be searched and create a content plan based off of that. Use your keywords in the title and subheadings. Keep things organized by having subheadings to separate large blocks of text, and make sure you are not keyword stuffing by using the keyword naturally throughout your content.

Mobile Friendly – Search engines today are looking to see which websites put an emphasis on mobile users. Today, internet browsing and shopping are being done with mobile devices more than desktops. Having a responsive design that can easily adjust your website to a mobile, or other, format makes a huge difference in retaining customers. If your website is not mobile friendly, people will likely go back into the search results and find a competitor that is.

How do these two very different elements of eCommerce work together? A website that has a good design and uses the right SEO practices is more likely to succeed. SEO drives more traffic and potential sales to a website. A great design keeps people on the website for longer, which can bring your bounce rate down and help you rank higher on search engine result pages.

Both of these elements hold the key to success in the eCommerce space, especially in your digital marketing efforts.

For more tips, tricks, trends and more from Genius eCommerce, continue reading our blog. Our goal is to provide eCommerce SEO tips that can help you succeed in the online space.

Make the Most of Your eCommerce SEO with These Tips

Anybody in the digital space knows the importance of SEO, but are they really doing it right? It often happens that business owners put too much focus on sales and the end result and not enough focus on SEO and the traffic and opportunity it creates.

The truth is that the two go hand in hand; successful sales can be the result of successful SEO. When done the right way, SEO can drive more traffic to your eCommerce site and boost sales.

Before starting eCommerce SEO, it’s important to know that there are a unique set of rules and requirements needed to follow to earn rankings on search engine results pages. To make the most of your eCommerce SEO, take a look at these tips.

Put Your Most Important Pages First

If you are a larger online store, ranking every page you have is going to be a large undertaking. SEO is a process that requires patience when it comes to many of the keywords you will use and for results to actually come through. Instead of trying to rank for every single page you have from the start, begin the SEO process with a thorough website audit that identifies the web pages that perform the best and have the most potential. Focus on getting your most important pages ranking first, then get to the less important pages.

Optimize Category Pages

Category pages don’t typically sell products, and they often get overlooked as a result. However, these pages hold a lot of value for SEO and conversions. A lot of searchers will land on these pages when completing a search. You want to make sure your product category pages have content, keywords and on-site data that boosts SEO. If you don’t pay attention to these pages and optimize them accordingly, you lose out on an opportunity to bring more traffic to the categories that are most successful for your business and showcase the key products you sell.

Avoid Duplicates

In SEO, having duplicates is never a good thing. You might think it’s easier to just copy content for some of your similar items. It may seem like a quick and easy way to create content, but this is not quality content that is truly unique. Search engines gravitate to unique and original content, and if Google identifies content as duplicate, you could be penalized in your results, which could result in lower rankings or even lost sales.

User-Generated Content

Take full advantage of content your users can give you. This is most seen in customer reviews. Reviews don’t just assist in your optimization, but they also establish a trust for your business. Building your reputation can be just as important as building your SEO. Reviews provide honest and authentic feedback that give added value to a customer. It also helps establish authority for any eCommerce website.

Rich Content

Images and videos are among the types of rich content you can use to help make the most of your optimization efforts. The copy you produce will be important, but adding other elements like videos, images and more can also go a long way. Many people search Google for images and video searches put SEO to full use.

SEO is not something that reaches the highest peaks overnight. It requires patience and consistent work to maintain the effort. It’s a marathon and not a sprint. Using the best practices sets you up for further success on search engines.

With Genius eCommerce, we know the tricks and tips that can help you achieve SEO success and make the most of your efforts. This is who we are and what we do. Continue reading our blog for more updates and tips and trends in the eCommerce space.

Optimizing for Online-to-Offline (O2O) Commerce

Online-to-offline commerce has brought online customers to brick and mortar stores. This business strategy uses emails and internet advertisements to entice online customers to come to the physical stores. The strategy is designed to create a seamless shopping experience, bringing the digital store together with the physical location. While online shopping continues to gain popularity, it is estimated that 82.5% of all retail sales will continue to happen as offline sales as late as 2021.

In digital marketing, this means optimization efforts in online marketing campaigns need to address the need for O2O strategies for a lot of eCommerce clients. Omni-channel commerce and multi-channel marketing encompass a broader, retail-specific approach that looks at the way the modern day consumer shops.

81% of shoppers today look at an online store before deciding to make a purchase, even when they choose to go to retail locations. For retailers, this means sales conversions are not so simple. A customer may look at a product on the website and choose not to purchase the item on the website, but it could still have been a sales conversion once the customer gets to the store.

The Basics of O2O

Before creating a complex marketing campaign, it’s important to understand exactly what O2O is and how it differs from traditional cross-platform marketing. A great example of O2O is free shipping on items purchased online to the physical location.

Offering the savings on shipping to customers gets them into the physical store, which could lead to them making a purchase in the store, as well. At the very least, it gets people into the physical location. It also lessens the burden of those looking online but not making the purchase, which can impact the conversion rates of a business. By looking at those transactions as successful conversions, a company can better assess the ROI of their marketing efforts.

Accepting returns at retail locations from purchases made online is another effective way of getting online customers in the door. Essentially, any process or customer experience that can be done either on or offline will increase the presence of customers at both. The easier a company can make the transition for customers, the more often they will make the transition.

When channels are treated as separate entities rather than as facets of the same business, a retailer creates a competitor for themselves. Merging business efforts into one business and customer platform or experience makes it easier on customers and puts more money in the pockets of business owners.

Impact on Major eCommerce

Many customers still enjoy going into a store, touching the merchandise, and often trying products out or on, then walking out with the merchandise in hand. In fact, 70% of millennials still prefer shopping in stores. Major brands in eCommerce noticed this gap and began opening storefronts that addressed the issue.

However, bringing the digital world into the physical locations could be just as important. Nordstrom is one of the largest fashion retailers in the country and has implemented data-driven experiences at retail locations that personalize the shopping experience for customers.

This works by tracking, following, and analyzing online customers. They use the information to decide which products to promote and how to promote them. While that isn’t terribly unique, the way they have brought it into their stores has made for a more personal experience for customers.

There is an opt-in app that pushes the online profile of customers to the salespeople working once they enter the store. This helps real-life workers personalize the shopping experience of in-person customers the way websites push products customers will likely enjoy.

The business model puts the focus on making the most personalized shopping experience for customers, which is one of the most important aspects for most consumers. Whether it is through online channels or at their favorite store, customers want to see the products they most like and have it customized to their unique needs. O2O provides the opportunity for companies to optimize based on this need and encourage returning customers by allowing similar options both on and offline.

shopping online to offline ecommerce

Click and Collect Shopping

In the first half of 2016, it was reported over half of retailers offered click-and-collect shopping services with 72% of customers taking advantage of the option. It seems customers like the ease of looking at products online but still want to have the feeling of walking out of a store with their items. Retail sales through this method have enticed online shoppers that would normally select what they want and check out to look around at what is being offered in-store.

However, instant gratification isn’t what every customer is looking for. In fact, 70% of online customers are happy with the cheapest form of home delivery and wouldn’t be willing to pay more for instant, same-day, or reliable timed delivery. For digital marketers, this means paying attention to the target audience of every client.

While an opt-in app made a more customizable experience for those looking for the higher end experience of Nordstrom, it’s unlikely a customer shopping for toilet paper at the closest store to their house would want the same experience.

Instead, looking at the purchasing trends of the client and their top competitors to customize how O2O is implemented into each business is key. Since customers are looking for an individual experience more often than not, it makes good business sense to treat a business’s specific customers differently than the average consumer.

At Genius eCommerce, we provide relevant industry news for online merchants and vendors to keep them up to date on trends that affect their sales and web traffic.