Optimize Your Ecommerce Store’s URL

Your ecommerce store’s many URLs are more than parking spaces preceded by HTTPS or HTTP. They are little snippets of opportunity for you to increase the optimization of your site.

If you haven’t never thought of your URLs in this way before, take heart. Most people are unaware that URLs can help them with search engine optimization (SEO), even if only on a minimal level. Below are some of the ways you can transform your URLs to become optimization-friendly.

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Ecommerce SEO for Your Store’s Homepage

Are you in the market to strategically position your ecommerce store for a search engine optimization (SEO) boost? One of the best places to start is with your site’s homepage.

The homepage is really the first impression of your business in many ways, making it the ideal spot to impress visitors and encourage them to browse — and buy. Implement some of these top-notch SEO techniques on your ecommerce store homepage and track the rank of your store for your preferred keywords.

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What’s Contributing to Your Ecommerce Website’s Slow Load Time — And How to Fix It

Any website can have a ridiculously slow load time of many seconds, but when it’s your ecommerce site, it’s especially bad. After all, you’re trying to get people visiting your site to make purchases. If they start to feel uncomfortable, keep running into roadblocks, or lose their patience, they’ll abandon the process and potentially head straight to your competitor’s site. This leaves you without a customer and without an attractive revenue stream. It’s not a pretty picture, but it’s one you have control over.

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What Social Media Sites Are Best for Ecommerce?

You know you need to be on social media to get the most out of your ecommerce site. But which social media platform is going to perform best? The answer is that it depends on a number of factors:

  1. What Do You Sell? The type of product(s) you sell on your ecommerce site will help drive the social media sites you choose. Research shows that certain products do better on certain venues, likely because of the venues themselves and the user populations they attract.
  2. How Much Are You Willing to Put Into Your Social Media Experience? Are you planning on being very active on social media, or are you just going to throw up a page and occasionally post? Do you intend to pay for advertisements, such as Facebook’s PPC Ads or Twitter Deck? Your engagement level will help determine the right platform.
  3. Who Are Your Target Customers? If you can define your target audience, you can narrow down the social media sites you should use. For instance, the average Snapchat user is going to be younger than the average Facebook user.
  4. How Much Do Customers Typically Spend in an Average Order? What is the average spending on your ecommerce site? Is it a higher number or a lower one? For instance, data shows that YouTube tends to bring in about $38/order, whereas Pinterest does better at about $58/order. Obviously, you want to improve your average order amount over time, but it might not make sense to choose certain social media sites.

Now that you’ve answered these questions, it’s time to look at some of the top social media sites in terms of their possibilities for your ecommerce goals.

Facebook for Ecommerce

Facebook is the undisputed behemoth in terms of social media engines. Once dominated by younger people, it’s now home to individuals of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. In most areas, it’s a dominant player, which is why you’ll want to have at least a Facebook business page. Beyond that point, you may want to do a bit of homework as to whether you can gain an advantage using this platform in a basic way.

Some industries and products do better than others on Facebook. Sellers of antiques tend not to sell tons from Facebook, but sellers of running gear love it. Experiment a little and see if it works for you, but definitely have a presence there.

Twitter for Ecommerce

Twitter’s niche is that it’s immediate, which makes it powerful. If you have a product that people tend to buy reactively, Twitter could be a terrific place to hang out. Hold flash sales, tweet when you know your followers are likely to be active, and pay for Twitter Deck placement.

You can also turn Twitter into a place for immediate customer service and feedback. That can be a double-edged sword, though, if you aren’t dedicated to having someone online 24/7 to monitor tweets, retweets, and messages.

On the other hand, if you’re just going to occasionally tweet, you may want to rethink Twitter for your ecommerce site. It’s a nice-to-have platform, but only if you’re going to use it the way it works best.

YouTube for Ecommerce

You can build a huge following on YouTube if your ecommerce products lend themselves to “how to” explanations or “did you know” videos. From that following, you may be able to turn YouTube viewers into buying — and satisfied — customers.

YouTube is all about engagement and authority. If you believe the items you sell are worth talking about, why not start making short videos of no more than three minutes apiece? Then, systematically add them to YouTube, and include links from your website on product pages or in blog posts.

Pinterest for Ecommerce

A picture is worth a thousand words. No wonder beautifully imaged products get so much attention on Pinterest.

The goal for Pinterest is to create boards that are irresistible. This means your products should be suitable for high-quality or interesting images. Decide if your ecommerce products are ready for the spotlight of Pinterest.

What Social Media Sites Are Coming?

New social media sites are emerging all the time in America and around the world. Eventually, others will start to take center stage for certain populations. When they do, you should be ready to evaluate whether your ecommerce site belongs on their platforms.

SEO for Ecommerce Category Pages

Category pages are one of the most exciting opportunities for ecommerce sites to engage in search engine optimization (SEO). After all, there’s so much to love about having a page totally devoted to one category of the merchandise you sell:

  • It gives you crazy-wonderful internal linking to all your products.
  • You can offer search capabilities for visitors so they can quickly find what they want.
  • You can highlight some of your best-selling merchandise.
  • You can add another webpage to your ecommerce site.
  • You can use your high-quality product photos another time.

If you have category pages on your ecommerce site or are just starting to pull together category pages, keep the following SEO tips and tricks in mind:

  1. Load up on the Keyword-Rich Content

Category pages are the perfect location for keyword-rich content. Don’t limit yourself to just a few words, either. Because you’re displaying an entire product type, you can go into as much depth as you want.

From an SEO perspective, it’s not unusual to see category pages with word counts of 800+. This grabs the attention of search engine crawlers and helps them index your pages. At the same time, it allows your visitors to read about the products you sell within a certain category.

Not sure how many keywords to use in your keyword-rich content? Keep it fairly streamlined, and aim for a low percentage of keyword optimization. Mention keywords once every 50 to 100 words, and never stuff them into sentences. Overall, you want your category page content to be readable and interesting.

  1. Add Some Videos for a New Perspective

Because there is no one way to organize a category page, you can always add something unexpected, like a video. For instance, if your category page is about organic dog food, you might want to include a short video explaining the process of making the organic dog food you offer. If you purchase the organic dog food elsewhere and aren’t sure of the manufacturing process, you could offer a different perspective in your video, such as how it worked for a satisfied pet owner customer.

Videos don’t have to be professionally produced to be intriguing. In fact, some of the most memorable are taken on handheld devices like smart phones and tablets. The goal is to be genuine and confident. Also, make sure they load quickly and include SEO-friendly descriptions and off-page tags.

  1. Add Testimonials and Reviews From Customers

A category page can also showcase testimonials and reviews from your customers. Alternatively, you can pull reviews from product pages and show them at random intervals. This gives shoppers an opportunity to see what other people think about the items they’ve purchased from your store.

Many people like to buy items that receive high ratings from other shoppers, so always opt to have organic reviews under the product images on your category pages.

  1. Offer a “Quick Look” at Your Merchandise

Shoppers won’t have to keep going from page to page if you offer them a “Quick Look” view at the merchandise on your category page. You’ve probably seen a Quick Look before: A larger image and description of the product pops up in a window that is smaller than the page, and you can close it easily.

The description in your Quick Look should be more concise than you would include on a typical product page, but still keyword-optimized. Try not to duplicate copy from the product page. Rearrange words and phrases so it’s completely fresh.

  1. Provide Tabbed Navigation at the Bottom of the Page

If you have things to say on your category pages that lend themselves to tabbed navigation bars, by all means try this way of organizing on-page content. Tabbed navigation bars are good for category specifications — if all the products are basically the same — Q&As, and even reviews.

This might not give you a huge SEO boost right away. However, when it’s done well, it definitely adds meat and visual interest to your category page.

Last Thoughts: Be Innovative and Bold

Always thought category pages were a little dull? It’s time to rethink your perspective. By being innovative, you can maximize your SEO returns through well-written, properly-designed, and information-relevant ecommerce category pages.

How Important Are Customer Reviews on Ecommerce Sites?

Is your ecommerce site loaded with customer reviews, or is it lacking any kind of objective opinion on your merchandise? If you fall into the latter category, you’ll want to start a system of gathering reviews from your shoppers.

Not sure why you need customer reviews? You can start by understanding human psychology.

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Should My Ecommerce Website Switch to HTTPS?

You’ve probably encountered HTTPS on other sites. This is a special level of encryption that requires you to purchase a certificate. Any site that has HTTPS has added barriers to thwart online fraud and minimize e-attacks. But is it right for your ecommerce company?

Like anything you do involving a few or all pages on your website, you should consider the pros and cons.

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