The beauty of the Internet is that it provides a far more level playing field than traditional retail, making it easier for small e-commerce stores to compete with the big players. Rather than having to pay top rents for a position on the busiest part of the high street, Google search results offer a chance for smart e-commerce stores of any size to compete for the attention of those searching for products.
But exactly how can a smaller retailer compete against the big players online? In this article we’ll take a look at how to maximize your visibility – however large or small you are.
What Makes a Great e-Commerce Website?
Having a great looking and functional website is the bread and butter of any e-commerce website. It’s important to include all of the valuable information in a clear layout on your homepage. Think about what all high-profile, profitable e-commerce websites present clearly on their homepage: contact information, company information (including compelling reasons why visitors might want to choose them over their competitors), delivery information, security logos for online payment, and scrollable, high-quality photos of products.
While the look is important, the performance of your e-commerce website is crucial. This means having clear buttons to buy products and quick speed when making a purchase. With the increasing use of smartphones for e-commerce websites, you need to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. All the important factors which appear on a desktop computer also need to be available and easy to display on mobile, this includes an easy way to pay, such as Paypal.
How can I Improve my e-Commerce Optimization?
There are numerous ways you can optimize your website to make sure it’s ranking highly on search engines and getting potential customers to click on your site.
Pick your Keywords and Regularly Update Your Blog
Keywords are important for every e-commerce business. However, picking the right (i.e. profitable) keywords is crucial to make sure that you’re getting the right traffic to your website. Your competitors on Google may be large e-commerce websites, but by picking the right keywords, you can begin to compete with them for less popular but more relevant keywords with higher commercial intent.
For example, if you’re selling men’s shirts, trying to get to the top of Google for ‘Men’s Shirts’ can be difficult. However, if you aim for ‘luxury men’s white cotton shirts’ you have a more niche market, and an audience which is clearly more likely to buy and spend more than someone searching for a more general phrase.
You don’t need to cram all of your keywords onto the homepage, either. The real profitable solution is to use your keywords in the product descriptions. Product descriptions with the correct keywords and information about the product are useful for both Google and customers.
As well as using the keywords in your product descriptions, having an up to date blog that targets different keywords reaps multiple benefits. Blogs are also a great way to be creative and fun with your audience if this tone fits your products or services.
Create Clear Categories for Products
Having clear categories on the homepage is what makes a good e-commerce website great. Making sure your products are easy to find as soon as someone lands on your site will enhance the customer experience, and show Google which product category phrases your site should rank for.
Engage With Customers on Social Media
Social media has become a tool for connecting with customers, and for customers to connect with you (which can be negative and positive). Keeping your social media accounts up to date is vital. Utilising social media to show promotions and offers is great, but you don’t want to overdo it by being too self-promotional, or you’ll struggle to pick up followers.
Engage your audience by asking questions, following trends relating to your products or industry, and sharing relevant news stories. Become known as the ‘go to’ source for information, entertainment, and inspiration in your market. This way you’ll grow your audience, engagement, and website traffic.
Use Google AdWords
For small businesses, using Google AdWords is ideal for being placed at the top of Google and grabbing those clicks from customers. Investing some money into this is a sure way to secure some clicks. But make sure that your website is converting those paid clicks into customers, or things can get expensive quickly. Make sure that you are always driving the traffic to the most suitable page, and ensure that the page gives all of the necessary information to enable someone to buy. And of course, make sure that you have a customer retention and follow up-process to encourage those repeat purchases!
Use PR Outreach for Organic Traffic
High authority websites that link back to your e-commerce website is a great way to gain organic traffic. PR outreach comes in lots of different flavors, from commenting and writing articles for publications, to contacting relevant bloggers with free samples to try. This is not only a great way to get your brand out there, but also to get links back to your website.