How to maximize your websites for SEO and conversion

Make the most of your ecommerce site—here’s how

Despite the rough state of the economy, the ecommerce sector remains one of the few bright stars posting growth. According to The Boston Consulting Group, the UK’s internet economy was valued at £100 billion in 2009. Most of this growth was comprised of online shopping.

Here are some tips on how to make the most from your ecommerce website:

Make your website clear, concise, and easy

Your website should have clear navigation, a concise product page, an effective site search, and unique content rich with photos and videos. You also need an easy-to-use check out process. These basic elements will help maximize your site for both conversions and SEO. However, you can take it even further—other specific elements of site structure can have an impact on improving your sales.

Simple steps, like removing the requirement of customer registration, is a quick way to increase conversions. You can also use Google Website Optimizer to test alternative versions of the principal check out pages. Filtering can also have a dramatic conversion boost—faceted search/faceted navigation are really popular on large ecommerce sites like ASOS. You can filter by style, size, price, or brand. Because these categories, sub-categories, and filtered search results have “clean” URLs, they can be indexed by search engines. Just incorporating “white soccer shoes size 10” into the URL is not only more user-friendly, but it’s a lot better in terms of SEO than a query string of random characters and numbers.

Building links is also a key factor for improving search engine rankings. A great way to attract links is to take advantage of user-generated product reviews. Just by keeping a regularly updated blog and releasing information related to your business can help you acquire links—just make sure that you build your links at the top category pages as well as the homepage. Many companies make the mistake of using the default product descriptions shared by competitors. This content is considered duplicate content—and duplicate content ranks poorly on Google. Well written and interesting content not only helps with SEO, but it also helps with conversion, too.

Get into social media

Recently, Google and Bing stated that they started using “social signals” as part of their ranking algorithms. These social signals (Facebook “likes” and tweets) can help a company’s ranking. Maintaining an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, and sites similar are crucial for the success of your ecommerce site.

Customer reviews directly influence your site’s visitors. Some customer review modules are so advanced that they enable visitors to ask questions and receive answers on individual product pages via their Facebook profiles.

You can even e-mail customers a few days after a sale to receive valuable information. One creative way to receive reviews is by offering discounts or prize opportunities for every review received. Companies that use their social presence to connect directly to their customer have some of the best outcomes. Overall, trust converts visitors into customers. Real reviews from real customers are a great way to gain trust and get the conversion you want.

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