Founder of SEO Notebook, Steve Toth has worked with brands like RBC ventures, Mejuri and Freshbooks, joined for three SEO centric episodes of Pitstop.
Turning Search Intent Strategies Into Sales
While online marketplaces may be no further from a customer than the click of a mouse, most don’t want to take the time to travel even from one online store to another. Once you’ve gotten them through the digital door, make the most of it with curated collections, product combination suggestions and distinct, dynamic categories to encourage multi-item purchases, and maybe even change your customer’s shopping culture to your benefit.
- Tailor your general product categories and sections based on customer behaviour and specific lifestyles. Instead of, for example, His & hers Tops, group them based on the kinds of activities consumers can use the items for, like Winter Apparel, Active Wear or Business Casual. This can also help identify your brand with those activities, driving further interest and engagement from interested communities.
- Use dynamic combination suggestions that adapt based on your customer base’s buying behaviour. If someone buys a winter jacket from a clothing store, chances are they would be interested in a pair of gloves and a warm hat as well, or a kitchen mixer purchase could be paired with a set of bowls, whisks and recipe books. Presenting these combo suggestions before they hit the final checkout can lead to some great last minute sales, and provide you with valuable information about your customer’s purchasing style.
- Curate special collections to allow for one-stop-shopping. Based on the information gathered from the previous suggestions, build specific collections of products to sell as complete packages, be it selling entire outfits, decore remodelling sets, home garden centres; regardless of the product, offer your consumer a ground floor total package that they can buy into a lifestyle with, instead of returning piecemeal. Even if provided at full price, customers will appreciate not having to go through the hassle of shop around, and will identify your brand with convenience and quality.
- Find out how people look for your products, and adapt accordingly. If consumers typically find the items you sell through more traditional catalogue searches, then keep with catalogues, but if word about new product is more often spread through blogs discussing and reviewing them, include a blog on-site, or pay for an affiliate blog to help drum up conversation and traffic for your store. Tailor the shopping experience to the consumer base’s liking as much as possible, for maximum engagement.
Internal Linking to Increase your Shopify SEO
When empowering your webpage, Shopify or other e-commerce store to optimize and improve your search engine appearances and ranking, there are specific questions you have to ask yourself concerning anything you include on your pages:
- How do I create the best experience for my webspace visitors?
- Am I showing the right products?
- How am I showing the right products?
- Am I showing a guide how to use this product?
- Am I giving the customer all the information they need to know to make them stay interested and stay on your site?
Any action taken should be to enrich the experience of any visitors to your site, lead them to further engage your brand, and increase your visibility during web searches, and internal linking is the key to making your pages work double time. Internal linking often takes two forms:
- Include frequent links to other products they may be interested in
- Include links to information content, such as how to guides, blog articles, and experience videos related to the products they are viewing and have viewed
Both kinds of internal linking will help Google and other search engines index the entirety of your product pages and content, while introducing more sources of engagement from potential customers. Internal linking is also key to shifting traffic from one active link to other less active pages, to increase traffic overall, and avoiding orphaning any pages, that is losing them to inactivity due to a lack of traffic drawn its way. Last but not least, it makes navigating your site and easier and more comfortable experience overall, giving users multiple options to engage with products and content.
Win The SEO War
When looking at how to improve your customer’s overall engagement with your store, along with their buying experience, always ask yourself the following questions; what stage of the store ‘funnel’, that is from the general landing page to the specific purchase, are your customers sitting at? What are they thinking or asking about at the different stages along the way, and how can you make sure the pages they are on at those stages serve their questions and needs, rather than interrupting the purchase flow and diverting them away from the final checkout?
If these details or questions raised stick in your mind, then they will stick in your customer’s mind as well. Blogging is a very important and powerful tool for taking advantage of and being present in those stages at much as possible with your customer, offering internal answers to product/service questions they would naturally be having at that moment in the process. Blogging can give your e-commerce store a sense of personality, familiarity and community, drawing your consumers closer as they identify less with your product, and provide a culture of involvement, exclusivity and membership, speaking to the innovators and taste makers about products, hyping either the next season’s fashions, or other key seasonal SEO temporarily hot search terms, from a more human perspective, linking your brand to a sense of modernity and flare.
They can also serve as helpful and sometimes necessary how-to guides for more complicated products; if you know that a customer is going to have to look up how to use an item, provide that information for them before they reach the checkout, or at least let them know that you can provide assistance with that. They will eventually have to go looking for the answers somewhere, so providing them before they even know there may be a problem will create a sense of trust and openness between your consumers and your store.
- Tip for determining what content you should include in your blog to promote your e-commerce shop: search for an item you sell in the Google search bar, then erase that search. Now start asking “how to/where to/where can/when to etc”, Google will remember your first item search, connect the dots, and start producing for you questions that people interested in those items previously looked up. Provide the answers to those questions asked on your own internal blog; this will not only provide the answer for your customers, but result in your blog-answer coming up in future like searches.
Blogging can also draw in and convert random searchers, that is people not visiting your shop to expressly buy your products, but out of interest in the activities or lifestyles those products are associated with. Suddenly you’re drawing in potential customers with relevant interests in what you offer, giving you access to even more high-value consumers. They can offer various types of additional content and value to your store, as well as act as lifestyle draws, talking about the hottest new products and innovations coming out (and available from your store).
Finally, blogs are simply excellent chances to prime your search engine optimization, giving you the opportunity to frequently repeat keywords and search terms that will inevitably drive traffic to you. What’s more, with repeat-use seasonal pages such as the winter shopping holidays, every return to your seasonal page will compound the traffic it will have the next year, giving it more weight with search engines when that seasonal SEO kicks in, searching for terms like ”holiday” or “stocking stuffers”.
- Tip for seasonal and repeat content; don’t restart your process every time you return to a topic, holiday or annual sales special such as Black Friday. Instead always build on what you’ve built before, by reusing the previous pages from the years before (energizing the reused url) and as much of your previous copy-content, cementing it in the search outcomes.