Did you know that by 2023, online sales are expected to reach $4.88 trillion? Even if this seems good for your online store, you should be aware that your competition is getting stronger.
Every day, the online world gets more competitive, and if you want to stay relevant, you need to rank high in the SERPs and bring in relevant traffic. In other words, it’s not enough to just build a strong e-commerce site. Without your help, Google bots wouldn’t be able to find, index, and rank your pages as well as they could. That’s why SEO is your best friend.
If you’ve already been spending money on SEO, but your e-commerce site is still not doing well, it means you’re making some less obvious mistakes that you don’t even know about.
Here are a few examples.
Building Too Hard to Find Your Way Around
The way your website looks is important, but how users feel about it is more important. When people visit your website, they want to find what they are looking for quickly. Whether they are just looking at what you have to offer or they already know what they want to buy, they need to be able to find what they want quickly and easily.
One of the best ways to see how this works is at Amazon. Their navigation menu is very easy to use. It has several sections that are further divided into more specific branches. All of the labels on the navigation menus are written in simple language and are very descriptive, which makes it easy for users to find what they are looking for.
Still, you should be especially careful about how long your navigation menu is. More doesn’t mean better in this case. On the other hand, having too many menu categories and labels may overwhelm and confuse your visitors, making it harder for them to find the product they want and buy it.
Your website’s navigation has an effect on both the user experience and your SEO efforts. Specifically, the categories you add to your navigation are links that basically pass SEO value from one page to another. So, if you link to some less important pages, you’ll waste your link juice and won’t be able to get the most out of your traffic for a certain category.
Not giving your product pages original content
Some online stores choose not to make their own product page content. They use the descriptions that the company that made the product gave them the first time around to save time. This is not a good choice for your SEO for more than one reason.
First, keep in mind that creating and developing content is a key part of your SEO strategy. They give you the chance to make product page copies that fit your brand, highlight your competitive advantages, and help you get to know your potential customers better. These pages are very interesting and interactive, which builds trust with your customers and makes them want to buy from you.
Second, it’s likely that Google will see the content you copied as an attempt to trick its algorithm and punish you for it.
Unique content on your product pages that is optimized for the keywords your customers actually use will help you rank higher on Google’s SERPs and bring more qualified traffic to your website.
Not letting people review products
Online shoppers decide what to buy based on what other people have done and what they recommend. Remember that when someone buys something online, they can’t touch it or meet the person selling it. For them, comments from other people show that you can be trusted and that your product is good. Because of this, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that most of your online customers trust online reviews just as much as recommendations from their friends and family.
So, you can’t afford to ignore what people say about your business. Some businesses don’t want to hear bad things from customers because they think it will hurt their brand’s reputation and turn off potential customers. But this is not true. You should look at bad reviews as a chance to learn more about your customers and make your products and services better. Most importantly, people who shop online like to buy from sites that have both positive and negative comments, because it shows that the site is honest and open.
You should also encourage users to make other kinds of content. For example, you could ask your loyal customers to write testimonials or get them to take photos or videos of your products and post them on your website as user-generated content.
Underestimating User Experience Design
UX and SEO work together. In other words, getting people to visit your website is only half the job. The other half is getting people to stay on your site longer, become leads, and eventually buy something. When a user clicks from one page to another on your site, stays on your pages for a while, and interacts with them, these are all signs to Google that you’re a good source of information that should be ranked high.
There are now many ways to combine UX and SEO, such as:
- Spend money on responsive web design. In the mobile-first world of today, about 1.6 billion people shop online with their phones. Because of this, you should make sure that your website works well on smaller screens. Speed up your website, make your navigation menu easier to use, improve your website’s architecture as a whole, and make sure all links, forms, and buttons are easy for mobile users to click. There are also tests, like Google’s Mobile-Friendly test, that tell you how well your page works on mobile devices and how to make it better.
- Speed up your site. How well you do online depends on how fast your website loads. If your page doesn’t load in less than 3 seconds, most people will leave without taking the action you want them to. You could start by minifying your JS, CSS, and HTML, turning on compression, getting rid of redirects, using a good CDN, and putting money into browser caching. Put in an SSL certificate. If you still have a site that uses HTTP, you should know that having an SSL certificate is now a ranking factor. The most important thing is that it affects how people see your website. In other words, sites that use HTTP are marked as “unsafe” by Google’s Chrome. When your visitors see this label, they may decide not to give you their private information.
- Have badges for security. Customers who might buy from you want to know that their personal information is safe with you. Security badges are also very important, just like HTTPS. They will boost the credibility of your online brand and get people to buy faster.
Whether you just opened your online store or have been in business for a while, it’s important not to make things too hard. Start by looking at some simple parts of your SEO strategy, like building a full navigation menu or improving UX. These are some of the most common mistakes people make online that can really hurt their performance.
Do you make any of these mistakes with SEO? Do you have anything else to say? Tell us what you think in the comments.