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In the world of e-commerce, attention spans are small. You have very little opportunity to grab a customer’s attention, so when they do decide to read up about your brand or service, you have to make it count.

The quality of your product description copywriting will have a huge bearing on its success. Write great product descriptions and people will be drawn to your products, wanting to find out more. Write bad ones, and they’ll look elsewhere, and be left with a negative impression of your brand – a potentially disastrous move.

When you’re writing your product descriptions, you need to give your customers all the essential info they need, covering all the key features and benefits to allow them to make an informed decision.

But you need to go further than that. You need to write your product descriptions in such a way that they make an emotional connection between the product and the customer. Making that connection will go a long way to convincing an individual that they want – even need – a particular product.

Remember, don’t just describe your products. There’s nothing less engaging than a tech-spec list or boring list of information. No, you need to give your products purpose and context, and explain to people how it fits into their lifestyle, giving it a real purpose.

Here are some excellent examples of product descriptions that nail the art of writing a great product description. And if your website copy could do with a little sparkle and freshening up, take advantage of our product description writing service.

Dollar Shave Club

Male Shave

The male grooming market has never been so strong, and Dollar Shave Club has made its mark in this incredibly crowded area. Not just that, but it has taken the bold step of encouraging customers to sign up for regular deliveries, so it has the doubly difficult task of convincing people to buy their products, but also to persuade them to sign up for repeat purchases. Here’s a sample product description:

Designed for the shaver who longs for an easier glide, Dr. Carver's Shave Butter is a transparent shaving cream alternative that softens whiskers and enables precise navigation.

The Whisky Exchange

Interest in new, innovative drinks has never been higher. Take the gin market, for instance – barely a week goes by without a new gin with weird and wonderful botanicals being launched. The Whisky Exchange is one of the leaders in online spirits retailing, and one reason why is the way it talks about its products. It knows that rattling off technical information is a turn-off, so instead it talks about drinking occasions and suggested serves – which is much more appealing. Here is the enticing description of a luxurious ginger liqueur:

A stunning French liqueur made with top-quality VSOP and XO Cognacs and flavoured with Vietnamese ginger alongside ginseng and vanilla. Domaine de Canton brings a deliciously intense gingery edge to all manner of cocktails and fusion cuisine.

ASOS

Fashion

ASOS was originally launched so that trendsetters could buy all the favourite outfits that their idols from TV and film wore (the brand stands for ‘As Seen On Screen’). ASOS has moved beyond that initial premise, but it’s still the go-to brand for the under-35 market, and it has serious style and attitude. Its product descriptions have all the essential info, but also how to keep their clothes looking in fantastic condition.

Innocent

Innocent has long been praised for its quirky, funky marketing and branding for one simple reason: it works. Its products (‘things we make’) are described in a very enticing way, with a really human feel: ‘No added sugar. No concentrates. No funny business.’ Not only that, but there’s a confidence there that is very reassuring, but it never tips over into arrogance. The result is a brand that draws people in, and one with a very clear identity. Here’s a sample description:

Mangoes and passion fruits is one of our top three selling recipes ever. You'd probably think it was OK, and that we should leave it alone. But the good stuff needs improving too, or else it'll end up being a bit ordinary. So we've made this recipe better by adding a little bit of peach to the recipe too. We hope you enjoy the renovations.

Minirig

Minirig is a truly British success story. Based in Bristol, the company began making professional sound equipment, and then moved into the consumer market with a range of portable speakers that have proved incredibly popular. And while most people love listening to music, they don’t necessarily want a load of technical stuff, so Minirig wisely decided to keep things simple when talking about the products it makes. Short-and-sweet descriptions work when you have confidence in your product and understand your target market. Here’s an example:

The only speaker you will ever need with an unbelievable 100hrs of battery life! Using the latest technology and high quality design we bring to you the all-new Minirig 3 Bluetooth rechargeable speaker. Minirig 3 Bluetooth speakers come with an audio cable, charger cable, case, and a whole lot of bass. All delivered in recycled and recyclable packaging!

The companies and brands above have all perfected the art of writing great product descriptions, and in crowded markets, too. Remember, it’s not just about describing the product – it’s about telling people why they should buy it, and that’s a key difference. If you need help with your product description content, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

E-commerce has become a necessary tool in the fight for market share and profitability, but not enough companies understand how this burgeoning shopping trend can boost physical sales. That’s all about to change, however – and here are 20 key E-commerce statistics you need to know.

1.18% of all purchases made in the UK in 2019 are expected to be via E.commerce.

Put into understandable terms, that means that almost a quarter of all sales will be made online, instead of in a physical store. It begs the question, will shops become obsolete?

2. The percentage of purchases made online is expected to rise to 95% by 2040.

Experts are predicting that in just 21 years, shopping in any way other than online will be all but a thing of the past. It’s true that we are a convenience-driven society, but that’s a huge shift in purchasing behaviour.

3. 67% of online shoppers acquaint themselves with returns policies before clicking ‘buy’.

If you think your Ts and Cs page isn’t important, think again. Shoppers like to know how easy it is to return an unsuitable purchase before taking the plunge.

4. 38% of people won’t buy from an ‘ugly’ website.

Design counts, so do your research and try to understand the aesthetics that your key demographics are drawn to. Investing in expert web design is an investment that you can expect to make a return on.

5. Two-thirds of online shoppers expect a 24-hour response to inquiries.

Actually, most will be disappointed to not receive a reply within the same business day, so either have enough support staff in place to handle demand or include a clear message about response times on your contact page.

6. 77% of adult shoppers have bought something online.

From car insurance to ski boots, there’s seemingly nothing that you can’t buy online – and UK adults are increasingly taking advantage of that fact.

7. 85% of online purchases are started on one device and finished on another.

The most likely scenario is that an advert on social media leads to a clickthrough, but larger pictures are needed, so the purchase is completed on a desktop or laptop computer. Mobile optimisation is crucial.

8. 71% of mobile purchases can be connected to electronic mailouts.

Retailer newsletters have a massive impact on a consumer’s decision to buy, or not. Knowledge is (spending) power.

9. 57% of mobile consumers leave slow-loading sites.

Patience is a virtue but not to mobile shoppers who want to click a couple of buttons and wait for their package to arrive. Slow sites are off-putting.

10. Up to 70% of shopping baskets are abandoned.

Whether shoppers get distracted, dislike shipping rates or simply change their mind, you need to find a way to turn an unsure customer into a repeat one.

 

11. 54% of abandoned baskets are seen through to purchase if a discount is offered.

Companies that email a discount code for the contents of ‘forgotten baskets’ see an impressive rate of sales conversions.

12. 23% of customers will abandon a basket if they have to create an account.

If there is no ‘checkout as guest’ option, almost a quarter of shoppers will go elsewhere for a faster and less invasive experience.

13. Welcome emails can lead to a 40% open rate.

Customers who are sent a personalised welcome email, after opening an account, are far more likely to open future email correspondence.

14. 80% of shoppers find email recommendations helpful.

Demonstrating an understanding of what customers will most likely enjoy helps to build brand trust and loyalty.

15. 20% of online marketing uses behavioural targeting.

This is a staggeringly small percentage, given how responsive shoppers are to a more personal approach. This is a prime opportunity to stand out for good reasons.

 

16. 93% of businesses have witnessed increased sales conversions through personalised marketing.

Something as innocuous as an email newsletter that is addressed to someone specifically could be the difference between a sale and an abandoned basket.

17. 50% of shoppers are more likely to shop with a company again if it sends targeted discounts.

This is particularly true when it comes to grocery shopping, with the increase in plant-based and specialist diets that aren’t usually covered by generic discount vouchers.

18. It costs seven times more to win a new customer than keeping an existing one.

This is worth thinking about when considering introductory offers for new customers only. Consider rewarding loyalty, too.

19. 18% of businesses dedicate time to customer retention.

A simple ‘checking your details’ or ‘we’d value your feedback’ email could go a long way to making a one-time customer a repeat one.

20. Millennials are leading the way by making 54% of their purchases online.

There’s most likely a correlation between social media adverts and online purchases here, giving you an idea of where to spend your marketing money.

There’s no escaping the fact that the E.commerce sector is growing stronger, but will you be enjoying a significant portion of it or ignoring these statistics and getting left behind? Using them as a jumping off point for a dedicated marketing strategy all but guarantees a significant upturn in your E.commerce fortune.

Need some help to take your e-commerce copywriting to the next level? Get in touch with our experts for advice or a personalised quote.

 

Never underestimate the power of high-quality content marketing. In a world where e-commerce shows no sign of slowing down, staying ahead of competitors can prove challenging.

Your brand may have a great story and products to match, but it will all be for nothing if no one knows about them – this is where content comes in.

From being an information hub to building trust, audiences want to know why they should choose you over competing brands.

Ready for an increase in sales and web traffic? We’ve condensed the key content marketing tips that will see your e-commerce brand thrive.

If you’re still after some help, use a copywriting agency which can do the hard work for you and help you keep up with the latest in content marketing.

Create buyer personas 

Using personas has made websites two to five times more effective and easier to use by targeted users.

Identifying your audience is the first step to developing your brand. A buyer persona is the creation of a fictional character based on your target market. An effective marketing strategy, brands can tailor their products and services more specifically.

By having a clear understanding of who you are trying to reach, you can measure whether campaigns are likely to have the desired effect.

User-generated content is your friend

Make your brand personable by using user-generated content. The truth is, people want to see your product or service in use before they make a purchase decision so they know they’ll be getting.

By using content from customers, you’ll save time and money through having content readily available and not having to pay models or shoot charges. In addition to this, audiences are more involved with your brand making them care about its success but also showing that you care about them.

Example: When a student was shamed on a dating app for wearing an ASOS dress, the company decided to make her an ASOS model and use her photos on their website. This led to major press coverage and also thousands of people engaging on social media.

Plan the type of content 

When it comes to getting ahead of competitors, the trick is to present yourself as a hub of knowledge in your sector. Although you’re looking to increase those sales, why not focus on engaging audiences by being seen as informative and useful?

Research and planning is key. From how-to guides to blogs and video, focus your content on what your audience is likely to engage with.

Social media

Never underestimate the power of social media. As an e-commerce brand, social channels are the best way to reach new and existing audiences.

A top tip is to keep up to date with the latest changes and developments.update: Social media giant Instagram has launched a new shopping experience on the app. The new feature means that users will now be able to buy products they see in images without being redirected to another webpage. This means customers not only have a quicker checkout experience but also have more time to see which other products take their interest.

Collaborate

49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations before making a purchase decision.

Gone are the days where people just look to celebrities to promote their favourite products. Social users are now influenced by their favourite accounts and bloggers online – and so brands are now faced with the challenge of competing for key influencers to reach their audience.

Always think about your customer and who they are most likely to follow. You can then create content to specifically target the interest of the influencer. When getting in touch, make sure you stand out by personalising your approach and why they are great for your brand.

Don’t be afraid to repurpose

Struggling to find the resources to create new content? Sometimes, the old is better than the new.

If you have a piece of content that has worked particularly well, develop it across multiple platforms or if older, revamp it to suit the current times. An effective cost-cutting alternative, brands benefit from engaging old customers and also attracting new ones for less expense.

A company that understands the value of repurposing content is Nike. The sports company ran the Breaking 2 campaign to break the two-hour barrier for a marathon. Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge ran the fastest in history at 2:00:25. Although the barrier wasn’t broken, Nike produced articles, videos and even a documentary surrounding the event. The campaign has now reached 19 million views.

There is nothing more important than clear planning and execution when it comes to content marketing. Always make sure that who you are targeting and why is clearly defined so that strategies can be aligned. It’s also great to plan your short- and long-term goals so that everybody knows the results expected.

If you're looking for help with your content writing or to improve your content marketing strategy, get in touch with WooContent today, to drive sales, maximise traffic and increase brand awareness!

 

‘Make a great product, and they will come’ has never been less true than in today’s crowded marketplace. For e-commerce businesses, having a watertight marketing strategy is essential in getting your brand noticed and converting visitors into returning customers.

A marketing strategy is something that evolves over time, incorporating the latest techniques and channels. As such, this guide isn’t just for new e-commerce businesses or products. If you feel like your marketing strategy could be working harder, many of the elements below can easily be moulded to suit your business.

With that in mind, here are the eight most important areas that you should include in your e-commerce marketing strategy, as well as ways to measure and refine your processes.

1. Develop a mission statement

A mission statement defines who you are as a business. It’s the first thing that customers will see on your ‘About Us’ page and will define your brand story. Mission statements are particularly useful for larger organisations, or those who work across different sectors, as they provide focus and consistency across different areas. This post from 60-Second Marketer covers how to create a mission statement.

mission statement

Image source: 60secondmarketer

2. Build buyer personas

Buyer personas are fictional, generalised representations of your ideal customer. They help your team to understand and visualise your audience in order to focus marketing efforts towards this demographic.

You can use existing customer data to form personas, as well as interviewing a representative customer group for more in-depth insights. You’ll need information such as demographics, what channels the customer uses and who influences them. Hubspot’s post explains how to create buyer personas in more detail.

3. Engage in competitor analysis

You may know exactly who your competitors are, but take a deeper look at their digital strategies and it can fuel your own marketing initiatives. You can easily find out which competitors rank highest for key search terms. Then there are a number of helpful competitor analysis tools that will give you statistics on web traffic and what channels competitors’ customers are using. Details of their backlink profiles may also give you ideas for your own link building strategy.

4. Set your goals

Now that you have a clearer picture of who your customers are and what your competitors are doing, you should set some measurable goals in your marketing strategy. This part of your plan will be ever-evolving, so it’s important to revisit yours regularly.

You need to set achievable goals which cover all areas of marketing. For example, ask yourself what is an attainable figure for new customer acquisition or engagement on social. You can also audit your current website content and set yourself the target of increasing web traffic by a certain percentage.

5. Produce engaging content

Content works in a number of ways to bolster your e-commerce website, so it’s key to incorporate a content strategy into your overall marketing plan. Firstly, content is a tool for driving traffic to your website through optimised product descriptions and landing pages. Although you may sell products that can be found elsewhere online, it’s important that your content is unique in order to avoid duplication issues.

Another area where content is important is in encouraging conversion through the use of attractive product descriptions and compelling CTAs. A content strategy will cover all channels and content types, integrating them into an overarching plan – from creating a blog of original articles; to driving traffic to your product pages; producing video content for social; or formulating engaging email newsletters.

6. CRO

Content is just one element of your website that will affect conversion. You should make Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) a part of your marketing strategy and regularly set aside time to split test any new pages added to your website. Using heatmaps and funnels like the ones from Mouseflow allows you to see where customers are focusing their attention on your site and what journey they take between pages.

Mouseflow - Session Replay, Heatmaps, Funnels, Forms & User Feedback

You can use this information to improve menu navigation, checkout processes, mobile functionality and more through A/B testing. By changing one element at a time, from wording to imagery and the placement of important information and links, you can quantifiably test what works best.

Another element that has proven CRO results is adding a review function to your website. This user-generated content is trustworthy as well as answering customers’ questions. Plus, to alleviate the common issue of customers leaving things in their cart without checking out you can add a campaign of remarketing, or retargeting, to your strategy. Either email customers to ask if they forgot to checkout or use limited-time display ads reminding people of what they viewed.

7. One-off campaigns

As well as ongoing keyword optimisation to improve your on-page SEO, you’ll also need to plan limited-time campaigns. These often revolve around big events for your company, such as new product launches or upcoming holiday deals.

Sponsored ads on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are ideal for targeting certain demographics. You pay for a set amount of time, so you can run the campaign from the two weeks leading up to an event or the month before a big holiday.

Another one-off example would be hiring a social influencer to review some of your products and post about them for a short period. Using visual channels like YouTube and Instagram, influencers can demonstrate your product to a well-established following.

8. Retention and analysis

As you add more campaigns to your marketing strategy, remember to rinse all content through your buyer personas (do they fit the target audience?) and your mission statement (does the content align with your beliefs and style?).

You’ll also need to track your efforts and the responses to them – whether through Google Analytics, customer feedback or social media statistics. Analysing engagement and traffic allows you to measure the effectiveness and ROI of each campaign, as well as streamline your efforts for a personalised user experience.


Each e-commerce business is different and will have its own set of strategic goals, which will change over time. Therefore, it’s important for your marketing strategy to be flexible and for you to regularly test different marketing channels and strategies to see which ones are most effective.

Keeping up to date with the latest marketing techniques to use in your strategy can be hard work. For more advice on both tried-and-tested and emerging e-commerce marketing strategies, get in touch with us.

 

An interview with SEO manager of Findmeagift.co.uk

There's no question that ranking higher than your competitors in search results is a must. But how can you ensure that your ecommerce site is the one that rises to the top. We caught up with Will King, SEO Manager at online gift store Findmeagift.co.uk to talk about the SEO challenges that ecommerce businesses face and how they can increase organic visibility and, in turn, sales.

Tell us about Find Me A Gift and your role there

Find Me A Gift is a UK based online gift retailer. We sell about 6,000 gifts targeting as many occasion and recipient based market sectors as possible.

As SEO manager, I’m primarily responsible for maximising and maintaining our organic visibility across search engines such as Google and Bing. Being a gifts company, it’s essential we have strong organic visibility during seasonal periods such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, so a lot of our day-to-day work revolves around preparation for the upcoming peak.

What are some of the biggest challenges faced by ecommerce retailers when it comes to SEO?

Preventing any negative impact from search engine algorithmic updates is more of a challenge than it used to be. Google make changes to its search algorithm every day and a poorly maintained website can easily experience a reduction in organic visibility. Managing your website's relationship with Googlebot to ensure healthy crawling and indexation is a huge challenge, especially on massive ecommerce websites with thousands of pages.

"With so many ecommerce websites targeting the same customers, and new websites entering the market all the time, maintaining a competitive advantage is an ongoing challenge."

 

The Google search engine results page has evolved way beyond the 10 blue links it used to be. More often than not, Google can answer a searcher's query through the featured snippets on the SERP without them ever having to leave. PPC ads also take up way more of the SERPs than they used to, especially on mobile. This naturally reduces the visibility of the organic listings and reduces the likelihood of a customer seeing and clicking them.

Google Analytics

What are some of the top SEO errors online stores and ecommerce websites often make?

I see a lot of websites with poor Google Analytics set-ups. Every ecommerce website should take the time to configure their analytics to ensure they get clean, accurate data, and are able to get the most value from it. Quick wins include excluding local traffic, macro and micro goal tracking and dedicated views for each source/device combination.

It’s clear Google are placing huge importance on content quality. Ecommerce websites in particular need to pay close attention to this, and make sure the content they make available to Google for indexing is high quality and provides value to users. With products continually being added and discontinued, a process needs to be put in place to ensure legacy pages are dealt with.

Most ecommerce websites allow users to browse through categories and apply ‘sort by’ and ‘category’ filters. A strategy needs to be put in place to ensure this doesn’t cause indexation bloat and that the right page is indexed on Google.

Additionally, managing 301 redirects on a huge ecommerce website can easily go wrong. It’s common to redirect users from page A to page B when it makes sense for the user experience, but too often the redirect is set-up incorrectly. A common error is not redirecting directly to the final destination page, which can result in users hopping from page to page. This can result in a loss of page rank.

How do you measure the effectiveness of an SEO campaign?

It very much depends on the goal of the campaign. For a common content marketing campaign the initial metrics will focus on coverage, link acquisition and brand mentions. We use a range of tools for this, such as Ahrefs.

Longer term, organic traffic growth and online visibility are measured using tools such as Pi Datametrics.

searchmetrics

If you were to prioritise the various SEO metrics, how would you list them in order of importance?

Profit should be the primary SEO metric. It’s no use investing time and resource to bring traffic to your site if it doesn’t convert into profitable business.

Organic traffic is more important to us than keyword rankings. Rankings are influenced by factors such as location and personalisation, so we pay less attention to them. Finally, we monitor our aggregate organic visibility using various tracking tools such as SEMRush, Search Metrics and Pi Datametrics.

 

If you want help optimising your ecommerce site, get in touch. Ad-Rank has years’ of expertise in the field, so we can help you get the sales your business needs.

You will often come across a category page whilst searching for products to buy from an online store. They are usually sections of an E-commerce website that you click through to from a top navigation menu, and typically house a number of individual products.

A good example would be ‘sofas’ on a home furniture website. Once on a sofa category page, you will see many different types and brands of sofa, often with filters to better focus your search.

Category pages typically sit directly below your homepage in your website structure and are important pages for SEO and user experience (UX); here’s why…

Being close to the top of the hierarchy, category pages receive more link equity than other pages on your website that don’t have direct links from your homepage. Links are a significant ranking factor for web pages, so the pages that link from your homepage will typically have a better chance to compete for popular search terms, although there are many more ranking factors.

People are far more likely to search for a generic, category-level term like ‘sofas’ than the specific product name, therefore it’s important to focus on getting category page optimisation right. The good news is that there are a set of best practice steps you can follow to help increase your traffic and convert more browsers into customers.

URLs

Having a simple and flat URL structure that’s adhered to site-wide helps with SEO. As a general rule, URLs should be as short as possible while containing all relevant keywords (more on how to choose keywords below). Google will truncate your URL in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) if it’s longer than 512 pixels, and shorter URLs are also better for readability.

Moz gives the optimal format of a category URL as follows:

http://www.example.com/category-keyword/subcategory-keyword/primary-keyword.html

This highly-optimised URL for fashion retailer Warehouse, includes all of the category level keywords, as well as a product description and even a product code:

http://www.warehouse.co.uk/gb/clothing/dresses/polka-dot-print-crepe-dress/030678.html

Including relevant keywords in URLs increases user trust and therefore clicks, as searchers can explicitly see before they click that the page is what they were searching for. But importantly for SEO, when URLs get copied and pasted – which is surprisingly often – the URL text is used as the anchor text, which counts towards rankings.

This poor example of URL structure shows neither the category nor title of the book, and as it’s 917 pixels long, only half of it displays in the address bar, or would display in the SERP:

https://www.thebookpeople.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/qs_product_tbp?productId=546506&catalogId=10051&catId=182235

Page titles

Page titles appear as the first piece of information in each search engine result and are another crucial place to include keywords. There are a number of keyword research tools that’ll help you to find high ranking keywords and prioritise them. Place specific keywords first in the title, including descriptive product or service terms, then include your brand name, remembering to keep them short as Google will truncate page titles too.

It’s important that your page title matches the category described on your page and its content as it enhances click-through rates. This will also ensure relevancy when on the page to keep bounce rates low, which is a strong indicator to search engines of a quality web page.

Meta descriptions

While meta descriptions aren’t a direct ranking factor, they act as an important indicator to readers that they should click on your link from a SERP. The more detailed and relevant the description is to a search query, the better your click-through rate (CTR) will be, so you should always customise your meta description.

Google recently changed its rules to allow longer meta descriptions and can dynamically change the description to match the searcher’s intent to the content on your page. However, if you create your meta descriptions like Google does, incorporating Analytics insights like search intent and organic queries, there’s a greater chance Google will use yours.

You may have a large number of similar pages, in which case you can use a meta-template, changing the keywords for the particular product or category. In WordPress, if you don’t specify a meta description, it will default to the first line of the H1 or intro, which can work okay as long as your H1 is optimised (see below). However, other CMS systems can leave it blank, in which case Google will pull in content from your web page as the description, but don’t rely on this.

Using a search for a ‘rotary washing line’ as an example, Argos features highly for both its ‘washing lines and airers’ category page and for its rotary washing lines search page that sends users directly to rotary washing line products. In both search results, the meta descriptions contain the search term to entice clicks.

H1s

Google is constantly rolling out algorithm updates, whether major or minor ones and over time less emphasis has been placed on H1s for page rankings. However, it’s good practice to include keywords in H1s for relevancy and UX, and to structure content for search engines. They’re generally the first heading on any page, usually the page title, but if you have a few pertinent areas on your category page you can make them all H1s.

You add an H1 using <h1>this code</h1>, or many WordPress themes are set-up to automatically choose your title as an H1. To see what other websites use as H1s, go into the page source and do a Ctrl F search.

Content

Beneath your H1, the rest of the content on a category page is important both for UX and SEO. While Google is good at recognising big brands that should be near the top of SERPs as they’ll excel in a number of ranking factors, good copy is a strong tool for lifting less well-known brands through the rankings.

However, it can be a bit tricky to fit much content in a category page when you want the all-important, revenue-generating products to be the focus. A common way around this is to use a concertina drop down with a ‘read more’ button. Or you can put a short piece of text under your H1, then expand with more content after your products. Both options allow you to add more keywords in too. And in much the same way, it’s important to optimise your individual product descriptions with quality SEO copywriting, too.

More content also means more opportunities to embed internal links which, as we’ve seen, are important for spreading link equity between category pages on your website.

Images

Images are of utmost importance in e-commerce to showcase your products, and keeping image style and backgrounds uniform across a site shows professionalism. You should use high quality images for good UX, but compress them so the file size isn’t too large (100kb or less per image as a guide), particularly if you have a lot of images on each page. This is because slow loading pages due to large image files increases shopping cart abandonment, lowering conversion rates and signalling a poor UX to Google.

Give the image a logical filename and alt text and it will gain more clicks from image search. Alt text also serves a purpose for improving UX, as the alt text will be visible to the user should the image itself not display for any reason.

Search filters for usability

Search filters should be as thorough as possible so people can find exactly what they want and don’t leave prematurely, particularly if you stock a large range of items. Include all subcategories, price range and product variations, as well as things like delivery options. You may also wish to test whether showing availability encourages sales, particularly when stock is low, as part of your Conversion-Rate-Optimisation (CRO) tactics.

Technical SEO considerations

On the more technical side of things, there are a couple of SEO factors to think about in e-commerce. For example, if you have multiple product pages in the same category, you need to let search engines know that the main page should rank, so each subsequent page isn’t competing. Google has long argued that users prefer to see this view all category page as a top search result, and have adapted their support guides to indicate how best to deal with pagination on a website.

Duplicate content can occur when different URLs serve the same content, even if by accident, and this is bad news for rankings as search engines have a tougher job deciding which page to choose over another. One way to avoid multiple versions of the same URL is to follow best practice. Remember to keep your URL text in all lower case – even one small difference in character or case type will create a duplicate page. If you do get multiple versions, you can set-up a permanent redirect, but make sure it only goes one way – to the preferred, lower case URL. Google doesn’t like redirect loops, where two pages redirect to each other.

There are many ways you can optimise your e-commerce category pages, and as they’re such an important part of getting your website to rank well in search, doing so can bring big increases in traffic and conversions.

If you would like some advice about your website content, get in touch with us today to find out more. 

Evergreen content remains relevant and interesting for weeks, months and even years after it’s published, creating long-term results for your content strategy.

But in an industry like e-commerce – with changing product trends and time-sensitive industry releases and news – it can be difficult to produce content that doesn’t go stale.

To stand the test of time and secure long-lasting SEO benefits, e-commerce businesses must create high quality, insightful content as a regular part of their content strategies. Below are several ways your e-commerce brand would benefit from an evergreen content strategy, as well as current examples from the industry.

SEO benefit 1: Establish yourself as an authoritative voice

Evergreen content creates an image of authority around your business, helping you become a resource users trust and return to for answers. For example, instead of simply selling succulent plants on your site, in-depth articles about caring for, replanting, and choosing the right one for each room would set you apart as an expert on the subject.

SEO benefit 2: Longevity of your search positions

While certain product releases or company subjects may trend on social media and in the news, evergreen content can last in search results once the fads fade. Target keywords related to your business that routinely pull in high search volumes.

For example, a music festival ticket seller may want to target their content to related keywords like ‘festival clothing’, which pulls in over 11.5k searches per month, rather than short-term keywords like ‘2017 festival lineups’, which will expire in a year.

SEO benefit 3: Support your other website content

An evergreen content strategy is a great base for linking to trendier, time-sensitive information you produce. Good implementation allows the user to be passed between the two types of content seamlessly. Plus, as evergreen content ranks better in search engines, it can also pass its ‘link equity’ to any internal links you’ve placed in the piece.

SEO benefit 4: Attract new audiences over time

The beauty of evergreen content is that it can be shared elsewhere on the web for its entire life – that is, until the content becomes irrelevant or outdated. As the content is spread on social media, through links from other blogs, websites and in the press, it can drive new visitors to your site for months, or even years.

Examples of useful evergreen content for your e-commerce business

While e-commerce products and services may *seem* relatively static, plenty of options exist for fresh, creative evergreen content that will bolster your overall content strategy. Read on for inspiration, as well as examples of how industry leaders are using them now.

How-to guides and tutorials

 

These are an ideal way to enhance your products and show users what using them will look like. They are especially useful if your product has many or complex uses. Maybelline UK uses this type of content on its make-up tips page, which links to various makeup tutorials, which can also be found on its YouTube channel.

Definitions and statistics

 

Perhaps you do business in an area with plenty of jargon and confusing terminology. Customers appreciate having these spelt out in simpler terms, which creates a great opportunity for evergreen content. International financial company, Nationwide, includes a glossary of financial terms to help customers wade through the acronyms and technical language of the financial world.

Likewise, while statistics do become dated over time, people are always looking to back up their writing with hard-and-fast numbers. So while stats may not last more than a few years, they can still build up your link profile and add value to your site.

Curate content and create lists

 

To become a curator, you take the legwork out of research for your customers, rounding up the best resources into one post for them. Online household and garden goods retailer Robert Dyas’s useful gadgets that every gardener needs perfectly executes this idea and uses it as a jumping off platform for consumers to reach their website and buy said gadgets.

Similarly, lists are an easy-to-digest format for consumers, while also being a simple-to-organise piece for your writers. Robert Dyas also uses this tactic with posts like 16 top tips for attracting wildlife to your garden. Even if some of the products linked in these articles go off sale the overall copy remains useful and can still lead to exploration of a site.

E.commerce businesses have a wealth of products and services around which they can create long-lasting evergreen content. If your brand doesn’t have the resources to do it in-house, a copywriting agency like WooContent can implement an effective evergreen content strategy on your behalf.

Get in touch today for more information about our content strategy services.

In an age of integrated social media, e-commerce apps for just about everything and 24/7 online customer service, retailers must continually adapt the way they market and sell their products – or be left behind.

2017 is just around the corner and already looks set be a year of ground-breaking developments, designed to improve the online retail experience both for those with something to sell, and those looking to buy. (more…)

When it comes to buying things, we like to know what we’re getting. After all, you can’t touch, smell or try out the product, so strong, compelling images are essential.

Yet while more and more brands recognise the power a great image has on sales, it is still an often neglected aspect of a website. In this article, we will look into how this process works, and some best practices for how to leverage it for your own e-commerce business. (more…)

How hard could it possibly be to run an e-commerce site? It's not like you have a physical premises to look after, after all. You just need to set up a website and put your products on it. Right?

Nope. It's not that easy, as anyone who's set up an e-commerce website will attest. Not only do you need to combine strong copy and inspiring imagery, but SEO and user experience (UX) need to be taken into consideration too, so visitors spend their hard-earned with you - not your competitors.

UX vs SEO - courtesy of Moz.com

UX vs SEO - courtesy of Moz.com

To help you make the most of your e-commerce site, we've come up with a comprehensive guide to the anatomy of the perfect product page.

 

Clear copy

Make sure that the copy is snappy and interesting, so people want to buy your product. Dry, jargon-filled product descriptions are off-putting and dull. Yes, we know that it'll probably take you ages but it'll be worth it. Just make sure that what you write fits in with the overall tone of your website. Keep it short, sweet and easy to digest, with bullet points and subheaders to break the text up.

ModCloth Product descriptions

ModCloth product description

Be sure to keep the descriptions benefits focused too. Rather than listing the features, explain how these features will improve customers' lives, so they can't resist buying it. Although you should be sure to include dimensions and composition information too.

Without making it too obtrusive, find a way to work delivery information and returns policy into the pages. Even if you're providing a link to another page, it's good to be transparent. You don't want customers getting all the way to the checkout before bailing because they didn't realise how much shipping'd cost. A huge 47% said they would abandon their purchase at checkout if they were hit with an unexpected shipping bill, according to comScore, but it can be easily avoided by giving this information up front.

Oasis Delivery

Oasis-Stores.com delivery info

 

Clear design

Make sure the page is as clear and easy to read as possible, with few distractions from the task at hand (ie buying whatever you're selling).

If you're selling an item rather than a service, be sure to have high quality images, so visitors really know what they're buying. In fact, the more images you can include the better, because it illustrates the product clearly. A study by VWO actually found that larger image sizes can increase conversion rates by as much as nine percent.

If you can, allow visitors to zoom in on the images too, so they can see what they're buying in more detail.

Just be careful that adding pictures doesn't slow the site down. While it's great to have high quality images, if they're too large they can slow the page load down, which can cause people to bounce. Make sure you know what your publishing platform can handle, use a tool like GTmetrix or WebPageTest to test site speed and wherever possible use a free tool like TinyPNG to resize images without losing quality.

TinyPNG

 

Clear customer touch points

You might not think customer service is an important issue when shopping online – your customers are sat behind a computer after all. But questions or queries can put people off a sale, opting to hit the high street for a similar product, where they can talk the product through with a sales advisor. A Forrester Research study found that a huge 44% of online shoppers think that the ability to ask a question in the middle of a sale is vital.

To accommodate for this, give customers a way to quickly get in touch. For instance, installing live chat apps such as Intercom will make it simple to ask questions there and then - without disrupting the sale.

AO.com live chat

AO.com live chat window

 

Clear calls to action

Be sure that your call to action is straightforward and easy to complete. For instance, if you want people to request more information, pop the call to action on a clear, coloured button that stands out from the rest of the page. If you want people to add a product to their basket, or buy it now, you should be explicit in saying that too.

If necessary, add more than one button to the page, especially if you have lots of content - you could choose to have one at the top and one at the bottom.

Waterstones CTA

Waterstones.com: CTA appears when you hover

 

Clear add-ons

If your product goes well with others on your website, tell people about it. Just make sure it doesn't interfere with the main body of the page.

What do we mean? Don't add a related products box before the call to action, or before your customer has found out more about the product, like this page on the John Lewis site. You're distracting the visitor from what they initially came to the site to do, so could end up leaving the page without making the sale at all.

JohnLewis.com: The product specifications are beneath 6 product bundles

JohnLewis.com: The product specifications are beneath 6 product bundles

 

Clear security features

While we're sure that your site is safe and any bank details entered will be cared for as if they're your own, you should make this clear to your visitors.

Be sure to add security certificates to your page, so they know the measures you've taken to keep their vital info private. Most tools will supply an appropriate badge, like Norton Secured, McAfee Secure and Truste Certified Privacy, which can be added to your site.

Also, obtain HTTPS status too, so that users know they're on a secure server. It will also give your site a bit of an SEO boost, because Google will view the site as being more trustworthy.

Norton Secured

Clear social proof

To further reassure visitors that they are safe using your site, harness the power of social proof. Add reviews from satisfied customers to prove that you're a reputable firm with a great service.

Amazon does this particularly well, with a star rating at the top of each and every product page and reviews at the bottom. This allows potential customers to get an honest feel for how real people found the product, plus any unexpected bonuses and faults that might occur.

Customer reviews on amazon

Clear mobile site

We're all aware that mobile commerce is becoming increasingly common as smartphone adoption increases. Test your e-commerce product pages to make sure they're mobile optimised. Be mindful that your buttons aren't too close together, that the calls to action are clear and the content fits neatly onto the screen.

Wherever possible, make sure important buttons are within the 'Thumb Zone' ie that they are easy to reach with your thumb when using the site - which is the digit most people use on mobile web. It'll make that click to buy even easier.

The 'thumb zone' for one-handed phone use

The 'thumb zone' for one-handed phone use

 

Test it

Of course, no two e-commerce sites are ever the same, so it pays to test your product pages to see what works for your customers. Instapage and VWO are great, inexpensive tools that allow you to create variations of your product pages, so you can hone in on what works.

For instance, you may choose to vary the colour and position of the call to action button, or the messaging on that button.
Or try different image styles - for instance lifestyle shots rather than product cut outs.

Or you could change the style of the copy to have more details, or inspirational info instead of bullets.

If you want help optimising your e-commerce site, get in touch. Ad-Rank has years' of expertise in the field, so we can help you get the sales your business needs.

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