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Digital Marketing

Why Your Ecommerce Seo Optimization is Missing the Mark (And How You Can Fix It)

By Digital Agency, Digital Marketing, digital marketing tips for online store, ecommerce seo, seo tips

Optimizing your eCommerce store for Search Engines is no longer optional. It does not matter if your store is a bootstrapped startup or a Fortune 500 company, SEO matters to you regardless. Don’t take my word for it, log into your analytics tools and check the channels driving the most profit for your store. The organic channel is the best driver of traffic and growth.

Google has been embedded in our day to day life of customers, and for the majority of the eCommerce businesses, it drives now the majority of the sales. So if the same trend is not apparent for your company, chances are that your SEO is missing the mark. 

Ecommerce SEO is critical for your customers to find your store. It is the most cost-effective way to grow your business bottom line, and the effects last longer than any other marketing channel. 

Also, there are subtle differences between eCommerce SEO and other traditional forms of  SEO – Local or B2B. Site owners must understand these differences and nuances.

Missing Canonical Tags

A canonical tag is an HTML attribute that tells Search Engines the original URL, e.g. if you have multiple versions of the same URL being crawled and indexed, these can potentially cause duplicate content issues.

A canonical tag is a nice way to tell search engines to consider only the cannibal URL in the tag as the original version and discard the others for indexing. This is especially important for eCommerce stores as the layered navigation end up generating thousands of instances of the same category. 

Having the canonical tag will help in conserving the crawl bandwidth and circumventing any potential duplicate content issues.

Using Manufacturer’s  Product Descriptions

Many of the eCommerce stores are happy to use the manufacturer’s product descriptions on their product pages. While this saves the money to hire a copywriter and come up with unique content, the duplicate product description will end up causing long term SEO issues. 

First of all, it’s harder to rank higher for duplicate content, and the pages would end up facing the same duplicate content issues as not having canonical tags. Because of this, it’s always better to have unique product descriptions rather than coping the manufacturer ones.

Lack of Content Flux on the site

Your website might have the most optimised meta tags, but it’s worthless if not supplemented by quality content on the site. Some of the key pages to add content are what I term as the money pages – category and product pages. 

Initially, Google will crawl the pre-rendered HTML, and all the javascript is crawled later. To ensure the Google understands what the page is about, add a paragraph or two of content on all the money pages.

You need to ensure that there is sufficient amount of content that effectively describes the category. Having user-friendly content will help in not improving the ranking potential of your targeted keywords but also help in targeting semantically similar keywords.

Handle Discontinued / Out of Stock Products

Discontinued products handling is an important part of ongoing SEO plan. Lots of Ecommerce struggles to manage their discontinued products inventory and end up disabling/deleting these products which are not an SEO-friendly approach. 

Online stores can follow a process to manage discontinued products in an efficient SEO manner. 

Here’s a checklist to follow. 

  • Your Dev team is notified that the product is discontinued.
  • The product is set “discontinued” to “Yes” in CMS. This way users would know that the product they are being discontinued.
  • The “Short Description” is changed to “This product has been discontinued by the manufacturer and is no longer available for sale.” Again helpful to update product status to the user.
  • Add the keyword “Discontinued” in the title tag of the product page. Besides the user, having this in the title tag will help your analytics team to check the traffic trend on these pages.
  • The product is removed from all the categories (display option). This will help users to navigate the page through internal links.
  • The visibility of the product is changed to Status – Enabled, Visibility – Search
  • Remove the product from Amazon/eBay/PLA or any other feeds being used for Advertisements.
  • The SEO team will periodically review Organic Rank and Backlinks to discontinued products.
  • If the page is still sending positive signals to Google/providing a positive SEO benefit, the page is left alone and re-evaluated in 2 months.
  • If the page is no longer sending organic traffic etc. We will 301 redirect this to an appropriate page.
  • Prepare a list for teams to process the 301s.

Lack of Active Blogging

Blogging generates the most traffic. Google will always reward websites that consistently add unique and resourceful articles. Blogging helps you to target less competitive long-tailed keywords.

While these long-tail keywords are not the best at converting a user to customer or lead, these can help spread awareness about our brand. 

Search Engines are also the best place to identify the best topics to write about Use Google Trends to find what are the popular topics in your niche, write an article that covers the information.

Google has also specified a distinctive schema for blog articles. Ensure that all of your blog articles have the BlogPost schema, to make it easier for Google to understand what the page is about. 

Beside schema, you can add internal links to the product pages to make it easier for both Search Engines and user to find them.

Most Important Point:

Ecommerce store owners need to be aware of SEO and how best to leverage it for promotion. We suggest doing a periodic sitewide audit to identify gaps and errors and schedule to fix them, or else hire eCommerce SEO experts or a Digital Agency for a quick audit report.

A site audit will help you to identify and resolve the most pertinent issues as well ensuring the overall health of the site is good

Gauge Your Google Traffic With This Simple SEO Tool

By Digital Agency, Digital Marketing, ecommerce seo, Internet Marketing Service, Search Engine Marketing, search engine optimization, seo tips, SEO tools

Building up your presence online is paramount to increase your sales. Nowadays, it is not enough to be on paid, sponsored ads here and there; you need to master Google. This search engine holds the key to boost your brand beyond what you ever dreamt of. We are going to go through one of the best, most revolutionary tools that will be a shortcut to get you there. Learn the secrets of SEO with full-service Digital Agency.

Why is SEO positioning important?

Let’s begin with a question. When was the last time that you went to the second page of Google searches to find the result you were looking for? Just like you, most customers (or potential ones) do not get that far. Thus, you need to be on the first page of results for them to even find you. What this means is that ranking high on SEO for Google means to be in consumer´s faces. If you are not within the clicking range, then you are not even competing.

How to master SEO?

This is a question that most people ask themselves while scratching the top of their heads. Well, let’s begin by saying that SEO is not nuclear physics. You don’t need to have a Master’s Degree in it. What you need is to learn where the shortcuts are and how to take advantage of them.

The software we are about to discuss represents exactly that: a one-stop tool for SEO optimisation. Let’s get right into what this software does and why you need to start working with it today.

Why ‘Keywords Everywhere’?

Have you got any idea of how many people search for the keywords you are targeting? Then how do you know your efforts are focused on the right path? These are questions that pushed the masterminds of this tool to create it and literally what it does best. You´ll get a full insight into your business needed approach and the tools to shift your cannons and aim for the correct target.

Let’s take a look at the core benefits it has to offer:

Benefits

Although they are more than we can list for the purpose of this post; here are the app´s three main benefits in our opinion.

  • Numbers and real traffic The software asks you to enter the exact keywords you are aiming at. Once you´ve done it, it will show you exactly how many people are searching for your keywords in Google. What is this good for? Well, it is a great way to give you a gauge of traffic availability in your segment/niche and city. Pursuing keywords that are nice but have no traffic is the modern version of paying for an ad in a newspaper selling no copies. The first benefit is all about knowing which are the keywords generating traffic.

 

  • Potential ROI In case you are not familiar with the term, ROI means Return On Investment. The higher this number, the more you´ll get back from making an effort and targeting those keywords. ROI is a number that comes from a mathematical equation and fluctuates with the amount of money you put in as well. If you invest wisely and put your hard-earned money on the right ones, results will be optimal. This second benefit is all about how much of what you put in, those keywords will give you back.

 

  • Related keywords From the previous benefits you know which keywords have the biggest traffic and will give you the highest ROI. This third benefit is all about targeting those specific keywords that come from that combination. The app will give you a list of the related keywords with their traffic volume. This will help you choose the perfect keywords to aim at. Focusing your strategy is a straight line to making your money work for you more efficiently.

Conclusion – The time is now

The internet used to be this wild land with no rules and pioneers got the best of it. Understanding the new rules of SEO marketing strategies is nothing short from basic for your business success. ‘Keywords Everywhere’ is the perfect tool to aim your efforts and money in the right direction. Use it, master it, and pave the road to success.

Google Core Algorithm Update June 2019

By Digital Agency, Digital Marketing, Internet Marketing Service, Search Engine Marketing, search engine optimization, SEO News & Updates, seo tips

Updates from the Search Engine Marketing world!

Core Algorithm Update June 2019

In a rare move, Google announced on 3rd June that they would be rolling out a core algorithm update this month. It is unusual for Google to announce updates before they are rolled out.

google core algo update june 2019

They have since announced that the Core Update is now live. To check if your website has been affected by this update, the following needs to be audited: Search Console activity & Google Analytics organic activity.

What is a Core Update? Google has multiple algorithms overlaid on each other so that they are able to tweak various parts of the search engine without affecting others every time they make a minor update. A Core Update is related to the core algorithm, which sits at the base of all these and impacts the main search algorithm itself.

Your website may have been affected by the update, if you’re seeing lower organic activity since 3rd June. The update is still very new and there isn’t enough data available to determine which parts of the core algorithm were tweaked. We’re keeping a close eye on it and will let you know in coming weeks once we have more concrete information! In the meantime, if you’d like us to provide a digital marketing audit for your website, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1300780112.

In other news, here are a few more changes we have noticed in the SERP’s that may be of interest:

Rating Score Snippets in Search

Want more visitors to your site? Once your website is ranked on Page 1, one of the ways you can increase traffic is by standing out from competitors and increasing your click-through rate (CTR).

Here’s a great way we’ve been able to do it for ourselves:

schema star rating in serpsReviews and ratings are an important factor in deciding who gets the most Clicks. By leveraging the reviews we already have, we can get our overall rating score (with the stars) to appear in Google, thus increasing CTR and getting more traffic!

While this feature has existed in the SERP for a while, it went away for quite some time as Google had imposed penalties to a lot of websites for the misuse of schema. But this time around, it seems to be back for good!

Want the 5-star ratings to appear in Google for your rankings? Get in touch and we’ll make it happen!

 

Favicons in Mobile SERP’s

Google has started rolling out some changes for mobile search results, which make the websites’ favicons appear in the search result itself. With this new design, a website’s branding can be front and center, making your website stand out from your competitors’ listings.
mobile serp favicon update

You can see Before & After screenshots above. So make sure your website has a favicon!

Google’s Ad Grant for Nonprofit Organisations: Everything You Need to Know

By Digital Agency, Digital Marketing, Google Ad Grants, Google AdWords, Pay Per Click Marketing

Nonprofit organizations often work with tight budgets, as most of their funds come through donations. A challenge for such a nonprofit is going to be its marketing: how can it reach the most amount of people while still spending the majority of its budget on performing the actual charity work? Well, technology is here to help and this time it’s from internet search giant Google. Google’s Ad Grant program helps nonprofit organization use its AdWords digital advertising platform to increase the exposure of their website.

What is Google Ad Grants?

Think of Google Ad Grants as the nonprofit version of Google AdWords. And it’s not some stripped-down version ogoogle adwords for nonprofits, google for nonprofits australia, google grant managementf the platform either – you retain all of the functionality of regular AdWords. Google gives nonprofit organizations a budget of $10,000 per month to advertise on the AdWords platform. This works out to about $329 USD per day.

So if you’re running a nonprofit organization and are looking to increase the reach of your noble cause, the Google Ad Grants program seems like a pretty straight-forward choice, right?

Not quite, as Google has stringent procedures through which it vets organizations to be eligible for its free advertising program. Of course, these strict guidelines are in place so no one abuses the system but it also places a significant barrier to charities that don’t have full-fledged digital marketing departments.

Google Ad Grants Eligibility Criteria

If you work at a non-profit and the Google AdWords for nonprofits program sounds enticing, then you must be aware of the eligibility criteria that comes along with it.

To be eligible for Google Ad Grants an organization must:

  • Hold a current and valid charity status in one of the approved countries: For example in the US, you must have a current 501(c)(3) status. In Australia, you must be registered with your local TechSoup partner (Connecting Up) and be validated as a nonprofit organization.
  • Not one of the of the following:
    • Government entity or organization
    • Hospital or healthcare organization
    • School, childcare centre, academic institution or university. Please note that philanthropic arms of education institutions are still eligible.
  • Acknowledge and agree to Google Grant’s required certifications: These certifications outline the methods used to receive donations and the way in which these donations will be used afterwards.
  • Have a functioning website that provides adequate detail: The website should be fully functional and ideally should have some sort of a mechanism to receive donations. It should also provide adequate information about your charity and its purpose.
  • For Australian nonprofits, the requirements are:
    • Organisations must be registered with ConnectingUp, TechSoup Global’s regional arm.
    • Organisations must be a non-government, non-profit entity that is income tax exempt (ITE) as defined by Australian Charities and Non-Profits Commission (ACNC) and/or Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

How to Maintain Google Ad Grant Eligibility

Getting a Google Ad Grant can be quite challenging, especially for charities and nonprofits that don’t have experienced digital marketing resources in-house. However, getting a Google Ad Grant is only part of the challenge, as you have to actively ensure that your eligibility is maintained by way of following strict guidelines set by Google.

  • All of the ads in your account must link to the nonprofit URL as specified in your Google Ad Grant application.
  • You must be actively engaged in your Google Ad Grant campaign, logging in at least once a month. Failing to comply with this rule will result in your account being paused without notification.
  • The ads you put to use must reflect the purpose of your mission effectively. You can also sell products as long as you ensure that 100% of the proceeds will go on to supporting your nonprofit organization.
  • Your ads cannot lead to a landing page on your site whose prime purpose is to send visitors to other sites.
  • Your ads cannot offer financial products such as credit cards or mortgages. Donations should be in the form of money, and not goods such as cars, boats or property.
  • Your website is not allowed to participate in Google AdSense or affiliate advertising links (such as Amazon Affiliates).

Violation of any of the above-stated guidelines will result in your removal from the Google Ad Grant program. These guidelines can be changed at any time so always stay up to date.

Restrictions on Google Ad Grant Advertisements

Along with the eligibility criteria and member guidelines, you’ll also need to set of rules for your Ad Grant ad campaigns:

  • Previously, Google had a maximum cost-per-click (CPC) limit of $2 USD, but that has been lifted as long as you use their ‘Maximize Conversions’ bid strategy. Under this strategy, Google will automatically measure the ideal bid for you using machine learning, leading to optimized campaigns. In the past, Google Ad Grant members had to set bids really low due to the limit of $2 USD, which resulted in lesser clicks.
  • Daily budget is set at $329 ($10,000 USD per month).
  • Your ads will only appear on Google.com – you cannot use Search Partners.

The real challenge with Google Ad Grants is that you’ll oftentimes find it hard to spend the $10,000 USD monthly limit because of the ad and keyword restrictions. What’s more, Google has a policy where if you don’t have a CTR (click-through rate) of at least 5%, your Ad Grant will be paused.

Because of all the factors involved in managing a Google Ad Grant , it can be complex for nonprofits to manage it. Getting a Google Ad Grant is hard enough, but maintaining it is the real challenge. That is why it’s imperative that nonprofits employ skilled Adwords Managers. Ideally, Google Adwords specialists who understand the Ad Grant comprehensively to effectively utilize it. Sure, a good Adwords consultant will come at a cost but then the organization is also getting $10,000 in free ad money.

Of course, if the ads are being run successfully, then the Google Grant management cost will be completely negated.

A.P. Web Solutions works with several Australian Nonprofit organisations to help them set up and manage Google Ad grants. Here’s a screenshot of an NFP’s Google Analytics within a month of engaging our services:

GET THE SAME RESULTS FOR YOUR NONPROFIT ORGANISATION!

 

The Marriage of SEO & Web Design – Getting The Best of Both Worlds

By Digital Agency, Digital Marketing, Search Engine Marketing, search engine optimization, Web Design

In sales, we focus on getting leads and then converting them. One does not work without the other. A company that is getting a lot of leads but is not converting them, will likely take steps rather soon to find where the problem lies in their funnel. But websites often don’t enjoy the same level of diligence, even though they have the potential of being one of your greatest sales assets.

Our specialty is to generate traffic for our clients, specifically highly targeted organic traffic. But the real ROI is when this traffic converts into leads, phone calls, and new business. And this ultimately depends on your web design.

We have the pleasure of our Director and head of SEO, Abrar Patel and our guest Irwin Hau, Founder and Director of multi-award-winning web design agency, Chromatix, who are specialists in custom websites, here today to share their thoughts on how to marry SEO and Website to get the most out of any website launch.

Let’s get them to answer some common questions that people often have about websites:

What are the top 3 areas to consider with your area of expertise?

Abrar: Vision, timeframe and budget.
Vision, because it is important to have a clear understanding of what you’re getting yourself into with SEO and if it fits into your long-term vision for your business. Timeframe, because SEO is not for the impatient and if your business does not have firm foundations or a steady stream of clients and you need to see an ROI yesterday, you will be frustrated with SEO. And finally, budget because we find that companies that have allocated marketing budgets make it through till the effects kick in whereas businesses that have to overextend themselves to invest in SEO, often give up in a few months.

Irwin: User journey, attraction, credibility checks.
User journeys should be the heart of any site. The magic behind websites is understanding the user journey and behaviour. Without an understanding of digital user psychology and gaining insight into how your user is interacting with your site, you’ll never get the customer to the end action point of the site.
Attraction, or engagement, is all about getting an amazing first impression that continues to allure the user to stay and interact with the site. As the user explores and navigates through the site, the aim is to connect with the user through a series of images, icons, text and touch points.
The website at the end of the day is a sales piece and usually acts as a reputation builder. Credibility points are important for a site to help establish confidence for the client. Examples of these include awards, association logos, testimonials, case studies, affiliates, partners, etc. These all help to establish trust, which ultimately aims to tip users into contacting/touching base.

 

Why is your area of expertise so important for business besides ROI?

Abrar: Organic traffic does for your website what organic food does for your body. It takes time to work but there is nothing better than a website that is always prospecting for you. Google does not want you to rank, they want you to pay for every click. And what we do helps to ensure that your business does not rely on paid traffic in the long-term.

Irwin: A great website design can set your business apart from your competitors and helps to keep your company brand memorable. It also helps to establish your brand values visually and keeps your brand image looking consistent both online and offline. Strength in your site presentation increases consumer trust and brand size perception in the market.

 

How does collaborating with other specialists help you provide a greater service?

Abrar: Very much like different medical specialists working together on a patient’s health, a website needs a range of specialists to really perform at its best. To maximize the leads a website can generate, it needs the right design, the right copywriting, multiple traffic sources and tracking analytics. Collaborating with other specialists helps us provide a better service for our clients without having to claim that we’re experts in things that we’re not.

Irwin: There are many things I’ve learned over the last 9 years of running a business. One key thing is that you cannot be a master of everything. Each role in the digital industry has a unique part to play and requires researching, testing, training, and practical experience. By leveraging off teams that have geared themselves to be the best in their industry, you get the best of both worlds. You also end up having 2 different perspectives on the same piece which makes for a much stronger and robust solution.

power of collaborating with other digital experts; team of web design and SEO experts in Melbourne; web design specialists; SEO specialists;

What could I (the client) do to supplement the specialist work you guys do to get greater ROI?

Abrar: There’s a lot of buzz about content marketing these days. The truth is, that if your website is not seen as an authority in your field by Google, it doesn’t matter how much content you publish, it is not going to get much traction. But when combined with SEO, content marketing can be an excellent traffic generation strategy. Generally, 3 months into an SEO campaign, we recommend to all our clients that it is a good idea to publish articles that include longer versions of their keywords. As the site grows in its width, SEO and content marketing can really complement each other.

Irwin: As much as it is a website launch once you go live, it’s also a great PR opportunity. We encourage clients to plan for the launch of their sites and to leverage their networks in spreading the word. Everything from Linkedin, Facebook, email blast, simply get the news out there and be proud of your new site. Also, continue to keep your content on your site fresh and up to date, the last thing you want is for your website to speak of services you don’t provide any more or that you’re not featuring the latest and greatest of what’s going on in your business. Set up a content calendar or schedule for yourself to review the site.

Any final thoughts or tips you would give someone considering developing their site?

Abrar: I would recommend that you get SEO and copywriting involved from the beginning. Too often, we get clients who have spent thousands on their website but the way the site has been set up is so poorly optimized for SEO that we actually have to go back to the designer and work with them to restructure the site, which of course adds further costs for the client. Things like URL structure and Keyword Analysis/Planning make up the skeleton of the website and getting it right from the beginning means you’re building your website on a firm foundation.

Irwin: Like buying a car, you need to make sure it is maintained well to ensure it lasts the distance. With security updates, plugin amends and CMS changes, it’s vital to ensure that everything is kept up to date and maintained regularly. We strongly recommend this be done everything 2-3 months – depending on your industry. For businesses where your site is imperative to your daily operations, we recommend monthly to remove the stress of having a site down and to provide peace of mind. It’s also very important to have analytics running through your site so that you’re able to track and understand the insights of your user. Continue to review your Google Analytics and evolve the website accordingly based on the insights it provides. The website is not a static piece but an evolving beast which develops as your business grows.

Final Thoughts & Tips

Here are some key tips to consider if you’re not fully satisfied with what your current website is doing for your business :

  • When you do both SEO & web design together and plan for it from the beginning, you save money in the long run.
    A site built correctly will not only empower you to edit the site content quickly and efficiently yourself, it will also ensure that your SEO consultant can focus on the more advanced techniques which can be done quickly and simply.
  • If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Have a strategy from day 1 and involve both web design & SEO specialists with the end in mind.
  • Ongoing collaboration with your SEO and web design consultants is important.
    Your Google Analytics will show how your customers are interacting with your site and you need to evolve it to match the user flows and journeys. You can also use our SEO audit tool to see how well your website is currently optimized.
  • Google’s algorithms are fickle as ever. They continue to change so you need to keep up to date with the latest algorithm changes – your competitors are continuously pushing for top spot so you have to maintain that momentum.
  • Make sure your SEO and Web Design consultants along with each other or else it can get challenging to manage even the simplest tasks.
    Experienced specialists should be able to work hand in hand so that they deliver the best result in a collaborative fashion

SEO & web design are intrinsically related and for a website to perform at its best, you’re going to need both.

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