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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!

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.

SEO vs. PPC: Which is Better?

By Digital Agency, Digital Marketing, Google AdWords, Internet Marketing Service, Pay Per Click Marketing

Every business needs traffic to survive. Whether you’re a brick and mortar business or an online E-commerce business, traffic is the lifeblood of a website and unless your plan for the website is to simply serve as a brochure for people who already know about your business, you’re going to need a consistent flow of incoming traffic to get new leads.

The question is, what kind of traffic is most suitable (and affordable) for your business? Without knowing which one you should invest your time and energy towards, you’re going to be spinning in circles.

SEO vs. PPCLet’s look at your options:

  1. Organic Traffic
    – Search Engine Optimization
    – Content Marketing
  2. Paid Traffic
    Google AdWords
    – Social Media Advertising (Facebook Ads, LinkedIn ads etc)

Organic Traffic – SEO

Advantages

  • Long-term & Sustainable. Once you’re ranked, you don’t pay for every Click.
  • Builds on itself. In other words, the more you rank, the more you’re going to rank (think compound interest)
  • Works well in conjunction with Content Marketing. As your website gains more authority with more links, Google starts trusting it more. And when Google trusts your website, the blog articles you publish have better chances of getting ranked for their respective keywords, thus generating even more traffic.

Disadvantages

  • Requires patience. It can take 4-6 months to start getting results from SEO, if not more.
  • Requires upfront investment.
  • Difficult to find an SEO agency that can actually rank websites and stay up to date with Google’s changing algorithms.

Suitability Criteria

SEO is not suitable for all businesses! Most SEO companies won’t tell you this and if you ask, “Will it work for me if I do (insert literally any profession here)?” the answer is always invariably “Yes”.
In reality, however, there are certain criteria that can indicate whether an SEO campaign is going to be an ROI positive investment for you. So if you’re not sure if you should be investing in SEO, ask yourself:

  • Is there a sizeable audience looking for your services online? In other words, do your main keywords have decent search volumes?
  • Is the first page littered with extremely large websites? If yes, do you have the budget to go after those keywords?
  • Are you financially in a position to invest potentially several thousands of dollars for months before you see an ROI?

If you’re not sure where your website stands in terms of SEO right now, use our free SEO audit tool to get an instant website analysis and comprehensive checklist delivered to your inbox!

Paid Traffic – PPC

Advantages

  • Instant results. If you set up your Ads properly and they are well optimized, you can start getting clicks (and hopefully, calls) within days!
  • You “pay per click” which means you don’t pay unless someone has clicked over to your website.
  • Google Ads can provide highly targeted traffic if they are set up properly.
  • Multiple platforms at your disposal. While SEO brings you targeted traffic from search engines like Google and Bing, paid traffic allows you to get your business visible on Facebook, LinkedIn & other social media websites that would otherwise have very little organic reach.

Disadvantages

  • Bucket with a hole. The minute you stop paying Google, your traffic ceases.
  • Unlike SEO, your Clicks from today don’t help you build a reputation or “trust” with Google that could help you tomorrow.
  • Bidding system. Google AdWords’ pricing works on a bidding system, which means if you’re in a competitive industry, your “cost per click” might keep increasing as your competitors bid higher than your bids. Your cost per click would also vary depending on your PPC management skills.
  • Pattern Interrupt Marketing: If you’re advertising on social media websites, realize that people aren’t there to shop for products or services. However, if your Ad is good enough to engage them and your product gets their attention, it could work, especially if it is an impulse purchase.
    Service-based businesses or consultants are at a large disadvantage with this approach. In other words, if the purchase of your product or service requires more than a couple of minutes of thought to reach a decision, social media Ads may not be ideal for your business.

Suitability Criteria

PPC can be a valuable lead-generating asset for a business IF you understand what you’re getting yourself into. Here’s what you need to know before investing in paid traffic:

  • You’re never going to stop paying for clicks.
  • The amount you pay for every click will vary depending on how much your competitors are bidding and how well your Ads are performing.
  • You will need to hire a PPC expert to set up and manage your Ad campaigns. AdWords Express was Google’s attempt at streamlining the process but all it really does is burn through your budget by showing your Ads to people way outside your target demographic.
  • Making PPC work for you is not as simple as setting up the Ad campaigns. It involves a lot of tweaking and split testing.

Conclusion

Organic and paid traffic both have their place. SEO and PPC can, in fact, work very well together. Technically, you can occupy a top organic spot AND an Ad spot, thus having more of the real estate on the first page and capturing more traffic.

Additionally, there are some keywords that may just not be worth going after organically but can get you Paid clicks and some additional traffic. These are keywords that may not have huge search volume (number of people searching that keyword per month) but for whatever reason, they are difficult to rank for due to the websites on the first page. In this case, considering the balance of difficulty and search volume, PPC becomes a great alternative.

So while one is not better than the other, if you only have the budget to invest in one, it depends on how fast you want the results. If you need results and sales yesterday (and you have the budget), PPC is the way to go. If you want to build a long-term stream of traffic that can build your business’ reputation and trust online, SEO is for you.

 

A.P. Web Solutions provides Adwords management and digital marketing services for local businesses to generate leads and phone calls through Google.

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