With Google updating its search algorithm practically every month, web store owners have not been too sure if what they have been doing all this while is still applicable. And so, here’s a list of question commonly asked by ecommerce merchants.
Q1. Is SEO still important?
A1. Although it now takes more than just SEO to get your store or site ranked, it still has an important part to play along with social media and various other web elements. This is because, at the end of the day, Google is still a robot and we need to tell it what our sites are all about. Otherwise, Google would not be able to tell the difference between a site selling shoes and a site teaching people how to make shoes.
Q2. Are keywords still important?
A2. Yes but try to make them more context sensitive to make it easier for search engines figure them out.
I remember when one of Malaysia’s national car makers launched a hatchback called the Suprima S last year. For some time, Google search kept returning results of sites selling adult diapers of the same name. Suprima was the name of the diaper brand and S was the prefix to the model number.
After a few weeks, Google realized that people in Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore were actually searching for a specific Proton car model when searching for Suprima S and made the appropriate adjustments.
But when the results pertaining to the car finally started showing up on results pages, it was the blogs and review sites that filled the top ten positions, not sites selling the car. This is because automotive blogs and review sites have been thoroughly optimized for all sorts of terms and phrases related to the car.
Car sales sites, on the other hand, aren’t that well optimized. Which is why they advertise heavily on automotive blogs and car review sites to siphon traffic from there.
This brings us to the next question.
Q3. Is content still king?
A3. Every time I mention content, people think ‘text’. But content is more than just text. Content is everything on a page – text, image, videos, (internal and outbound) links to more related resources, etc.
So yes, content is still king. Use content to help make your page or site a resource. For web store owners, use page content to improve user experience and thus, increase sales.
Q4. Does having a nice site help improve sales?
A4. Well, it can’t hurt, especially if your site is new.
But let’s take a closer look at the term ‘nice’. ‘Nice’ actually encompasses a whole lot of things when it comes to an ecommerce store. Nice could refer to template design and layout. It could refer to the images that’s on the page and it also could refer to the functionality of the elements present on the page.
If we look at it that way, then having a ‘nice’ site does help.
A ‘nice’ layout is free of clutter and easy on the eyes. Different layout, themes and color schemes suit different products. For example, stores selling products for kids tend to use colorful themes. Nonetheless, there are stores which have scored big with plain themes for this niche. If you have a good eye or or a fantastic concept, you can successfully differentiate your store for others.
‘Nice’ images help emphasize the points above. But beware that too many ‘nice’ images can be a distraction so keep it simple.
And ‘nice’ functionality, simply put, helps get shoppers from looking at a product to buying it, before they have a chance to change their minds.
Functionality involves every element on the page. For example, if you are selling apparel, don’t just stick a well taken image of a model wearing an apparel on your page. If you do that, that only serves one function – to attract the attention of the viewer.
Remember, the bottom line is you want the viewer to purchase the item. So, include a call-to-action on the image and link it to a product page.
I been to a few sites where I saw what I liked on the first page banner. There was a call-to-action and the name and price of the product alongside the product Ikea style, but they forgot to link it a product page.
It is really frustrating when you have to spend time navigating to the correct product page. By the time I reached my intended destination, the buzz had died and I was out of the zone. I didn’t complete the purchase.
Q5. How would we know which templates or elements work best for our store?
A5. Muahahaha … This is something we have been working on and we are very excited about. All will be revealed very, very soon.
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