Ecommerce will account for over 35% of big-box retailers’ global sales by 2023, up from 23% in 2019.
Ecommerce is anticipated to continue growing, accounting for approximately 40% of all sales by 2025.
This transpires in a time of rapid online development, growth and a constant fall in physical store sales.
However, the majority of revenues are still generated through store-based retail. Another study found that customers prefer a combination of online and physical shopping.
The majority of consumers use search engines for informational and comparison shopping, regardless of how the transaction is completed.
This implies that SEO is a marketing opportunity that retail, or any other business, simply cannot afford to pass on, regardless of whether customers are making purchases in-person, online, or through a social commerce platform.
The following are the top 10 objectives for your retail SEO strategy.
Extensive Keyword Research
For retail brands, keyword research is crucial. Building up your informational architecture and content strategy requires a thorough understanding of the terms and search methods used by your customers.
It ought to include keywords for each step of the entire user journey:
- and intent-based
There are several keyword research tools available, but you should constantly check out your rivals’ keyword research tactics as well.
Review paid search data after the site has launched to identify terms that are generating conversions, traffic, and sales.
Through continual optimisation, make sure the site consistently appears on the top page of all the major search engines for those chosen keywords.
This will initially assist you in improving organic performance, but as time goes on and SEO establishes its worth, you may reallocate your paid spending.
Finding your business online is essential for increasing traffic and revenue.
The more you are there for your consumers, the more your business will flourish and be able to fulfil your services.
So sign up with a reputable local directory, claim your listings, and then optimise them.
In order to increase customer acquisition and retention, optimised listings help your retail brand appear at the top of local searches.
To communicate changes with your clients, make sure you are utilising Google Business Profiles, a feature that assists businesses in managing their presence across Google domains.
Improve the consumer experience by adding images to your Google Business Profile, including qualities so that customers know what to anticipate; showcasing your items and inventories; submitting pertinent categories; answering Q&A, and monitoring and responding to feedback.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many retail companies still ignore positive and negative feedback.
Negative feedback can become great feedback, depending on how you address it. When I was working as a marketing manager many years ago, I managed to build a great reputation for the business just by replying to any negative reviews in a positive manner, offering assistance or facts about the purchase.
Through Featured Snippets, structured data may help search engines comprehend your content better.
Product schema is the most crucial sort of structured data for retail companies.
In order for Google and other search engines to publish more details about your items and better comprehend what your company sells, each of your products should be marked up with a product schema.
Local business schema, which publishes your address, ratings and reviews, website, geocoordinates, events, etc., is another crucial sort of structured data for shops and small enterprises.
URL has a great section on Schema Markup. Have a look at their article or simply, give us a call or message and we can help further.
Quality Of Content
For retail companies, new, high-quality content based on intention is crucial. 81% of retail buyers do their research online before making a purchase.
With so many people conducting online research and more than 70% of this enquiry coming from mobile devices, it’s critical that your material meets their demands.
I would make sure my category pages and product pages are stuffed with excellent and distinctive content if I were working with a new retail company.
I would also make sure I have a blog that gives guidance, suggestions, and how-to information that is pertinent to the company and assists consumers in solving difficulties.
Additionally, it’s crucial to improve product review pages.
The lack of content blocks or FAQs on category sites and the sparse information on product pages I still see on large retailers is a wasted chance to rank for upper funnel and transactional keywords.
For instance, there is no content block defining what a climbing cable is or responding to any queries for the Google rich snippet feature, People Also Ask, on the climbing cable category page for outdoor shops.
Instead, material that should be owned is being dominated by other websites in highlighted snippets.
We are very visual beings. You must remember to optimise images for both products and non-product-related keywords when it comes to retail.
Customers want to view products they are thinking about buying from a variety of perspectives, up close, and even digitally in their own settings.
To ensure that your photos are understood by search engines and appear in the image search results for pertinent keywords, always be sure to optimise your image file names, sizes, formats, and alt text.
Brands should also optimise their photos and videos for the powerful discovery channels Pinterest and Instagram, which rely heavily on visuals and are continually improving their purchase capabilities.
Core Web Vitals and Responsiveness
More than half of all e-commerce traffic now originates from mobile devices, which has surpassed desktops as the main source of traffic.
Brands must make sure their websites are mobile-friendly since more and more consumers are conducting product research and purchasing on their mobile devices.
To achieve this, check that the website is user-friendly, has clear calls to action, and has easy-to-read content.
This makes ensuring consumers engage with the primary conversion points, such as making purchases or signing up for incentives, etc.
Google revised its algorithm in 2021 to include page experience as a ranking factor.
Additionally, you should ensure that your sites are optimised for Core Web Vitals and load as rapidly as possible, preferably in under three seconds. This might improve your page’s ranking, which could be crucial in the fiercely competitive retail SERPs.
Backlinks, arguably the hardest part of an SEO strategy
Any SEO approach still needs backlinks to be effective.
Always keep an eye on your backlink profile to check for broken or spammy connections, and make sure your links contain both branded and non-branded anchor text.
Also, keep in mind that your link profile may suffer if you have too many links with exact match anchor text.
Always make sure you have material that is beneficial to end users and addresses their concerns in order to earn high-quality connections.
Halfords is one shop that does this well, for instance.
Halfords has an article on how to change engine oil or what is the best pedal bike for you.
This draws connections to their website since it aids customers in finding a true solution to an issue. People would view that as a helpful share rather than an advertisement because it is instructional.
Retailers could consider coupon link building as well.
It’s crucial to adhere to SEO best practices when creating page templates for retail companies.
Search engines may crawl and index your material if templates are built and designed with SEO in mind.
When you are optimising, have the following in mind.
- Use exact-match primary and secondary keywords that are front-loaded in your title tags. Make sure to stick to 65 characters or less (including spaces).
- Use the SERP Preview Tool to check for truncation and see how the title will appear in the SERP.
- Utilise a pipe or dash to maintain consistent branding.
- In the meta description, provide search engines and users with a succinct yet intriguing summary of the page’s content.
- Keep your brand’s tone, message, and voice consistent.
- Keep word counts, including spaces, between 156 and 165 characters maximum. Use the SERP Preview Tool to check for truncation and to see how the description will appear in the SERP. Include a call to action in every sentence, such as “Learn more,” “Find out how,” “Browse [offerings],” etc. Avoid sounding overly promotional or like an advertisement.
- Use one H1 tag on each page, front-loading the main term. Your H1 should give structure and context by introducing the page’s main topic, theme, or title.
- Use H2 tags with lots of keywords (there is no limit on the number of H2s per page). Targeting paragraph-type featured snippets in the SERP is made easier by using exact-matching longtail keywords, questions, and voice search inquiries in the H2s.
- Create lengthy material with at least 901–1200 words on each page. Include target keywords with precise matching as often as you can, and link internally to related category pages.
- Add CTA buttons, high-quality, compressed, optimised pictures with alt tags to enhance the user experience, and make sure all content on images is crawlable and indexable.
- Internal linking should, to the greatest extent possible, incorporate CTA buttons and point to relevant category pages.
- The subject of the page and the text inside the body of the page should be relevant to and satisfy both informative and commercial search intent (i.e., offer knowledge-based or article-type material while also making appropriate goods and shopping simple to find).
- Strategic placement of internal links to certain items will improve conversion rates and prolong user engagement on the website.
- Avoid using promotional or transactional language or overt solicitation to increase purchases.
- A clear understanding of the topic of the page should be provided by the URL, which is a minor ranking criteria and should be keyword-rich, semantically correct, and brief.
- To make URLs appear cleaner, eliminate stop words and keep them as short as possible.
- Make sure the CMS will generate correctly formatted, lowercase URLs.
Solid technical foundation and architecture
Crawl your website using Screaming Frog, Botify, DeepCrawl, or your preferred crawler to make sure it doesn’t have any serious technical problems that might lower its ranking in search engine results.
Always look out for issues like:
- Links on your site are broken.
- alt text or metadata is absent.
- duplicate and thin content
- There is only one version of your website, and both non-www and www are acceptable for accessing your domain. The favoured version should be 301-redirected to all other variations.
- lacking HTTPS
- that the website does not have a no index and/or is not preventing crawlers from accessing pages.
- Set up Google Analytics and Search Console.
- Every page on your site has distinctive, optimised metadata.
- Your website only sometimes has crawl issues, such as 404 pages.
It’s crucial to keep track of your SEO development if you want to gauge how well your retail brand is doing over time.
Make sure you rank for all of your brand-related keywords and are in the top 30 for non-branded keywords before launching a new brand.
Continue optimising as the site becomes older to make sure you are ranking for high-volume, relevant keywords that will increase company value and return on investment.
Depending on the health of the site and how competitive your retail sector is, this could take some time for a new site, but it ought to take less time for an established site.
Additionally, keep an eye on critical KPIs, which may include but are not limited to the following:
- ranks with a brand.
- ranks without brands.
- The golden keyword list, or the list of keywords you must own.
- Length of stay.
- Rate of bounces.
- natural visits
- fresh natural guests.
The data from sponsored searches, which may aid in the development of your content and keyword strategy, is another thing to pay close attention to.
To enhance efficiency, give top priority to keywords that perform well on the paid side.
Additionally, it’s critical to keep an eye on Google Search Console for any manual actions, crawl failures, indexing problems, etc., and to take immediate action to fix them.
By making your retail website more optimised, you may increase your customer base and gain the confidence of those who are especially searching for the things you sell.
Given that e-commerce is expanding and making up a sizable amount of revenues, concentrate on
- creating and maintaining a website that loads quickly and is SEO-friendly.
- producing content that meets user demands, facilitates issue solving, generates linkages, has structured data tagged, and is local search optimised.
- This will increase sales, traffic, and income while depriving your retail competitors of prime search engine real estate.