Uncategorised

eCommerce SEO: How We Grew Client Sales By 87%* In 6 Months (Case Study)

eCommerce SEO

…plus the 11 strategies and techniques you need to do the same!

Over the last six months…

…several of our clients have seen *an average increase in sales of 87%.

As well as an average increase in revenue of 136%.

While an increase in online sales was expected during lockdown…

…our results show those with a well-optimised online presence were – and are – in a unique position to capitalise on this increase in digital traffic, enquiries, and sales now and into the future.

We saw these results again:

Actual Client Results

Actual Client Results

And again:

Actual Client Results

Actual Client Results

And again:

Actual Client Results

Actual Client Results

Today we’re going to share the exact strategies and techniques we used to achieve these results…

…so that you can achieve them too!

Let’s get started.

At a glance…

Wait, why is eCommerce SEO so important?

Recent events have highlighted one very important thing:

Kiwis haven’t stopped spending…

…they’re just spending in different ways via a different channel: Digital.

This is nothing new! Digital channels have been growing exponentially for years.

A 2018 IAB / PWC Report found that digital is now the leader in the New Zealand ad spend market. Recent events have simply fast-tracked the already increasing adoption of these digital channels!

So whether you’re already selling online or a brick and mortar store finally looking to get started, keep reading to learn how you can optimise your eCommerce store for sales success.

First up, it’s Keywords.

Start selling online with Government support…

Looking to expand your business online? The New Zealand Government recently launched a $10 million dollar support package aimed at helping businesses add eCommerce functionality. Visit this page to find out more and then get in touch to learn how Found can supercharge your leads and sales!

The 11 point checklist for optimising your online shop

1Research product keywords

Keywords are…

…well, the key to placing your online store in front of potential customers.

How so? It’s simple! Just consider the ways you browse and purchase online.

You rarely have a store in mind…

…instead, you go looking for the best deals and prices on a given product.

Say you’re wanting to purchase a television, for example. You probably won’t type ‘Harvey Norman’ or ‘Noel Leeming’ into the search bar. Instead you’ll type something like ‘4k tv nz’ or ‘oled tv deals’.

Your customers do the same thing! This is why finding the right keywords is vital. If you aren’t using the terms your customers are searching for, you won’t be found. It’s as simple as that.

Find your major terms

Searching for your Keywords couldn’t be easier.

You just need to:

  1. Load up Keyword Tool.
  2. Throw in a term that relates to a Product, Category, or Collection.
  3. Change the region to match where you will be selling your products.
  4. Hit Search!
Keyword Tool

The Keyword Tool will return a long list of potential terms, so:

  1. Check the box next to Keywords to select all results.
  2. Click on the Copy / Export button in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
Keyword Tool Export

Now that you have a list of terms, it’s time to see if anyone’s using them!

  1. Open KWFinder (or your preferred Keyword Research tool).
  2. Click on Import.
  3. Paste your list of terms.
  4. Select the relevant Location.
  5. Click on Process Keywords.
KWFinder

Did you know…

Many products sold in New Zealand – or overseas – use different naming schemes or branding. It’s worth checking whether your products go by a different name, and whether anyone in your target market – or region – is using them! If your competitors aren’t? That’s an easy win for you!

Look for niche terms with commercial intent

So, you now have a long list of keywords.

How do you know which ones are relevant?

Search volume is one way, but…

…not all keywords with high search volume are worth optimising for.

What you’re looking for are keywords with commercial intent.

Not sure what I mean? Consider this example:

Say someone enters ‘hd television’ into Google. How do you know if they’re searching for a user manual, review, or product? Truth is, you don’t!

If that same person enters ‘hd television auckland’ or ‘buy hd tv nz’, it’s safe to assume they’re looking to make a purchase. By finding local and commercial versions of your keywords you’ll ensure you’re directly targeting purchase-ready customers.

  1. Open Kombinator.
  2. Paste your list of keywords into the middle column.
  3. Add a list of relevant location terms to the final column e.g. ‘nz‘, ‘new zealand‘.
  4. Click Kombinate!
  5. Repeat for other locations or commercial intent terms such as ‘buy’ and ‘shop’.
  6. Run these terms through your preferred Keyword Research Tool.
Kombinator

Keyword Checklist

  1. Use tools like Keyword Tool, KWFinder, and the Google Keyword Planner to create an initial list of highly-searched, primary terms that relate to your products.
  2. Look for local keyword variants such as ‘nz’ or ‘Auckland’.
  3. Make use of commercial intent keywords like ‘buy’ and ‘online’.
  4. Select 3 – 5 of the most highly searched, relevant terms for each Collection or Category on your site.

2Optimise on-page elements

Keywords are great…

…but only when they’re used effectively.

Your site needs to be shouting these like every oddly-dressed store mascot!

On-Page Optimisation is the process by which we do this. This process involves applying keywords to vital areas of your store’s pages in order to maximise their relevance for these terms and, in turn, increase your chances of ranking highly within search engine results.

Unsure of how to optimise your site? Keep reading!

On-Page Optimisation Examples

These examples will ensure you’re using the right terms in the right places.

Simply swap out our terms for yours, and you’ll be on your way.

Need more help?…

This brief overview should get you started, but if you’d like to know more about how to effectively optimise all areas of your website to supercharge traffic, enquiries, and leads, then check out Found’s SEO Optimisation Guide. It’s free!

URLS

PRODUCT PAGES
Template
website. co. nz/KEYWORD/KEYWORD-KEYWORD-KEYWORD
Example
techtv. co. nz/samsung-televisions/samsung-1080-hd-television

CATEGORY & COLLECTION PAGES
Template
website. co. nz/KEYWORD
Example
Tech. co. nz/samsung-televisions

TITLE TAGS

HOME PAGE
Template
Business Name | Keyword, Location-Based Keyword
Example
TechTV | The Best Televisions In New Zealand

PRODUCT PAGES
Template
Keyword | Incentive | Business Name, Location
Example
Samsung 1080P HD Television | *Free Delivery! | TechTV, New Zealand

CATEGORY & COLLECTION PAGES
Template
Keyword | Incentive | Business Name, Location
Example
Samsung Televisions | *Free Delivery! | TechTV, New Zealand

HEADINGS

PRODUCT CATEGORY
Template
H1: Primary Keyword H2: Descriptive Heading Using Keyword
Example
H1: Samsung Televisions H2: Enjoy the best viewing experience with our range of 1080P, 4K, and OLED Samsung televisions

PRODUCT PAGE
Template
H1: Keyword Product Heading
Example
H1: Samsung 1080p HD Television

IMAGE ALT TAGS & FILE NAMES

PRODUCT IMAGE FILE NAME
Template
keyword-keyword-keyword.jpg
Example
Samsung-1080-high-definition-television.jpg

PRODUCT IMAGE ALT TAG
Template
Keyword
Example
Samsung 1080P HD Television

META DESCRIPTIONS

HOME PAGE
Example
TechTV is New Zealand's #1 provider of televisions from leading brands like Samsung and Sony. *Free delivery across the country on orders over $800!

On-Page Optimisation Checklist

URLs
  1. Use page-specific keywords within URLs.
  2. Use hyphens [–] to separate words in URLs.
TITLE TAGS
  1. Use the primary keyword that you want that page to rank for.
  2. Add a local keyword.
  3. Add a commercial-intent keyword.
  4. Include some form of branding such as your business name.
  5. Limit Title tags to 70 characters.
HEADINGS
  1. Follow a logical H1-H6 heading structure.
  2. Ensure the H1 is used to format your Product Category and Individual Product names.
IMAGE ALT TAGS & FILE NAMES
  1. Use descriptive, keyword-rich file names and ALT tags.
  2. Use hyphens [-] to separate words within file names.
META DESCRIPTIONS
  1. Include relevant, highly-searched keywords.
  2. Make use of any long-tail or variant keywords.
  3. Entice people to click by mentioning promotions or specials.
  4. Limit Meta Descriptions to 156 characters.

3Add unique content to Collection & Category pages

Lengthy content ranks higher in Google.

That’s a fact!

So it makes sense that product Category and Collections pages need content.

It’s ok! You don’t have to write 2,000 words per page. Save that for your blog! Instead, you should write unique, keyword-rich content of a modest length for each Collection and Category pages you’re wanting to rank highly.

As some online stores can have tens if not hundreds of Category and Collection pages, prioritise the pages you write content for first by adding up the total search volume per each page’s set of Keywords. The higher the search volume? The higher the priority.

Did you know…

Recent Google updates have started to penalise pages that lack – or have thin – content. As online stores feature so many thin pages they’re often the hardest hit, so start writing! Your rankings will thank you in the long run.

Unique Content Checklist

  1. Aim for 200+ words on product pages.
  2. Investigate dynamic pages which can cause thin content issues.
  3. Hit between 150-300 words on important product category pages.
  4. Reach for between 1,200 and 2,000 words on blog posts or content pages that use lucrative keywords you’re aiming to rank for.

4Avoid duplicate content

Content is a great way to boost your site’s relevancy and rankings…

…but just any old content won’t cut it.

How so? Well, here’s the thing:

Google hates duplicate content.

That is, content that already exists elsewhere on the web.

Cutting corners and simply copying or lightly re-wording content for your Collections, Categories, or Blog may be an easy way to quickly fill your site with content but it will harm your site’s chances of ranking.

Writing unique content may be a little time-consuming, but it’s worth the effort.

Duplicate & Thin Content Checklist

  1. Remove any existing duplicate content from your site.
  2. Avoid using the manufacturer’s product descriptions or text where possible.
  3. Write your own unique content for Collections, Categories, Products, and Blogs.

5Encourage user reviews

Creating unique content isn’t always easy.

By embracing the power of user reviews, you can make your life that much easier.

Adding review functionality to your site allows users to leave reviews of products they’ve bought, and provides product pages with an injection of unique content. And you didn’t have to lift a finger!

User Review Checklist

  1. Add user review functionality to your site.
  2. Follow up with customers and invite them to leave a review.

Internal links are great for two reasons:

They help harder to rank product and category pages appear in Google.
They help to guide users around your site.

Whether it’s a mention of a product type on your home page, a complimentary product in a product description, or mention of a brand in one of your other collection pages, add internal links to your content to help guide Google – and users – around your site.

Internal Link Checklist

  1. Add internal links throughout your site wherever this makes sense.
  2. Use a mix of generic and keyword-rich anchor text.
  3. Add Breadcrumb links to your shop’s pages.

7Add rich snippets

Rich Snippets are another way Google provides added value in search.

So what are they, exactly?

Rich Snippets are extra pieces of information displayed alongside individual search results. This includes anything from an author image for a store, the price of an item, the star rating of a movie or the time it takes to cook a recipe.

By adding rich snippets to your store, you’ll provide users with extra information that could mean the difference between a user clicking on a search result, and continuing to scroll.

Rich Snippets Checklist

  1. Running a WooCommerce store? Use a plugin to easily add rich snippets to your store.
  2. Add rich snippets to your site manually by following Google’s instructions.

8Implement HTTPS

HTTPS is a secure version of HTTP that keeps your customers’ data safe.

While this is already active on Account and Checkout pages, Google favours sites that use HTTPS site-wide. So it pays – pun intended! – to fully embrace HTTPs.

You’ll give customers peace of mind and keep Google happy in the process.

For more information on HTTPs and SSL, check out this resource.

HTTPS Checklist

  1. Consider transitioning your site to HTTPS.
  2. Set up redirects for old, non-HTTP URLs.

9Optimise site speed

65% of customers aren’t willing to wait more than 3 seconds for a page to load.

So what happens if a user is waiting as long, if not longer, for your pages to load?

You guessed it: they shop elsewhere.

Google now favours fast-loading sites in search, so optimising your site – especially your product images – can help to alleviate issues and improve your rankings, too.

Site Speed & Responsiveness Checklist

  1. Check your site’s speed with PageSpeed Insights.
  2. Optimise your images for the web.

10Use a responsive, mobile-friendly design

Online stores without a responsive site should take notice: Google isn’t happy!

Google has started to penalise sites that don’t support mobile devices. When you consider the majority of users browse the internet on mobile, it only makes sense. A responsive, mobile-friendly site is no longer optional. It’s a requirement.

Responsive, Mobile-Friendly Site Checklist

  1. Use Google’s Mobile Friendly Test to check your website’s compatibility with mobile devices.
  2. If you’re using WooCommerce, consider transitioning to a responsive, mobile-friendly theme.
  3. Running a custom site? Ask your web developer to look into making your site responsive.

11Promote your online store

On-site optimisation is a powerful tool…

…but it can’t do all the heavy lifting on its own.

To achieve true rankings – and sales – success, you need to combine keyword research and optimisation with the power of content marketing, promotion, and link building. It isn’t a case of one or the other. Combining these strategies gives you a site worth linking back to, and an opportunity to link back to it!

Search Engine Optimisation offers sustainable, cost-effective online sales

Whether you’re selling locally, nationally, or internationally, an online store is one of the most sustainable, cost-effective ways to connect with your customers.

With the help of search engine optimisation and the strategies we’ve outlined today, you’ll be able to place your store in front of the purchase-ready customers who are looking for it and the products you sell.

What to do next…

Are you looking to achieve results like those we’ve highlighted today? Continue your journey with any number of our guides, or get in touch and discover how Found can help maximise your online store’s leads and sales.