Business development 27 July 2015

Signs your website’s SEO needs a revamp

Mobile-friendly sites will make a huge difference for your SEO
Mobile-friendly sites will make a huge difference for your SEO

Poor user experience and low conversion on mobile platforms are two of the four main pitfalls for a small firm’s SEO when creating their customer-facing websites. For retailers, there’s nothing worse than seeing your website constantly underperform and being surpassed by the competition. Whether it is due to a lack of site traffic or failing to deliver in terms of sales promise and expectation, these issues can be resolved. Here are some key suggestions on how to optimise your site and to ensure it delivers better value and more sales leads for your company.

Analyse your keywords to eliminate a bad user interface/user experience

Good user experience is one of the factors that search engines look out for when assessing your website. Factors such as high bounce and low conversion rates can immediately indicate the pages which don’t perform. The next step is to check the relevancy of the keywords on your landing pages in ranked order so you can identify and diagnose the problem.

Are you attracting the right targeted traffic? The semantics may be similar, but users that are just looking for recipes online won’t end up buying the cookery books you also sell on your website.

Does the content on your landing pages match your specific keywords? It is essential for users to find what they came for when they visit your website in order to accurately entice a potential audience, and customers.

Low conversion rates for mobile browsers

If your website provides the optimum user experience but there is no traffic coming from mobile devices, you should review your website’s responsive design. This is now more important than ever since Google recently released a new ranking algorithm that favours mobile-friendly sites over those that aren’t – even on desktop devices.

A good responsive web design should automatically detect the type of device being used to access the site and adjust the layout accordingly to maximise the user experience. Also, not only are page loading times important for Google on a desktop, but they are even more so on mobile, where high loading speeds will significantly impact your ranking (and also guarantee a good user experience).

Ensure you invest in social sharing buttons to ensure your great content is more widely read and shared amongst potential customers.

Your optimised content is now king

With recent changes to Google’s indexing algorithm earlier this year, many retail and ecommerce outlets would do well to revisit how they position their content in order to attract the most views. Now dubbed “fat” and “thin” content, Google distinguishes between types of content on both a company’s website and social media channels. First, the content on your site must be “fat”, which means buying guides, product reviews, etc. for B2C sites and eBooks, white papers as well as strong, shareable blogs for B2B sites. You don’t want “thin” content – half-baked ideas or duplicated content copied from elsewhere and blog posts with outdated messaging. This goes for accompanying social media as well.

It’s worth keeping in mind that your social networking posts should all go towards your SEO by using proper keywords, so choose what networks you want to focus on and make them really work for you. Do quarterly updates of your SEO and target keywords in order to ensure you aren’t falling off the most relevant page rankings.

Ensure images are the heart of any SEO strategy

Optimising content for SEO is extremely important, but don’t underestimate the power of images. As we already know a good user experience is the key to ranking well, this means it’s important to ensure your various product pages aren’t slow-loading. Ensure all images are optimised and compressed before taking your site live, as this can significantly impact load times. Invest in a decent image gallery that contains high quality photos. Imagery is very important to visualise the items pre-purchase and helps to convert a user into a customer (and to lower your bounce rates).

Finally, optimising the size and format of the visuals on your website is essential in order to rank well in Google’s image search results, a great source for generating highly qualified shopping traffic.

Image: Shutterstock

Katja Brömel is head of content and SEO at Twenga, the audience acquisition specialist for retail and ecommerce leaders.

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