Preparing an Ecommerce Store for an Increased Christmas Rush

With the ongoing issues around Covid-19 hitting the high street, the online opportunity for the Christmas period for ecommerce stores is potentially even larger than in previous years. In this article, we will determine some of the core steps to take to improve ecommerce performance online, whether through SEO, PPC, social media or a combination of all three.

Build a strong foundation

A website should have a strong foundation to ensure both users and web crawlers can navigate efficiently. This will improve general health, load times, rankings and potential conversion rates.

To build a strong foundation, it's important to work with a specialist ecommerce SEO agency. This can be an effective way in determining the current pain points in user journeys, issues with crawling and crawl budgets, technical mark-up and overall site structure. From here, mapping out sitemaps, exit points and elements in need of optimisation will be clear and easy.

Key actions to note within the foundation of a website are:

  • URL and breadcrumb structure: both should match and follow a tiered structure out from the homepage. Ideally all products should be accessible within two steps.
  • 404 pages and redirect chains: Using the crawl budget of a website more effectively is done through ensuring there are no dead ends for crawlers or users. Removing redirects within the site (particularly anything located within menus) means quicker calls and routes to core products and categories.
  • Automation of supporting pages: Outside of a core product or category page, there’s a need to keep users engaged for areas with high exit rates. For example, if a specific pair of trainers has a higher exit rate than a number of counterparts, then automate related styles or colours to keep users on the page. But also be sure to build crawl relationships between the products. Grouping products with specific tags outside of categories and a great way to increase crawls within deeper pages of the website.

Build Trust with Users and Search Engines

Expertise, Authority and Trust are at the core of successful ecommerce SEO campaigns. Work systematically to build these core areas of your online profile will greatly improve the SEO performance of a website.

This includes:

  • Reviews: both reviews of products within product pages following purchases and third party reviews of your product which link back to your website. Hitlists for the latter can be built based on followers and the quality of a blog, and as a result can be shared through social channels as well.
  • Clear returns and delivery policies: Being open about delivery times, costs and protecting users through clear returns policies is essential to online success. In some cases, even having the policies written within every product page can be a benefit.
  • Expertise in your field: A section of a website highlighting expertise in a product field is also a great way to improve search visibility for specific areas. For example, a watchmaker with a section on the quality of the watches, the reasons behind choosing specific parts and the history of the company will benefit overall content and the internal link structure of the website.

Retarget users dynamically

Retargeting users is a great way to make the most of existing website traffic and should be considered a core part of any ecommerce SEO campaign.

Social channels can be used to target those in apps as well as online, with Google’s Display Network an option to push offers and insights to products across the web.

The value of retargeting in this scenario is that users can be offered sale prices or reduced prices AFTER they visit, which could incentivise a purchase in that may not have happened previously.

Beyond this, incentivisation through brand level retargeting – for USPs, product ranges etc. – is also a great option to drive re-engagement.

Core elements to look for in building retargeting are:

  • Messaging: what do you want to tell users to re-engage them, and does this differ now they’ve left the site?
  • Product and offers: is there are possibility to change pricing and adapt offers dependent on the product and how long it has been since a user visited?

Conclusion

Christmas 2020 is going to be a strange time, but for ecommerce business offers a lifeline an overall market that is fighting the impact of Covid-19.

 

Polaris is an award-winning SEO agency in London specialising B2B, PPC, e-commerce and the healthcare industry.

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