We’ve already shared a lot of basic SEO tactics in the past few articles that should be a part of any marketer’s vocabulary. I think it’s about time we get to advanced marketing strategy as well. If you still need some first-steps help, you can check out this article first.
Today, we’ll focus on those SEO tactics that go beneath the surface of just having a Google Friendly site. These are tactics that can help you outrank even the big giants of e-Commerce.
But to correctly understand and apply them, you need to realize that SEO is not a stand-alone element of your marketing strategy. It interconnects with every piece of content and action you take in the digital ecosystem.
In this article, I’ll point out to those elements and give you advice on how to apply them to your online Shop.
MIXING CUSTOMER SERVICE CONTENT WITH SEO
We all know that good customer service is something all online customers want and expect. All your site’s content will not substitute for what excellent customer service can bring to the table.
Marketing can answer some of your customers’ needs in terms of support.
Applying this aspect to your content creation will only enhance the value of the information you offer. Google is focusing on this as well. They even try to answer people’s questions directly in SERPs.
You can see it with the rich snippets that contain an answer to popular questions. Google takes this information from different sites that have the right content and structure.
You can improve your rankings on important Customer Service topics by including and answering these questions on your Product and Collection Pages. Consider collecting the most common and relevant questions from your audience.
Comment sections are a great idea to find out what’s on the minds of visitors. Also, consider repeating information. Even if you included the measurements of your product in your description, add the information again as the answer to “What is the product’s size?” question, or somewhere in the Sizes section.
The second way you can improve your SEO with these Customer Service aspects is to use them as secondary keywords for your product and collection pages. But optimizing for a whole question might be complicated. That’s why you can use Squirrly for this daunting task.
I took a random product from nordstrom.com and added it to the Squirrly App in order to optimize it. I considered the first keyword will be “stuffed toy” and added it in the Live Assistant – as you can see in the image below.
To add the second keyword, you’ll have to add in the Briefcase first.
In Squirrly, the Briefcase is the place where you add all the keywords you want your products to target. You can learn more about that feature in this article.
This way, the next time you’ll search for it, you’ll find it and click “Use Keyword” to add it as the second keyword of the article. To switch between keywords, you just have to click on them and the Live Assistant will show the task for that specific keyphrase.
So let’s see what tasks do I need to complete in this case. The first step is to have a longer description.
After I wrote another 100 words, here’s how the live assistant looks like:
Next, I have to bold one of the keywords in the text.
And it’s all done! The content is 100% optimized for the second keyword and 69% for the first. You can find the app on Product Hunt if you want to try it out for yourself.
INTEGRATING SOCIAL MEDIA INTO YOUR SITE
What most marketers think about when people mention integrating Social Media more into their sites is to add Follow and Share buttons. They might go as far as to add feeds of their profiles to the site.
But the real advantage of Social Media is the Social Proof it can offer your brand.
That’s why you need to focus on what other people are posting when mentioning your brand. Hashtags can provide great assistance when it comes to staying on top of all this. Encourage people to use the same one when showing off the products they bought from you.
Adidas has done this with their “SHARE HOW YOU WEAR IT” campaign on product pages. They included the Instagram images of different customers into the product page of each model.
You might wonder how does this translate into an SEO win. Well, there are a few different aspects which can be improved with this type of marketing strategy:
- Constant update of the page. As images of the product in use are always added online, the page is also updated, which is a big win from an SEO standpoint. It lets Google know that you keep working on improving the content on the page.
- Higher time on page. Anybody interested in the product will spend more time on it because the images from different customers offer specific information they need. They can see how the product looks like in use, which is very different from the marketing product images you normally find. Second, they see what people think about them in the description. And the more people they see posted this type of info, the more determined they will be it is a good option for them as well. Looking over all this information is something that Google translates as you having great content on the page.
- Backlinks to your product pages. According to Ahrefs information, the profile of Adidas’ “Stan Smith Shoe” page started getting lots of backlinks after they put the “SHARE HOW YOU WEAR IT” section on the page. Now we know the shoe is very popular, but I’d like to speculate and consider the shares of the people whose looks were integrated on the page. Wouldn’t you tell all your Facebook friends that your Instagram photo got featured on the Adidas website?
All these aspects help your SEO ranking on Google, but social proof content can also help your marketing strategy through the conversions it will bring. People are more likely to buy when they see others who have tried or even liked the product.
There are a few ideas you can put in place to make the same strategy work for your e-commerce site as well.
First, choose a hashtag for your brand or campaign. It can be something as easy as the name of your brand or something very specific to this campaign. Make it visible on the site and let visitors and most important customers know they could share images using that particular hashtag.
Second, it might help if you track that hashtag on all the Social Platforms. Tagboard can help you with this task. On Twitter, for example, you can use the Tweetdeck and focus on your hashtag in different columns, so you always know when something new is posted.
Third, consider curating or at least checking the content. You never know when someone misspells a hashtag or posts something negative or offensive. Make sure that content doesn’t show up on your own site.
You can also encourage customers to post these types of social reviews for a discount on their next order. That way, you get a double benefit. People share their opinion of the product, and the initial customers are getting closer to becoming repeat buyers.
Also, make sure to respond to Social media posts so that your fans keep on promoting the brand.
EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS THAT ENHANCE YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY
Yes, creating educational material isn’t something out of the ordinary, but making sure they are easily accessible across your site is. Answering the right questions your potential customer have is also important. Most e-commerce sites choose to use microsites or guides for this.
Microsites are focused on a specific topic or problem. Compared to a product page that addresses the customer at the last stage of the journey, these microsites are created for earlier stage customers.
One great example is how Home Depot is accomplishing this. They focused their entire microsite on DIY projects that house owners are searching for. It’s just the first step in guiding them to the right products they need.
These types of useful materials are well-received by the audience and usually get lots of social media shares. It’s a great way to take advantage of the fact that there will always be more people at the top of the funnel than at the bottom.
Even if not all visitors will buy, they can all read, share and recommend your content.
Today, in-home renovation is all about the DIY, in fashion is all about how to dress, but in your industry, the focus might be on something different.
Most resources in these microsites don’t only get shares but they also get backlinks. For example, Amazon’s AWS Microsite has over 32.7M backlinks. That’s because:
- They focus on all the top trends and categories connected to their industry. That means that most common topics of discussion are connected to what they offer.
- They offer the resources in all types of content. From articles to whitepapers, webinars, discussion forums, and YouTube videos.
- They focus on in-depth materials and details. Their long-form guides that focus on answering most common questions are evergreen content. That means they are easily quotable, and referenced time and time again on other sites.
Guides, on the other hand, can be posted anywhere on a site. Unlike microsites, they can take several forms. You can find them in the blog section of the site or on any category page. But they too guide the user through multiple stages in the buying journey.
Nordstrom’s Find Your Fit content for men is a great example. They offer videos, clear images and explanations so that each man can find the best-fitted suits or shirts.
If you want to apply these tactics yourself, start by using:
Get a long list of possible queries and questions that people search for. Go through them and identify specific use cases or attributes that people are searching for in connection with your products.
After, evaluate them based on their metrics. Then map the keywords you want to focus on in the stages of your user’s Journey. If you’ve researched your keywords with Squirrly, you can use a specific label for each stage and keep them all organized in Briefcase.
The stages that any customer Journey includes are:
- Problem awareness
- Solution awareness
- Solution comparison
- After sales
You can focus on different keywords for each stage by establishing their intent and how close they are to purchase. After that, you’ll have to address each one with a specific piece of content. Make sure the guides link back to your product and category pages.
STAYING AHEAD OF THE COMPETITION
If you want your marketing strategy to bring in the big wins, then you have to invest in knowing what the right keywords are, optimizing for them and connecting it all together with your Social Profiles.
To stay ahead in the game, you need to find your own specific terms and choose the appropriate strategies to fuel your growth. This article presents some advanced strategies that will build up your SEO but that will have other marketing benefits as well.
Keep in mind that you are not alone in the struggle and, as I’ve mentioned above, there are several tools that can help you. You just have to give them a try.