Monday, May 25, 2020

How to secure & optimize your eCommerce site to rank on the first page of organic search results

Are you looking for ways to optimise your eCommerce site for organic search?

Let’s be honest - ranking your online shopping store on the first page of Google's organic search results is key to long term success. 

Getting organic traffic to your site is not that easy. But once you get it, it will give you plenty of benefits. At times, the success and failure of a business are even determined by the site’s SEO performance.

Shoppers these days do not buy a product without conducting an online search. Forrester Consulting estimates that 71% of shoppers’ shopping journey begins by using a search engine to find out new products and services. And 74% of shoppers utilise a search engine to research, compare, purchase, and transaction purposes.

By ranking high in search engines, you can gain instant visibility and additional traffic. Research has found that 39.34% of traffic and clicks go to the first three positions in Google. 

And that is not all! Organic traffic from search engines fetches the highest revenue at 38%, beating all other digital marketing channels.

So, to help you optimise your eCommerce site for organic search, here are some essential steps you can follow.

Optimise your keywords

One of the obvious ways to allow your customers to find your eCommerce store through
organic search is to create the right keywords on your pages and blog posts. It will ensure that
your site ranks high in SERPs.

Make sure that your keywords are relevant. Also, consider, search volume, and ranking difficulty.

Understanding your buyer’s persona, interests, and pain points in relation to your products can help you come up with relevant keywords.

And why not visit niche forums and observe what topics are discussed among your possible buyers and how they talk about it?

eCommerce stores also use long-tail keywords for category, subcategory, and product pages. Though they might not earn much traffic as unique searches, the aggregate of these small unique searches across your whole eCommerce store will add up.

Remember, studies have shown that long-tail keywords convert at 36% on average.

Create unique product descriptions

Ever since Google released its Panda algorithm to promote relevant, high-quality, and unique
content, it has become the primary concern of many website owners. Google penalises duplicate content scraped from other pages.

To boost organic search traffic, find out content on your product pages that have duplicated copy and rewrite them.

And if your descriptions are well-written, Google might show your product for relevant searches.

Knowing your audiences’ persona, focusing on the benefits of the products, telling a story, using natural language & tone, using power words that sell are some of the tips to follow while creating your content.

For instance, in the example below, an apparent description of the Himalayan Salt Lamp product is given.

Image Source: Referral Candy

Serve your pages using HTTPS & configure your HTTP security headers

In one survey, it was found that 91% of browsers have come across a security alert. And when they see these security alerts, 43.5% of browsers abandon the site.

Installing an SSL certificate can help solve this issue. Not only does an SSL certificate provide encryption, but it gains customer’s trust by displaying a secured padlock, an HTTPS-enabled browser, and a trust seal.

For eCommerce sites, an EV SSL certificate is a software security best-practice. An EV SSL certificate can provide a superior level of assurance for your clients as it displays your verified company name and details in all major browsers once you click on a padlock in a browser. It indicates the customers that it is secure to carry out transactions on your site.

But that's not enough, because hackers can still attack your eCommerce site even if it serves all pages over HTTPS. You should ensure that HTTP security headers are properly configured - you can check them on this free HTTP header and ecommerce vulnerability scanning tool.

If your store does over $100k in annual revenue then you should seriously consider investing in eCommerce penetration testing services too. This will help you be certain that you don't suffer the cyber security fate of this eCommerce giant

Boost your site speed

In July 2018, Google announced that page speed will be a ranking factor in Google’s mobile search results. Moreover, your site’s speed can impact the user experience.

In one survey, 70% of shoppers said that site speed impacts their buying decisions. And the one-second delay in loading a page can lead to a 7% drop in conversions. 

On average, a page should not take more than four seconds to load. The faster, the better.

Moreover, it’s essential that you monitor the bounce rate, loading time, and time on the website to determine the health of your site speed.  

Following SEO best practices like enabling compression, minifying CSS, JavaScript, and HTML, reducing redirects, improving server response time, and optimising images are some ways to increase your site speed.

Optimise your eCommerce site for viewing on mobile devices

Statista reports that 52.2% of the traffic was from the mobile phone in 2019. 

Image Source: Broadband Search

A mobile-friendly site will show up higher in search results and visitors are five times more likely to abandon your site if it is not mobile-friendly.

Here are some of the essential things you can do to optimise your ecommerce store for mobile:
  • Test your site for responsiveness using Google’s mobile-friendly tool
  • Use responsive themes
  • Choose a reliable host
  • Improve your site’s loading speed
  • Redesign your pop-ups for mobile devices
  • Enable Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

Present user reviews for every product

More than 90% of buyers read online reviews before making a purchase decision. Asking your customers to leave product reviews on your site is thus a great idea.

Source: G2 Crowd

Customers are looking to engage with reviews. Moreover, it is a great way to gather free, unique content without doing extra work. 

Just ensure to get as many reviews as possible from verified buyers. It is said that buyers are more likely to buy a product after reading verified buyer reviews over unidentified reviews. 

And don’t worry too much about some negative reviews as it also shows that your site is genuine in displaying real reviews. This helps build credibility for your eCommerce store in users' minds.

Before you begin optimising your eCommerce store to rank higher on Google search results...

...Note that implementing only one or two strategies is not going to yield positive results. You will have to experiment and see what works best for your site, but be consistent in your efforts.

Focus on providing a good user experience because this, when allied with optimising your keywords, will give you the fastest and most sustained long term results.

You can also start a blog or do guest blogging to increase organic traffic. But if you are doing that, ensure that you are coming up with superior quality content that will inform and engage your readers. Otherwise, it will be just a waste of your time and resources.

If you need help with cyber security aspects of your ecommerce store, reach out to our friendly team who also speak your language.

SaaS Brief