6 SEO Best Practices for Ecommerce

It is no longer a secret that the ecommerce business in the Arab world is growing significantly on a yearly basis. Recently, Payfort generated a detailed ecommerce report , stating that the number of online buyers in the region increased by 14% between 2014 and 2015. This growing opportunity is encouraging retailers to join the trend of selling their products online. As a web agency with an experience that made us to create a cost-effective ecommerce solution , we advise every retailer in the region to consider selling online.

Merchants are aware of this trend, so sooner or later the competition will grow further more. Therefore, shop owners would want to gain an advantage over the competition. In order to build a successful online store, an investment in marketing should be done, and more specifically, in search engine optimization (SEO). (Learn more about what is SEO ).

But what are the best SEO practices for ecommerce websites to succeed in selling online?

Designing a website focusing on user experience

Every once in a while, Google introduces a new algorithm update that makes website owners and SEO experts flip out. The ultimate purpose of these changes is to oblige web design and development companies to build websites that focus on user experience. You are probably asking yourself about the meaning of this. Well, briefly, it’s about developing an appealing, easy to use, engaging user interface that is adapted to different screens (desktop, mobile, tablet). In the digital industry, we call this responsive web design . Once an ecommerce website meets all these criteria, it would be easier for visitors to browse it, thus its chances to appear on search engines first results page increases.

Investing in keywords research

Keywords define the content of the website. They are what users search for on Google in order to find a product. Therefore, optimizing the website by inserting keywords in the content helps its ranking. But how to know what people are typing in the search bar? There are several tools that will help you find out, and the most used one is Google Keyword Planner . Spend some time researching and selecting a batch of highly searched keywords to include on your website.

Finding relevant backlinks

One of the most important SEO practices is having links on other websites that redirect to yours. This shows search engines how popular the website is which gives a boost in the ranking. There are several ways to have backlinks to your ecommerce site: enticing product reviews, giving interviews, finding broken links, and blogging.

Generating content constantly

If you have been curious about SEO before, then you have definitely heard of the expression “content is king”. This statement got familiar when Google started giving an important part to high-quality content. Following this, creating interesting content became indispensable for any website, as it has a big weight on search engines ranking. The best way to do so is by blogging which allows you to gain backlinks, educate your target market, and gather social media engagement.

Using social media

Almost everybody is on social media. According to the same Payfort report, between 85% and 90% of internet users in the region are present on the different social networks, especially Facebook. Even though Google+ is still far from competing with Facebook, being active on this platform can benefit your Google ranking. Until today, there are still many debates as if social activities are directly related to SEO or not. But one thing is sure, as long as your website is being popular on the different social networks, it must have, at least, an indirect impact on your ranking. To boost the social interactions, include social media sharing buttons on the products pages and blog articles of your website.

Adding rich snippets

Rich snippets are additional information published in the search results like the rating of a product, the reviews… etc. The rich snippets give more details about the ecommerce website which help internet users better understand what to expect. How do they affect SEO? Whether rich snippets affect SEO or not is still a debatable subject. However, they definitely do affect clicks to your website which implies to more visitors, showing that it is relevant to the search made on the Google. And that’s how it can help the ranking.

Applying these 6 SEO practices for your ecommerce website gets you closer to the top search results, thus to success. However, these are definitely not the only practices to do. To stand out of the competition, a continuous effort must be done. But don’t worry, all YOU need to do is delegate the work to an SEO company that will take care of these points and more.

Web 2.0 in eCommerce

There has never been a better time to start an online business! According to Jupiter Research, a market research firm, online retail spending in the United States will increase to a whopping $95 billion in 2006. In Europe things are getting even better! In next five years the number of online shoppers will increase 75 percent and per person average spending will increase 50 percent. This will push European eCommerce to $335 billion by 2011.

If you are planning to start a new online business or upgrade your existing eCommerce site, you should consider using some of the innovative ideas related to Web 2.0 concept. Three years ago if you would have searched the phrase “Web 2.0”, you probably would not have found any mention of this term on the Internet. Now, at the last count, Google showed close to 60 million results relevant to this search. Amazing! First time this term was coined by O’Reilly Media to vaguely define a concept of second generation websites which were emerging after the dot com crush. Since their first use of this phrase to promote conferences organized by O’Reilly Media and MediaLive International, the idea of Web 2.0 has become immensely popular in web development sector.

So, what is this Web 2.0 concept any way? There is no exact definition of Web 2.0 available today. If you run a search for a definition of this phrase the only quotation you will receive is from Wikipedia, which says, “Web 2.0 is a term often applied to a perceived ongoing transition of the World Wide Web from a collection of websites to a full-fledged computing platform serving web applications to end users. Ultimately Web 2.0 services are expected to replace desktop computing applications for many purposes.” Tell me if I am wrong, this definition does not give a slightest clue about what really is Web 2.0.

Tim O’Reilly himself explained the Web 2.0 phenomena in five pages of examples, abstract terminologies, sketches and jargon in a great article. Unfortunately, if you are not a very Internet-savvy person, you will have hard time understanding the concept clearly from this article. To make things worse if you read other articles on this subject you will be even more confused! The reason is simple! Being a new concept many ideas related to Web 2.0 are abstract and still forming. However, there are some fundamental principles and indicators of Web 2.0 ideology which are true for any Web 2.0 based sites even if it is an eCommerce one.

The problem with eCommerce is, although in last five years many changes, some are drastic, have taken place in philosophy, ideology and technology related to the Web, very few things have changed in eCommerce sites. Now, it all started to change! Even successful eCommerce sites are experimenting with new ideas born from Web 2.0 concept. The result is visible! A recent survey shows adoption of new interactive functionalities, innovative product catalog and better communication with users have increased online sales for 83 percent of respondents.

Earlier online merchants were not very keen to have customer interaction elements like product review and rating, online surveys, customer blogs, etc. fearing flames from unsatisfied customers. But a recent poll shows that this fear is unfounded. It seems that 9 percent shoppers polled wrote a product review on a store site about a product they liked against 4 percent who posted a review about a product they did not like. Same goes for surveys! There are 2.5 percent more chances that a satisfied customer will participate in a survey than an unsatisfied one.

Many eCommerce sites lose a large number of their prospective customers due to inadequate product information required to take an affirmative buying decision. Customer reviews and ratings can help merchants in this. More over a positive review works like a call for action for the people reading it.

Most professional classification systems used in eBusiness are pretty complicated for daily use. A good way to give users a better method of finding product is to incorporate user added keywords or “tags”. If a user likes a product and may buy it now, or may keep a reference of it for future use, she can add one or several informal keywords as tags and save. These tags are visible to others and can be displayed two ways: in tag clouds, where the most popular tags have bigger fonts and most recent tags, a list of newly added tags. The popularity of tags in numerous Web 2.0 sites proves viability of this device in eCommerce sites as well.

Elements like ability to do side-by-side comparison of several products, ability to customize products according to buyer’s need, and the ability to filter and search products without constant page reloading can increase conversion rate dramatically.

Many eCommerce sites have the functionality of sending email notification of new listings of products that a user is looking for. A good idea is to add RSS notification ability to enhance product information request service also.

A staggering 60 percent of online shoppers abandon their carts at some point in the buying process. The following site functionalities will help businesses to retain these shoppers:

o Shoppers should have the ability to see thumbnail pictures of the products inside the shopping cart.

o Editing and adding products to the shopping cart should be done automatically without reloading.

o Shoppers should be able to save shopping cart anytime and it should be saved automatically if connection fails.

o Shoppers should be able to drag and drop products to the cart and all calculation should be done automatically.

Many of the functionalities mentioned in this article were available long before Web 2.0 concept emerged and these are only a minuscule number of examples of abilities you can actually add to your Web 2.0 based eCommerce site, however, if you fail to notice the progress and take necessary actions, you maybe losing a great opportunity. Transformation in eCommerce sites is slow, but one thing is for sure, in coming years these sites will be noticeably different from what we have now.

Reach Organizational Goals Faster With Ecommerce Fulfillment

Ecommerce is a term used a lot on the internet. Commerce is synonymous with trade and once this is done on the internet it is called Ecommerce. Business depends entirely on buying and selling products of the Company and the easiest way to do it is on the internet as this cheap and convenient. This is helping a number of people these days and has benefited to a big amount. It is an amazing form of business and should be tried by every one. I have tried and it is great. I have had no complains ever. It is definitely going to get bigger in the future.

Today, customers can look for information on the internet and place their orders. The Company which satisfies their needs can ask the clients to place their order directly on the internet. This is known as Ecommerce Fulfillment. It can help a company with its efficiency and organizing. Also an Order Fulfillment Software will help a company keep track of all the orders going out. They need not interact with salesmen or any other person. There is very little chance of misunderstanding as the customer only reads the details and specifications and fills up the respective form and completes the transaction. They need to follow the instructions carefully as there are number if things that people just omit without realizing. Shipping cost Is one of them. Generally when you order something it always has a shipping cost. You need to make sure of the exact amount when your goods are delivered to your doorstep. It needs to be looked into.

Business has to be profitable for the Company and at the same time satisfy the client’s needs. Profit is the key word in any Business and this is possible only if costs are cut down. If the business is done on the internet the Company has a open market. There is no need for office space which cuts down cost tremendously. Once an Organization knows how to cut costs his profits increase and that makes business sense. There are number of things that need to be kept in mind and you should get professional help if required as it definitely helps with the administration.

eBay is example of one such marketing firm on the internet which follows Ecommerce Fulfillment to the fullest. Orders are placed by the customers directly to the Manufacturer. Ecommerce Fulfillment helps a company focus more on its own objectives rather than wasting its time in things that can be done by an Order Fulfillment Software. Hence there is no need of an intermediate middleman, dealer or an agent. This reduces cost and the profit is shared by the manufacturer and customer. This makes both the trading partners get a good deal. The customer is satisfied because he gets good products at a cheap price.

When we buy on the internet we should be careful because we are not able to actually see the product and feel it. When we buy anything from the shop we can physically see the product and look for any faults or changes that you would like to make. But internet buying has to be very specific and sometimes this can be very boring and tiresome. So, though Ecommerce Fulfillment is good for the manufacturer it can sometimes be a bane and not a boon for the Customer.