If you’re selling in sports and fitness, the craze around Peloton has probably made your jaw drop at least once over the past few years.
Whether it was over their controversial holiday ad or the dedication of their raving fan base, there’s one thing every fitness business has to admit: Peloton is winning, and they have the numbers to prove it.
Ranking 176 in the world for Sports, with 2.9 million visitors per month and over $700 million revenue earned in 2019 — Peloton has become the brand to beat.
Here at Bliss Drive we’re known for reverse-engineering the best strategies for our clients. For the first time ever, we’re going to invite you in on a part of that process.
Today we’re diving deep into what’s really working for Sports and Fitness industry businesses like Peloton.
Peloton was founded in 2012 when founder John Foley had an idea, “What if studio fitness could happen in the home?”
Fed up with the struggle to balance fitness classes with busy work and family life, John and his team of co-founders departed on a journey that would change millions of lives. They brought hardware, software, world-class instruction, and content together into one machine & app combo. Seven years later, they hit a $700 million dollar year with an IPO valuation at $8.1 billion.
Talk about proof of concept.
So, there’s no wonder why any business providing sports and fitness equipment or tech would want to take a page out of Peloton’s book.
Summary of Strategy
While it seems like Peloton is everywhere these days, it appears there are 3 critical pieces to their marketing & brand explosion.
1. Viral Campaigns
2. Public Relations
3. Last but certainly not least, SEO
Like most modern companies, Peloton is all about using brand awareness to drive prospective clients back to their website. The majority of their traffic is either direct or from search, but they do use PPC in some situations to beef up the volume.
But how exactly do they split those marketing dollars up to be so effective?
That’s what we’re going to find out.
Peloton’s Traffic Profile
The majority of Peloton’s traffic comes from search and direct traffic, with some PPC to boot, but don’t let the small number of referrals, social, and direct fool you. It all works together, starting with brand recognition.
The reason we said that is because the majority of their traffic being direct means a couple of things:
1. Their name recognition is huge. People know their website’s URL.
2. Their users are probably logging in through their website (which we did confirm is true in this case).
With that being said, their brand awareness strategy had to be strong and intentional to build this kind of activity on their site, even if the referral numbers are low currently. It just means they’ve been consistent enough to over the years to compound into a larger brand profile.
Their backlink profile proves this without a shadow of a doubt at 172,000 backlinks pointing back to their domain (with over 130k Dofollow links in that batch):
Not to mention the fact that their top keywords are branded:
Peloton was obviously very purposeful about making sure their name was known, and remembered.
So, how do we repeat the results?
Referral & Backlink Strategy
You may have heard that the best way to remember a new associate’s name is to say it, right? Well the advice works both ways. If you want other people to remember your name (or your brand in this case), make sure they’re talking about it.
Peloton holds no punches in implementing this for their own moniker:
The #1 word in Peloton’s playbook is RELEVANCE. Meaning, as long as people are talking about them, the sky’s the limit.
Take a look at how they do it:
Anyone who knows Peloton knows they’re all about community building and influencer marketing, so it’s no surprise when mentions like these show up in their referrals.
You’ll see everything from donating to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in a time of social crisis, to running a giveaway contest, to flat out offering a 90-day free trial during a pandemic when people need home-based fitness relief. The key takeaway here is that Peloton gets noticed by showing up in conversations that are already relevant to their user base.
They understand that even if they’re not the focal point of every conversation, you can only hear “Peloton” so many times before hopping on Google to see what they’re about.
This makes it easy for them to garner a wide-netted backlink profile from all types of outlets and referral sources. It also helps them build a social responsibility profile that creates loyalty in their customer base who shop based on values. So not only are they getting attention and mentions, but they’re also getting loyal fans in the process.
Top Performing Blog Posts
Though Peloton may pay special attention to current events, influencers and community building, they still stay true to form when it comes to their promise to deliver a great instructional experience for their users.
The content that gets the highest engagement for them is in the “How-To Article” base, with reviews following closely behind.
And we’re guessing most of those reviews are based on YouTube, from this chart of some of their top referral sources.
So, so far we have a few nuggets from Peloton’s organic approach to traffic and relevance.
Here are the keys in a nutshell:
– Make sure people are talking about you (even if the focal point of the conversation is actually something else) – Influencer marketing, community building, and news jacking are highly effective at generating backlinks and brand awareness
But what about their paid strategy?
How Peloton Uses Paid Ads
Take a look at some of Peloton’s highest performing ads:
Notice a trend? We noticed a few.
The first of which being that every single ad’s primary keywords are related to Pelothon 2020 – Peloton’s annual competition. That’s the most consistent piece.
With such a large organic profile getting attention to their general brand, it makes sense that Peloton puts a smaller marketing budget toward specific events and causes. This smaller emphasis doesn’t equate to an afterthought level of effort, though. These ads demonstrate intelligent testing for maximum performance.
Points that they’re testing in each ad are the need to know details, as in start date, length of the competition, how many teams, and in the first ad they also tested announcing the deadline to join.
Peloton also consistently pushes the message that impact and community matters. Case in point, the ads with the highest traffic also includes a mention of their Corporate Responsibility campaign for hunger relief.
Companies that are socially responsible are proven to attract a bigger audience that raises their bottom line. So it’s no surprise that when running ads to cold traffic, Peloton puts their hunger relief program front-and-center. It’s not just a great cause. I’s also a great selling point.
With that being said, they still speak to user-specific benefits with “pick your team, earn badges, and make an impact”. Each of those points in the ad copy speaks to a specific desire Peloton users have.
“Pick your team” is the open door to community and accountability that many people exercising from home find themselves missing.
“Earn a badge” offers a sense of reward and accomplishment that people yearn to feel when working hard at something. It also adds a competitive edge for those who thrive in competition.
“Make an impact” speaks to being involved in helping others (with the hunger relief program). What makes it even more compelling is that busy Peloton users can make that impact from the comfort of their own home while working on their own health and wellness.
All of that in just 47 characters. It’s impressive.
With everything we know now about how Peloton generate attention and traffic, it only make sense to know what they’re doing with that traffic to seal the deal and expand their user base.
Landing Page Strategy
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much Peloton can get people talking if they can’t close the deal. Traffic means nothing without conversions.
Luckily, we learned that Peloton is hiding some craft tricks up their sleeves to get people to make a relatively high purchase.
Ultimately, their landing page strategy is about one thing, lowering the barrier to entry.
They know that once users give it a shot they’ll be hooked on the superior (and addicting) experience that the Peloton bike gives them. So all Peloton has to do is get their foot in the door, and trust the users to do the rest.
To demonstrate this, let’s check out a couple of their landing pages.
Their top landing page is onepeloton.com/bike, which lands you here:
Right away you see an engaging video showcasing their revolutionary product, with copy that addresses the #1 question most fitness customers have, “is this something I can stick with?”
They’re also transparent and accessible, putting the price right there in the top menu and a chatbot in the bottom right corner.
But that price is no small feat. Over $2,000? Yikes!
Not to worry, the landing page is equipped to handle this objection quickly. If the users scrolls down, they get the instant relief of being offered a free trial.
Peloton might be expensive, but they lower the barrier to entry on the front end. Between the 30-day free trial, financing and payment plans, it gives prospective buyers an opportunity to see if it’s really worth coughing up the dough – which is something the consumer base really appreciates at this price point.
We can assume that by the time they hit this page, they’ve probably heard brand mentions of Peloton several times over. Perhaps their friends have one, or they’ve seen influencers talk about it, or both. They’ve heard about the community, the engagement, and how great the experience is.
So when they get to the page and have the sticker shock connected to that price point, they’re going to resist that sticker shock because they don’t want to miss out on:
a) A community experience they keep hearing so many great things about and b) A convenient home solution for fitness that could be the answer to all of their problems right now
Buyers’ psychology is complicated. Your buyers won’t have a black & white, “in or out” mentality when making large or long-term purchase decisions. Peloton has mastered navigating this with a big brand awareness buildup, and low barrier to entry on getting started. This helps balance out the buyer’s perspective when confronted with what might be a very intimidating price point for them.
In fact, another one of their top-performing landing pages is fully dedicated to another kind of trial:
The difference about this trial is that it’s not for the app. It’s a paid trial for the bike itself.
And they even address the prospects’ price objection head on with a quote from a user:
This is all before it rounds off with a CTA to enter your email to learn more about the Home Trial for the bike itself, and a full FAQ list for anyone who wants their questions answered now.
So we can confirm, Peloton’s marketing strategy isn’t all talk and buzz. They round off the buyer’s journey with a surprisingly easy transition from prospect to customer with their trial offers.
Key Takeaways (And How To Apply Them)
There are a few key takeaways to note here.
One overarching that we have from watching Peloton is that they have well-defined brand messaging that’s consistent across the board. Whether it’s through their ads, landing pages, SEO content, or influencer marketing campaigns, Peloton makes sure their brand is consistent regardless of the platform.
Peloton also hasn’t been consistent with just anything. They’ve drilled down what’s important to their user base and been consistent about those things.
From the social responsibility and community building angles, to an engaging and convenient workout experience, Peloton taps into the heart of their user base and gets involved in what’s important to them.
This driver behind their brand awareness campaigns made it possible for them to become a household name. It wasn’t just about being everywhere, it was about being everywhere that’s relevant to the people that matter to them.
The final takeaway is to lower the barrier of entry. This is especially important if you have a business model that’s designed to bring people back for more.
How much does it matter if they get 30 days for free, if you’re confident they’ll love it and stay for 1+ years after the fact? Peloton can rest assured with this business model considering you pay for the bike and monthly for the community membership.
And like the testimonial (and many Peloton users) say, “I don’t regret a thing. Take the shot…you’ll love it.”
In a Nutshell: 1. Get people talking about your brand across all platforms 2. Stay relevant and aligned with what’s important to your prospective buyers 3. Lower the barrier of entry. Make it as easy as possible for them to say “yes”.
So How Can You Apply This?
Drill down exactly what your user base cares about. Where are they hanging out? What outlets and blogs are they reading? what YouTube channels are they watching? Where do they want the companies they care about to get involved?
Take action and get vigilant about building a backlink profile in these areas, focused on the core topics that matter.
If your product is high-priced, make sure you have a low barrier to entry for them to check it out. Even if you rebrand your no-questions-asked refund policy as a “Home Trial” – it’ll take you a long way.
Need Some Personal Insight?
If you’re struggling to figure out exactly how to tailor what we’ve covered here to your brand, do not hesitate to reach out to us. We’ll start with an audit of where you’re at, determine where you want to go, and develop a roadmap to get you there.
Search engine optimization is a vital process that helps your business stand out in this increasingly cutthroat digital world. However, doing SEO for eCommerce is an extensive task, one that you have to deal with on top of the daily ins and outs of running your store itself.
By leveraging the expertise of an excellent eCommerce SEO company, you can hit the ground running with a solid strategy and pass the bulk of the legwork on to someone else. There’s no way around it—outsourcing your SEO services will save you energy, time, and money in the long run.
Before making that leap, it’s important to have an understanding of what SEO entails. This ultimate guide to SEO for eCommerce was written with the hands-on business owner in mind. Hiring an SEO company is an investment, so it will benefit you to know exactly where your money is going.
So, let’s get started!
What Is eCommerce SEO?
eCommerce SEO is the method of making your website rank on top of the search engine results pages (SERPs), particularly Google, the most-used search engine worldwide. With time, the best practices from your search engine optimization efforts will help your business gain more visibility on SERPs and entice your target market to click on your web pages, thereby boosting your web traffic, and most importantly, increasing your conversion.
In general, there are four parts of SEO:
On-page SEO is the method of optimizing your individual website pages so that each page will rank higher in the search results for your target audience.
This method includes adding keywords for the search queries you want to rank for to the page’s HTML source code and content, such as:
The title tag
The meta description
The written content
The image’s alternative text
On the other hand, off-page SEO refers to all the methods that you perform outside your website to help it rank well in the search results. Often, website owners like yourself think of off-page SEO as building links, but it’s actually much more than that.
Other than link building, the method also includes social media marketing, guest blogging, influencer marketing, and the like.
Technical SEO involves all the server and technical website optimizations to help the search engines “spiders” crawl and index your web pages, thereby improving your organic ranking more effectively.
The process usually includes the following:
Ensuring that your website or online store can securely receive credit card payments
Making your site mobile-friendly
Boosting the load speed of each web page
Removing duplicate content
Creating a sitemap to help the search engines understand your eCommerce website better
Adding structured data
Using analytics tools
Fixing technical issues in your site.
Local SEO efforts are only applicable to eCommerce businesses that also have physical stores. This approach will help solidify your reputation as a leading company in your area. With local SEO, you can gain more foot traffic in your brick-and-mortar store as well as increase your web traffic on your website.
Best local SEO practices involve strategies such as:
Claiming a business listing
Submitting your business NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) to local directories online
Including other relevant information for local customers
Ensuring that your physical location appears in local searches
Managing online reviews for your physical store
Curating a local-centric engagement on social media
Successful local SEO efforts appear on top of Google’s featured results, and normally look like this:
Is SEO Important for eCommerce?
The answer is a resounding YES.
SEO for eCommerce is one of the most important strategies you must invest in if you want your business to gain awareness and traction online.
Besides that, here are four top-most reasons why SEO is important for eCommerce websites:
SEO Boosts Your SERP Rankings
Search engine results pages are the most competitive areas on the Internet.
With thousands of web pages targeting similar search terms as you are, it’s crucial that you have a well-planned strategy to beat out your competitors. A strong SEO strategy presents optimized content to the search engine “spiders”. These spiders crawl, index, and rank your pages so they come out on top of your target audience’s search results.
This is where SEO proves vital to eCommerce sites—if your web pages are not ranking well, you are losing half the battle of selling your items online.
Click-through rate (CTR) is the percentage of clicks you get from your target audience upon seeing your web pages in the search results.
Your CTR is primarily based on your SERP ranking, but there are other factors that also go into play. Some of these include a catchy title tag, compelling meta description, and rich snippets—which are all improved by SEO. Typically, search engines like Google only show the top 10 search results for a query on page 1 of the SERPs. With this in mind, research shows that the first five organic SERP results account for over 60% of all the clicks on Google. This means that buyers aren’t likely to look at page 2 of the search engine results, putting you at a disadvantage if you’re not on the first page.
SEO Generates Web Traffic
Web traffic refers to the number of website visitors or customers who click on your site. Traffic is normally measured in “sessions,” and it is often the metric used to tell how effective you are with attracting an audience to your online store.
Basically, the higher you rank on the search results, and the more compelling your title tags and meta descriptions are, the more clicks you get on your website. This leads to more web traffic and thus more awareness raised for your brand.
SEO Improves Your Shop’s Conversion
We both know that ranking well on the search results means nothing if you are not converting well or making more sales.
CRO, therefore, refers to the process of fixing up your website to promote conversion. This has more to do with designing and formatting for appeal, rather than ranking on search results.
Still, SEO can further improve the conversion rate of your website by optimizing your web page to ensure your site visitors are in the right place. This is specifically evident in your title tags and headings, site structure, clearly defined products, and compelling calls-to-action.
Speaking of formatting for appeal, SEO can also improve user experience in your online shop. SEO can ensure that your web pages are loading fast enough for customers to keep engaging. It’s also about making your website mobile-responsive, so your audience can browse and shop from your online store no matter what device they are using.
Digital buyers are predicted to grow up to 2.14 billion by 2021. This data prediction from Statista.com was made pre-pandemic, and that number is expected to grow even bigger.
People are now purchasing more and more products online as restrictions on physical stores remain stringent around the world. No wonder Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, is set to become a trillionaire by 2026.
By now, you know e-commerce SEO is necessary for your online business to survive and thrive in this digitally-driven world.
Here are 8 actionable steps with the best practices of SEO for eCommerce!
1. Perform Keyword Research
Your homepage is the most important web page on your eCommerce website, followed by your category pages. So, choosing the right keywords for these pages is critical. When finding the right search terms to target in your homepage and category pages, you have to consider the relevancy of these terms to your niche, their search volume, and their ranking difficulty.
Think of keywords as the building blocks of SEO—without knowing the right keywords to target, your optimization efforts will be in vain. So, here’s how you do keyword research for your eCommerce store:
Find the Target Keywords for Your Homepage and Category Pages
Your search terms must:
Have a highly level of relevancy to the products that you sell or to your brand in general
Have medium to high search volume, so you’re certain that people are looking for this information
Have relatively less ranking difficulty or competition, so you can achieve high rankings more easily
You can do this by using free online keyword research tools such as Ubersuggest.
Let’s say you have an eCommerce store selling laptop accessories. Your keyword research will look like this:
The search term “laptop accessories” has a significant search volume and relatively low competition: the search difficulty (SD) is at 50 but the paid difficulty (PD) is high at 100.
Nevertheless, this keyphrase is good to target for organic search ranking and is a good keyword for your homepage.
The next suggested keywords such as “laptop accessories for gaming” can be used for your category pages because they also have a good amount of search volume and low competition.
Find the Target Keywords for Your Product Pages
While your homepage and category pages can target broader keywords under your niche, your product pages must target highly-specific search terms.
You can start finding product-focused keywords for your online store by leveraging Amazon Suggest. Yep, Amazon might be one of your competitors, but there’s no denying that it is currently the leading eCommerce site, especially in the United States. So, treat it as a rich product-specific keyword goldmine!
Let’s use the same example of the online shop for laptop accessories. Go to Amazon and type in the keyword for one of your products. In this example, let’s find keywords targeting accessories for a MacBook.
Now, notice that the suggested keywords from Amazon are highly-targeted search terms with multiple words, also known as long-tail keywords.
Also, notice that Amazon Suggest will sometimes show you keywords that can be great for your category pages. Take a look at this:
Another free keyword research tool is the Keyword Tool Dominator (KTD). You can use this to scrape search terms from other massive eCommerce sites worldwide. Here’s how it works.
First, select the eCommerce site or search engine that you want to mine for the best product keywords:
Then, type in one of your product keywords into the tool and it will show you plenty of search term suggestions from your chosen eCommerce site or search engine:
So, if you want to easily find more long-tail and product-specific keywords from Amazon or from other massive eCommerce sites out there, use the KTD.
There are also plenty of keyword research tools that you can use to get more highly-targeted search terms for your online store. We’ll discuss these later!
Find Long-Tail Keywords for Your Blog
Some search terms might not have a place on your main web pages, but you can use your blog to help you rank for popular keywords or long-tail keywords that your target market uses.
But what exactly are long-tail keywords? These are unique and highly-specific search terms that your potential customers use to find information and products online. From the word “long”, you can expect these terms to consist of more than one word.
These keywords are often interrogative sentences or actual questions typed in by your target market in the search engines. You can find them by mining the data from Google’s “People Also Ask” section:
Or use data from Answer the Public:
Don’t Forget the LSI Keywords
Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords are terms and phrases that are closely related to your target keyword.
For example, if you are optimizing for the primary keyword “smart camera” for your category page, the search terms closely related to this main keyword are:
Outdoor security camera
Indoor wireless camera
So, here’s how you find LSI keywords for e-commerce SEO:
First, you can search from Amazon again or from any competitor site that outranks you, and eyeball some semantic keywords that appear several times and prominently on the page.
And once you’ve gathered your LSI keywords, make sure to sprinkle them into your content—both in category and product pages.
Research Your Top Competitor’s Keywords
If you have big competitors that rank better than you on the search results pages, you can use their websites to be your keyword goldmine—just like how you do it with eyeballing Amazon keywords.
But there’s another technique you can use to research your top competitor’s keywords.
First, enter your target keyword into Google search:
You will see your top competitors’ search results. Choose one:
Then, scan the site’s category pages and product pages for keywords:
Now, remember that when you’re researching your top competitor’s keywords, make sure that you do not blindly copy or use all the keywords that they are using! Just because they rank better than you, it does not mean that they have the best keywords.
There are other factors to consider, such as their domain authority (DA). Domain authority is a ranking score that suggests how well a website can rank on the SERPs.
Your competitor’s site may not have the best keywords, but they may have a high DA due to other factors, so it’s best to take their keywords with a grain of salt.
At the end of the day, it’s much more important to perform the best practices when researching the right keywords to target. Here are some of the best practices for choosing the right target keyword:
Evaluate the Search Volume
You must choose keywords that your target market is actually searching for. If no one searches for a keyword, no matter how logical it may seem to use, you can’t expect any conversion from such a search term.
Over time, you will get an idea of what a low search volume and a high search volume looks like for your niche. To see the search volume for a specific search term, just enter it into a free keyword research tool such as Keyword Surfer and specify the region you are targeting:
Basically, you would want to choose a keyword that has a high search volume since it suggests that plenty of your potential customers are using that particular search term.
Pick the Right Secondary Keywords
You can’t exhaust your main keyword in your web page’s content. In fact, the ideal usage of the primary keyword on a page is within three to five times. So, you will need secondary keywords to sprinkle within your content.
Besides finding long-tail and LSI keywords, you can also use the features from keyword research tools to get your secondary keywords.
This is where you can find them in Ubersuggest:
And this is where you can find them using Keyword Surfer—with data on how similar the search terms are to your main keyword:
Choose Keywords With Low Competition
If you target highly-competitive keywords, it will take you such a long time to rank high—and that’s if you’ll rank high with competitive search terms.
This is why we recommend that you choose keywords with low to medium competition or a relatively low SEO difficulty rate.
This is where you can find the competition metric in Google Keyword Planner:
And this is where you can find the SEO difficulty metric in Ubersuggest:
To recap the best practices of choosing the right keywords to target:
Make sure that the keywords you choose have significant search volume from the specific region that you are targeting.
Pick the highly-related keywords to your main search term.
Choose the keywords with relatively low to medium competition or low search difficulty.
Keyword Research Tools You Can Use
Before we move on, let’s talk about the top keyword research tools you can use to find the right keywords for your website.
This list is in no particular order and it includes the free keyword research tools previously mentioned in this article as well as some new ones!
After doing keyword research for your store, you can start planning web pages to build around those keywords. This brings us to the next step in SEO for eCommerce…
2. Plan Your eCommerce Site Architecture
A site’s architecture plays a vital role for all websites, especially in an eCommerce site. The structure of your online store will determine how well the search engines can crawl and index your web pages.
Plus, your site architecture will also define your user experience, which can significantly impact your ranking on search results!
An eCommerce website is likely to have way more pages than a typical blog, pizza shop, or legal service site. Thus, it’s critical that the website architecture of your online store makes it easy for customers and search engine “spiders” to find their way around your website.
When planning your eCommerce site architecture, there are two principles that you should follow:
Make sure to keep things simple and scalable
Ensure that every web page is within three clicks from your homepage
To illustrate, here’s an example of a badly-structured eCommerce site:
Here are three key reasons why this site architecture sample is wrong on many levels:
The site structure is not simple. It’s hard to understand which web page goes to which web page.
The site is not scalable. When there’s a need to add a new category, you will find it difficult to create a new layer without having to reorganize the existing categories.
It utilizes “deep” site architecture. Some of the product pages take more than three clicks away from the homepage. This dilutes the authority of the backlinks (also known as referral links) that point to your homepage.
TAKE NOTE! If you think that your eCommerce store has a messy site architecture, don’t move web pages around by yourself. Instead, consult eCommerce SEO experts so that you can get popular existing pages redirected to highly-optimized new web pages on your website.
On the other hand, here’s an example of a well-implemented eCommerce site architecture:
This well-optimized site architecture will now concentrate the link authority to the store’s category and product pages, thereby helping these web pages rank high in the search results.
Plus, this kind of structure makes it easier for the search engine “spiders” to crawl and index your eCommerce website.
Most importantly, a well-optimized online shop is not only great for the search engines but also for your website visitors and customers—a simple and “shallow” site architecture makes it easy for buyers to browse and find the products they want to buy.
That said, let’s take a look at a live eCommerce website with an excellent site structure, thedogline.com.au:
Let’s say you’re looking for tools to help you train your dog during home-quarantine. You’d click on the category tab “Dog Training Collars,” which will bring you here:
Then click on the sub-category page “Clickers and Reward Trainers,” which leads here:
Finally, you get a list of the products on that sub-category page:
3. Perform On-Page Optimization
Once you have chosen your best keywords and your site architecture is well-implemented, it’s time to optimize the category and product pages of your eCommerce website. These two types of web pages will generate the most traffic and conversion, so make sure to make them your top priority when doing on-page optimization.
Here are the best practices you can emulate when doing on-page SEO for eCommerce:
Identify Your Website’s Current Problems
Conducting a website and SEO audit can pay dividends—this makes the process of fixing the problems in your eCommerce site a lot faster and easier.
This way, you can also focus on finding site errors quickly and determine your website speed.
Screaming Frog is a free tool that can help you find website errors easily. It can provide you with comprehensive data of web page errors, missing header tags, redirects, missing meta tags, duplicate pages, and a lot more.
Indeed, the tool will help you improve your user experience and SEO in much less time.
Give Your Web Page URLs a Lot of Thought
Ideally, the URLs of your web pages should be keyword-rich and short.One study suggests that the shorter and keyword-targeted the URL is, the higher the web page ranks on the search results.
Here’s an example of an unnecessarily lengthy URL for an eCommerce product page:
See how long the URL is? Plus, it contains unnecessary stuff such as “B07YBHZ8T” which might be the product code as well as keywords such as “detection two-way” which could have just been used a few times in the product page’s content.
Now, here’s an example of a well-structured eCommerce web page URL:
Your keywords should also be naturally seen in your title tag, meta description, headings, subheadings, and image alt texts.
Take note that we said “naturally” because you don’t want to stuff your keywords in your content! Don’t use a keyword in all of your subheadings if it doesn’t appear natural.
Of course, sticking to your keywords doesn’t mean you can’t get a little creative. Making your title tags and headings catchy can assist in capturing your target audience’s attention.
Here are a few best practices to follow when writing your title tags, meta descriptions, and subheadings:
Add modifiers in your title tags and subheadings such as:
Use click-worthy words in your title tags and meta descriptions such as:
10% Off or 15% Off or 20% Off
Few Stocks Left
All Items are on Sale
Write a descriptive alternative text for your images such as:
The search engines can’t really understand what’s in your images, but you can still rank for image search by writing keyword-driven and descriptive alt text for your images. This is how the search engines learn what your images are all about.
Write Compelling Category and Product Descriptions
Have you noticed what big eCommerce sites have in common when it comes to their category and product pages?
They have a compelling category description:
And a unique product description:
This is because of two reasons:
Compelling descriptions tell your website’s visitors more about the category page they’re viewing and the product that they might be interested to buy.
Descriptions help the search engines “spiders” understand what your category and product pages are all about.
That’s why your descriptionsshould always be unique—never copy and paste the same description for categories and products. Spend time writing persuasive content and make it inviting enough for your customers to make a purchase.
Here are a few best practices you can follow:
Make sure to add your primary keyword in your descriptions.
Use other variations of your main search term, such as long-tail keywords and LSI keywords, but sprinkle them naturally throughout the page content
Ensure that your descriptions are readable and use simple language for your buyers to understand them easily.
Provide essential information about the category and product that your potential customers might need to know before they buy.
Add 1000+ words of content in your category and product pages—sprinkle your primary and secondary keywords three to five times all throughout the page.
The thought of optimizing the content of each category and product page in your eCommerce site can be daunting. But everything can be done smoothly with a strategic process. Start with your most important category and product pages, and work your way out.
Leverage Schema Markup to Appear Attractive on SERPS
How would you like to see your product display in the search results? A regular display like this?
Or in a more attractive display like this?
As you can see, the second example includes product photos, prices, and ratings—things that are very helpful to a customer when they’re making their mind up about a purchase.
All this extra information was made possible with Schema markup, a set of code that serves as a semantic vocabulary for the search engines to display more information about a web page to your potential customers. When you put these codes on your pages, they will earn the attractive rich snippets whenever they are displayed in the search results.
Rich snippets are not only eye-catching and informative, but they can also help you significantly increase your web page’s click-through rate, thereby driving more web traffic to your online store and boosting your sales.
Google and other search engines use the information from Schema markup to better understand your content, whether it’s a category page, a product page, a blog post, or a landing page for a campaign. This is why utilizing Schema markup is great for e-commerce SEO.
However, Schema markup can get a bit too complicated. To help you out, here’s a quick rundown of the basics:
Product Pages Schema Markup
According to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, it is best to add a markup to product pages because it helps Google provide detailed product information in the search results. With Schema, your target buyers can see essential information such as review ratings, number of reviews, price, and product availability.
Google’s Webmaster Guidelines state that since a category page lists several products and other types such as videos and recipes, each entity on that page should be marked up.
This means that if you use Schema markup on a single product listing on a category page, you must markup all the items on that page.
However, unlike product pages that need to be marked up extensively so that you can achieve rich snippets in the search results, category page markups are simply about helping the search engines understand the type of page you have, and not really about displaying rich snippets.
Therefore, you can keep the category pages in your Schema markup light and simple, so you can focus more on marking up your extensive list of products in your entire eCommerce store. Also, you can use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to help you ensure that you have provided all the information needed for your category and product pages to appear attractive in the search results—or see missing details for that matter:
As you can imagine, adding Schema markup to your thousands of web pages will really require a massive amount of your time and energy. This is where you might consider hiring an eCommerce SEO agency to help you out, not just with Schema markup, but also in improving your overall eCommerce SEO.
Optimize Your Internal Linking
Internal linking to high-priority pages in your website is important in SEO for eCommerce. This is like telling the search engines such as Google that they should also “crawl” the pages you are linking to, so they can index and rank them as well.
However, keep in mind that when you link to a web page from your current page content, that destination page should be highly relevant to the linking page. Also, you must internally link from authoritative pages in your store to high-priority category pages and product pages.
Let’s say you have successfully published a blog post that has generated multiple high-quality backlinks to your site. At the same time, you have a product page that currently sits in the fifth rank of Google.
Now perhaps these two different pages are relevant to each other—for instance, you might have mentioned the product type in the blog post. So, you need to include a keyword-rich anchor text in the blog post and link it to the product page. This will boost the product page’s ranking one spot higher, and maybe even push it to the top spot!
A good internal linking structure of an eCommerce site looks like this:
Keep User Experience in Mind
A great user experience means that your website is easy-to-navigate, interesting, and helpful. So if your visitors have a positive user experience on your site, they will spend more time exploring your pages.
Good user behavior will serve as a signal to Google and other search engines that your website is giving users a positive experience, and that you deserve better visibility and ranking.
You can give the best user experience to your potential customers by optimizing the following:
This means that your web pages should look and work well regardless of the device your customers are using to browse your store—whether they are using a desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone. You can test your eCommerce site’s mobile-friendliness by using this mobile-friendly test tool from Google:
Similarly, optimizing your load speed is critical in SEO for eCommerce. 47% of buyers expect that your eCommerce site will load in less than two seconds, and 40% of them will abandon your shop and go browse a different store if yours will take more than three seconds to load. To test the load speed of your website and fix the errors that are slowing you down, you can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights. It provides detailed diagnostics and recommendations for your site’s load speed:
Lastly, an intuitive interface can be successfully achieved with a well-thought out eCommerce site architecture. Ideally, your customers should be able to find what they want within three clicks. A flat website architecture makes this possible.
4. Take Care of Your Technical SEO
Technical SEO is one of the most essential aspects when doing eCommerce SEO, mainly because your online store will have dozens to hundreds more web pages than a non-eCommerce site.
Furthermore, eCommerce sites typically don’t get enough backlinks pointing to them. Technical SEO fills this gap. If you have a very tight competitor, fixing a technical SEO issue can mean the difference between you outranking that competitor on search results.
That’s the reason why it is important to run technical e-commerce SEO audits regularly. You can tap the expertise of an eCommerce SEO company to perform a strategic SEO audit on your site and follow these actionable steps:
Resolve Duplicate Content Issues
Google did not officially state that web pages with duplicate content will be penalized. However, the search engine will filter identical content, and this can negatively impact a performing web page’s rankings and backlinks.
That’s why it’s essential to resolve duplicate content by deleting one web page or redirecting that identical page to the one that’s performing well. You can find web pages with duplicate content by using the Screaming Frog SEO software:
Using SEO audit tools such as these can definitely help you pinpoint duplicate content in your eCommerce site. Duplicated content can be found in the URL, title tags, meta descriptions, heading tags, and most especially in the content body.
Sometimes though, duplicate content may be necessary, especially if both pages have gathered valuable backlinks. If this is the case, you need to have a canonical link: an HTML element that helps you specify a “preferred” version of a web page to show Google and other search engines.
A canonical link helps ensure that Google and other search engines will only index one version of duplicate web pages—the version that you want your target audience to see in the search results.
For those with a coding background, this is what the code should look like:
When adding it to the HTML for URL of the web page you prefer Google to index, it will look like this:
It seems simple, but if you’re having a hard time doing this with several of your duplicate pages, consider getting e-commerce SEO services from the experts.
Address Keyword Cannibalization
Keyword cannibalization happens when you have numerous web pages on your online store that all try to rank for the same keyword, making your own pages compete against each other.
But isn’t competing against yourself pretty great? In real life, yes. In SEO, not really! Here are some negative impacts keyword cannibalism can have on your eCommerce site:
Your web pages’ authority will diminish
Your links and anchor texts will dilute their value
Your crawl budget—the number of times the search engines will crawl your site in a given time—will be wasted
Google and other search engines may not see the value of the most relevant page and instead rank another page that’s not conversion-worthy, thereby making your conversion rate suffer.
You don’t want any of that to happen! So, here’s how you find and fix keyword cannibalization issues:
First, you need to identify the web pages that may be suffering from keyword cannibalism. You can do this by creating a spreadsheet that lists all of your online shop’s URLs and their target keywords. Start from the most important to the least important web pages.
For example, if you’re selling pet food products, your spreadsheet may look like this:
Dog food wet
Cat food wet
Once you’ve listed all of your site’s URLs and their main keywords, you can now start looking for duplicate entries. If you see pages with the same target keywords, especially among your core web pages, your website is most likely suffering from keyword cannibalization.
Here are a few ways to fix this:
Restructure your eCommerce website
Publish new landing pages
Combine highly-similar web pages
Target new relevant keywords
Utilize 301 redirects for multiple pages ranking for the same keywords
Keyword cannibalization issues can be resolved with time, patience, and a lot of effort. To speed this process up, you may want to get a reliable eCommerce SEO agency to take the burden off your shoulders.
Fatten Pages With Thin Content
Search engines, especially Google, prefer to rank web pages that have thick content—the page that may not necessarily have the most word count but give the most value to search users. This is why having thin content in your web pages can ruin your eCommerce SEO efforts. Data analysis from Backlinko found that web pages with longer and more valuable content rank much better than pages with thin content. Take a look at this graph:
eCommerce websites tend to have more web pages with thin content than non-eCommerce sites because it is challenging to write unique and comprehensive content for multiple products that are similar.
This is an ongoing concern for most online stores that are trying to rank better in the search results, but this should not stop you from writing at least 500 words, preferably 1,000+ words, for all of your web pages.
You can use these best practices below to guide you when writing content specifically for your product pages:
Write a unique product name along with the product’s image on the page.
Write 50 to 100 introductory words in the product description.
Write the product features in bullet form.
Write in-depth product description—add more images of the product, answer some FAQs, unpack the benefits, state some awards, and cite case studies if there are any.
Write a 50-word conclusion with a compelling call-to-action.
If you are not gifted at writing, you can always leverage the SEO copywriting expertise of an eCommerce SEO company so you can beat your competitors and other big brands in the industry.
Check Your Site’s Load Speed on Desktop and Mobile
We’ve discussed the importance of page speed and mobile-responsiveness. Your customers will browse your online shop from various devices—using a desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone.
Did you know that 53.81% of your target customers are browsing your online shop using mobile phones? This is in comparison to 43.27% of them who use desktop computers, and 2.92% who use tablet devices.
While it’s important to make sure that your website is responsive to any device format, checking your site speed regularly is equally important.
Ensure that your eCommerce SEO services team performs a website speed check for each device using a reliable online speed test. One such service is Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
Start with your mobile speed and get recommendations from Google itself on how to improve your site’s speed on mobile devices. It will look like this:
Next, manage the recommendations for your site speed on desktop devices. It will look like this:
Some of these recommendations can be too technical. So, if you find them too confusing, don’t hesitate to consult the ecommerce SEO experts to speed up your website.
5. Build Your Blog With Content Marketing
An old cliche in SEO is “Content is king.” You may have the most optimized website structure and the best keywords, but if you’re not regularly producing anything valuable that keeps your clients checking back, Google won’t see your content as fresh or relevant.
This is why besides creating category pages and product pages, big eCommerce websites also maintain a blog, publishing readable and useful blog posts regularly.
Take a look at this well-updated blog site of Amazon:
As you can see, blog content is not necessarily all about big blocks of texts! You should also include engaging images and videos along with your useful, informative, and compelling written words.
It’s also worth remembering that publishing these on your website and waiting for the search engines to rank them is not enough. You must proactively let people know that you have awesome resources on your site through content marketing.
Here are some of the best practices you can emulate when building your blog and marketing your content:
Find Where Your Customers Hang Out Online
Selling products to people is not enough to thrive in eCommerce. You must also learn your target market’s language, what they need, what they want, and where they hang out online. In this way, you get more advantage of getting more traction than your competitors.
For instance, if your target market is a bunch of sneakerheads, consider joining this Reddit community of sneakerheads with 1.3 million members:
Taking note of the words and phrases that your target market is using can prove invaluable—knowing the terms your potential customers use when describing their problems, needs, and desires will let you use the same words as your target keywords when creating your content.
Plus, the language will help you connect to your audience more personally. It will show them that you understand what they need and you have what they desire.
For example, you can eyeball the terms used by your target market in a niche-specific forum:
From the image, we can see that your audience refers to the product as a “running shoe”. Therefore, in your online store content, you should use the words “running shoe” rather than “sneaker” or “trainer.” They also specify the model of the shoe they are looking for, so you should include the model number in your content as well.
You should also check the comments when someone posts a need for one of your products—this technique will help you identify the search terms when your potential customers are still in the process of looking for a product to buy.
This is your chance to use the same keywords on your content and entice them to make a purchase from your online store.
Publish High-Quality Blogs Regularly
Top-notch content attracts high-quality backlinks and more buyers.
The more you publish useful, informative, helpful, and reliable content, the more you gain visibility on the search engine results page.
This leads to more people reading your posts, linking to you when they create a post of their own, sharing your content in their social media feed, and most importantly, buying from your store.
Here are the best types of blog posts to publish on your eCommerce site:
Evergreen posts are pieces of content that are sustainable when it comes to SEO for eCommerce because they are always relevant.
Write about topics that are highly-related to your niche that your potential customers are likely to search for at any given time. For example, if you are in the shoe industry, you can write about tips on choosing a pair of shoes for different people and different activities.
You can also write about the best pair of shoes to give on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, and Graduation Day.
How-Tos or Tutorials
How-to blog posts can also be evergreen pieces of content. These posts are extremely informative and are deemed ultra-relevant to your potential buyers.
Using the shoe industry as an example, you can write about “how to measure a shoe size,” or “how to clean a pair of shoes,” or “how to get the stink off a pair of shoes.”
This type of blog post will be best when you embed video tutorials to the post.
Trendy posts are the latest articles about the current situation in your industry or in the world in general.
Take the COVID-19 pandemic as an example. You can write about how to help people needing a new pair of shoes in the midst of the lockdowns, or where to get shoe cleaning supplies despite the limited supply.
Business Updates or News
Even though you might think that your customers don’t really care about what’s going on with your business, writing about business news or updates is still beneficial. This will help you establish your brand even better, especially when customers browse your blog.
In 2020, you can write about how your business is helping the community fight the pandemic and how you are taking care of your employees during these challenging times.
You can also feature your methods of ensuring that everything you do in your production is hygienic, and how you can still serve your customers despite the delays and strict processes in shipping your packages.
Utilize the Skyscraper Technique
This is a method intended to “beat” all other pieces of content created for the keyword that you want to target.
The technique involves studying the web articles that are already published around a search term that you are targeting. These blog posts sit on the first page of Google because they are comprehensive and bring so much value to search users.
After studying these top-ranking blog posts, you can then create an even better piece.
Make Your Content Thorough and Up-to-Date
By studying the existing top-ranking web articles on the first page of Google, you will learn how much more input you need to provide in your article.
Make sure that your content provides more value by outdoing the information that’s out there with more topics that your target audience will find interesting and extremely useful.
Some of the blog posts that currently appear on the first page of the search results are actually a few years old. Since Google prefers fresh content, this is your time to produce a high-quality blog post with references and resources updated for the current year.
You can also add new insights for the industry that your target audience will find immensely relevant and helpful.
An up-to-date content may have a title tag such as this one:
Make Sure Your Content Is Well-Designed
Content with better designs performs better than those with mediocre appearance. Remember that people are first attracted to visual aesthetics before they see the value that you have to offer. Hence, the phrase in eCommerce, “people buy with their eyes.”
Here are some things you can do to get people interested:
Add an enticing blog banner
Choose high-quality images and position them strategically to break up the text
Add engaging but relevant videos, if possible
Include interactive links or buttons for your customers to click through
Do Email and Social Media Marketing
Now that you’ve created the most awesome piece of content about a topic in your niche, it’s time to spread the word and make sure that the right people read it.
Hopefully, your readers will help expand your content’s reach to more of your target audience by sharing your top-notch post and linking to it.
Email outreach can be a traditional content marketing effort, but it remains invaluable, especially when your emails are reaching the correct audience.
You can start by researching the websites that link to the top-ranking web articles on the first page of Google, especially the ones that are highly related to your niche.
Get in touch with the owners of these websites through email, letting them know that you have created a more thorough and up-to-date post than the ones they are currently linking to. Suggest that they may want to reference your article instead.
Keep your email short and simple, and don’t forget to link your newly-published content!
It’s only fitting to also market your content on social networking sites, especially when you have created social media pages for your business and you are growing your following.
It’s crucial that your blog posts have social share buttons so that your readers can share your content with their own profiles easily.
Social share buttons look like this:
And every time you have a new blog post, it’s best to also share it to your social media pages to entice people to click your content, thereby bringing more backlinks and web traffic to your eCommerce site.
This is also a great way to let your followers know that you produce a substantial amount of resources for them to consume, thereby strengthening your brand.
6. Build Your Links and Strengthen Your Backlink Profile
Building links to your eCommerce site’s homepage, category pages, and product pages can be a bit more challenging. After all, these web pages do not really offer evergreen content or how-to tutorials.
To work around that, here are a few tips to help you strengthen the backlink profile of your eCommerce store:
Discover Your Competitors’ Backlinks
Just like mining for keywords, your top competitor’s website can also be a goldmine for backlinks! You can use a competitor link research tool like Ahrefs to know the sites linking to your competitor—websites that are highly likely to also link to your store.
Tools like this one will help you easily discover your missed link opportunities as well as link patterns that you can follow from popular consumer forums to niche-relevant directories.
Expect that you will discover sites that are linking to several of your competitors. With any luck, it won’t be hard for you to ask them to link to you, too!
Get started by submitting your business details to niche-relevant directories and do email outreach to sites linking to your competitor’s blog posts.
This will be a time-consuming task overall, though, so you may want to hire an eCommerce search engine optimization agency to do the heavy lifting for your outreach strategy.
Leverage the Manufacturer’s Retail List
Product manufacturers often have “Where to Buy” pages. So, make sure that your online store appears on the list with a link to your homepage.
You can check the manufacturers’ retailer list using Google search—follow this search format:
manufacturer’s name of products you sell + intitle:“where to buy” OR intitle:“stockists”
Let’s say, for example, you have an online shop for dog training collars:
Once you find these web pages, reach out to the web owner, and request to be added if you are not yet included in the list.
Search for Resource Pages In Your Niche
Resource pages are web articles that list useful links and resources for a certain topic or niche. Just like finding a manufacturer’s retailer list, you can find resource web pages using Google search. Here are the keywords that you can use:
Your target keyword + inurl:resources
Your target keyword + inurl:links
Your target keyword + intitle:resources
Your target keyword + intitle:links
Here’s an example:
Once you find the web pages that list resources or links for your niche, especially the ones that are not your competitors (non-eCommerce sites), reach out immediately and ask to be listed.
Find Broken Links and Fix Them With Updated Content
Broken links are links pointing to expired, moved, or outdated pieces of content. Fixing these broken links is one of the most effective strategies in SEO for eCommerce. This gives you a chance to network and gain more traction for your online store, especially from potential customers that don’t know your brand exists.
You can start finding broken links from the websites that link to your competitors. Then, check niche-related resource pages for any broken links that you can replace with your more thorough and up-to-date content.
Once you have a list of these websites, you can use a tool like HREF Check My Links to run a test. This tool highlights broken links in red so you can spot them easily, like this:
After identifying the broken links that exist on their web page, reach out to them via email, and pitch your content that they can use as an even better replacement.
Therefore, social media pages for your business are a must, especially if you want to reach more of your target market, engage with your potential customers, and gain more backlinks, clicks, and web traffic.
Here are the top social media platforms that you should consider:
FACEBOOK (WITH 60.15% OF MARKET SHARE WORLDWIDE)
TWITTER (WITH 15.48% OF MARKET SHARE WORLDWIDE)
PINTEREST (WITH 10.46% OF MARKET SHARE WORLDWIDE)
INSTAGRAM (WITH 8.73% OF MARKET SHARE WORLDWIDE)
YOUTUBE (WITH 4.2% OF MARKET SHARE WORLDWIDE)
TUMBLR (WITH 0.36% OF MARKET SHARE WORLDWIDE)
Image Source: StatCounter
Social media for businesses is a whole different beast to tame than SEO, however. To save time and energy, check with your eCommerce SEO company if they can also offer you a social media management service.
Consider Partnering With Influencers and Affiliates
Reach out to influencers by offering a few of your products for free in exchange for a truthful review. Also, consider granting them an affiliate link from their website to your store.
You can then observe how much web traffic and conversions you get from an influencer, and seek a long-term business relationship with him or her.
7. Do Local SEO if You Have a Physical Store
This eCommerce SEO step is not applicable to every online business, but if you have a physical store, especially in several locations, local SEO can boost your visibility and rankings in the search results.
So, if you have an actual location that your customers can visit to buy from (or pick up products, in light of the pandemic restrictions), here’s how you do local SEO:
Optimize Your Google My Business Profile
This is a cool feature that allows you to place your business details in Google’s database, so your business will appear in local search.
Anyone Googling your business in your vicinity will see important details, such as your local address, your business operating hours, some images, customer reviews, and a lot more.
It looks like this:
If you are not so confident with optimizing your Google My Business profile, don’t hesitate to tap your eCommerce SEO expert team to help you out.
Submit Your NAP to Local Directories
NAP stands for your business Name, Address, and Phone number—essential information that your potential customers need when searching locally.
Now, to ensure that you get more visibility in local search, build your links with local citations. These are backlinks from local websites that feature your city, state, or country, especially the businesses under your niche.
SEO for eCommerce requires tracking your efforts. Knowing your numbers allows you to identify and maintain your KPIs as well as work on things that need improvement.
Now, remember that unlike a paid advertisement, SEO aims for organic traffic and conversion, so the results take longer. You can’t expect to calculate the ROI after a day or two.
So, here’s how you measure the success of your eCommerce search engine optimization after some time:
Track Your Search Rankings
Use a search ranking tool like Ahrefs. You can choose to get notified when your rankings are decreasing or increasing.
Also, the tool lets you compare your SEO progress with your neck-to-neck competitor and it allows you to see your overall search visibility.
Now, when tracking your rankings, look for a general increase for your main keywords over time. You can do these on a week to month basis.Now, when tracking your rankings, look for a general increase for your main keywords over time. You can do these on a week-to-month basis.Now, when tracking your rankings, look for a general increase for your main keywords over time. You can do these on a week to month basis.
Track Web Traffic and Site Engagement
You can use Google Analytics to measure your organic web traffic and site engagement metrics—to see if people are actually visiting your eCommerce website and consuming your content. Also, if you find Ahrefs to be too costly, you can use this free SEO dashboard for your Google Analytics account.
Together, these tools will let you see an increase in search traffic, and allow you to access the landing pages that your web traffic is reaching. Then, you can use the information to identify which search terms your eCommerce site is ranking well.
Now, to see where you are ranking in the search results, make a Google search using your target keywords. Use an incognito search so that Google will not refer to your personal search history and actually show you where your online shop is ranking in the search results.
Once you find your rankings, take note of them so that you can track the positions of your web pages in the search results.
Remember that you are looking for slight increases over time (this is more realistic than jumping to #1 overnight!). So if you notice that after a few weeks, your ranking jumped from page 3 to page 1, that’s a huge sign that you are doing your SEO for eCommerce right!
Which eCommerce Platform is Best for SEO?
This comprehensive study on choosing the best eCommerce platform for SEO used 14 crucial factors that help eCommerce sites rank well in the search engine results pages. These are the following:
Independent navigation links
Independent page titles
Independent page URLs
Independent meta descriptions
Independent image alt tags
Independent H1 headings
Integrated blogging platform
Social sharing buttons
Auto XML sitemap
Use of own domain name
Your own IP address
Robots noindex capabilities
The study found out that Shopify is the eCommerce platform that is best for SEO, garnering the highest SEO score of 98.
The Top 10 eCommerce Sites
This ranking is based on the in-depth analysis of eCommerce platforms against 14 crucial SEO factors mentioned above:
Maybe you have an in-house “SEO team” but you still see little to no progress at all. If you know that you are not at the top of your SEO game despite doing every nitty-gritty and time-consuming task, you’re still getting outranked by your competitors. You’ll see a constant decrease in CTR, web traffic, and conversion, which could hurt your business overall.
If that’s the case, it’s time to talk to the eCommerce SEO experts so that they can improve your website SEO while you save more time, energy, and money in the long run.
While this is a pretty dense read on SEO for eCommerce, the most important things to remember are listed below to help you succeed in your search engine optimization efforts and grow your online store!
Here are the most important things to keep in mind:
eCommerce SEO is a multi-faceted method of boosting your online shop’s ranking, increasing its click-through rate, driving web traffic (and foot traffic if you have a physical store), and improving your store’s conversion.
Doing SEO for eCommerce includes strategic keyword research, planning your site architecture, performing on-page optimization on every web page, taking care of your site’s technical SEO, building your blog and marketing your content, link building, and measuring all optimization efforts with the right tools.
The best eCommerce platform for SEO is Shopify.
The top 10 leading eCommerce sites according to the in-depth eCommerce platform analysis are the following (in order): Shopify, WooCommerce, 3DCart, Magento, BigCommerce, Squarespace, Volusion, Weebly, Wix, and GoDaddy.
If you want to improve your SEO—whether it’s for a Shopify store or any other platform, get the best eCommerce SEO services from the experts whose main goal is not just to improve your site’s ranking but also to increase your store’s conversion.
Hansel had the right idea when he dropped breadcrumbs through the forest to find his way home. Though his trail of breadcrumbs didn’t help him much (alas, birds ate them), the story inspired the name of a website navigation element. If you’re serious about search engine optimization (SEO) and user experience, you need to know about what breadcrumbs mean for your website.
Breadcrumbs are an especially important component for larger websites that have a lot of low-level pages. Search engines use them to get a better understanding of how your website is structured; and your users rely on them to keep tabs on where they are in the hierarchy of your website, so they don’t get lost.
When you consider that 75% of website users rank “ease of use” as the most important characteristic of a website, this is something to pay attention to. In this guide and tutorial, you’ll learn how to use breadcrumbs to enhance your SEO and help your users navigate.
What are Breadcrumbs on a Website?
You may already be familiar with website breadcrumbs, even if you don’t realize it. In the most common cases, breadcrumbs are a sequence of small, named links that represent each page in a page hierarchy on your site. They expand as a user goes deeper and deeper into your page hierarchy.
They usually present at the top of the page under the main navigation menu. This provides a reference for where the user is and an easy way for them to jump back to previous pages.
The user doesn’t have to visit each page in the hierarchy for the breadcrumbs to present themselves. These types of breadcrumbs don’t show the user’s path through the site. Instead, they show the user where they are on the site in relation to other pages in a page hierarchy.
Here’s an example of how breadcrumbs look on eBay:
You can reach this page by going to the eBay home page, clicking on “Clothing, Shoes & Accessories,” “Men,” and then on “Men’s Clothing” But, most likely, you’ll arrive on this page by Googling “Men’s T-Shirts on eBay” and clicking on the page in the results.
The breadcrumbs still appear when you enter through search, providing a reference for where you are on the website.
Most computers (both Macs and PCs) use a similar breadcrumb system to help users navigate through their files. Here’s what it looks like on a Mac:
And here’s what it looks like on a PC:
Website breadcrumbs apply the same concept to the pages on your site. These are what are known as hierarchy-based breadcrumbs because they show the hierarchy of a sequence of file folders or pages.
They are also sometimes referred to as location-based breadcrumbs because they show the user where they are in reference to other files or pages.
There are other types of breadcrumbs, too. These are known as attribute-based breadcrumbs and path-based breadcrumbs.
Attribute-based breadcrumbs are the second most common type. They are a popular tool on eCommerce websites because they indicate what categories or tags are associated with the page that is currently being viewed. This allows the user to more easily shop by category or tag.
For example, let’s say you’re looking at a Bohemian-style rug shaped like a rectangle that’s 9 feet by 12 feet and between $300 and $600 (very specific!). You decide to shop on Overstock.com to get a great deal:
Here’s a great example of hierarchy-based breadcrumbs and attribute-based breadcrumbs in action at the same time.
Not only can you navigate the website based on the page hierarchy, but you can also navigate your shopping results by specific categories, like price and style. This makes it easier for you to find the rug you want, then further explore the Home Décor section so you can find drapes to match!
Path-based breadcrumbs are perhaps the least common. They present as the exact path the user follows as they navigate from page to page on the website.
Essentially, they look like this:
First Page > Second Page > Third Page > Current Page
While there are some benefits to this method, it can also be confusing for the user because it doesn’t show them the actual structure of your website. Path-based breadcrumbs also act as a stand-in for the forward and back buttons on a user’s browser, which makes them more-or-less obsolete.
How Breadcrumbs Help with Navigation
You can probably already tell how breadcrumbs can help with navigation. Consider the eBay website.
eBay needs to contain a great deal of information, all of which must be categorized and easy to find. It must also be accessible to shoppers who may not be tech-savvy, as well as those with disabilities who rely on assistive technologies like screen-readers.
Without the breadcrumbs as a reference, it would be easy for users to get lost on the website as they search for the information they’re looking for. There are thousands of pages on the website.
Using breadcrumbs also makes eBay easy for search engines to crawl and reference, which makes It easy for users to find specific pages using a search engine. If we do a Google search for “eBay Men’s Clothing,” the first result is the eBay Men’s Clothing page:
You can also see the “Men’s Clothing” page in the hierarchy of the search results. Similarly, breadcrumbs help Google display a page hierarchy for the page it’s showing in search results.
Here’s the second result for a search of “What are breadcrumbs in WordPress”:
Breadcrumbs only get used as a navigation tool about 6% of the time, while 40% of users click on embedded links, 31% use the browser back button, and 22% click on the navigation bar.
According to user experience expert Jakob Nielsen of the Nielsen Norman Group, “Breadcrumbs never cause problems in user testing: People might overlook this small design element, but they never misinterpret breadcrumb trails or have trouble operating them.”
Incidentally, breadcrumbs also “take up very little space on the page,” so they won’t use up too much of your page’s real estate.
How Breadcrumbs Help with SEO
As we referenced above, breadcrumbs help Google determine how your website is structured. The search engine can even use your breadcrumbs as search results, which can help users find specific pages on your site.
From an SEO and a business perspective, this gives your site a better chance of taking up more space on a search engine results page (SERP). As you can see in the eBay example, eBay not only occupies the first Google search result, but it’s subpages occupy the next three rows as well.
Naturally, doing a search that includes “eBay” is likely to bring up the eBay website, but you get the idea.
According to Yoast, breadcrumbs can also lower bounce rates. Because it’s more likely that someone will enter your website through organic search, breadcrumbs can help guide them to your higher-level pages if they can’t find what they’re looking for on the first one.
How Do You Enable Breadcrumbs?
If you want to enable breadcrumbs in WordPress, you can find multiple plugins that will do the task for you. All you have to do is install and configure them.
Enabling Breadcrumbs with Yoast
If you already use the SEO tool Yoast, you can enable Yoast breadcrumbs as well. One way is to add the following code to your WordPress theme in the location you want your breadcrumbs to appear (usually underneath the main navigation)
Yoast also notes that “depending on your theme, you may or may not need to add in the beginning <php and ending ?> php tags. If you are not sure, your theme developer can help.”
Once you embed the code, Yoast allows you to enable breadcrumbs directly in the tool. Here’s how to do it, step-by-step:
Step 1: Log in to your WordPress site and go to your dashboard.
Your dashboard should immediately appear when you log in.
Step 2: Go to the SEO tab
The ‘SEO’ tab is in the menu on the left-hand side.
Step 3: Click on ‘Search Appearance’
‘Search Appearance’ will appear in the list of SEO options.
Step 4: Click on the ‘Breadcrumbs’ tab.
You’ll find the ‘Breadcrumbs’ tab on the right.
Step 5: Toggle the ‘Breadcrumbs’ switch to ‘Enabled.’
You can remove Yoast’s breadcrumbs later if you like. All you have to do is toggle this option to ‘Disabled.’
Step 6: Set your breadcrumb settings to your preferences.
Yoast provides a few options for managing your breadcrumbs. For example, you can customize the separator that appears between them, add a prefix, or bold the last page listed in the breadcrumbs.
Step 7: Save your changes.
Once you’re finished, just save your changes.
On some platforms, you may need to add breadcrumbs manually, or you may need to reach out to the provider or the community for help. There doesn’t appear to be an easy way to enable breadcrumbs on platforms like Squarespace, Weebly, and Wix.
For example, Squarespace is a closed website building system, so it doesn’t allow for much customization. You’ll need to use the JSON-LD method instead of microdata if you want to add your own code.
You can inject your own code using “Code Injection” in the “Advanced” section under “Page Settings,” but only if you have a Premium account. Of course, you’ll need to compile your own code to do this, so it takes a little bit of coding skill.
Still, even if you have a website that isn’t on WordPress, you should still consider enabling breadcrumbs. They’re immensely important for SEO, and they could just improve your bounce rate and keep visitors on your site.
If you need help adding breadcrumbs to your website, don’t hesitate to reach out to use. We can provide a custom solution so you can take advantage of this benefit.
Remember, hierarchy-based breadcrumbs are usually your best option. They’ll help your users navigate your site and they’ll make it easier for Google to analyze and index your pages. If you have an eCommerce website, consider enabling both hierarchy-based breadcrumbs and attribute-based breadcrumbs so your customers can shop more easily.
To learn more about how you can improve your website and your business, contact us at Bliss Drive for a free consultation!
Maybe you’ve already seen the statistics about consumers’ confidence in online reviews. As many as 84% of people trust them as much as recommendations from their friends, and 91% of people read them regularly. It should be no surprise, then, that you see Google rating stars proudly displayed in front of the business websites that appear in Google search results.
Here’s what you need to know about how to get star ratings in Google search results. We’ll also cover why it’s important to include star ratings and what you’ll need to do to keep on Google’s good side. Learn more about Search Engine Optimization Services Cost
What Are the Star Ratings in Google Search Results?
The star ratings in Google search results are part of what is called a “review snippet.” According to Google, these are short excerpts from a review or rating from a website, which are then displayed in search results to aid users. They look like this:
The star rating is usually an average of the combined rating scores from several reviews that you have featured on your website. Using schema markup, you must tell Google how to display these ratings. It’s always best to use a rating system that ranges from 1 to 5.
Rules and Restrictions
Google star ratings may not apply to every type of business. You can still install schema markup code on your website, but the search engine may not display a Google star rating in your results if it doesn’t think you use schema types that “lend themselves to reviews.” According to a recent post on the official Google Webmaster Central Blog, Google has now limited the pool of schema types that can lead to review results on Google search engine result pages (SERPs). They are the following (as well as their subtypes):
As you can see, star ratings generally appear in the results of searches for products, recipes, movies, and other “things.” Here are the ratings for the DVD of the Disney movie, Frozen:
Keep in mind that these are reviews for the actual DVD, not the businesses selling the DVD. The results are from the websites of the sellers themselves, but they pertain to the third-party products being sold. Both Target and Best Buy allow customers to leave independent reviews of their products on their websites. If your business provides services and not a product or “thing,” you can still get a star rating in your results. However, you’ll have to generate independent reviews of those services that you can feature on your website. See about: Los Angeles SEO Consultant
Third-Party Review Data
You can still aggregate data from third-party review sites onto your website. You can even use widgets to aggregate the data. If someone searches for your business on Google and they get your review page on a third-party site as a result, they will still see a star rating if the site as applied schema markup. Unfortunately, you can’t manually apply third-party data to display Google star ratings under your website when it appears in search results. Google may aggregate data from “trusted” review sites to display a star rating (but this isn’t certain). You have no control over this, aside from pleasing your customers, applying schema markup, and improving your website authority.
In the same blog post cited above, Google says, “We call reviews ‘self-serving’ when a review about entity A is placed on the website of entity A — either directly in their markup or via an embedded 3rd party widget. That’s why, with this change, we’re not going to display review rich results anymore for the schema types LocalBusiness and Organization (and their subtypes) in cases when the entity being reviewed controls the reviews themselves.”
In other words, you can’t add your own review markup if you’re using the LocalBusiness or Organization schemas. Your best course of action is to make your customers happy and encourage them to leave reviews for your business on Google. That way, people will be able to see a rating from the Google rating system when they search for you locally:
If you sell products on your site, you can let customers leave reviews for those products using the Product schema. Then, you can use the schema to display star ratings for those products.
Adding Schema Markup
Schema markup is a form of microdata that you can find at Schema.org. The biggest internet and tech companies collaborated on Schema.org to create a standard for structured data on the internet. Essentially, Schema.org provides a vocabulary for covering entities across the internet, as well as their relationships. Microdata is simply a set of tags that make HTML elements readable by machines.
The tags usually relate to objects or things, like books, recipes, videos, or events. However, they can also relate to actions, events, and other entities. For example, here’s what the backend of a product page for a Kenmore Microwave might look like without schema markup:
Kenmore White 17" Microwave
<img src="kenmore-microwave-17in.jpg" alt='Kenmore 17" Microwave' />
Rated 3.5/5 based on 11 customer reviews
0.7 cubic feet countertop microwave. Has six preset cooking categories and
convenience features like Add-A-Minute and Child Lock.
Not a happy camper - by Ellie, April 1, 2011
The lamp burned out and now I have to replace it.
Value purchase - by Lucas, March 25, 2011
Great microwave for the price. It is small and fits in my apartment.
When schema markup is applied, you can see that certain elements of the webpage are tagged so that search engines can understand them more effectively. This example is presented using the Microdata syntax, but you can also add schema using RDFa and JSON-LD:
The product page itself is tagged by <div itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/Product”>. This states that the HTML code contained between the Div Blocks identifies a specific product. Below it, there are tags for the product’s name, as well as an image.
In the example above, you can also see a tag for AggregateRating. AggregateRating is the schema code that triggers Google’s bots and tells them to display your Google star rating on your webpage’s search result. Under the initial AggregateRating tag, you’ll see the following:
<div itemprop="aggregateRating" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/AggregateRating">
Rated <span itemprop="ratingValue">3.5</span>/5
based on <span itemprop="reviewCount">11</span> customer reviews
The properties rating value and review counttell Google’s bots that the rating displayed is based on a rating system of 1 to 5 and that the star number (3.5) is based on 11 reviews. If you don’t have any numbers to add to these properties that are from customer reviews on your website, don’t use the AggregateRating tag. Google will simply mark it as erroneous.
You don’t need a lot of coding experience to use schema, but you do have to mark each item on a webpage with a schema type if you want to cover it completely. It’s time-consuming, but it can be worth it if it means getting rich snippets in your Google search results. Here is a complete list of schema types. Schema.org provides examples of how the properties should look in your code. But the easiest way to figure out where to add structured data is by using Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper.
You Want Google Star Ratings in Your Search Results
Getting Google star ratings in your search results doesn’t just make your products look good. It helps you stand out from your competitors and improves the chances that you’ll get a rich snippet. A rich snippet will take up more real estate on a SERP and help you generate more traffic. The ratings also add more legitimacy to your business. People trust ratings, so they’re more likely to trust a business that has been rated positively by their peers. Just remember to follow Google’s rules when using schema to put up star ratings. To find out more about how you can stand out in your search, contact us at Bliss Drive for a free consultation!
Bliss Drive CEO and Founder Richard Fong talks about Industrial SEO during this exciting interview by Scott MacKenzie of Industrialtalk.com. He discussed about the two pillars of Search Engine Optimization and the 7 SEO process that Industrial companies must be aware of.
Richard Fong: It’s 2019, if your website, your business is not on the first page, you don’t exists to your industrial prospect.
Scott MacKenzie: Wow, that is Richard Fong, AKA Rich. He is CEO with Bliss Drive. B-L-I-S-S Drive. And he is dropping some real true facts on this episode of Industrial Talk Podcast.
Did you know that 89% of B2B purchases start with an Internet search? So SEO is really important to your success and if you’re not digging into SEO and if you are not deploying that as a strategy you’re losing money. So here is Rich Fong on the Industrial Talk Podcast.
Speaker 1: Welcome to the Industrial Talk podcast with Scott MacKenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional, dedicated to transferring cutting-edge industry focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard hat, grab your work boots and let’s go.
Scott M: Alright welcome to The Industrial Talk Podcast my name is Scott MacKenzie, so glad that you are here, thank you very much for joining. We’ve got an incredible interview. You can tell by the “ease” that we’re talking about SEO and of you are not in the SEO game, you’re losing money. Bottom line, gotta be about SEO. So let’s get this show on the road and thank you again for joining the industrial talk podcast.
Yeah, I’m telling you man, I am very passionate about this particular interview too, passionate about them all because it is all, you. 100% of this platform is dedicated to you, the Industrial professional, you juggernaut out there. Keep going, keep changing the world. You’re innovating, you’re making a difference but before we get into the interview let’s get going.
Speaker 1: Tell gate talk number 1.
Scott M: Okay you know I am a homer for reliability web, they have great event, they have events galore, bottom line. You go out to Reliabilityweb.com, look at what they have, look at the events and the one I’m gonna be highlighting, the one I’m gonna be highlighting put it on your calendar is May 6th to the 10th and that is the Reliability Conference and that is in Bellevue, Washington. That is really Seattle but anyway, I went to the one in Las Vegas, it was fantastic, a must attend event if you are an asset management professional. If you’re in maintenance, if you’re considering doing the asset management thingy, you gotta go to Reliabilityweb.com because they will not let you down. They have the Content you need to be great.
Speaker 1: Number 2.
Scott M: Okay. Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick. Okay this is the ICMC or the International Crisis Management Conference. We got to be about learning and growing and doing everything we can to change the world and that is a conference for you too. This is April 30th to May 2nd and this is in Newport, Rhode Island and it is in the Gurney Resort. And this is the 4th annual one, so they’re successful you gotta do it because of you’re in that business too, go to that conference because it is going to be jam packed full of great content.
Speaker 1: Number 3.
Scott M: Calling all in safety professional out there. You need to go to Safeopedia.com. Safeopedia.com where that information, that content at that location at that website is free. Free! Oh my gosh. And they constantly change and they constantly grow and they’re resource base is phenomenal and bursting at the same time of safety related material. But! We’re starting a new podcast Safeopedia and Industrialtalk.com. We’re starting a new podcast called “Safety with purpose” and we’re gonna be highlighting you, the professional, because you guys are doing great work out there. And then finally!
Speaker 1: Number 4.
Scott M: Okay, we’re all about education. Oh yeah! In education, go out to Industrialtalk.com. Go to the industrial Academy, you’ll find information, programs, courses that specific to you, the professional, about Sales, Marketing, Branding and how you can be a better professional and build that market.
Okay. On to the interview, enough with that.
Richard Fong. Know that name, love that name. He is with Bliss drive. B-L-I-S-S Drive. And you know, one of the things that I’ve learn to grow and love is the power of SEO and doing SEO search engine optimization correctly. There’s a lot of people out there, don’t get me wrong, that say “Hey, I am an SEO specialist”. No! Adam, Fong and those fine people out at Bliss Drive, they want you on the first THREE results of a search engine result. That is money in your pocket! There is some incredible stats that support that. But anyway, this is Richard Fong and he is the CEO of Bliss drive.
All right, Richard. Welcome to the industrial talk podcast. So glad that you are here. Thank you very much for joining. What do you have on your mind, my friend?
Rich F: Hey. Thanks and happy to be here. Today I want to talk about digital marketing and SEO for the industrial industry.
Scott M: Boom! Let’s sort of break in to getting a little of a 4-1-1 on who you are and where you come from and why you’re such a spectacular SEO Professional because your stack card out on LinkedIn is pretty spectacular. So give us a little background on who you are and where you come from.
Rich F: Yeah, thank you. So, I’ve been doing SEO for over 10 years now. Before that I was actually a finance analyst for a bank right after I graduated from college and went to UCI, University of California Irvine.
Scott M: The Anteaters.
Rich F: Yeah! Anteaters. That’s right. That’s right. I graduated with Economics Degree. Had nothing to do with SEO. They didn’t teach it back then. Nor they still really teach it now.
Scott M: They didn’t do it today.
Rich F: No, no. [laugh]
Scott M: Trust me.
Rich F: No, yeah. I’m a pretty numbers guy. Number driven guy, data, etcetera. So yeah. I work for a bank for a couple of years. I was traveling all over the country. That was during the mortgage boom and then they are trying to figure out how much is costing everything and then I got tired of just going around the country. You know, it is great when you’re first out of college but it kinda sucks when you’re going to Milwaukee in the middle of winter for the second time in the row and you’re playing with snow. There’s a reason why I moved out from Kansas, right? I grew up in Kansas.
Scott M: Yeah
Rich F: Over there. So now I’m in Irvine California, I’ve been doing SEO for a good amount of time with my team and I’m loving it.
Scott M: Good. Now for the listeners out there, SEO is Search Engine Optimization.
Once again guys, you know I’m talking to listeners. I’m very passionate about industrial marketing and industrial branding, industrial sales and I’ve got to tell you right now that this is the interview that you need to listen to because SEO, even though it sounds all data and wonky, wonky and all that good stuff. It’s very important because and we’re going to talk about that. It’s very important because if somebody… I think I don’t know.
Rich. He’s Richard but he goes by Rich. Thank goodness.
It’s like 89, 87% of everybody that you come in contact with will go out on Google to see where you are.
Rich F: Yeah.
Scott M: So have you heard that stat before?
Rich F: They’re there to look you up, right? If you’re not online, you’re not a business and nowadays it is more common than a business card, right? They have to look you up and see where your reputations are.
Scott M: But the reality is that they’re still within the industrial market. They just look at that website because somebody set out on the internet “you need a website” so they go put a website out there and it’s static and what I see and what I believe is that, you know, really embracing the SEO is really dynamic solution for getting people to go to that storefront, that website.
Rich F: Yeah. The thing is a lot of people or nowadays, even though for industrial they may say “oh we rely on word-of-mouth” right? but there is a lot of materials, there is a lot of people looking for your products online looking for new vendor. So if you’re not on the first page, they are not going to look on the second page. It is almost that you don’t exist online. It’s almost like your brand is not there. They can’t trust you. If Google can’t trust you how can they trust you, right? So you got to consider that, that is an element of business.
Scott M: You’re speaking truth. Because I’ve lived through that and as the host of the Industrial Talk podcast, I think in turns and it’s taken some time to sort of understand the spiders in that “Google spiders” and that they go out there and look around. But they’re looking for something. They’re trying to… Can you give us some sort of background on what Google is looking for from an SEO point of view.
Rich F: Yeah, sure. Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and share it. Make it accessible for everybody, right. So obviously they have all these technologies that’s developed to organize and what they first started with is the search engine to organize the data of websites out there. So when the Google searching bots are coming through to individual websites first thing they try to understand is what’s this website is about. And if they can’t understand it they’re not gonna rank you, they’re not index you for the relevant keywords that you’re at, right. Once they understand what your website is about, then they have to understand “okay how authoritative is your website so I know how hard to rank you”. Because you know on page, in terms of what you have on your website, you can copy a competitor, you can copy the number one guy out there and your competitor just caught you off of you, right. Because you can see everything. Everything is controllable. That’s what we call the on page. So everything that is going..
Scott M: Okay. Wait. hold it, on page? O-N P-A-G-E?
Rich F: Yeah, O-N P-A-G-E. That’s the on page. I’ll back up a little bit. Essentially if you want to breakdown SEO to a very simple fact, there’s two simple pillars SEO: On-page and the off-page. Okay. On page is everything that’s on your website that the search engine bots can go in and see, right. It’s your title, your meta descriptions, your internal links, content, how much keyword density there are, site maps, everything that the bot will come in and they have their algorithm of calculating what’s on your website to say, “okay we’re gonna rank you for these types of keywords”, make sense?
Scott M: Yup.
Rich F: On pages is 100% controllable. Everything on your website, you can manipulate it however you want, right. But your competitor can just look at your on page and just copy it and well you can copy your competitor. That makes sense?
Scott M: Yes. But doesn’t Google know that, hey that’s like okay, I’ll use mine as an example, Industrialtalk.com, that’s not that Industrialtalk.com – that looks like it but not industrialtalk.com
Rich F: Google doesn’t know the difference, really. Because you can see other press release sometimes they all have the same content and then the more authoritative press release work at higher rankings the more authoritative domain or website will get the higher ranking. So that’s where I was gonna go to, my second point is if you have the same content, same material on the website, how Google know who to rank one above the other? Everything is the same, everything is copyable, right. The way Google determines that the ranking of the website is through the authority.
Authority is established by off-page. Off-page meaning the amount of links that is coming back. Your backlinks in SEO terms. Backlinks are kind of like votes from other websites linking back to you. So obviously you have to break it down to like the authority of the other links, obviously a link form a White House is going to be a lot powerful than say a mommy blog, right, a mommy food blog? A link from industrial manufacturer coming back to you is going to be a lot more relevant than another site that talks about puppies and stuff like that, right?
Scott M: Right.
Rich F: You want to have all these signals coming back to your website and this is the algorithm that Google uses to rank websites. This is what everybody is talking about when they’re talking about SEO factors and different variables because at the end of the day I’ve studied the Google patterns, the main factors have not changed, it has always been on-page and the authority of your website which the off-page dependent. All these algorithm changes, all these updates that you hear about, they’re just fine tuning the dial, right. So one year was social signals are coming in so they’re reading that so everybody started like over emphasizing a social signal so they turn that down a little bit right. They say oh this keyword, if you put this density of keyword on your page you get better results and people start overdoing it. So Google tune their dials and say okay if I see over density of that keyword were gonna penalize your vote because we know you’re gaining us. So, all these are just update algorithm updates that you don’t want to… you want to know what calibrations to have at the perfect pitch so that Google sees in goes in and see that oh everything looks very natural, you guys look like a very big brand, we obviously want to rank you because you are very authoritative in that subject, in that industrial website or any other type of website.
Scott M: So listeners out there, there are two pillars: one, on-page, you can control that. It requires some effort but you can control it. That is internal links, external links, contents…
Rich F: Only internal links. External links… actually yeah, external links linking to other people was good as well.
Scott M: Okay good. I’ve been doing that too. It is like, oh gosh. But that’s on-page, you can do it that’s important then of course, off page is that level of authority or the backlinks and we could talk about that a little more because I want to probe on that just a bit. But those are the two pillars , so you think through it. So in the case of, this is always fascinating, within the industrial world, Rich, there is a lot of commonality. So you have, let’s have a mechanical seal here and it is well manufactured and it is up to the highest standard. It is engineered. and then you got another company that does that mechanical seals and it is up to the highest standard and so on, I mean there is tons of companies who manufacture mechanical seals. I am always fascinated by that how do you stand out in the world of sameness?
Rich F: Exactly. So online is completely different from offline marketing. So Offline, you have your catalogs and your brochures and you sent it to your customers and you have this message you that they see, right. This may be something that you know who the customers are and the customers kind of know who you are, how big you are how long you’ve been around.
Scott M: right.
Rich F: Online is completely different. They are searching on Google because they don’t know the best vendor they’re looking for it then. They may have some ideas of the existing vendors but they are looking for something new, they’re looking for a solution to solve their problems, right. So they’re gonna go online, they’re gonna look first they see is the advertising, right. And a lot of people know that is advertising. Advertising – Google Adwords – gets 2 to 5% click through rate If you’re very targeted maybe 10%, but that means 90 to 95% just skip the ad altogether and going straight to the organic because they trust what Google has to say. They trust that okay Google is showing me the top players are and when they get in there is so funny because I’ve got clients were like couple million dollars in revenue sites but we’re beating out like multi-million dollar company just because we’re very focused in on those key words. And they look like one of the big boys. And that’s what you want to do. You want your website to be number top three online because when you’re top three online, you are already differentiated from the rest of the competition.
Scott M: Yeah right, that’s huge.
Rich F: Google said you are top 3. And those guys get about 50 to 80 % of the click-through rates.
Scott M: Wooow
Rich F: So there is a thousand search volumes every month that means five to eight hundred traffic visitors are clicking on the top 3. You’re not even going down to the rest right. If you are of the bottom of the first page, you’re probably getting about 10% of that traffic. So you definitely want to be on the very top. When you’re on the very top and users come through to your website then it is the sales landing page. That is your brochure in a way.
Scott M: Yeah!
Rich F: And so many things that you could do with that landing page that sells page. You could differentiate yourself with a video, you could differentiate yourself with white papers, you can get their email and start nurturing them slowly, you can put your remarketing pixel on and follow them as a brand. It is a long lasting impression to them because a lot of times they say it takes about 7 to 12 times of impression before they get buy from you. So that’s another way of saying okay you come through my website let me remarket it to you, let me show my advertising to my brand on your Facebook, on your CNN, everywhere that you go. So you… its consistently exposed to my brand and it is a very affordable way of doing it. If you’re not buying code traffic, you’re buying already one traffic to you and you have a consistent message that goes out. It is a whole different ball game on online. Now you can really differentiate yourself online with the customers.
Scott M: Yeah. It is a fascinating world. I can get overwhelmed my ear could start bleeding, my nose could start bleeding just because I hear what you are saying. Let’s talk… we’re gonna take a break right now sorry because I was ready to start another though process but we are going to take a break. We are talking to Richard Fong aka Rich, he is CEO of Bliss Drive but we’re talking SEO and if you’re not interested in SEO you need to be interested in SEO because that is a powerful solution or tool to put you up upfront and get notice so thank you very much for joining the industrial talk podcast. We will be right back.
Speaker 1: “You are listening to the Industrial Talk podcast network.”
Scott M: There is only one place I go when I’m interested in reliability asset management and maintenance and that is Reliablityweb.com. Their platform, their focus, their commitment to reliability is second to none. They want to build a culture of reliability in your organization and they provide the content to support that. Go out to Reliabilityweb.com, reach out to them, you will not be disappointed if you’re an asset management maintenance, a reliability professional, this is the only place for you to go. That’s Reliabilityweb.com, they’re building a culture of reliability.
Scott M: All right, welcome back to the industrial talk podcast. We’re talking with Richard Fong, Rich Fong, he’s CEO of Bliss Drive. And we nailed two pillars. One is on-page and of- page for an SEO and my mind is just absolutely racing and social war might be racing as an industrial company figuring out how to truly leverage your website to hit it up as much as you possibly can on that Google results because I think you said, 50 to 80% of the click-throughs?
Rich F: Yes. That’s right. Top 3.
Scott M: Yeah. That is pretty spectacular. Now, I’m not an SEO pro nor is a lot of other people and if you are you need to reach out to Rich here. But if you are not we need some steps, Rich. Let’s talk about a little bit of the seven SEO process because we’re all about a process.
Rich F: Yeah. So the first process that we take a look at is how fool proof your market. So obviously there’s a lot of data out there. You want to know what keywords have what search volume so you could get ahead and you rank it right. You don’t want to go rank for certain keywords that have no search volume or no buying intent. The way you find buying intent is how many, how much people are bidding on the keyword. How much is it. Once we’ve find out the market size of what you are looking for on the keywords and we do competitor research to see what the competitors look like, what they are ranking for and how much volume they have. then we can essentially copy their strategy and we add a couple our own layer on top of it so that’s just…
Scott M: I just want to make sure, just one second. When we start talking about keywords. We’re looking at words that are popping up within Google, we’ll just continue to use Google, we’ll use that, and they’re being sort of looked out there. It’s almost automatically Google’s gonna say “oh I see where you are going, I’m gonna automatically fill ins” Is that what we are talking about?
Rich F: It’s essentially mapping up the landscape of digital online, right. To see “okay, if I’m this type of industrial company, what types of terms our company my customers, my prospects are looking for and how much volume are there so I know that if I don’t have a page for that, I need to develop a page or if I have a page for that I need to optimize that page so Google can recognize it quicker and go ahead and rank it for it. So I want to map out. Okay where are all the opportunities out there on the digital landscape. So either I build something for it or I utilize or optimize what I have existing on my website for that those keywords and terms.
Scott M: That is a keyword, and I’ve read about this, a keyword strategy activity.
Rich F: Yeah, so essentially competitor research/keyword research. Because we can look at your competitors and see they’ve done all the homework. We have tools that can do this very efficiently and see what type of traffic they’re buying and what type of organics that they’re actually ranking for. Then we can say okay that fits us perfectly let’s go grab those keywords and use it for ourselves as well.
Scott M: Okay. Keywords. Okay, I’m gonna sort of distill it down into getting the right keywords.
Rich F: Yeah, the right keyword for us. So the Number 2 strategy is actually prioritizing which keywords to go after because at the end of the day you may have like hundred of keywords, hundred of things that you, the terms that you may want to go after. So what we figure out is what has the highest volume, search volume every month and what has the lowest keyword difficulty. That way we can get you the result sooner because SEO takes a while. It’s not gonna happen overnight but what we want to do is figure out what can get us the result of more traffic the soonest. So we will go after lower keyword difficulty, meaning it would take me as long were hard to rank, what the number of authority were backlinks and it has a certain amount of volume. So that when it does rank, I’m gonna get traffic decent buying intent traffic.
Scott M: So I have a website, and I’ve gone through this effort to find sort of a hundred keywords that are very applicable to my business, right? If I’m not, if I’m in an industrial business and I do seals, I’m not going to look for a menu items that, you know an Italian restaurant or something. It doesn’t make sense. There is a disconnection. So you want keywords specific to your business and in that strategy, be able to sort of rank those and then in you website be able to be mindful. You’ve got to be mindful that there is strategy here that we want to deploy and hit these keywords. Is that right?
Rich F: That’s right. Because it matters, I mean initially once you know all the keywords that you want to target, obviously we would start developing content and we’ll go into that later but when we do the link building, the authority building per website page, you can’t do it for a hundred pages all at the same time makes no sense because it will dilute the results, right. So we want to focus on a couple of focus URLs as we call it. To say, okay we really want to boost these keywords up and we want to build backlinks that targets these keywords so we can rank for them faster.
Scott M: Interesting. Okay
Rich F: Yeah, so that’s where the strategy. We decide on that once we won’t get going on the keywords. We mapped it out we say we target this first, once we can get you on the top 3 then we can moved on to the next set of priorities. So we go after a strategically relevant…
Scott M: Yeah. And really the strategy is okay. Our effort is to try to get on the top 3. And so we’re gonna focus and I think you have a quote from Bruce Lee.
Rich F: Yeah.
Scott M: So I love it. It’s like “the successful warrior is the average man with laser like focus”. You’ve got a laser like focus…
Rich F: That’s right
Scott M: You’ve got laser like focus on getting at that website up in the top 3 because that’s where the meaningful stuff.
Rich F: Yeah, that’s where the money is. You can beat up a billion dollar companies as a million dollar company just because you have the right focus on the specific keyword that you want to go after.
Scott M: I like it. Yeah, it’s gonna be tough for you because you’re an SEO company and if I type in SEO, that’s a tough, that’s bloody water market, men.
Rich F: Yes. It is red ocean right there.
Scott M: Red ocean.. yeah [laugh]. I wanna be blue ocean.
Rich F: Yeah, that’s right. That’s why we want to go after specific industries plus SEO rather than just SEO out of the broad, right. Because there’s a lot of little fish if you’re going after SEO in general but…
Scott M: I love it. I love the strategy. Okay Number 3
Rich F: Number 3 is the benchmarking. So now you know your keyword layout, where you want to focus in first. You want to know where, how are you standing existing like right now. Where you’re currently ranking, you may not be ranking for those terms at all at this point, where you maybe on page 8, a lot times you’re on page 6, 7, 8 which means you’re pretty non-existent. But Google already said “hey you’re relevant for this topic, so it is worth going after” and you have that content so we can look at that content with that page and say “okay let’s really add more content to it and optimize that page” so we can get higher rankings
Scott M: Yeah.
Rich F: That’s the Benchmarking point.
Scott M: That’s number 4. I’m looking on your website which is a beautiful website, quite frankly, I enjoy the navigation and the ability to be able to tootle around. By the way I used Foxfire on the other one and it didn’t work.
Rich F: Yeah. [laugh] We got to technical problem.
Scott M: it’s okay. It is not a problem. And then number 4, Site Optimization.
Rich F: Correct. So site optimization we have an 80-point checklist. We want Google to…
Scott M: is that an 8-0?
Rich F: Yes. So there is a lot more than just Yoast test yoast and the keyword density in internal links obviously you want the bots to come in your host site to figure out the site architecture, you have data structure, you have a bunch of things that we have to go through to make sure when the bots come through that, hey this looks really clean and really legit and we really like surfing through this website and they’re gonna want to crawl and index you for a lot more keywords.
Scott M: Yeah, so listeners out there. What we’ve got that keyword, we’re discovery, the keyword and we develop a strategy around and then of course we got to track it. We’ve got to see how we’re doing and then of course, we talked about the bots, we talked about those spiders going out there and that’s Google and it’s gonna toodle around your website. And if it is not structured right, it gives those bots certainly uncomfortable feeling. And it’s not gonna work. It’s that right?
Rich F: That’s right. They are not gonna index you for as much as you can be, right. So Step 1 to 3 is all kind of strategy and planning, step 4 is where we start the heavy lifting. We start going in and looking at your existing content, start fixing your titles, your meta, your internal links, your sitemaps, look how it’s being connected to search console. Essentially we’re gonna make it and that Google search engine bots when they come through everything looks smooth to them. Everything is best practice so that they can say, “okay these guys are on top of it. We like what they’re doing and we can rank them”. That’s where step number 4 comes in.
Scott M: And then number 5 we are talking about the content development. That’s huge.
Rich F: Yeah. Content is huge, right. Everybody… (inaudible). It is key but if you only do content it is no enough. Let me tell you why. So once you mapped out all the keywords that you want you’re obviously going to find like pages, you’re going to find keywords that you don’t even have a page for, right. So you always want to have a specific page. The way I look at content is like a fish line out in the ocean, right. You have to have the right type of bait, the content itself out, so that you can catch the right type of fish, right. What we do is we want to have so many types of threads out; it works kind of like an industrial net so they can catch all the fishes you want. And a lot of times, companies they just have their basic service page and a product page and that’s it. They don’t focus on the specific keywords and having the right type of pages for those keyword to talk about, right?
Scott M: Right.
Rich F: And the way you research what type of content you will want to have is, just type in what the keywords is and see who’s making the top 3 and what type of content they are talking about. Obviously, if it is educational, a piece where a blog piece that’s what you want to think about. Each keyword has its own buying intent and what the user where the reader wants to read about. So you don’t necessarily want to have a service page where people are looking for information. Well, you may want to use a blog page, you may want to use something that provides something more value or even a video at times. So that where you want to plan out your editorial calendar to see what type of content or what time of keywords you want to go after.
Scott M: Okay.
Rich F: That is why there is a lot more planning
Scott M: Okay. It is not, it’s, I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, Rich. You can start small
Rich F: Yeah
Scott M: but recognize that there is a strategy. You just don’t prop up a website and say, “I’ve done..”
Rich F: Yeah.
Scott M: That there is more to it and this is the first part of the 21st century and we could do so much more an I think that, that is really important for you, industrial professionals and companies out there to recognize of you are leaving money on the table.
Rich F: Yeah.
Scott M: Okay so number 6, we’re talking about authority building.
Rich F: Yeah, Authority Building. So this is where I want to talk about where people say content is key, right. Just because you have content on your website but your website domain is where the website itself is not respected by Google, your content is never gonna get high ranking. Because Google like I said earlier, Google can read all the content out there and people can just copy each other so how they decide, like who they’re gonna rank higher above the other. As through the authority of your website. That’s where we come in with the backlink building. We ensure that your website ranks in the eyes of Google has good authority. And we do that in 3 tiers. Okay. The first tier is you want to look like a real business. What is a real or real business have, they have an address. So what we want you to do is verify you on Google map, Bing maps and Apple maps. Okay. Once you get those 3, then you have to build the citations with your name and address and phone number. And in that way Google can crawl the web and say, “Okay you’re real”, with your address, with your brand, and your address and your phone number is all consistent throughout the internet. So you have to be a real business versus a fly-by-night business. That is Tier 1.
Tier 2, any real big brand, they’re active. They have social signals, they have press releases, they have different sources of web content where web assets coming back to them at all times. So what we want to do is we want to create, make sure you have an active Social Media account and you could do that with the RSS Feed from your blog and syndicate that out to your social media and you have a vibrant web 2.0 accounts, things like your YouTube accounts, where you’re like the WordPress. There is a lot of sites out there that you can register and push content out with the backlink to your website and now show Google that vibrant, your publishing out there.
And then there is 3rd layer. So the first two layer, they’re very controllable. If you think about it. You can really hire some intern to kind of do all these activities for you, right. Do directory submissions, they’ll build something on social media pages. Obviously they need to know the right proportions of what they need to do but it is not that difficult to do. You could train anybody to do that. The 3rd Tier is a little bit more difficult. It’s just more time consuming but it is the outreach. You want to go and get any manufacturers, other bloggers, other people coming back to your website and talking about you. The way you do that is you say, “hey, can I go ahead and write an article on your website and then in exchange you go ahead and link back to me” or you go to an existing page and you find a broken link and say, “hey, I saw that you have a broken link would you like to link to my website” and you know kind of sponsor a website. Essentially means that you’ll pay them to get a link from their website. It’s all very white hat. Google, they really see that I’m my own website, myself, that I run and I have gotten links from other pages that they try to do the sponsorship. And you know, I’ve gotten links for IBM and Staples, and fortune 500 companies. They all do this as a best practice. So those are the authorities in link building.
Scott M: So final step. We are at number 7.
Rich F: Review and Reporting. That’s a very major process for SEO because a lot of the work that SEO agencies do is you don’t see. It’s all everything is on the background, right. So, what you need to know is A. are you building authority to your website on a consistent basis. 2. Are those authorities resulting in proper rank, ranking for your website and then number 3. Is that getting traffic right. Obviously you want sales. So obviously you want to look at what type of lead generation, lead activities are coming in and out and how they are translating for you guys. But that’s reviews and reporting is super important. If they are getting rankings but you’re not getting additional traffic, you’ve probably hit the wrong key words that have no volume.
Scott M: Yeah. Alright we are going to take a break right now. We’re going to wrap it up on the other side of this break. You need to get a hold of this gent. Rich is… he knows his stuff and oh my gosh my mind. My head is swimming knowledge now. This is Richard Fong. He is CEO of Bliss Drive. We just done talking about the 7 steps of SEO. Don’t be afraid of SEO guys out there. Don’t. It’s a wonderful thing and it can be done and it’s important. So thank you for joining the Industrial Talk podcast. We will be right back.
Speaker 1: “You are listening to the Industrial Talk podcast network.”
Scott M: Alright, you, Industrial companies out there, did you know that 75% of all users do not click pass the first page of search engine results. 75%, I’m one of them. 60% of all the users click on the top 3 websites in their results. I’m also one of them. So bluntly stating, if you are not focused on SEO and optimizing your website with technology that makes you a success, you’re missing out on opportunity. I use Bliss Drive. They are a wonderful team that is passionate about you, your success and they stay current in this world of SEO. So if you want to get noticed, it’s SEO. If you want to gain more leads, it’s SEO. If you want to generate more revenue, it’s SEO. And if you want to stand out in this world of sameness, industrial sameness, it’s SEO. Bliss Drive is the company for you. Go to Blissdrive.com, find out more, they’re wonderful you will not be disappointed.
Scott M: Welcome back to the Industrial Talk podcast. Of course, we are talking to Rich because I can tell them, Rich, Rich Fong, CEO of Bliss Drive and we’re talking about SEO, Search Engine Optimization. Oh, god. This is so technical. I’m telling you right now, it’s very important to the success of your business and if you don’t do this, somebody will and will capture that market. As sure as I’m bald and my head is shiny, it will happen. Right? Am I right on that?
Rich F: Yeah.
Scott M: That’s speaking truth here. So anyway, Rich and everybody out there, you need to get a hold of this gentleman. He knows what he is a talking about and I’m sure he can remove a lot of pain. How do people in industrial talk world could get a hold of you?
Rich F: Yeah, absolutely. You can visit my website, that’s Bliss Drive. B-L-I-S-S, like happy and Drive like driving car. Blissdrive.com or email me, rich, [email protected] and I’ll be happy to answer any questions and set up a, what I can do is set up a call, do a screen share and showing you what your website look like as a Google, How you’re stacking up against your competition and what the market place looks like for you. So you could see an ROI from your SEO before you could start.
Scott M: Fantastic Stuff. I’ telling you right now what I’m going to do. Everybody out there, I’m linking. I’m going to provide all the links, I’m going to do everything because that’s what you need to do in SEO world but it’s very important to be that company that is thinking ahead. Be that professional that recognizes the necessity. That SEO is very important. Very important to your business, very important to your success and it’s so important and finding, I mean finding the right SEO expert is very key. Is that right Rich?
Rich F: Yeah, absolutely. So I get so many clients that have been burned in SEO. Essentially, they show them a lot of on-page and they do some content marketing, no backlinks, no authority building, nothing like that. Where we bring it back to the mechanic shop. When we do screen share, you’ll see all the tools we use and we could track it as we start working so you know that we are doing real work for our clients
Scott M: Absolutely stunning. Thank you very much, Rich. I do really appreciate your time and you were dropping some truth bombs in here. I really liked it and I’m definitely gonna have another conversation with you after the podcast. So, Thank you very much, you, industrial listeners out there. We’re gonna wrap it up on the other end. Thank you very much for joining. And Rich, thank you for being a part of industrial talk podcast.
Rich F: Thank you, Scott.
Scott M: Hey, once again. This is Scott MacKenzie with Industrial Talk, if you like what you are listening to, please feel free to sign up for the free podcast as well as the blogs. I’ll try to keep it all relevant to your business and hopefully be able to provide some insight into what we do in industrial talk and what you do as a professional. Hope to see you soon. Thank you.
Alright everybody out there. That was Richard Fong and I give you permission to call him Rich. He is a fantastic guy, he is passionate about your success, SEO success, Search Engine Optimization success. I highly recommend that you contact him at Bliss Drive, that is B-L-I-S-S Drive. Wonderful man, wants to make you a success. And so you have an open door to do that with Mr. Rich Fong. And once again thank you very much for joining the industrial talk podcast. You know you can get hold of me at Industrialtalk.com. I’m out there, get a hold of me, I would love to be able to talk to you. You want to be on this platform and you want to tell your story. Boom! Let’s make it happen. So anyway education opportunities, Industrial Academy. If you want to know all the stuff I’m doing in Industrial dojo, just go there, listen, it’s all free. No big deal. So once again thank you very much once again for joining the industrial talk podcast. I’m honored. I’m always honored to be a part of this incredible group of industrial professionals. Be safe out there. Thank you once again. And you will be hearing from me again soon! Have a wonderful day
Once upon a time, the only way to reach a business was to look them up in the phone book. You could call them, send them a letter in the mail, or visit them at their address.
If you own a business, you can still get listed in the phone book. In fact, you should. It’s a trustworthy source of information.
But don’t expect it to bring you much business. Most people won’t have the patience to thumb through its pages when they can pull out their phone and find the business their looking for in an instant.
85% of consumers say they use the internet to find local businesses. On the B2B side, 68% of business buyers prefer to search online on their own instead of speaking with a salesperson to get information about a business.
In addition to a website, businesses have an opportunity to get found by listing themselves in local business directories. But getting found isn’t the only benefit of getting listed.
If you want your website to show up in the search results of people in your area, local business directories can have a substantial effect on your search engine optimization (SEO). They aren’t the only ranking factor you need to consider, but they’re worth pursuing.
Here’s how it works.
Local Business Directories and Technical SEO
In the early days, Google’s algorithms treated every backlink to your website more or less equally. It was easy to gain a lot of domain authority by getting listed in hundreds of business directories or by engaging in link schemes, either by using automated software or by hiding links in widgets that were spread across websites.
At the time, getting links from almost anywhere was a good thing. It made Google think you were a hot item.
Today, not all backlinks are created equal in the eyes of the all-seeing search giant. A directory listing doesn’t carry the same weight as a contextual backlink from a piece of content on Forbes.com, for example.
Links from bad directories and other unreputable websites can also hurt you. Instead, Google wants you to create links that are “editorially placed or vouched for by the site’s owner of the page,” which it refers to as “natural links.”
The best kind of natural links are what you’d typically refer to as “organic” backlinks. It’s when someone finds your web page, likes what they see, and links to it in their own content. Take a look at the statistics listed in the 4th paragraph of this blog post, for example, and you’ll see some organic backlinks (you’re welcome Search Engine Land).
If you go to Google Search Console Help, you can get a full listing of what they consider to be “link schemes.” Towards the center of the page, you’ll see “low-quality directory or bookmark site links” listed:
But this shouldn’t scare you away from getting listed in reputable business directories. Google is now smart enough to recognize that these links aren’t “organic” in the sense mentioned above, but they are still legitimate links.
Each listing acts as a “citation.” In the eyes of Google, each citation is a confirmation of your business’s contact information, such as your name, address, and phone number (NAP). If you have accurate information listed across multiple reputable business directories complete with backlinks to your domain, Google can establish that you’re a legitimate business with a relatively authoritative site.
Local SEO is All About Authority and Trust
Technical aspects aside, directory listings impact your authority, and they’re especially important for local business. That’s because they are a source of trust.
Anybody can build a website and say they launched a business. But if there’s no other trace of that business anywhere else on the internet — no page on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, no reviews on Yelp, no listing with the local chamber of commerce, no LinkedIn business page — it doesn’t make that business look very authoritative, both to humans and to search engines.
Typically, you can’t just sign up and post a backlink. The most trustworthy directories will verify your business information before putting you on their website. They may want to have a phone call or go through an electronic verification process before you get that listing.
In addition to providing you with a backlink, directories like the BBB may even rate your business and offer accreditation to help you build trust. Just look at this page for a Plumber in Irvine, California:
Anyone who sees this listing will know that this business knows their stuff. They have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, they’re accredited, and there’s a link to their website to provide referral traffic and an SEO boost.
Unfortunately, it takes a lot of legwork to get listed in a substantial number of reputable directories. In most cases, you’ll make inquiries, submit information, take phone calls, and wait for the confirmation process to go through.
You also need to do it right — every single time. A single typo could throw a wrench into your directory strategy. Furthermore, some directories will have different options than others, and you need to complete your profile on every site to be taken seriously.
For example, a surprising number of the plumbers we found on the BBB site didn’t even have logos:
Your logo may not seem important when you’re trying to get listed as part of a backlinking strategy, but neglecting it only tells visitors one thing: You’re lazy.
Some businesses don’t have a branded logo, but even a JPEG of your business’s name is better than nothing. Most businesses just don’t have the time to fully flesh out all their directory listings. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to fill out tons of forms and take phone calls.
That’s why many businesses who market at the local level reach out to an agency to take care of the directory listing process for them. With a small investment, an agency will get you listed quickly thoroughly, and accurately, and they can even offer other SEO services.
The Best Local Business Directories
If you’ve got the time an inclination, we’ve compiled a list of the 65 of the most reputable local business directories to help. All of these sites have a domain authority of 40 or higher, a metric invented by Moz that estimates how valuable a certain domain is.
Some of these you’ll recognize (yes, Facebook can be considered a business directory), but some of them may be new to you:
For more information about directory listings and SEO, don’t hesitate to contact us at BlissDrive. Also, stay tuned for our Los Angeles SEO courses, so you can learn the ins and outs of SEO and prepare for the future of search.
Remember the good old days when all Google ever put on its search results pages were clearly-marked advertisements and organic results?
The search engine has changed dramatically since then, evolving from a search engine into a fully-fledged information engine. These days, even the simplest search queries can give you an abundance of widgets, images, videos, and maps.
In fact, Google’s search results can be so thorough you don’t even need to click on a website to get the answer you need. If you ask Google a question about science, history, or even personal finance, chances are, you’ll get the answer you need right in your search results.
Featured snippets are not the same thing as the #1 organic ranking. In fact, the web page that populates the featured snippet may even be lower than the top several results.
Because of this, some marketers have even questioned if the #1 spot is worth the trouble anymore.
Regardless, featured snippets are a fixture of the Google landscape now. While they’re great for users, they’re not always great for businesses — that is, unless you know how to capture them.
What’s the Featured Snippet?
According to Google, they call them featured “snippets” to differentiate them from other listings. In their own words, it’s “because unlike regular web listings, the page’s description — what we call a ‘snippet’ — comes first.”
The purpose of featured snippets is pretty straightforward.
Again, according to Google: “We display featured snippets in search when we believe this format will help people more easily discover what they’re seeking, both from the description and when they click on the link to read the page itself. It’s especially helpful for those on mobile or searching by voice.”
Google insists their featured snippets are not meant to take away from anyone’s web traffic, but whether they intend them to or not, they most definitely do.
According to one study, a top organic search result will receive about 26% of all click-throughs when no featured snippet is present. But when a featured snippet is present, the top organic search result gets less than 20% of all click-throughs.
Let’s say you do a search for “how much do you need for a down payment on a house.” If you look at the example below, it’s easy to see why snippets get so much attention:
The snippet dominates the page. Anyone who was just looking for a quick answer may already have it just by reading the snippet. They don’t need to look at the website, and almost everyone else will click-through on the search result featured on the snippet.
Snippets are just the beginning. Google has rolled out numerous other features that will likely keep searchers on Google instead of bringing them to other people’s websites, including the following:
Local teaser pack
Google even presents tools and interactive features in search results. Still thinking about buying a home? Say hello to Google’s mortgage calculator, which shows up with a search query of “how much does a mortgage cost”:
Basically, a featured snippet is to Google what a centerfold advertisement is to a magazine. You may have a love/hate relationship with Google because of snippets, but don’t kid yourself: You absolutely want to get your website featured on that featured snippet.
How Do You Get the Featured Snippet?
Plenty of articles have been written to answer this question.
Getting featured is not easy to do, especially with “how-to” articles and posts that are strictly informational. Google tends to reserve snippets for the Wikipedias and Webster’s Dictionaries of the world, as well as other trustworthy, well-established sources that are immensely popular.
But if you sell products, there is a bit of a hack that can increase your chances of getting a featured snippet. Keep in mind, you must still pay attention to SEO best practices and other ranking factors like domain authority. But if you follow these steps, you’ll have a much better chance of landing a snippet of your own.
Essentially, you must create content that is so immensely helpful to what your customers are looking for that Google can’t help but provide them with a snippet when they search for it. It might be next to impossible to rank for a query like “why is the sky blue,” but if your customers are world travelers, you may be able to rank for a query like, “best gifts to bring from a UK trip.”
Here’s how to do it:
1. Choose a Topic Your Customers Want to Learn About
There are two factors you need to consider when thinking about topics: What you sell and what your customers care about. Ideally, your blog topic will closely match what your customers type into Google when doing a search as well as what you have to offer.
For example, if you sell insurance to businesses, a good topic might be “What Types of Insurance are Needed for Small Businesses?”
Try to keep your keywords as close to the beginning of your title as possible. You may even consider a title like “Small Business Insurance — The Ultimate Guide to What You Need.”
2. Structure for Your Blog Post
Writing about topics your customers are interested in is something you should be doing already. And that alone won’t win you the featured snippet.
To get listed, you need to structure your blog post so it’s easy for both humans and search engines to understand. If you sell products through your website, you also need to feature your products within the post. Each of your sub-headings should focus on either a category of product you sell or the product itself.
You’ll need enough content for Google to consider your page worthwhile. For this reason, it’s sometimes best to write “ultimate guides” or other types of epic content.
You’ll have several subheadings, and therefore several sections, in your ultimate guide.
Altogether, you should have 1 introduction, a table of contents, multiple sections focused on categories of products you sell (each with 1 sub-section that focuses on a single product you sell), one section that links to an external website featuring something you think is worthwhile but not competitive to you, and one final section that links to related content on your website.
Here’s what the basic structure of your post should look like:
H1 (Your blog title)
Introduction (a short paragraph)
Table of contents (with hyperlinks to H2’s)
H2 #1 (Blog title – your product category)
Product example from category
H2 #1 (Blog title – your product category)
Product example from category
(Include as many H2’s as you can)
Section for related content
Let’s fill out the structure using the UK gift example from above:
H1: Best Gifts to Bring Home from a UK Trip: Your Ultimate Guide
(Table of contents)
H2 #1: 1. Best Gifts to Bring Home from a UK Trip – Teas
Earl Grey Tea Set
H2 #2: 1. Best Gifts to Bring Home from a UK Trip – Chocolates
Cadbury Dinky Deckers
Section for related content
As you can see, each H2 should include the name of your blog post as well as the category of product you’re featuring.
3. Add Product Content
Once you have the structure down, filling in the content is relatively easy. Each H2 section should contain the following:
A product category description, including benefits and why the products solve the customer’s problems
A description of a specific product
One or more images of product(s)
The image alt text should be the same or similar to your H2
The image should link to the product page of the product it shows
3 or more internal links to your own pages that sell products in that category or the specific product you’re featuring
A call-to-action button that links to the featured product or featured product category
4. Create a Section for Related Content
Your section for related content doesn’t need to be extensive. In fact, a bullet list will work perfectly.
Create hyperlinks to other pages or posts that are related to this one. This helps to tell Google that you cover the topic in-depth and are authoritative on the subject your customer was searching for.
Furthermore, it can help customers find related content they are interested in while also keeping them on your website.
5. Write a Brief Introduction
You may be tempted to write the introduction first, but it’s usually easier once you’ve already fleshed out the rest of your post. Your introduction doesn’t need to be very long, but there are a few things it should include:
A featured image
An explanation of why the post will be helpful to the customer
The criteria of the products featured on the post (i.e. “highest quality” or “hand-crafted”)
A transition phrase to ease the reader into the rest of the post
6. Build a Table of Contents with Links to Products
This is a step that so many people skip because they think it’s irrelevant, but do not skip this step.
Your table of contents helps Google’s crawlers understand your page faster and more easily, which can help you rank better than your competitors. Instead of crawling your entire page, the crawlers know what the page is about immediately based on your table.
Your table of contents should go immediately after your introduction. All your H2 sections should be listed. Each listing in your table should also include an internal hyperlink that goes to its corresponding H2 section.
To create internal hyperlinks, you’ll first need to create anchor text. Anchor text is a small bit of code that you place next to your H2 sections so that your internal hyperlinks know where to bring the user when clicked. Each anchor text should have a unique identifier — it’s usually easiest to just use the name of your H2 section.
In WordPress, you’ll need to switch from “Visual” mode in the top right of your blog post editor to either “Text” or “HTML.”
Find your subsection, then input this code while in “Text” mode:
So, for the “Teas” section we created above, your anchor text could look like this:
<a name=”teas”>Teas</a> –> Teas
<a name=”teas”>Chocolate</a> –> Chocolates
If you have multiple words in your unique identifier, add a dash between each of the words:
Use dashes in your hyperlinks as well.
When you return to the items in your table of contents, place a “#” and the unique identifiers for each of your anchor texts as the embedded link instead of a URL.
For example, your table may look like the following:
When you click on them, they should take you straight to the H2 section.
7. Submit Your URL to Google
Once you’ve built and published your post, submit the URL to Google Search Console. This is optional, as Google will eventually crawl your page anyway. But there’s no reason to wait.
Simply go to your Google Search Console account, go to “URL inspection,” paste the URL for your published post, and click “Request Indexing.”
It can take as long as 48 hours for Google to crawl your page. But don’t hesitate to run search queries to see if you rank!
Want to learn how to get quality backlinks, build great content, and master on-page SEO? We’ve got the tools and experience to help you succeed. Sign up for our Los Angeles SEO training course today!
Update Your Content Regularly
Finally, remember that just because you’ve claimed the featured snippet once, that doesn’t mean you’ll still have it months or years down the road.
Your competitors are uploading new content to their websites all the time. Stay apprised of their strategies and find out if they’re trying to mimic you to take the snippet away. Update your content occasionally, either by adding to it or changing it to keep it relevant.
The hard part is putting up the initial post. Once it’s up, you’ll just need to do a little bit of maintenance to hold on to that featured snippet.
Do you have any other recommendations for claiming a Google featured snippet? What about Google’s knowledge cards and news boxes? Tell us all about it in the comments below and we’ll respond!
At the beginning of 2018, 15% of American adults had interacted with a chatbot and 44% of consumers said they would prefer to interact with a chatbot over a human customer service representative.
The allure of chatbots for businesses is obvious. You get an automated customer service representative without the cost of human capital. Your prospects and customers get an instant response to their questions at any time of day.
80% of businesses want to use chatbots by 2020. But a surprising number of businesses aren’t using chatbots, not even in their simplest forms. With conversion rate increases as high as 266% in some use cases, why aren’t more businesses putting this innovative technology to work?
If you want to learn how to double your lead capture with chatbots, find out more below.
How Do Chatbots Work?
Put simply, a bot is a type of AI software that performs tasks. A chatbot’s task is to communicate with humans to help them get answers, solve problems, or accomplish their own tasks, such as making a purchase or scheduling an appointment.
Chatbots interact with humans over the easily-recognizable format of a chat or SMS window. Talking to a chatbot is not unlike text messaging, although you can expect chatbots to respond much faster than humans!
Likely, you’ve seen a chatbot in one form or another if you’ve browsed any business websites recently. There are two varieties: smart chatbots and simple chatbots.
Smart chatbots can respond to complex inquiries using algorithms and machine learning. They don’t use pre-written answers.
There is a lot of excitement surrounding smart chatbots, but most of them are still in their developmental stages. They aren’t employed by many businesses.
Simple chatbots can answer basic questions or serve information to users. These are usually pre-written responses that are triggered by specific keywords.
Simple chatbots are the most commonly used chatbots by businesses. You can integrate simple third-party bots into your website or even develop your own.
What Can Chatbots Do?
Chatbots can be attached to a knowledge base to answer FAQs about a product. They can also be integrated into an ecommerce website to help visitors make a purchase, or perform other tasks, such as:
Provide customer support
Accept bill payments
Provide financial advice
Help consumers find products
Book travel arrangements
Reserve seats at a restaurant
Capture contact information
Chatbots can also be built for messaging and text apps like Facebook Messenger.
But one of the main reasons businesses are interested in chatbots is that they can provide a better website conversion rate than traditional methods, such as live chat or contact forms. These conversion opportunities aren’t obsolete, but they aren’t a frictionless way for visitors to interact with your business.
Chatbots are important for creating an action-driven website design. That is, they’re just one more tool for encouraging your visitors to seamlessly convert.
We’re just beginning to understand all the opportunities chatbots can provide. Here are some of the most effective ways chatbots can help you increase lead capture. Learn about SEO services Los Angeles CA.
Offer Coupons and Discounts
Everyone loves free stuff, but not everyone is willing to fill out a form or talk to someone to get it.
For example, Primo Fitness had a live chat feature on their website, but it wasn’t getting much use, despite the number of visitors they were getting. The company had some special offers they wanted to promote, but their old tactics weren’t giving them the results they wanted.
When they installed a simple chatbot on their website, they started getting 12 leads every day by providing visitors with a free discount offer:
Once the visitor provides an email address, their offer is emailed to them automatically and Primo Fitness gets a new contact. If this offer had only been accessible through a CTA or contact form, do you think it would have had such a high conversion rate?
In this case, the chatbot turned a discount offer into a conversation. Instead of filling out form fields, all the visitor needed to do was chat with a bot.
Provide Customer and Visitor Support
Most businesses pride themselves on their customer service. Unfortunately, most businesses aren’t living up to the expectations of their customers and prospects.
Chatbots provide an easy way for customers to get in touch with businesses, get questions answered, and access the support they need. They’re particularly useful for software companies that need to field a lot of questions about how to use their software. In this situation, chatbots can be integrated with a base of knowledge to provide customers with quick answers to their questions.
But businesses aren’t just using chatbots to increase their customer response rates. Chatbots can also save businesses vast amounts of money.
According to one report, chatbots can reduce customer service costs by 30%.
Nonetheless, there is a right way and a wrong way to use chatbots from customer service.
Chatbots should never have the final say on serious customer inquiries. The chatbot should declare itself and provide an easy avenue for customers to speak to a human if they so choose. A clumsy chatbot can exacerbate a customer issue if it doesn’t provide the right resources.
According to one study, 40% of U.S. consumers still prefer to talk to a human for customer support. Most experts recommend using AI-powered solutions to provide quick answers and to gather data about a customer’s inquiry. Meanwhile, humans should be the arbiters of detailed inquiries and serious customer complaints.
Schedule Calls and Meetings
For B2B businesses, nothing is more important to sales than scheduling a phone call. Chatbots make it easy for prospects to contact you and book a meeting with one of your representatives. Prospects can even do it without speaking to a human.
In most cases, you’ll connect your chatbot to a scheduling tool. Check out HubSpot’s HubBot as an example.
Once you ask about pricing, the bot qualifies you as a lead. Then, the transition from bot to human is seamless. Immediately, you can book a meeting with someone on the HubSpot team to talk about pricing.
How Do You Implement a Chatbot?
For most businesses, implementing a chatbot on their website isn’t a difficult process. There are plenty of third-party bots available that can accomplish any number of tasks.
The trick is knowing what you want your bot to do. Before implementing a chatbot, do the following:
Identify opportunities for lead capture
Determine the purpose and goal of your chatbot
Visualize and plan the customer experience
Find a chatbot that works for your objectives, or develop your own
Implement and test your chatbot
Analyze the results of your chatbot
When used correctly, chatbots can dramatically influence the conversion rate on your website.
Are you interested in other opportunities to optimize your conversion rates? Get a free consultation with Bliss Drive by calling 949-229-3454 or schedule a call online right now.
We are recognized as a top Search Engine Optimization Company on DesignRush.
There is a way to calculate the return of your SEO investment and luckily it’s not too tricky.
But the calculation is different than, say, calculating ROI for media buying.
It is easy to compute for the ROI for media buying: You buy traffic from Google or Facebook for X number of dollars and you get a certain amount of traffic.
The ROI is clear. You can use this simple formula for your paid ad campaigns:
ROI = Sales Growth – Paid Ad Cost
Paid Ad Cost
If your sales grew by $10,000 and the Facebook ad campaign you spent was $1,000, your ROI is 9%.
It’s different with Search Engine Optimization.
We are not just talking about dollars when we speak of ROI from SEO. Although we are expecting sales, a dollar amount might just be one of the metrics.
The ROI of your SEO shouldn’t be calculated month to month. Think long-term. It has to be approached similarly to a project or a campaign with a long-term business results or returns.
SEO does not always produce instant results—especially in the first couple of months—but that doesn’t mean it isn’t working. Learn more about the Pricing for SEO Services
To use an analogy, SEO is like constructing a building. You may have built the foundation or the structure, but you can’t move in until it’s done. But later, once construction is completed, you can enjoy the property for a long time to come. And, you may have to reinvest later on to make improvements.
There are two things you need to understand and remember when measuring your SEO campaign’s ROI:
Conversion is a very important factor to consider for the success of your SEO campaign.
In a broad definition, conversion is the term used to describe a website visitor completing a goal. The goal could be purchasing a product or signing up for a consultation.
The website’s conversion rate is the number of times a visitor completes a goal, divided by the total traffic coming in to the website.
First figure out your keyword search volume and your website traffic. From there, you should understand how much of the traffic is turning into leads… and into business.
Let’s say you have 1% conversion from your website traffic, find out how much business that 1% is bringing in.
If you don’t know the numbers, the best approach is to speak to an SEO expert who can help.
Value for your business
SEO brings more value to your business, which your company can enjoy for an extended period of time.
With PPC, you are seeing and getting the results while the campaign is. SEO, on the other hand, lets you enjoy the benefits even after the SEO campaign is over.
By having your website organically ranked, you can build an inbound lead generation system for qualified leads that will bring you higher conversion rates based on your goals.
SEO traffic has a higher conversion rate than paid media. The reasons are:
It builds trust and authority to your website.
People trust what Google favors in their search engine results.
Visitors take more time to look at your website.
Visitors engage with your business more.
If you are thinking of selling your website, a well-ranked website is definitely more attractive.
Set up your business goals
To measure the returns on your SEO investments, your company has to define the goals you want to achieve.
For an ecommerce business, the business goal is to get people to buy your products. For a technology company, it might be getting visitors to sign up for a demo or request a consultation.
You can configure Google Analytics based on your business goals. Goals can be applied to specific pages of your website and every goal can have a monetary value.
The Analytics tracks a visitor who performs an action based on the defined goal and records it as a conversion.
Google categorizes the goals into 5 types.
Measuring Your SEO Campaign’s ROI
Google Analytics makes it easier for an ecommerce sites to calculate the ROI.
But since all businesses are not created equal, it doesn’t work the same for non-ecommerce websites.
For some websites, determining ROI per customer may require you to consider the Lifetime Value of your Customer less Acquisition Cost.
However, for other businesses, ROI can be computed based on the goals set. Your goals could be based on appointments made or signups for an online course.
To compute your ROI, Google Analytics requires that you assign a Dollar Value to your goal.
The best way to see the success of your SEO efforts is to calculate your ROI.
Unlike paid media, SEO ROI is different, because you have to consider different metrics. Primarily, you need to think of: (1) your Conversion Rate, and (2) its worth to your business.
Defining the goals you want to achieve is very important.
Google Analytics has proven very helpful in computing the ROI, not only for ecommerce, but also for the goals you’ve set.
Would you like to know more about how to calculate the ROI on your SEO efforts? We offer a free, no-obligation SEO consultation. Give me a call now at 949-229-3454.
You need to have a sound basis to evaluate whether a SEO company is right for your business or not.
With so many companies offering their SEO expertise, choosing who your company should go with can get downright confusing.
While pricing can be a factor in your decision, think of SEO as an investment and not a commodity. You could get it for cheap but you may also end up getting cheap service.
Some businesses hire an SEO company without fully understanding what they are getting into. Then, later on, they aren’t quite sure what the outcomes are and they end up frustrated.
If you take SEO seriously and are willing to invest in a reliable company, you’ll reap the rewards for a long time to come.
But first things first: You have to choose the right SEO Company. (And get it right the first time.)
The right SEO Company can help you generate more leads and sales, cut acquisition costs, and expand your brand exposure.
Here is a 5-point checklist that will help you choose the right SEO company:
Is Conversion their top priority?
Traffic and keyword rankings are great but at the end of the day, as a business, you want to hear about opportunities, leads, phone calls and sales.
SEO companies may approach your organization, offering their services and promising to deliver high traffic and boost keywords. There is nothing wrong with that—we love traffic and rankings, too.
The problems start when all of the SEO work drives unqualified traffic to your site. Your website might end up attracting the wrong audience. Worst case scenario, the high-traffic strategy will just direct spam bots and fake referral traffic your way.
The right SEO company does not take the traffic and keyword ranking away from the equation—those are important—but they list Conversion as their topmost priority.
They will perform website analyses, check your Call-to-Actions (CTA), and other elements of your website, making sure that everything is working together and inspiring people to take action.
Is SEO at the core of what they do?
Today there’s no need to debate whether or not SEO is important. Everyone who is familiar with the internet and search engines knows the importance of search engine optimization for business.
However, the increase in demand for SEO has enticed a lot of people to hop on the bandwagon and offer SEO as a service. It means it has quickly become a money-maker.
Some of these people are web developers, media buyers or marketing people who have added SEO to their service portfolio.
SEO is more than just publishing a page and on-page optimization. There are a lot of things going on behind the scenes which require expertise and experience to deliver successfully.
A good SEO company has to know about key strategies and technologies and be able to execute.
When choosing a company, make sure that SEO is their core competency—not just a secondary or optional offering.
Do they have a proven track record and strategies?
Pretty much all SEO companies can market themselves well and tell you about what they can do. What you really need to know is what they have achieved for their clients.
The best way to learn that is not only through the information handed to you by the companies themselves. You need to do your own research as well.
Learn about their client base. Reach out to some of their clients and talk about their experience in working with the company. And ask about the SEO results they’ve gotten so far.
You can also speak directly to the SEO strategists themselves to discuss how they can help bridge the gap between your company and your competition.
The ideal SEO strategist should be able to show you exactly what your website needs, how far your business is from getting to the top and what it will take for your business to reach the goals you’ve set.
How quickly can they respond?
When you hire an SEO company, they essentially become the IT for your website.
That means they become accountable for what’s going on in your website.
So, when technical trouble arises, like when your website is down or something stops working, they should be able to respond to you and address the problem quickly.
Google is concerned with user experience. If something isn’t right, they may actually penalize your website and push you lower in the rankings.
So, if you spot a problem, your SEO company should be able to act on it as soon as possible, ideally within 12 hours.
Some companies are not able to do that though. Some may not respond for days or even weeks.
Make sure that the SEO company you are about to work with is responsive, has solid technical support in place and can ensure fast turnaround time.
Is the company providing value to their customers?
Make sure the company you’ll be working with truly provides value for their clients. One way to do that is to check these important references:
Check their website for client testimonials. If they have video testimonials, even better.
Go to their Facebook page and see if their clients have written any reviews.
Google them and see what comes up. You may be able to find some more reviews about them—good or bad.
There are several things you need to consider when choosing an SEO company. The 5-point checklist will help get you started.
Every business is unique so, depending on your company, you can create your own requirements on what to look for in an SEO company.