3 minute read.

6 more strategic tips for e-commerce websites


Paul Anthony / September 18, 2009

Posted in: Archive


Following up on a previous (surprisingly popular) post, there’s a couple of other things online retailers can do to easily improve their site and traffic. Common sense tips on the whole, but overlooked in some cases.

1) Utilise Affiliates

I’ve come into contact with far too many shops that still don’t offer their data up to affiliate networks. There are a bunch of people who are much better online marketers than you can ever hope to be, so giving them access to your data can help reap the rewards. Affiliate Window and Affiliate Future are good starting points.

2) Optimise linktext

If you are using any out of the box e-commerce platform, you are likely to have a list of products as core functionality within that product. It amazes me how many online shops still just use the product image to link through. To increase the relevance of product namesĀ  (and ultimately long tail searches) you should be using suitable and relevant linktext as well as links, titles and alt tags on the product images to maximise your seo efforts.

3) Early adopt Micro-formats

If you’ve the flexibility to do it, you may as well start looking at Micro-formats for your e-commerce site. Micro-formats to those of you who haven’t a clue what I’m on about are a way of marking up your HTML with meaning. Google have got behind the movement as it takes away some of the guess work that they have to perform at present. If a member of the Google product team is writing the spec, you can bet your bottom dollar that it won’t be long before it makes it’s Google product search.

There are two main elements you should look at. hProduct for products, and hReview for any customer reviews that you perform. Already even though these are in draft status Google have used Micro-formats to provide reviews in Google Product search, and to markup images for their Images search.

4) Use third party sites

To get things off the ground, there are numerous sites which allow you to drop links for free. Voucher sites in particular for e-commerce are an absolute must. Sites like Quidco, can drive a phenomenal amount of traffic, particularly if the voucher promotion you are running has an expiry date. If you can setup regular feeds for the voucher sites, so much the better – help them to help you. You provide them with your latest offers, they provide you with the traffic you need.

5) Get Listed on Google Product Search

You are listed on Google Base right? If not you are missing out on a massive opportunity for free traffic to your site. As I’ve mentioned earlier, using the hReview micro-format can help your product reviews make their way into Google product search. More positive reviews is likely to have a positive impact on the algorithm, in much the same way as the more reviews you get – the higher you appear on local search.

6) Increase Natural Clickthroughs

Think like your visitors. There’s nothing like the juicy sign that you add extra value from your competitors right from the SERP’s. IF you offer free delivery on orders – let them know by stating it directly in the title tag of your site, I promise the clickthrough’s will increase substantially by implementing something so simple.

Tagged:
  • E-commerce
  • strategy

2 responses to “6 more strategic tips for e-commerce websites

  1. 7) Convert site visitors into loyal customers. So, you’ve done steps 1-6 above and now the visitor is on your site. The product listings must engage and increase customer interaction to increase sales and strengthen brand loyalty. One way is to organize product, company and brand backstory into meaninful categories (i.e., social media, organic, green factory) and use rich media like video. Also, aggregate social media content (Twitter, RSS feeds, etc) to provide real-time product and customer feedback at the point of sale. Transparency, connection with the brand and product and perhaps even knowledge transfer will convert visitors to customers and keep them coming back.

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