Surprisingly, every single one of the following factors affects a crucial aspect of digital marketing that many eCommerce SEO experts tend to overlook: user engagement.
Here are the 4 SEO factors that never seem to get enough attention when implementing an SEO campaign:
- Content Depth
You are probably saying: “Come on. I take care of all these factors (and 200 more) all day long.”
But, do you?
Let’s go over the first one on the list and find out.
Many eCommerce SEO “experts” will tell you that, right after you find the right target keywords, all you need to do is write pages that are three thousand words long, and churn out blogs like there is no tomorrow. They seem to think that “deep content” literally means flooding Google with gobbledygook or besieging it with assault grade keyword repetition until it surrenders the first page to them.
But the whole point of getting content depth right is to know what your audience actually wants to find when they perform a query.
If your target audience wants quick answers, the best way to convince them to click the back button in their browsers is to greet them with a wall of text and confusing menus. Remember this: the last thing your audience wants is to be presented with endless options, menus, and submenus.
Some audiences want an in-depth description of a product before buying, so providing relevant product descriptions that include ingredients, components, uses, and other facts will definitely give you an edge. In that case, go deep and write a well-researched piece on the subject.
However, if your audience already knows what they want, or just needs to compare brands or prices, then they’re looking for simple, ankle-deep content that gives them a quick glance at prices, features, coupled with a fast checkout process.
Content is king, but Google users are the ones who decide if your content is what they need. You need to know your audience, and what they usually like to consume.
For example, if you are into sports equipment, you don’t want to compete against Wikipedia and write blogs about the history of sports. That would be a complete waste of time from an SEO point of view. You want to create pieces like “Top 5 accessories for beginners”, or a “best gear for under 100 dollars” guide, and then fill them up with copy that entices them to go check your products and make a purchase. If Google senses that your visitors stay on your website and convert, then you nailed the content depth for your niche.
It goes without saying that your content needs to be up-to-date and relevant. However, it does not mean that Google falls for the old trick of repackaging old content and slapping a “2021” sticker on it. In fact, there are ranking results that can be more than ten years old but still offer a direct answer to what people ask Google.
The freshness factor depends a lot on the nature of your business. An eCommerce SEO company should evaluate your industry, niche, and specific audience to determine how freshness affects your chances to rank.
Trying to keep up with news and recent events when you are in an industry like, say, handcrafts will not do any good. You must focus on creating evergreen content that will be relevant to your audience for years. It is good advice to check what the highest-ranking results have to say about a topic, and just write a better and more optimized piece that will provide the same value today and ten years from now.
Again, think about the content depth your audience expects. If they feel their question is not being answered within 15 seconds, they will likely go back to the search results page. Don´t drown them with words and images just because you read somewhere that Google likes content. It does, but only if it´s as deep as its users want it to be.
You are running an eCommerce online store. That means that you deal with personal and financial information from hundreds or thousands of loyal customers who trust you will keep it safe. Encrypting this information by using hypertext transfer protocol secure (try saying that five times fast), makes it harder for evildoers to get ahold of this information.
Now, HTTPS is said to be a lightweight ranking factor. Google´s John Mueller said it was not really a ranking factor, and that unsecured pages can rank all the same.
Yeah, that’s wrong. HTTPS is not a factor in deciding whether or not to index a page, at all. We do use HTTPS as a light-weight ranking factor, and having HTTPS is great for users. A free certificate from Let’s Encrypt works just as well.
— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) January 29, 2019
If a big shot at Google says it, it must be true, right?
Well, if you dare going commando, Google Chrome and other browsers will display a nasty “not secure” warning to visitors browsing your store. That will make them feel like your eCommerce website might not be the best place to spend their money or trust their personal information. Inevitably, it will result in higher bounce rates, and THAT is a definite ranking factor. It means Google is actually soft-enforcing site encryption by indirectly lowering unsecured websites’ conversion rates. Clever.
You might find many eCommerce SEO agencies that downplay the importance of HTTPS for rankings, and they might technically be correct. However, always think of your customers and the potential long-term effects of having a warning label right at the top of their browsers every time they visit your store.
Your eCommerce Business is all set, the web design looks amazing, and your site structure is flawless. However, you notice that very few handheld devices visit your store or stay longer than 5 seconds. You would think your eCommerce SEO services included responsive design, and in fact, they billed you for it.
What happens most of the time is that many of these page optimization services use automated tools that only lower the resolution of your desktop version and make it fit on smaller screens. That’s fast and cost-effective, but ultimately counterproductive.
It results in pages that can be scrolled in every direction when displayed on a smartphone, making users confused and unaware of what’s up and what’s down.
A responsive website needs to adapt to how users navigate websites on their smart devices. Professional eCommerce SEO experts make sure your website seamlessly adapts to the size of any screen and it remains usable and enjoyable no matter the screen resolution. They automatically hide sidebars or adjust text alignment. Responsiveness is about doing anything it takes to make sure a user will be able to fully enjoy all the features of your website both from their desktop or their smartphone. Google is very serious about responsiveness, and you should make it a serious priority for your eCommerce store, too.
These factors tend to be overlooked because they are often misunderstood. Just follow these simple rules and you will be gold:
Keep the content in line with what searchers want.
Write content that is evergreen.
Make sure your visitors feel your site is secure.
Constantly check your website from different devices.
We know we´re not reinventing the wheel here. But for some arcane reason that defies all logic, we still find websites that overlook these simple factors no matter how many articles and SEO tutorials point them out.
If you feel you need more information, you can read our blog or contact one of our eCommerce SEO experts. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
- Marcel Casella
- August 20, 2021