When it comes to retail and ecommerce, brand awareness and being found online are always considered difficult areas to improve without an expert. However, with a few well-planned updates, it doesn’t have to be as confusing as many make it sound. Here are just a few methods of effective promotion and tips to make sure your store is found online.
We’ve all heard of it, but not everybody understands it. SEO stands for search engine optimization… which is essentially a set of strategies which can help you to rank higher on search engines. When you get it right, SEO drives plenty of online traffic, also translating to more foot traffic for brick-and-mortar retailers.
As an example of its importance, the first result on Google typically has a click-through-rate (CTR) of 36.4%, while the second has a CTR of 12.5% and the third result has a 9.5% CTR. The further you slip down in the list of search results, the less likely you are to be seen.
SEO isn’t an overnight fix, but small changes and updates can work to continuously improve your site’s visibility. Here are a few basic areas to focus on when looking to improve website ranking.
SEO Keywords: the basics
You should include keywords which your target market will be searching for. There are plenty of free keyword research tools which you can use to help decide on the correct terms to use. Ubersuggest and Google AdWords can both help to get a greater understanding of suitable keywords to use.
There are three types of keyword to target; product, category and content. Product and category keywords should cover the items you are selling and the industry you sell in, while content keywords can be more varied and based on blog content, working to capture a more varied audience. Try not to overlap between the three.
Focus keywords should be included in the most natural way possible, and ideally 3-5 times each. These should be included in every:
- Image File Name
- Image Alt-Text
- Product description
- Meta Description
Keyword competition and search volume are two other aspects to consider. Keyword competition relates to how many other sites are using these same keywords. Search volume is the number of searches for any set term. The perfect keywords are typically a middle-ground, having less competition and high search volume.
Always use relevant keywords as Google flags sites which visitors regularly leave quickly, also known as a ‘bounce rate’, ranking them lower. While you may gain more traffic, it’s not worth taking uninterested people to your pages.
Here are just a few more ways you can get your store noticed by the masses online:
Create excitement around your site and get your target market talking. A competition or giveaway is a certain way to bring positive brand awareness while promoting specific products or campaigns. Competitions which require social media sharing as part of entry are a particularly successful method of reaching a larger audience, especially when the competition or entry form is hosted on your site.
Use social media to direct shoppers to your website, linking to relevant information, promoting areas of your site and encouraging sharing to grow your reach even further.
Incentivise customer referrals with online refer-a-friend programs. Treat loyal customers with discounts in return for recommendations. After all, people are far more likely to sign up when somebody they know trusts the site.
An easy to use website will intrigue and keep consumers captivated. Don’t try to include too much on your pages, laying relevant information out attractively and ensuring the load time doesn’t deter visitors. Make clear icons where visitors can click to share the page with others.
Once you’ve been found online, the last thing you want to do is to scare your customers off. Make sure your website is optimized to work on mobile devices, with clear menu bars, visible imagery and legible text.
Looking for ways to boost instore sales using social media? click here.
Holly brings a wealth of experience in both print and digital publishing. As Modern Retail’s Content Editor, Holly is passionate about helping independent retailers to thrive in today’s ever-changing market.