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There’s never been a better time to bolster your eCommerce marketing efforts. The age of digital transformation is upon us, and more consumers than ever before are turning to online shopping as a means of making the purchases that they’d formerly have completed in brick-and-mortar settings.
By 2026, 24% of all retail sales are expected to take place online. While this paves the way for a great opportunity for eCommerce businesses to grow, it also means that the industry is set to become increasingly competitive as more brands wake up to the potential of a growing online marketplace.
So, how can your brand ensure that it’s head and shoulders above your competitors in selling your products? The answer lies in your approach to marketing.
Online visibility and reputation are qualities that are earned through high-quality SEO practices, and the most organised eCommerce businesses can steal a march on their rivals by optimising their processes sooner rather than later.
But how can you start enhancing your marketing tactics to secure those all-important conversions and sales? Let’s take a deeper look at four essential approaches that can help to skyrocket your performance:
Give Your On-Site SEO Credentials a Spring Clean
One of the most important and easy-to-action ways of bolstering your eCommerce sales is to become more visible online by improving your search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy.
This is essential because greater SEO credentials can help your site rank higher on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs), helping more customers discover your brand and visit your site.
Improving your on-site SEO doesn’t need an industry expert to put into action, and you can begin making changes right away.
Keyword research and optimisation is an excellent means of aiding your pursuit of reaching the first page of Google and generating more sales. By conducting keyword research, you can discover which terms your target audience is searching for and where you can rank most effectively by utilising them.
Platforms like Ahrefs can be great for keyword discovery. Let’s imagine that you’re an eCommerce store specialising in homeware. It’s possible to use Ahrefs to get to the heart of the biggest talking points in your industry that don’t have much existing competition on Google.
As we can see from Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer, the term ‘cheap homeware’ is already a good keyword to rank for, with the platform suggesting that around 29 backlinks from referring domains will be sufficient to rank in the top 10 for the term.
However, Ahrefs is also excellent at suggesting more long-tail keywords to help make your keyword usage even more efficient.
Looking at Ahrefs’ keyword ideas, we can see that suggestions are shown in a colour-coded matrix that details suggestions in order of search volume.
Improve Your Website’s Layout
One surefire way of improving your SEO is to create an easy-to-follow website structure where your menu is simplified and all of your pages can be accessed via a couple of clicks at most. This helps search engine crawlers to navigate and categorise your pages better.
When your website is easy to navigate, your visitors will feel more inclined to spend more time browsing and build better brand awareness.
Because eCommerce is all about ensuring your brand appeals to your target audience in the right way, it’s worth adopting heatmap software like Mouseflow or Hotjar which can reveal key patterns in customer behaviour in how they use your website.
One heatmap offered by Mouseflow, the movement heatmap, can help monitor visitor movement data on your pages–clearly displaying which parts of your site, and what calls-to-action, are gaining the most attention.
Heatmaps are particularly important for eCommerce stores because they can tell you where customers spend the most time browsing. If a certain area of your page is gaining more attention, you may want to move a call-to-action onto this particular section, for instance.
You can better analyse your website’s layout through conversion funnel analysis and optimisation tools. These can help you discover areas of your site where you may be seeing cart abandonments from your leads. In exploring and repairing these obstacles, you can ensure that you’re maximising your potential for leveraging sales.
Increase Your Website Traffic Through Guest Posting
The single most important way of securing eCommerce sales is by growing your online presence through organic and referral traffic.
How can your website attain organic and referral traffic? Guest posting has evolved to become one of the most effective ways to secure powerful backlinks from reputable domains that help to take your SEO to the next level.
For some businesses, the notion of creating content that’s destined to be published elsewhere can seem a little counterintuitive. However, in SEO terms, there’s nothing better than showcasing your website in a relevant publication or blog.
Referral traffic from guest posts comes from your use of backlinks. By adding backlinks that refer back to your eCommerce store, it’s possible to single-handedly generate more organic traffic, improve your organic rankings and generate conversions.
Not only can this approach bring you more traffic and sales, but reputable backlinks also cause search engine crawlers to view your website in a more favourable way, helping to grow your website’s authority and climb up in SERPs, thereby generating even more organic traffic.
So, how can you optimise your guest posting to get the best volumes of traffic and subsequent conversions? Ahrefs can help once again.
Let’s revisit our homeware eCommerce store. To identify backlink opportunities on guest post sites, a good tactic is to identify a strong industry presence with a similar niche. Let’s look to UK homeware store Dunelm as a leader in this regard.
Using Ahrefs’ Site Explorer, we can look at the backlinks that Dunelm has secured from external websites. We can narrow our results down by looking for those important ‘dofollow’ links and compiling one link per domain within the referral sites.
By listing the results in order of domain rating, we can scroll down the list of options until we identify websites that can make for a good prospect to approach with guest content.
While the highest DR websites on this list of results certainly generate plenty of traffic, it’s worth targeting reputable website blogs that have an editorial team and that appear to accept guest posts.
In looking for websites that have hosted articles featuring backlinks, you may find the perfect host site to approach with your content. Sending an email to one of the site’s authors or editors with your suggestions while introducing yourself can be a great way to get your guest posting game up and running. You may even strike a positive relationship with an editor that could see you posting fresh content on a regular basis.
Another key benefit of guest posting is that it can help position you as an industry thought leader, which can aid better brand value among your target audience.
While guest posting is a time-consuming process, it’s worthwhile hiring a specialist guest posting agency to do the hard work for you. A great option is Solvid, where you can select a qualifier when ordering a guest post. It could be based on Domain Authority (DA), Domain Rating (DR), Publisher’s Traffic or a combination of all metrics. Although some options can get quite pricey, it’s the only provider on the market that offers DA80+ and DR90+ placements.
Using a specialist agency is a great way to scale your link-building efforts and generate consistent, quality backlinks.
Become Obsessive About Your Mailing List
Email marketing strategies can be strong for both eCommerce and brick-and-mortar stores. If you’re not operating on a ‘collect as many email addresses as possible’ basis, you’re actively allowing your visitors to forget about your brand.
In the age of GDPR, it can be difficult to build effective mailing lists, but by adding an incentive for email sign-ups, such as a discount, promotion, or free exclusive content, you can entice more leads into making a conversion that could pave the way for future sales.
By incentivising mailing list sign-ups, you can set yourself up to send personalised emails to recipients on a regular, but non-intrusive, basis that helps to keep your brand fresh in their minds.
The great thing about email is that your leads are already clearly interested, meaning that they may only need a little push with a call-to-action to follow up on this interest.
Running isolated offers like 10% off of a first purchase, or free delivery for a limited time, could provide the spark needed to cause your recipients to take action on their interest.
Never Get Complacent With Your Store
Finally, it’s important to emphasise that no eCommerce store should ever become complacent when it comes to reviewing its SEO. Yes, you may be seeing great traffic, conversions, and sales flow through your website, but it’s when the going is good that it’s best to undertake essential maintenance.
If a problem with your SEO manifests and your sales dry up, the problem could already cause shortfalls that heavily impact your cash flow.
With this in mind, constantly checking your pages on platforms like Google Analytics can become a healthy exercise when time allows. The beauty of these analytical platforms is that they’re effective problem solvers–especially at times when you may be unaware that something’s wrong.