Check out the latest installment of the Volusion Ecommerce Marketing series, where our professionals provide Volusion merchants with conversion consulting and SEO feedback.
Each month the Volusion Services Team assembles a cross-functional team of online marketing experts to take a quick look at a Volusion store. In this Ecommerce Marketing Checkup, our team explored Avance Electronics, a merchant specializing in accessories for phones and tablets.
Our rock-star team sat down to determine how Avance Electronics could optimize its overall online marketing strategy to increase clicks, conversions, and revenue. Our team analyzed the multi-faceted marketing strategies relating to Conversion Optimization and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) while providing observations, analysis, and recommendations for improvement.
Check out their recommendations below!
Simple Tips for Bigger Conversions
“Walk through your site as a customer would. Put yourself in their shoes and see what extra information you would want before making a purchase, or what may cause you to click away from the website. This exercise can help you fix anything that may cause people to leave the purchase process as well as help you realize what great things you’re doing are keeping customers engaged!”
-Mia, Search Marketing Manager
Make sure all products have images:
It’s always a good idea to think about a website in relation to purchasing products in a physical store. Before they buy, shoppers want to know exactly what they will receive when they hand over money in exchange for a product. If a product is unable to be seen and is hidden behind a wall, customers are much less likely to purchase because they are not as confident that what they will receive matches their expectation. This is why it is essential to provide as much product information as possible.
Avance Electronics does a great job of this with their product descriptions. The compatibility tab is especially helpful to shoppers. However, not all products have product images. Adding images to every product increases the likelihood of purchase. Remember, shoppers can’t pick up and hold products when shopping online, so where possible, add multiple images to even further enhance the shopping experience.
Include a clear shipping and return policy:
When shopping online, customers like to know when they will receive a product and what their shipping options are. Additionally, they like to know whether or not they can return products and the timeframe. The fixed footer Avance Electronics has on their site is the perfect place to put these links, so that shoppers can access that information easily when they are navigating around the site and deciding when they should purchase. It looks like Avance Electronics offers their customers a lot of great shipping options, and having that information displayed up front will help customers know which option is best for them!
Help shoppers navigate through to products and information easily:
For online retailers, it’s a good idea to walk through their sites and click around, so it’s easy to see the experience online shoppers will have. Avance Electronics should take a look around their site and make sure that all links are going to pages that contain information that will help shoppers to purchase. One of the slideshow images currently leads to a page with no products, while the Discover link in the header leads to a blog with no posts. Those are links that take valuable space, so they should go to pages with products or content that help incentivize customers to purchase!
Avance Electronics does a great job with so many items on their website, including great product information and a great layout and design! The benefit will be from just taking a fine-tooth comb to the site and making sure all the information shoppers need is available to them!
The Secret of Great SEO: Process and Consistency
“Creating a plan for on-page SEO elements such as title tags, meta descriptions, targeted keywords, and proper content before creating pages makes it easier to stay consistent. I have found that formulating a disciplined system based on repetition of SEO principles makes it much easier to optimize current pages and ensure that any future pages are optimized from the start. When you write out a plan of how you want to present your brand, your site, and your content – you are able to keep your message focused much more easily.”
-Brian, Search Marketing Specialist
The following suggestions are intended to improve the site’s structure and relevance, thus increasing organic traffic for pertinent search terms.
Title Tag and Meta Description:
The above image shows exactly how Avance Electronics’ home page looks to potential visitors in the search engine results page (SERP). The blue linked text is the title tag for the page – and in this case is focusing solely on the iPhone 5 Battery Case. Creating strategic, targeted, and unique title tags for every page would greatly improve the relevance for a larger number of search queries and drive more traffic. As Title Tags are the most important and valuable on-page SEO element, it is highly recommended to carefully target and craft yours to suit your site and brand.
The Meta Description that can be seen below the title in the SERP also focuses solely on iPhone 5 Battery Cases. While the Meta Description is not as important to SEO in terms of ranking, it is the best opportunity to communicate to potential customers and entice them into clicking on to the site and increasing your click-through rate. Descriptions should be informative as well as include a call to action to earn as many clicks as possible.
An example of an optimized Title Tag and Meta Description can be found below:
The two most common mistakes that I see for Meta Keywords is that people either don’t use them or use too many – often called “keyword stuffing.” In the case of Avance Electronics, there are no Meta Keywords declared. While it is widely believed that Google does not give any value to keywords in this field, it does still read them. Other browsers also use Meta Keywords to help with relevance, so it is in your best interest to select 3-5 targeted keywords for the page and include these keywords in the Meta Keywords field.
Here is Avance Electronics’ Keywords Tag:
This is an example from a similar site’s Keywords Tag:
Targeting 3-5 keywords and including them in the various Meta Tags is the best practice. Avance Electronics would benefit from a SEO standpoint by researching 3-5 targeted keywords and including them in the Meta Tags.
Product Category URLs:
The Volusion platform allows site owners to customize the URLs for product category pages as well as individual product pages – and it is easy to do! By including a keyword or two in the URL, it allows for Google and other search engines to signal greater relevance for those terms. For example:
This category corresponds with Battery Cases and all of the products within the category are iPhone related. I would suggest changing the URL to:
This can be done by logging into your storefront and clicking on the “Advanced Info” Arrow and the “Search Engine Optimization” tab as seen here:
The red arrow points to the field that you use to edit the URL. Keep in mind that any spaces between words will either be appended a dash or an underscore, depending on your current URL settings. In order to get the URL to the example shown above, we would enter: iPhone-battery-cases into the field.
Display Products Below Sub Categories:
At Avance Electronics, clicking on the products menu navigation link brings you to a category page and list of sub categories:
As you can see, there are no products listed in this particular category. I would recommend adding popular or high margin products to this category page so that customers may see what they are looking for without having to click through any other sub categories. This would also help with SEO as Google can crawl this page and have more product keywords to help with relevance. In addition, optimizing the Meta Tags and adding content with targeted keywords included below the products is the best practice.
Product URLs can be optimized in the exact same way as category URLs. When optimizing individual product pages, the same process of keyword research, selection, and implementation applies. After selecting keywords and text for the Title Tag, Heading Tags, Meta Descriptions, and on-page content – it is important not to forget about the URL!
Here is an example of the current URL for a product on the site:
This particular product happens to be an Ultra-Slim Battery Case for the iPhone. Proper keyword research will give a choice of 3-5 words to use in the new URL:
A common mantra in SEO is that “content is king” and I certainly agree with that assessment. One of the best things that you can do for the success of your SEO campaign is to craft unique, relevant, and keyword-rich content for each page. In terms of content length, longer is most often better. The absolute minimum length that I would recommend for each page is 350-500 words. Keep in mind that this is the minimum! If you can take the time and effort to create longer, more relevant and engaging unique content – you will see better results in your campaign.
Resist the temptation to copy-and-paste information or specifications from manufacturer websites or other sources already out on the internet. Google does not like duplicate content and it is one of the most common and biggest hindrances to SEO campaigns that I see on a day-to-day basis. If you are unsure of your content uniqueness, the easiest way to check is to copy text from your site (up to 32 words) and paste it into Google with quotation marks around it:
"Now you can get double the battery power for your iPhone 5S/5 in the Avance WattPlus battery case. The ultra-slim case integrates a rechargeable battery that”
As you can see, it shows the source of the text that exists on other pages on the internet as well as the duplicate content on multiple pages within the Avance Electronics domain itself. You can also use online tools such as Copyscape to enter your URL and check for duplicate content. The best thing to do is minimize the duplicate content on your site by creating new content whenever possible.
Be sure to join us in future Marketing Checkup Posts, where we will take a look at more example merchants to explore other marketing strategies and avenues. If you have any questions about the advice we have offered for Avance Electronics, or if you have noticed an aspect that we have missed, please let us know in the comments below.