How to optimise content on e-commerce sites

From a SEO point of view, content is crucial for e-commerce sites. If you want potential customers to find your goods and services online, then it needs to be easy to seek out on search engines, as this is where the majority of traffic will come from. As we all know by now, a profusion of high quality content with relevant keywords is arguably the best way to achieve this intention.

However, if consumers decide to visit your e-commerce store, they also need a fair bit of encouragement to make a purchase. Unfortunately, a picture of the product and a brief description doesn’t always work and a virtual sales pitch is usually required.

Therefore, content has to serve two purposes. It needs to work from a search engine perspective, but also persuade prospects to convert. This can be quite a tricky proposition and requires a different approach to content. Thankfully, even small outlets can compete with the biggest online retailers if they manage to nail their content offering. Here’s how:

Write customer focused content

There is a time and a place to build brand identity or improve corporate reputations, but this isn’t one of them. When it comes to selling a product, content should focus on the customer, not the business. Therefore, avoid using words like ‘us’ and ‘we’ in favour of ‘you’ and ‘your’.

Why should the customer buy your product? What are some of the benefits? How can it improve the customer’s daily life? These questions should be answered in the copy. By doing so, you can start to build a relationship of trust, which will inevitably result in more conversions.

Think about telling stories or using examples as to when and where they might be using the product. If you’re selling luxury watches, describe how it will impress your partner or peers at a social event. If outdoor furniture is your speciality, tell the reader how their garden could do with greater practicality.

In addition to hyping up the product, give the customer assurances that they will benefit from doing business with you and not somebody else. They might like the look of a particular product, but then go elsewhere to find a cheaper price. This is where you need to seal the deal.

Write for the buyer but don’t forget the user

The individual searching and browsing your products might not be the end-user, which is a vital fact that too many organisations forget. What’s more, the reasons behind the buyer’s purchase may be different to the intended user, so this needs to be taken into consideration too.

If a parent is buying a new mountain bike for their teenager, they will want to know it is a safe and sturdy product that won’t break or cause unnecessary injury. However, the adolescent in question will be more concerned with how it looks and performs.

There is every chance that this teenager is looking for mountain bikes online and will eventually share the link with his or her parents. Therefore, content needs to be for everyone. Creating excitement and arousing enthusiasm is vital, but a level of trust and belief in both the product and brand needs to be established too.

Appeal to the right people with the right modifiers

Turning short keywords and phrases into long tail terms with the help of modifiers can attract more targeted and relevant users. Long tail terms are hugely beneficial for things like Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, but they can also help an e-commerce site’s content marketing and SEO strategy too.

Think about your main product offering and come up with some associated words. These can be used as your modifiers and should become part of your internal linking structure. Even the addition of simple words like ‘buy’ before your keywords and ‘online’ afterwards can help improve your search engine footprint.

Assign these to the pages where you want to bring in traffic and combine modifiers to make even more variations. A lack of modifiers or descriptive terms will result in a poor ranking, affecting your chances of conversions and sales.

Even though modifiers should be relevant, try to use words that speak to your audience. If it becomes apparent that your copy is only there to appear high up on a search engine, the customer is probably less likely to convert.

Don’t forget about keywords

Keyword density has lost its influence as a ranking factor in recent years, but it remains an important SEO tactic that still requires attention. If rival sites with a better ranking have thin content with bad formatting and poor keyword density, you’ll be able to take full advantage.

However, if they have managed to create a good user experience with top-class content and a solid backlink profile, try to replicate this success. Capitalise on the power and potential of modifiers but don’t forget to concentrate on quality. Search engine visibility is important, but customers should always be your prime concern. If you create compelling copy that is appealing, useful and enjoyable but still includes relevant keywords, SEO success can be achieved.

Finally, include conversion details in the copy

It is all well and good featuring icons or buttons that offer free shipping and money back guarantees, but these reasons to convert should be included in the copy as well. This is another way to establish a relationship with the customer, build trust, and guide them down the sales funnel.

If your product comes with a warranty or you’re offering a free trial, make customers aware of these facts more than once. Not only can it reinforce your overall message, it has the potential to markedly improve SEO as well.

SEO copy and e-commerce content are not mutually exclusive. To stand the best chance of achieving better search engine visibility and greater conversions, they must work together. Just remember to focus on the customer, don’t forget about the end user and keyword density, include the right modifiers and constantly recount the benefits of buying.

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