As we enter the new year, it’s important to start looking ahead at ecommerce search engine optimization (SEO) trends for the new year. SEO is constantly evolving, so it’s crucial that you keep up with the changes to ensure your ecommerce business performs well in search results. In this post, we’ll cover five ecommerce trends for next year and help you stay ahead of the game.
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1. Optimize for voice search
As you adjust your ecommerce SEO campaign for next year, you’ll want to think about voice search optimization. Voice search optimization is one of the fastest-growing ecommerce SEO trends for using to search online. It involves using voice search devices to conduct online searches and even purchase products.
Some of the most popular devices include Alexa, Google Home, Siri, and Cortana. Many people use these devices to shop. In fact, 29 percent of people use voice devices to shop, and 41 percent of voice device owners plan to use them for shopping in the future.
With voice search continuing to gain popularity, it’s important to optimize your site to reach more voice search visitors. It’s important to note that voice search optimization is slightly different from traditional SEO — and if you want to attract voice search customers, you must adapt and audit your ecommerce SEO plan for these users.
How do I adapt my ecommerce SEO plan for voice search?
To start adapting your SEO campaign for voice search, there are a few steps you can take.
1. Choose long-tail keywords Similar to traditional SEO, you’ll want to choose long-tail keywords for voice search queries. Long-tail keywords are keywords that contain three or more words. An example of a long-tail keyword is “black steel toe boots.” This is a specific keyword that tells you exactly what your audience wants to find.
When they search with this long-tail keyword, they want to find products that are black steel toe boots. It’s important to optimize for long-tail keywords because many people will search for long-tail keywords when conducting voice searches. Many voice searches are 6-10 words long or more.
People tend to say more when they speak than when they type. By adapting for long-tail keywords, you’ll help your business reach more interested leads. You’ll appear in more relevant search results and help your business rank higher in relevant results.
2. Optimize for questions When users conduct searches on voice search, they are more likely to ask questions than say phrases. Users will say “Where can I buy black steel toe boots?” instead of “black steel toe boots.” It’s important that you optimize for queries. People are going to ask questions instead of stating keywords.
This is one of the biggest differences between voice search and SEO.
3. Optimize for slang phrases When you adapt to voice search, consider how people speak. If you want to appear in front of relevant leads, you must account for slang words and phrases they may use. Dialect can dictate if you appear in relevant voice search results.
For instance, many people say “soda,” while other people say “pop.” If you’re trying to rank in a region that uses “pop,” you’ll want to use that keyword to ensure you attract leads to your page. You don’t want to miss out on leads because you haven’t adapted for the right phrases.
2. Build a stronger brand
Your brand is a crucial part of your business. When people are more familiar with your brand, they are more likely to choose you over the competition. Brand familiarity builds trust with your audience.
They know your brand well and feel confident about purchasing your products. In addition to building brand familiarity with your audience, you also want to build relationships with people in your niche. Whether they’re bloggers or social media influencers, it’s important to build up your brand to these people, so they will feature your products on their platforms.
How do I adapt my ecommerce SEO plan to build my brand?
The best way to build your brand is to make it consistent. If you want people to remember your business, you must make it easy for them.
Being consistent across the board will help build your brand. When you post content on your site, your blog, or any social media site, your brand should appear the same. It should have the same color, design, and font on any photos or videos you post.
This will help you keep your brand image the same. In addition to the visual aspects of your brand, your brand tone must be consistent too. When you create content or post information on your site, ensure that your content has the same tone.
This will help you build up your brand for your audience. If you want to distinguish your brand from other ecommerce brands, show your audience the value of your brand. As soon as they enter your site, they should feel a part of your business.
Make your visitors feel welcome and immediately engaged them. This can be something as simple as giving them an offer the first time they get on your site. A coupon for a percentage off a product can immediately engage them and get them to interact with your brand.
3. Create a positive user experience (UX)
User experience (UX) is a crucial part of your online presence — it’s also a common ecommerce SEO problem. When you have leads on your site, you must provide them with a positive UX. If leads have a good experience on your site, they will remain engaged and interested in your page.
A positive UX has a strong impact on your audience. When your audience has a good experience on your site, they are likely to remain on it. This means they are spending more time getting to know your business and learn about your products.
Creating a good UX will help your business earn conversions. People will spend more time getting to know your brand and will choose you over the competition. It’s an opportunity for your business to grow financially and earn repeat customers.
How do I integrate UX into my ecommerce SEO plan?
There are various aspects you can alter to improve the UX for your audience. Here are a few main elements you’ll want to focus on for next year.
- Improve page speed: Page speed is an important factor in determining whether leads remain on your page or leave. If your page loads too slowly, leads will leave your page for a competitor’s page. To prevent this from happening, invest in page speed services to ensure that your page is running in top shape.
- Focus on UX design: When users browse your site, it’s important that your design is friendly and easy to use for your audience. If you want to keep leads interested in your page, you must make it easy for your audience to navigate your site. Focus on keeping your layout and navigation easy to use for your audience.
- Add engaging elements: Don’t bog down your site with text. Include visual elements such as photos, infographics, and videos to keep your audience interested and engaged on your page. It will help you provide a better experience for your audience and makes your site more visually interesting.
By improving the UX, you’ll keep leads on your site longer. It will help you increase engagement on your page and earn more conversions for your business.
4. Monitor your analytics
If you want to drive better results with your SEO campaign, you must focus on your analytics. Your site’s analytics help you understand how people interact with your site and where you can improve your campaign. You can track your analytics with Google Analytics or programs like MarketingCloudFX, our proprietary software for WebFX clients.
This gives you insight into your campaign’s performance. You can monitor analytics such as impressions, click-through rate (CTR), dwell time, and conversions. These metrics will affect your performance in the search results.
They matter to Google’s algorithm and influence where your site appears. If you want to improve your site’s ranking, you must improve these metrics to produce better results. It’s a great way to measure the traffic on your site and see how they interact with it.
You can see if people dwell on your pages long, or if they leave almost immediately. It gives you a good insight into how to improve your audience’s experience on your site. When you monitor your analytics, you create an opportunity to improve your site.
Improving your site will provide your audience with a better experience, which nudges them towards purchasing your products or services. Your UX and analytics go hand in hand because they focus on creating a better experience for your audience, which leads to more conversions for your business.
5. Secure your site
As the Internet continues to grow, online security is increasingly more important. You want your customers to feel secure when they’re on your site. The best way to do this is to ensure that you have a secure site.
Sites that have “https” at the front of the link are secure sites. You will need an SSL certificate to get the “https” in front of your website. Once you get your certificate, you’ll need to activate it to get your site secure.
A secure site will help you earn more conversions. People will feel more comfortable entering their credit card information to buy products on your site. This will help you earn more valuable conversions for your business.
6. Use product schema markup
As real estate in search results shrinks, it’s becoming critical for ecommerce companies to use product schema markup, also called product markup or product schema. With this type of structured data, your business can stand out in search results, which can lead to more clicks and customers.
What is product schema markup?
Product schema markup refers to a kind of structured data that helps search engines (and users) understand your page and product better. Depending on the type of structured data, your product page can receive an enhanced look in search results, like by featuring the product’s star rating and price.
Usually, product schema markup encompasses a few different structured data types, including:
- AggregateOffer: Highlights the lowest and highest price for an item sold by multiple sellers.
- Offer: Shares a product’s availability and sale price, as well as the expiration date for that price.
- Product: Provides a product’s name, description, images, reviews, and more.
In most cases, businesses use the product markup, which can stack with AggregateOffer and Offer. If you use structured data on your website and product pages, you’ll add the markup to your site’s code. A developer can help you make quick work of this task if you’re unfamiliar with coding and using structured data.
Why does product schema markup matter to ecommerce SEO?
When it comes to ecommerce SEO trends, product schema markup matters for a few reasons:
Product schema markup gives you more real estate in search results
Space for organic search results continues to dwindle as ads, video carousels, featured snippets, and knowledge graphs start to dominate the search results and take up real estate. You need to maximize your space in search engine results pages (SERPs), and structured data can help you do that.
With product markup, your business can earn some additional space (and attention) in search results. If you can make your organic listing stand out, you can increase your chances of shoppers clicking on your website and purchasing your product.
Product schema markup helps you answer user questions fast
The evolution of search results on Google demonstrates how search engines have transitioned to answer engines. They’ve become a one-stop shop for users to ask questions, without even leaving the search results page.
If your organic listing doesn’t answer a shopper’s question or provide them with enough information to take the next step, like clicking on your website, they will shop with someone else. That’s why businesses need to use product schema markup on product pages. With this type of structured data, your business can provide search engines and users with the information they need instantly.
That information, like your product’s availability, reviews, and price, can help shoppers click with confidence.
Product schema markup enhances your look in image search results
Using product schema also upgrades the look of your products in image search results. Now, when someone searches for a product via Google Images, they can see helpful information about your item, like its price, availability, and reviews. These details can motivate a shopper to click and visit your website, which can result in a purchase.
Ecommerce SEO tips for this trend
Are you ready to use product schema markup? Then get started with these ecommerce SEO tips:
Use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper
With Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper, it’s easy to create product markup for your pages. Just follow these steps:
- Select “Products”
- Add your product page’s URL or add the page’s HTML
- Click “Start tagging”
- Highlight text or images on the page and select the relevant tag, like “Image” or “Name”
- Select “Add missing tags” for any tags you can’t add via highlighting
- Click “Create HTML” when finished tagging
- Download the product markup
When you add any structured data to your page, place the markup before your closing “</head>” tag, near the bottom of your page. If you aren’t familiar or comfortable working with the HTML version of your pages, pass the code and information along to your company’s developer.
Test all product schema markup
Even if you’re familiar with using structured data, don’t skip testing it. Double-checking your product schema markup saves you time, as well as ensures that your schema displays.
You can also preview your schema markup by testing it, which makes double-checking for typos even easier. Use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool or Rich Results Test Tool to check your product markup. Just enter your structured data code or page URL, and Google will do the rest.
Your report will highlight any errors and warnings, as well as share how to fix those issues. If you use the Rich Results Test Tool, you can also preview how your markup and page will appear in search results.
7. Embrace AR
With augmented reality, your business gets a brand-new way to engage (and help) online shoppers. Plus, you adopt a feature that can make your products stand out in search results, which can translate to more traffic, sales, and even social chatter.
What is AR?
Augmented reality uses computer-generated 3D objects to create an interactive experience that combines real-world and computer-generated objects. The mobile app Pokémon Go is an example of an AR experience because users can see and interact with Pokémon against the backdrop of the real world.
Why does AR matter to ecommerce SEO?
AR matters to ecommerce SEO for a few reasons, including:
AR enhances the user experience
Around 80% of shoppers research products online. If you want to give them the best experience possible, AR can help.
Upgrading your product listings with an augmented reality feature can help users see your product in-action, as well as experiment with its placement in their homes.
AR fixes a common downside of online shopping
When shopping online, many shoppers hope that what they see is what they’ll get. It’s not uncommon for products to look slightly different in-person due to photography lighting or brightness and contrast settings on a user’s device. With AR, however, your company can resolve this issue.
The 3D version of your product can help shoppers see every angle and feature of your product. Plus, they can preview the product in their home. Both perks give users more confidence in purchasing your item.
AR upgrades organic search listings
Like product schema markup, augmented reality also enhances your product page’s look in search results.
On Google, for example, your site will feature a “View in 3D” button. This button expands your real estate in search results and helps your website stand out.
Ecommerce SEO tips for this trend
If you’re curious about this ecommerce SEO trend for next year, check out these tips:
Apply for Google’s Early Adopters Program
When it comes to Google SEO, AR is brand-new. That’s why, if companies want to highlight this feature in search results, they must apply to Google’s Early Adopters Program. The application process involves a simple form, which asks for your organization’s website, contact information, and reason for your interest.
Even if you feel like Google will deny your application, it’s fast and easy to apply. Take the chance and see what happens. If you get approved, you get access to a feature that few have, which gives you an even better competitive advantage.
Add AR support to your website
Whether you get accepted or rejected to Google’s Early Adopters Program, you should begin preparing for augmented reality.
Research what your website would need to support AR experiences. Then, make the necessary updates to make it happen. Even if you can’t use the Early Adopters Program to highlight your product’s AR feature, you can still offer the experience on your website.
With this improvement to your user experience (UX), you could increase conversion rates on your site, which means more sales and revenue. For the best results, start small and focus on your best-selling products. If you see positive results from offering augmented reality experiences on these items, scale and add the feature to the rest of your lineup.
8. Achieve ADA compliance
Compliance with the ADA is another ecommerce SEO trend that companies need to prioritize.
What is ADA compliance?
ADA compliance refers to the Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design. This act states that all electronic and information technology, like websites, must be accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities.
Why does ADA compliance matter to ecommerce SEO?
ADA compliance matters for a few reasons, including:
ADA compliance ensures everyone can buy your products
Your business wants to reach its target audience. Having a website that people with disabilities can’t access, however, goes against that goal.
Excluding part of your target market, intentionally or unintentionally, prevents your business from reaching its full potential when it comes to sales and revenue. Invest in ADA compliance as a part of your ecommerce SEO strategy, and your company can reach your target market and grow.
ADA compliance protects your business from lawsuits and fines
Ignoring ADA standards poses a serious risk to your ecommerce store’s future. Non-compliance can lead to fines and lawsuits against your business.
First-time violations, for example, can result in a $55,000 to $75,000 fine, while repeat violations warrant a $150,000 fine. That’s why ADA compliance is critical.
ADA compliance supports an A+ user experience
UX is an enormous focus for search engines today. You want to provide the best possible user experience, which is fast and friendly to all users, whether they’re viewing your site on a laptop, screen reader, or smartphone.
Becoming ADA compliant helps your business deliver an A+ experience to everyone. For example, when you become ADA compliant, you give users the ability to customize your site to their needs. They can increase text sizes and color contrast, for instance, to make your website easier to use and browse.
That customization can send positive UX signals to Google, which can influence your rankings in search results. A user that can adapt your site to their needs, for instance, will likely stay on your website longer, leading to a longer time on page and lower bounce rate, which Google watches.
Ecommerce SEO tips for this trend
Make this trend a part of your strategy with these ecommerce SEO tips:
Hire a web design agency that specializes in ADA compliance
While you can become ADA compliant in-house, it’s difficult for small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) with fewer team members. It’s even more challenging if your developer doesn’t know anything about ADA compliance. That’s why hiring a web design agency that specializes in ADA compliance is a smart choice.
When you go this route, you get instant access to an entire design and development team with ADA compliance experience. They can get your website compliant fast, which saves your ecommerce company time and spares you the worry over non-compliance.
Focus on automated ADA compliance versus manual ADA compliance
Whether you decide to become compliant with the help of an in-house developer or agency, try to automate your compliance efforts as much as possible. This approach will save you time, plus reduce errors.
If you have a WordPress website, you can choose from a few different plugins, like Accessibility Suite, that will help automate your ADA compliance. In most cases, these plugins will require a paid subscription. Should you partner with an agency, stick to ones that offer automated ADA compliance services.
9. Start video marketing
Another ecommerce SEO trend is video.
What is video marketing?
Video marketing revolves around creating video content that promotes your business and products, as well as educates your audience. Your video content can range from Q&A’s on Facebook to helpful product videos on YouTube.
Why does video marketing matter to ecommerce SEO?
Video marketing matters to ecommerce SEO for a few reasons, including:
Video earns exclusive real estate in search results
When it comes to search results, video earns a prime spot. The video carousel in Google search results, for example, places a string of videos near the top of the page.
With their catchy thumbnails and animated previews, it’s easy (and enticing) for users to click on these videos. Investing in video marketing can help your business earn a spot in the video carousel. That means your ecommerce store could appear twice in Google search results.
Once in the video carousel and once in the traditional organic search results.
Video enhances the user experience
Video also offers a massive bonus to users and the user experience. Around 90% of shoppers say that video helps them make a purchase decision. That’s one reason why video improves conversions by 86%, meaning more sales and revenue for your business.
Video improves search result rankings
Using and adding video to your website can have a significant impact on your rankings in search results.
In fact, studies show you’re 53X more likely to rank on the first page of Google by using video on your site. That’s because video improves user behavior metrics that Google monitors, like dwell time.
Ecommerce SEO tips for this trend
Incorporate video into your strategy with these ecommerce SEO tips:
Go for a homemade video approach
A lot of businesses avoid video marketing because they worry about creating a blockbuster-level video. When it comes to video marketing, though, you don’t have to shoot a Hollywood-level film. People want genuine content and accurate information first.
Shoot your first video, like a product overview or live stream, with a smartphone. Just remember to outline what you want to say beforehand. That way, your video will remain to-the-point and keep users engaged.
Create multi-purpose videos
For the most effective video marketing strategy, focus on filming multi-use videos.
These are videos that you can re-use across your website. Generally, these videos will cover broad topics, which makes them versatile. As an example, your business may shoot a testimonial video.
You can upload this video to multiple pages on your site, from your product pages to your about page. Even better, you can share this clip on social media.
Start optimizing your ecommerce SEO plan for next year
If you want to make the most of your ecommerce business’s presence, you must start optimizing your SEO campaign. Optimizing your ecommerce SEO plan will help you get a leg up on the competition in the next year. Want to stay ahead of the competition?