Monthly Archives: February 2018

Info Your Site Search May be Hurting Your Conversion And Bottom Line

On average, nearly 40{f27d30d81fa29060f5b357e7bc6b43788891064f20c0bc45c45950780a355153} of e-commerce shoppers use the website’s internal search engine to find the product they are looking for. Since they are likely to be in the final stages of the buying process and have a specificintent, using site search indicates higher chances of conversion among those who use search, compared to casual browsers.

Every online retailer wants to increase sales, that’s a given. And yet, it’s amazing how many e-commerce sites fail to perform some of the basic optimization processes that help boost profitability and conversions. Site search usability is one of the core areas which, if not fully optimized,can cause visitors to quickly head over to a competitor’s site, where it may be easier to find what they’re looking for.

Only 15{f27d30d81fa29060f5b357e7bc6b43788891064f20c0bc45c45950780a355153} of companies have dedicated resources to optimizing the e-commerce site search experience, while 40{f27d30d81fa29060f5b357e7bc6b43788891064f20c0bc45c45950780a355153} of retailers are ignoring it altogether. While most retailers still seem to underestimate the importance of a finely tuned site search, this trend is gaining momentum.

If you own an online shop, look at it from the customer’s perspective, which should be easy since we all shop online. By now, we are accustomed to the “search-as-you-type” functionality, and we don’t just expect it from Google – we expect it while shopping on any e-commerce website. And, as you may also notice at one point or another, there’s a considerable difference between generic implementation and what happens when you start typing a keyword into an advanced, clever search bar.

According to various digital trends & reports, an optimized site search functionality improves conversion and sales for several reasons. Here’s why site search is one of the best areas to invest in on your own site:

  • Leads to increased site usage
  • Results in more return visits
  • Delivers better overall user experience
  • Contributes tobranding
  • Improves customer retention and loyalty rates

You might be thinking, ‘my site is already awesome. My graphics are easy on the eyes. My content is on point. I offer some of the best products or services in my industry. I’ve conducted comprehensive research on my target audience. What’s causing my conversion to lag behind?’

Well, there are several ways your sitesearch may be hurting your conversion and bottom line. Have a look at them, and see if they apply:

1.  Search trends

In an e-commerce business, if the search trends aren’t apt, chances are that buyers may not return, resulting in a missed opportunity for conversion. Some search trends are seasonal and easily predictable, while others may appear suddenly and for particular reasons that are virtually impossible to pinpoint or predict. Keeping track of all the upwards and downwards trends will help you manage your inventory more efficiently and present more relevant results.

2.  Marketing-related insights

Some customers search in unexpected ways, using various synonyms and phrases when they are looking for a particular product you may have named and described differently that what they imagine. If this is the case, a low AdWords quality score and CTR, and SEO efforts may be the biggest constraint in your conversion. Therefore, it’s best to align your marketing copy with your customers’ language – despite your best efforts to be cool, innovative or original.

3.  Product-query relevance rank

An importantbut rarely provided insight, is how specific products rank in terms of relevance for a given search term, and how that rank changes over time. Search engines strive to interpret the intended meaning behind a search query, and provide the most relevant results in the most pertinent order for each individual user. If the product query or a search term is not relevant, then there will be a decline in conversion rate.

For example, perhaps you’ve always assumed mid-November was the best time to promote the winter collection of a particular clothing brand, but when looking at trends in product rank for searches of that brand you might find that customers are engaging with the winter collection much earlier than expected. Understanding when and which products are more relevant to the search query can help guide other decisions related to in-store navigation, merchandising, and promotion – particularly if there are seasonal changes. Search is often your best real-time pulse to learn the shifting demands and needs of customers.

4.  Low conversion rate and average order value

If your conversion rate and/or average order value (AOV) are low compared to search visits, it is likely negatively affectingyour bottom line. Both of these are vital KPIs and are more indicative or success thantraffic or organic search visits. So, if you want to promote your on site search box, get a redesign that encourages your visitors to use your search functionality.

5. Navigation issues

On which pages are most site-searches initiated? When a customer enters a search term, if that certain page shows an uncharacteristically large amount of initiated searches, it could point to problems with your product categorization as well as in your site’s navigation. Site search tools provide a powerful and familiar means to help with navigation elements.

6.  Less filtering options

If a user is not able to narrow down their searches using a variety of sorting tools to filter the product selection, then the conversion rate may drop. That’s why filtering options are essential to a sound user experience,including product category, price range, size, brand, color, and user ratings. The more filtering options you can offer, the better it is for the buyers looking to narrow down the search to their preferences.

7.  Zero results pages

Site-search result pages that turn up blank – particularly due to synonyms or typos that aren’t recognized – can result in failure to convert. Avoid displaying empty results pages at any cost. Delivering null or irrelevant results can cause visitors to assume you don’t carry the product they’re looking for – or anything similar to it – andhead over to your competitor’s site instead. This problem is minimized by using an advanced site search engine. If you’re using an e-commerce platform with a built-in search feature, there are ways to reduce null-results by improving your products’ meta data.

In a nutshell, make sure your site search engine is fast, relevant, can handle misspellings and is capable of evolving through learning user behaviour. Even small, simple improvements can lead to improving your conversion rate by as much as 50{f27d30d81fa29060f5b357e7bc6b43788891064f20c0bc45c45950780a355153}, and we trust you won’t stop there.

The Strategies That are Gaining Momentum

Social networking sites have grown tremendously and every other person can be seen online on some networking site at given point of time. With more than 1.86 billion active Facebook users monthly, it would be foolish to ignore such a big arena to promote yourself. Similar is the situation for other sites viz. Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Snap (earlier Snapchat), Instagram, etc.

With tools for live streaming and uploading videos apart from images and contents, there is a huge scope of marketing on social networking sites and engaging customers. Here is how you can focus on these sites and redesign your marketing strategy.

Videos and 360° Images

As said above, 360°images and videos can talk a lot about your products, services and brand. Videos are best when it comes to give that candid feel to customers and since the rollout of these features across many sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Periscope, many have already baked upon this strategy and reported success. Videos can be explanatory like about the products, about any experience or interactive ones that can include live sessions on product demos, answering queries, interviews, product reveals and announcements. 360° Images work great for showcasing your product, any place or any event held recently.

Creativity

Your brand needs to capture your customer’s attention by being super creative and standing out among others in the news feed. You might no longer want to use the stock visuals or images and need to start your creative juices flowing. There must be a right balance between your visuals and contents.

Influencer Marketing

What we think about this is placing your product or brand name on Facebook or Instagram account of a celeb to reach their fan followers. No. What it really means is getting the actual users to share their experience with others. You can start a discussion with a simple hashtag or with a product image and ask people to share their experience. Genuine experiences from real people encourage others to try. These hashtag campaigns can be like CRM on social media and help spreading word of mouth, even when people don’t know each other personally.

Story Telling

In social media, storytelling is what it is. We want people to know our stories and present them in form of words or visuals. They should be realistic and captivating with emotions and experiences to create that influence we desire. Your social media strategies should embody storytelling in more appealing fashion. You can hire experts like Logicsofts Web Agency for better results.

Power of influencer marketing and creative storytelling are the major driving strategies in 2017 for social media marketing. When you cannot afford to experiment with your repute already, teaming up with experts like Logicsofts Web Agency is an excellent idea. Building your brand takes a lot more than just satisfying your customers and offering them discounts and free gifts. You need to be reachable to your target market and make your presence felt.

Best 6 Education Programs That Will Make You An Expert in SEO

There is a huge amount of information out there about SEO. And so, if you wanted to, you could probably self-educate. There are several problems with that strategy, however. First off, you don’t know what is actually good and what is of lower quality. In that way, you might end up pursuing a sub-par or outdated strategy (For example, the SEO landscape changes very quickly). Another problem is that when you learn the subject in this way, you’re going to learn a rather piecemeal approach, as you learn what you find. That means there is a chance there will be serious holes in your understanding.

You can sidestep all of those problems simply by following one of the many courses that are out there. And there are quite a few. Some of them are free. Some of them are quite expenses. All of them will give you a good oversight of what SEO tactics and web marketing strategies will work for you and will teach you how to implement them.

Sound good? Then let us stop talking all this up and get straight to it, shall we?

SEO Certification Course

Another course by somebody who knows their stuff, the instructor here is Dany Dover. He wrote the best-selling “Search Engine Optimization Secrets”, was the Senior SEO manager over at AT&T, the lead SEO at SEOmoz.org – yes those are the same guys who we mentioned above – and is the co-founder of making it click.

This course will put you back $399, which is a little cheaper than the ClickMinded course. The course work will take somewhere between 25 to 35 hours to complete.

Note that you can try out some of the aspects of the course on the site (just follow the link above). These are only previews, so they’re not complete, but at least you’ll get an idea of whether this is worth your effort and your dough.

The reviews online are mixed with some saying it’s fantastic, while other being less impressed. Of course, this always happens online. I’ve seen some of the best courses still talked down to people, but it’s something to be aware of, particularly if you want to buy essays or another college papers because first, you should check reviews at Paperwriting.reviews.

SEO training course by MOZ

Over at Udemy (the online platform for learning and teaching courses), Moz offers a great choice for those starting out in SEO. The courses have been attended by nearly 100,000 students and still has an impressive 4.3 stars (which obviously means it’s not just their own staff updating it, right?).

Moz, for those of you that don’t know, is an excellent online marketing company that offers a lot of tools for people who are trying to learn SEO as well as online marketing. They’ve also got some very insightful articles on their main site, so I have no doubt in my mind that their SEO program will be fantastic.

The best part? This course is absolutely free. So even if I turn out to be wrong, you’ll only have lost the time you invested. You get a certificate of completion, in case you want to find work in the industry. It is also compatible with the iPhone, iPad and for Andriod, which means that you can learn SEO while you’re on your way to your regular job.

ClickMinded

This course is given by Tommy Griffith, who is the SEO project manager over at AirBnB. And as you no doubt know, they rank exceptionally well – so there is no doubt he knows his stuff. Of course, to get such a highly qualified teacher, you will have to pay. And it isn’t exactly peanuts. The full course will set you back $497 US.

Fortunately, there is a free trial that you can try out, which will give you some of the basic details. In this way, you can check out what you think and if you like it. From there you can decide if you can actually try the course out or if you’ll go look elsewhere.

Over at immobile the course gets 5 out of 5 stars as well as the prize for best of 2014. The users themselves rated it at 4 out of 5 stars, but that is pretty meaningless as there have only been 3 ratings – which might well simply be the teachers of the course!

The course includes a huge number of topics, including

  • Introduction to SEO
  • On-Page Optimization
  • Off-Page Optimization & Link Building
  • Technical Optimization
  • Internationalization & Local SEO
  • Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird Updates
  • Starting a New SEO-Friendly Site from Scratch
  • Recommended Tools & Services

.University of San Francisco Advanced Search Engine Marketing

The university of San Francisco – which ranks 107thin the 2017 ranking – is an impressive place to get certified by. For that reason, you should seriously consider their Advanced Search Engine Marketing degree.

Here you’ll not just learn the standard SEO tricks, but also the common pitfalls that you’ll want to avoid, like black hat tricks which eventually always get discovered by Google (and anybody that implements them harshly punished.

Even better, this course doesn’t just give you videos to watch, like the other courses do. Instead, you also get actual live class time with professors, where you can ask questions and get direct feedback. Now, that is a bit 20thcentury, admittedly, but it works for some people. Of course, the fact that you’re getting actual fact to fact time does put you back considerably. This course will cost you $1,495 US.

Search Engine Marketing Course

The idea here is that you work through the courses at your own pace and that you take as long as you like – provided you continue to pay the $99 US per month to keep your access. There are quite a few courses that you can take, including SEO starter, SEO advanced, PPC starter, PPC advanced, keyword research, link building, website usability and copywriting for PPC.

Each course has several lessons, so it will probably be a bit of a struggle to actually finish it in one month. So yeah, expect that to set you back at least 200 US. Still, that’s not so bad in comparison to some of the other courses, right?

Do note that if you want to get certified, you’ll have to pay an additional $295 US.

Online Marketing Institute Certification

The OMI is a hard company to know for sure how good they are. That’s unfortunate, seeing as they charge 859 US for their course! The problem is that those places that do give a review seem to be affiliated with them, which means they’ve got a bit of a conflict of interest.

At the same time, if you check out their blog and their material, they do seem to have a good grasp of what SEO means and how to make you good at it. Still, that’s not a lot to go on if they’re asking you to fork over that kind of money. I think the people over at reviewtopia explain it all very well, so check out what they’ve got to say, check out what courses you can and then make your judgment based on that.

Or, you know, you can go for one of the free alternatives first. That’s never a bad idea.

So there you have it, a whole list of different choices and options that you can try out to get ahead in the SEO field. Yes, quite a few of them are quite expensive (Though not all of them) but they will give you a great deal of information about how to get into this game properly.

And though you might be able to learn all of that on your own if you just read enough articles, you won’t get accredited that way. And being accredited can be incredibly useful if you’re trying to break into the industry as a newbie.

Do note, whatever course you decide to take, make sure that you have a platform that you can try out your strategies on, be it a website that you have or that you’re managing. It is vitally important for you to learn by doing, as that will make it far more likely that the information sticks around.

And that’s important, as a lot of these courses will close their doors after you stop paying, which means that whatever videos and lessons they have are suddenly once again locked to you. At that point, you really do want to make sure that you’ve got everything down and can recite it backward. And the absolute best way to do that is to learn by doing.

After all, knowledge isn’t the same as information. You can consume as much information as you want and still not be knowledgeable. The only direct application will do that for you.