With the festive season fast approaching, retailers are bracing for the most lucrative period of the retail calendar. But, how can you ensure your e-commerce platform is prepped for the holidays and beyond?
This year, online platforms are more important than ever: Australians spent $21.3 billion buying goods online, growing 18.7 percent throughout 2017. This compares with $267.4 billion and a growth rate of just 2.5 percent in the traditional retail space. By 2020, Australia Post predicts that one in 10 items will be bought online.
How can you prepare your e-commerce platform for the sale season and beyond?
Understand Your Customer’s Intent
Keywords still play a part in search. However, the intent of the users increased in importance over the past few years. Keywords give a clue as to what information someone wants. However, monitoring past behaviours enables search engines to give more accurate results in the future.
As algorithms will continue to learn and adapt to become more intelligent, it’s never been more important for SEO to provide compelling content and an optimum user experience.
Marketers can study the paths users take to work with a brand in order to understand what the best user experience is for each prospect. In the end, the more you think like your customer, the better your search results on Google.
Make it Easy for Voice Assistants to Find You
Google Assistant is now available on more than 100 million devices. Earlier this year, France’s largest food retailer, Carrefour teamed up with Google to deliver a voice-assisted grocery shopping partnership with an ambition to take voice inputs – ‘Google, we need more eggs and ham’ – and convert them into same-day delivery. In order for more retailers to capitalise on this trend, it is imperative that their e-platforms are set-up for voice search. You do not need to make huge changes, but you need to continually tweak your voice search efforts. To do this well, it is important to recognise exactly how voice data works.
- Conversational Language: While becoming increasingly sophisticated, voice search has more intent than traditional search. For example, common words like king can be confusing. Computers do not know if you referred to royalty or Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll. A parameter, like play the king of rock and roll music provides helpful data to choose the correct version.
- User Pathways: Instead of simply relying on the search, companies like Google and Facebook explore how users interact with brands and other channels to predict voice interactions. When they know you came to their site from another, they can see how you liked this type of site and use it as a predictor for future possible voice searches.
- Longtail Keywords: This refers to those three and four keyword phrases that are very, very specific to whatever you are selling. What this means for marketers is that SEO is now about going for a larger keyword strategy. Searchers queries, particularly on voice, are more conversational by nature. People are not typing – or saying for that matter – phrases like “clothing store”, however, they might say, “best designer fashion stores to buy a cashmere coat near me”.
- Content, Content and More Content: Truly conquering voice search requires more content on pages; content that is mapped to the search keyword strategy. Having more content means that you will also need to balance the user experience – ensuring that it both enhances usability and SEO. Most importantly, it’s imperative that longtail keywords are seamlessly sprinkled through the syntax of website copy. This will allow search engines to see more context via voice-activated search and will result in pages appearing for a higher volume of phrases.
One of the greatest impacts of AI on search is integration with user location searches on mobile devices. If your retail location wants to benefit from these changes, it is important to look closely at local search data and map that against current and potential clients Adding quality local citations and reviews is just as vital for any business looking to get attention from search engine AI’s.
Note: The more positive interactions your customers have, the more attention Google’s algorithm gives to your local store.
In an ever-changing field like voice search, we know that what worked yesterday won’t necessarily work tomorrow, and it’s important to continually refine strategies that meet current demands. Do this by looking at the data, testing, and improving the structured data you have on your website to drive more targeted traffic to your website.