Can You Spell SEO? Webstore Writing That Shows Up – Part 2

March 7, 2016

Digital Marketing ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

Too often, retailers and branded manufacturers limit the exposure of their products by taking SEO for granted. They recycle manufacturers’ product descriptions, stuff a few keywords on their websites and assume that customers will find what they’re selling. This is not the recipe for online success.

In this two-part SEO series, we’re breaking down eight ways retailers can improve their website content so that it shows up, gets noticed and generates sales.

1. Don’t Just Tell Me, Show Me

Videos and images are great for product pages, but they need context. If you’re selling Hobo bags, include pictures of the bag itself, models with the bag and things of this nature — that include the bag. But avoid photos of, say, city skylines, storefronts that have nothing to do with your product and other unrelated imagery. Though these images may help cultivate a specific vibe for your products, you could end up confusing your potential customers.

Visitors love videos, but only as long as they’re short and on topic. And if you’re creating videos anyway, you can also put them all on YouTube to boost your presence there as well.

TL,DR: Use relevant images and videos to enhance your content.

2. Reviews Are Key

According to KISSmetrics, 70% of buyers look for product reviews before making a purchase. If you don’t allow reviews, you’re missing a big opportunity.

People want to hear what actual buyers think of your products, not someone who gets paid to talk them up. Even though many consumers know that negative reviews are usually moderated by retailers and brands on their websites, they still rely on them to  answer questions and make purchasing decisions.

Another great thing about reviews: They can show up in search results.

So how do you get these reviews? The easiest way is to allow people to leave reviews for your products. Then you can post them after you review them. You’ve seen how Amazon uses product reviews on each product page, both underneath the product and along the rail? You can do that, too. Also, rotating your reviews on your product pages  will help your product pages from becoming stale. The Panda algorithm loves fresh content.

TL,DR: Add reviews to your product pages and rotate them regularly to keep your content fresh for search engines.

3. Get Active (With Your Voice, That Is!)

When you write, try to use the active voice. That’s when the subject of the sentence is performing the action.. For example:

“Mike bought a book.”

Instead of the passive voice:

“The book was bought by Mike.” (In this case, the sentence’s subject is the book, yet Mike is the one performing the action.)

In most cases, the active voice makes sentences quickly understandable and less wordy.

Also, use verbs such as “buy,” “shop,” “get” as calls to action in your text. Put yourself in a shopper’s shoes. If you saw a commercial or heard an advertisement where the spokesperson seems bored, would you be excited about the product? Probably not.

TL,DR: Use the active voice and strong calls to action.  

4. Use Descriptive Subheadings for the Scanners

People read differently online. They typically skim, scan and look for the words they care about. And if they don’t find them fast enough, they’re gone. Grab a shopper’s attention with descriptive subheadings. For example, instead of simply saying “New Bags,” you could say “Check Out Our Latest Hobo Bags.”

Not only will this draw the attention of someone who came looking for a Hobo bag, but it might also attract people browsing for new bags or just bags in general. It’s like using keywords and phrases with your readers in mind, instead of just search engines. Beneath those subheadings, keep your paragraphs short. Long paragraphs are just asking for people to stop reading.

TL, DR: Make sure your copy is clear, easy to read and short enough to get your point across.

Blog Series TL,DR:

Be descriptive, use simple language, give details, use calls to action and add reviews, images and videos. Most of all, write for customers, not search engines.

For a comprehensive look at SEO and how retailers can use it to drive more sales, download A Retailer’s Guide to SEO.

Blog post by Chris Sciulli, SEO campaign specialist, ChannelAdvisor