6 Simple tips to help optimise your e-commerce site.

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Some of the most common drivers of organic success across e-commerce sites are simple to implement and can see quick turnaround on results. This guide covers off the 6 quick tips we have for e-commerce site owners to start seeing revenue growth across your domain.

1. Improve your sub-category internal linking.

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Linking out to sub-category pages from the top of a category page provides Google with a lot of relevancy information. Links can be text or image based, should normally occur beneath the introductory copy, and should avoid pushing products below the fold. Identify a hierarchy for your products and categories and reflect this by linking out to relevant categories throughout the site. This is particularly helpful when launching a new product line as the new internal links assist with the page’s indexation and ranking performance.

2. Utilise your homepage to improve product and category performance.

The homepage of your site most likely contains the largest number of backlinks of any other page across the domain. It’s the most authoritative page and the links that point out from that page pass the most value through to other areas of the site.

Choose to link to your top priority category pages and products from the homepage, and rotate links to seasonal pages to drive increased performance for these pages during seasonal peaks.

3. Create a seasonal demand calendar and content plan.

Christmas and Black Friday are the two most important periods of the year for many e-commerce sites. Most site owners will be optimising their content to target the uplift in demand around these two seasonal events. The levels of competition around these terms therefore is exceptionally high. Often an area where smaller e-commerce sites can gain traction is in targeting more niche seasonal terms.

By mapping out the seasons, holidays and events taking place throughout the year, and conducting a little research using Google’s keyword planner, businesses can identify demand they didn’t know previously existed. Reviewing user search volumes throughout the year can also identify when seasonal peaks and uplift occurs, helping you to make decisions around when to launch specific product lines.

4. Write unique product descriptions.

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This one can be difficult to implement where there are thousands of products and limited time available to create copy. A simple solution is to prioritise pages based on the organic traffic/revenue they’ve driven over a year and optimise in batches prioritising the top performing pages first. If you have keyword research available you can also prioritise pages with the greatest potential to drive traffic in the future, based on search volumes (you should also base this on how relevant you believe the rest of your site is to the particular product, e.g. if you sell mainly fitness equipment you’re much more likely to rank for a new brand of treadmill vs. a pair of running shoes).

5. Refresh your keyword research at least once a year.

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User search behaviour changes over time. Refreshing keyword research is a great way of identifying users demand for new product or a change in demand for existing product. This can affect how you prioritise other areas of activity, e.g. which pages you choose to link to from the homepage/what product-based blog content you write. Your goal when refreshing your keyword research should be to understand how the landscape for your existing products has changed, whether any trends have emerged showing demand for new product, and whether any product is on the way out in terms of demand.

6. Monitor competitor categories to spot opportunities for new categories.

By monitoring competitor creation of category and landing pages you can identify new in-market product trends. You can do this simply by monitoring their top level navigation, homepage and category pages on a monthly basis to spot any new pages appearing.

Great times for review are around seasonal peaks, as competitors launch new product lines or in the build up to holidays. Although you may not be able to get new product in, you may find that you have the existing product but just haven’t created a page targeting the same terms as competitors. Always check first that the terms you’re creating pages for have search volume, and don’t cannibalise existing content by creating pages for really similar groups of products (make sure it fits into your product hierarchy).