When a consumer needs to buy a product and they search for it online, they mostly end on the first-page search results. According to Medium, 64% of eCommerce sales are from the first three search results on the page.
It's then a fact that to succeed in your online retail store, you need to appear first in eCommerce search results, but how do you do it? In this article, we would cover all there is to know about eCommerce search algorithms, and also product listing optimizations.
PRODUCT LISTING CRITERIA THAT DRIVES ECOMMERCE SEARCH ALGORITHMS
The details of search engine result page algorithms for big retail companies have kept a secret because if it were accessible to all, everyone would optimize their listings, making the competition to appear first in eCommerce search results even fiercer. The following are major points that influence search result listings:
1 . PRICING MARGIN
When the cost of your products is significantly different from other products you are competing with, it has an impact on your position in the results. It goes both ways; either significantly higher prices or lower ones. You can utilize this by choosing a dynamic pricing strategy that allows your products to cost less than the competition not in a drastic way but marginally.
2. AVAILABILITY OF ITEM
The availability of an item affects its position on search results. Item availability has a way of affecting consumer experience because nothing beats being able to buy all your products at the same store. To ensure you always have what the consumer needs, it’s crucial that you have cross channel synchronization, and also monitor your competitor’s inventories so you can strategically grow your position over time.
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3. LISTING COPY
Your listing texts and titles must be easy to understand while being accurate and unique. Don’t get caught up in too many technicalities while describing or giving a title to your product. For example, instead of calling it “Black polyester V-neck” simply call it “Black blouse”. Use consumer-friendly jargon instead as search engines consider consumer’s natural search language and give preference to it. So if you want your potential customers to find your products, use easier to understand language.
4. SALES QUANTITY
This is basic knowledge and straight forward. Search engines would rank you higher in eCommerce searches if you have more sales and good reviews. By selling a high volume of products, and maintaining good reviews, it means you are satisfying the demand by customers, and you are doing it to their satisfaction. So it’s important to always get good reviews as you sell high volumes.
BEST PRODUCT LISTING OPTIMIZATION PRACTICES
The following are best practices you can use to improve your ranking on eCommerce searches:
1 . INCREASE YOUR SALES VOLUME AND POSITIVE REVIEWS
It’s important to have high sales especially if you are a new seller. One tactic that works well is by selling cheap items that would have no problem getting buyers. You can also sell an item for a very cheap price at the beginning so you can increase your sales.
An example of selling for a very cheap price can be seen in this scenario where a seller wants to sell a high-value item like an iPhone. Due to the cost, buyers are not looking to take chances, and will only buy from sellers that are trusted. To stand a chance, you will need to sell them at a cheap price so that buyers can get attracted to your sales due to the price. Once they make the purchase and see that you also provide good quality, they will now recognize you as a trusted seller too.
It doesn’t end with having the purchases made. You also have to follow up with prompt shipping and great service delivery so that you can get the best reviews alongside your sales. Once this is set, you can now bring in your big-ticket items to the table.
2. RESPOND TO FEEDBACKS ALWAYS
Always be available to respond to feedback no matter how busy you are. Even if the feedback is tough on you and hard to bear, take it, and respond. Going silent on negative feedbacks makes you look bad in the eyes of your future customers and you don’t want that as it will reduce your sales, and affect your ranking negatively.
3. LET GO OF PROBLEMATIC PRODUCTS
You may have some products in your retail store that is bringing tons of problems in the form of bad reviews and complaints from buyers. Instead of keeping such items and build your track of bad reviews, let them go and focus on products that boost your ranking with a stream of positive reviews.
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4. MAKE THE MOST OUT OF POSITIVE FEEDBACK
It doesn’t just end with coming up top, you have to say there and a good way to do this is with social proof. Ask your customers who are undoubtedly satisfied with your product to make a video of it, or take a picture with it and share on their social media handle. Also, ask them for such posts and their permission to post the same on your page.
5. TARGET CUSTOMERS WHO ALWAYS LEAVE REVIEWS
Instead of targeting randomly, you can focus more on those customers who never fail to leave reviews for you. go among your reviews list and find a pattern. For example, you sell both shaving products for men and toys for babies. Men who shave would benefit more from products that give them a clean shave without leaving bumps.
Nursing mothers also would benefit from toys that can stop their babies from crying. Compare which category of buyers mostly leave reviews for you; the men or women? Focus more on that category because you need those reviews to rank high.
6. USE BACKEND SEARCH TERMS
Most sellers make use of frontend search terms (search keywords that shoppers use) in their product description and title. Some are unaware of the benefits of backend search terms that help customers find what they are looking for. Even though customers don’t type in these backend terms, they are used in product indexation. To improve your search rank, try incorporating the following:
1 . Add search terms that are related to your product even if not directly. For example, add summer even when selling sunglasses.
Include search terms in other languages that may be popular terms in your geo if you are targeting Florida or California for instance as they are made of large Hispanic communities.
Include keyword typos like ‘ipphone’ or ‘watche’
7. PAID ADS CAMPAIGN
It’s also important that you invest in ads promotion. Many eCommerce platforms will allow you to pay to be listed close to organic search results so that you can easily be found. Pay Per Click payment would allow you to build your sales and brand awareness better, and they are vital for your ranking. You can also use other advertising options such as Facebook ads and Google.
THE ROLE OF DATA IN ECOMMERCE SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
Here you will see how the collection of eCommerce data can help in business expansion and increase in sales.
1 . PRICING
By collecting pricing data from competitors, you will have a good idea of what they are charging so that you can have a dynamic pricing strategy that helps you rank better. You can make use of live data on the price of specific products, and sell it cheaper to stand out to potential customers, make more sales, and stand a good chance in ranking better.
2. RATINGS AND PRODUCT REVIEWS
By playing smart with the ratings and reviews of your competitors, you can perform even better and stand out from the bunch. Go through the reviews of your competitors’ customers and take note of both positive and negative ones. If a positive review is repetitive, think of how you can be even better at that feature or service. If a negative review is repetitive, think of how you can solve the problem.
For example, you see repetitive reviews of customers complaining of laptops not having a bag. You could include a bag to your package so you stand out, and invest in a banner on your page to show your unique sales proposition.
3. PRODUCT TITLES
By recognizing the most searched for keywords for trending items by customers, you stand a chance to show up when searched. Combining the keywords and phrases customers search for with the listings that are rapidly converting will help you to properly optimize your descriptions and titles. This helps you appear first in eCommerce search results.
4. PRODUCT AVAILABILITY
By capitalizing on product shortage in your competitors’ stores, you can make even more sales and gain higher sales volumes which will affect your ranking positively. What you have to do is act fast, recognize opportunities, and seize them when they arise.