Sunday, October 22, 2017

How to Optimize an E-Commerce Website

October 22, 2017 0

E-Commerce websites face unique challenges when it comes to search engine optimisation (SEO). Why is it that search engines don’t bring E-Commerce websites on the first page? Most of the times it’s because E-Commerce website owners do not take into account any SEO practice, focusing only on sales.

This article is both useful for a new E-Commerce business, as well as for an already established online store with thousands of products. There is no recipe for success that can apply to each and every business, but there are some aspects that must be taken into account for any E-Commerce marketing strategy. If used smartly, SEO can significantly increase sales.

1. Avoid duplicate content

One of the important issues from an SEO viewpoint is avoiding duplicate content. Here's how you can avoid such issues.

Try to avoid using the manufacturer’s product descriptions or list of specifications from a sell sheet. Write the product description for your customer, making sure that it includes unique selling points.

Keep the content smart, unique and attractive. Don’t stuff it with keywords! That won’t do your website any good in search results and it will certainly not do your client any good.

If you have different listings for the same types of products, make sure to concentrate all the options for a particular product on one page and use canonical URLs to give the main product page the SEO juice.

A canonical URL tells search engines which is the preferred content that the robots can index and show in search.

You can add a “rel=canonical” tag on the page or by a number of other methods.

Pick one of two or more pages as the canonical version. It should be the version you think is the most important. In our case, the main product page. Make sure that you pick the one with the most links or traffic.

Add a rel=canonical link from the non-canonical page to the canonical one. Link to the canonical URL by adding a link in the <head> section of the page accompanied by the "link rel="canonical" tag.

<link rel="canonical" href="">

If your site runs on WordPress, you can use the Yoast Plugin to set canonical URLs.

If you want to do this right, check Yoast's Ultimate Guide to rel=canonical URLs.

2. Do some keyword research and know your clients

To make the most out of the keywords related to your products, you need to read your client’s mind. What will most people write in the search field when interested to buy one of the products you have on your E-Commerce website? You can do this in a very simple way, no need to spy on anyone :).

By using keyword research tools, you can find out how many people search for a particular keyword per month, and even check more specifically for your own country or city.

Read more about how you can do a thorough keywords research and analysis.

3. Optimize the URLs for people and search engines

Ideally, URLs (uniform resource locators) should say something about each page, containing keywords which are related to it. Where possible, instead of using ID’s or parameters, it’s simpler, clearer and more descriptive to use real words.

4. Use unique title tags

In terms of SEO, properly written <title> tags (or HTML Title Element) are very important for an online business. Make sure that the ones you have on your E-Commerce website are unique and free of duplicate content.

5. Use unique meta tag descriptions for each page

A meta description tag is an HTML attribute provides a short description of the contents of a web page. Considered an extremely important search marketing component, this piece of content can help draw readers to a website from the search engine result pages (SERPs). It’s your big chance to advertise your content to searchers.

6. Allow users to post comments and reviews

Allowing users to post comments, questions and product reviews is a great way of generating unique content on your website. Reviews and feedback also help you offer good customer support. Keeping your customers happy is the most important thing of all. Always have that in mind whatever you do!

7. Smartly use images and videos

People like having a good look at what they are buying and while buying online, quality images help sell a product. It’s good to keep things simple. A white background is ideal for most products.

It’s always good to have at least two images for each product. Granting users that already purchased the products the right to upload their own images using the product or just unwrapping it, is a great way to improve your conversions because it shows the application of your products to real life.

An image that has a description and an “alt text” attribute will also do well in image search. Adding a few words about your image and keeping them meaningful and relevant will also make your website easier to use by people who are visually impaired. Make sure you don’t just stuff the description with keywords.

Videos also help sell and you can consider creating very short presentation videos outlining your product’s best features. If you have a short 60-second video clip of how to use your product, consider using that clip on your Instagram account.

8. Add sharing buttons to each product

It’s important to get your products shared on social media. This increases your website’s social media exposure, but most importantly,  it improves the organic search performance by providing back links which are very influential in all aspects of SEO. Establishing a presence on social media sites is a perfectly natural way of earning backlinks.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Email Management Tips - Get It all Done On Time!

October 07, 2017 1
Email Management Tips

Are you wasting time trying to manage your Inbox?

Nowadays we all receive way too many emails and spend a lot of time trying to manage them.

If you feel like you are wasting too much time on emails and things are getting out of control, you need to re-evaluate the way you manage it!

Did you ever find yourself scrolling through your inbox looking for that certain email that contains essential information you need right away? Just how much time did you waste like that?

But don’t worry, I’ve put together some tips to help you regain control over your inbox, so you can allocate your precious time to more important things. Don’t let your email manage you!

1. First, delete unnecessary messages

When you open your email inbox in the morning, the first thing you must do is delete unnecessary messages, without spending too much time on them.

It’s good to do this before opening and reading high-priority email, so you can start your day clean and focus on what really matters.

2. Unsubscribe from alerts and various notifications

If you end up every day deleting emails from the same source without opening them, it’s time to unsubscribe. It’s things you don’t really need and they pile up in your Inbox every day.

To make your life easier, take some time to unsubscribe from any newsletter you are not interested in and cancel any notifications coming from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and other sites you subscribed to.

If you don’t want to stop these notifications or if you think that once a month you may actually feel like opening a newsletter, then just create a folder and set some rules so these e-mails are directly delivered to these folders and not to Inbox. Then, whenever you feel like it, you can check them out.

3. Turn off email notifications so you can stay focused

Does an alert pop up every time you receive a new message? That’s rarely helpful.

If instant alerts are pertinent to your job (and you’ll know if they are), leave them alone.

Everyone else, however: turn them off permanently! Email alerts are highly distracting.

4. Organise your emails into folders

Having a full Inbox all the time can be highly distracting and unproductive.

It’s important to understand that the Inbox is just space where you should temporarily store messages, it shouldn’t be a filing cabinet where everything gets tossed without being sorted.

Make a little library out of your email client. You can have folders for persons, institutions you’re working with, social media related emails etc.

It’s always important that you organize things in a logical way. That will help you save a lot of time when you plan to retrieve a certain email.

5. Mark important emails as unread

The “Mark as Unread” option can really change the way you work with emails. You can quickly glance through your inbox and mark unread those items you’d like to come back to once you have the time. This way, you won’t forget about them.

Try to end each day with as few items marked unread as possible, with the goal of having none. If you can’t manage that, just start the next day with the emails you marked as unread on the previous day.

6. Give some thought to the recipients

For many people, the To: and Cc: fields in email have become synonymous. Well, they’re not!

Use them to make a distinction between who the email is being sent to and from whom you expect a response from (the To: field); and who is being copied so they have the appropriate context (Cc:).

Try to be clear about who you expect to respond. Five people in the To: field will most likely have the unintended consequence of generating five different email responses…and yes, your Inbox will go BOOM!! You may actually even overlook that ONE answer you needed.

The more people addressed, the more crowded your Inbox is likely to become.

You have control over that.

These are some of the most valuable Inbox practices I’ve learned over the years. Implementing them every day, helped me stay organized and efficient.

Here’ also a good Outlook Organisation Tutorial, for the Microsoft Office Users.

If you have other email management tips that work great for you, I’d love it if you took the time to share your experience.