With sharp insights into ecommerce, Ian Lockwood of Boom shares his rules for winning at Ecommerce SEO, highlighting the importance of identifying and fixing tech issues, alongside incorporating deep and broad content in order to improve click through rates.
With Google making it more and more difficult for brands to see click through without having to pay for it, click through rates from organic rates have dropped significantly in the last two years.
One example is Boom client Wayfair’s CTR data. Over the course of two years, click through organic results dropped by 25% on desktop and 55% on mobile. Keyword rankings had not changed and yet keyword click through rate had dropped.
Ian offers two main solutions to the organic CTR issue.
The sheer size and complexity of eCommerce sites can lead to more technical issues on the sprawling back end of a site. Examples include simple edits to robots.txt, canonical tags only allowing the front page to be indexed in a pagination sequence, or issues with ajax infinite scroll.
Ian also highlighted the importance of schema mark-up, which draws further information into SERPs and powers image search through tags on images.
Ian’s tips for improving organic search results are focused on moving away from hidden content, believing that when category content is hidden away, it is devalued.
Hidden content can include accordions and tabs, basically any layout that makes you click to reveal the content. Through Ian’s example of the Hidden Text Experiment, the top performing sites in terms of click through rate were found to be those with no hidden content, while the poorest performers were those with hidden content. And the reason? If you have to click to reveal the content then Google will not use it to contribute towards rankings, because it can’t see it.
The easy way to expand content depth and move away from hidden content is to create a ‘hub’ and ‘spoke’ model of content. Using RAC as an example, the ‘hub’ acts as the category page, creating a central point for all traffic, while the ‘spokes’ offer additional content that incorporates those all-important medium and longtail keyphrases. Search data is used to inform the content and ensures higher rankings, while offering users a better experience when searching for advice and boosting trust and conversion rates, moving customers through the funnel.
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