More products are being sold online than ever before, by both B2B and B2C companies. This trend will continue as buyers get increasingly comfortable with purchasing online and more businesses incorporate e-commerce into their sales model.
Businesses that sell – or plan to sell – online must stay on top of the best practices that continue to emerge. Search Engine Land recently published an article on the seven e-commerce trends they’re seeing in 2016. We’ve summarized their findings:
1. Innovative SEO Solutions are Better than They Have Ever Been
Technology that supports website optimization for search engines continues to develop. These tools help webmasters optimize their websites to boost results with minimal effort.
However, there is still no all-in-one solution. You will need to continue customizing things such as title tags, page content, and headings in order to drive traffic to your e-commerce site.
2. Long-Form Content is Critical
Not too long ago, e-commerce pages were populated with “short-form content.” They contained a headline, a short description, some catchy photos, and a few reviews from customers.
User demand is changing, however, and search engines are responding accordingly – favouring websites that give their visitors more information to facilitate their decisions.
For businesses, the benefits of developing long-form content include:
- Providing more detail to information-hungry prospects. With more content you can use conversational language and be more descriptive, which is beneficial to potential buyers.
- Being able to differentiate yourself from your competitors by offering insights, product knowledge and expert advice.
- Attracting the attention of search engines, which are giving more attention to long-form content with useful information.
3. Sharability Matters
In a recent AudienceBloom survey of 357 online marketers, 52% reported social media marketing generates a positive ROI for their businesses, while 65% see it playing an even more important role than it does already by 2021. What’s more, 96% of respondents said they’re planning on maintaining or increasing their social media marketing budgets next year.
For e-commerce based businesses, a great way to generate more interest is to encourage sharing throughout the shopping process and at checkout. Let your customers easily share their favourite products, reviews, and thoughts about your brand.
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4. Video Continues to Outpace Other Types of Content
As mobile devices become more ubiquitous, users are increasingly demanding video as a content format. Video has the potential to be displayed as “rich media” in search results and is a powerful conversion tool.
5. Mobile Readiness is Paramount for Online Success
In 2015, the number of mobile searches on Google surpassed those coming from desktops for the first time ever. Google is boosting its mobile-friendly algorithms in response. For businesses, simply meeting Google’s thresholds for mobile readiness isn’t enough. You need to stand out by:
- Offering the best possible content and functionality for mobile users.
- Factoring app development and optimization into your online marketing initiatives to maximize your online visibility.
6. Digital Assistants and Voice Search are Rising in Popularity
A few years ago, digital assistants (DAs) were unable to properly recognize voices or return useful results when they did. This is no longer the case. More and more, people are using voice search and relying on DAs like Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and Google Now to deliver results.
For online marketers, this means adjusting content to make it more conversational and colloquial, providing digital assistants with the “rich answers” that their users are after.
7. Local Search is Key
Local search has dramatically evolved over the past several years. Putting a focus on local search attributes is one of the keys to e-commerce success.
In summary, businesses that sell online need to stay on top of these emerging trends and keep an eye on e-commerce best practices as they continue to develop.
Core Online Marketing is an outsourced digital marketing agency for small and mid-sized businesses. Contact us to learn how to accelerate your online marketing activities!
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