The digital revolution has meant big changes in every sector, but shopping is one area that has undergone a complete transformation. The Guardian reported an 18 per cent increase in online shopping in the UK this year, with shoppers of all ages making purchases on iPads and laptops rather than in store.
With statistics such as these, it is not surprising that recent research has suggested that online-only stores such as Missguided and ASOS are significantly leading the way in SEO visibility in comparison to high street retailers.
From May 2013-May 2014, Missguided saw an incredible 1,159 per cent increase in SEO visibility and ASOS saw a 40 per cent rise – all by correctly optimising their sites. As the world continues to adopt more and more digital practices retail success is becoming increasingly more reliant on ecommerce.
What are some of the lessons in SEO we can learn from these successful online-only retailers
1. Pick your battles
Retailers know that location is key. A well-placed shop on a busy street will have far greater success than a store hidden away in an alley where no one can find it.
The same concept applies online. A low SEO ranking has the same effect as a shop hidden away off the High Street; if people can’t find your website they won’t shop there.
When looking at how to improve your PageRanking it’s important to have a clear SEO strategy. For some online retailers this will mean picking your battles. Head terms such as dresses or boots are expensive and very competitive, however, with long-tail terms such as black wedge ankle boots making up around 75% of all search queries.
Find your niche and optimise your site for these.
2. Fast-fashion goes digital
The majority of retailers spend significant money and time on the layout and design of their stores on the High Street. Not only does this reflect its branding and culture, it also provides customers with a positive shopping experience, which is easy to navigate.
It is crucial online stores are given the same attention. The fashion industry introduces new designs into the market on a weekly basis, creating a new fast fashion concept. Therefore we now have 52 micro-seasons per year and the simple categories of Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter no longer exists.
Spanish retailer Zara, for example, is delivering a range of new designs to their stores twice a week, while Topshop adds 400 new styles to its website every week. Customers need to access new garments quickly and easily in order to keep up with the latest fashion trends.
With ecommerce growing every day, the state of a website is an aspect of SEO success and therefore fundamental to online sales.