7 Types of Social Proof to Grow Your Ecommerce Sales by @drumming
What are the strongest factors that influence your customers to buy?
As an ecommerce site, socially-reinforced trust signals can help you:
Here are seven tactics for incorporating social proof into your ecommerce site.
1. Transactional Pop-ups
A core tenet of social proof is that in an uncertain situation, we rely on individuals around us to make us feel certain about our decisions.
Transactional pop-ups allow ecommerce sites to provide quick bursts of social proof by displaying real-time reviews, recent transactions, and website activity.
This form of social proof is effective because you’re able to provide third-party reviews that are highly influential in most purchase decisions.
You can even curate these reviews so you are only showing the most helpful content for your readers, as opposed to prospects trying to seek reviews out themselves and perhaps being influenced to not buy.
I won’t lie – this social proof may have influenced my decision to buy a Nectar mattress:
2. User-Generated Content
UGC is one of the biggest drivers of social proof for ecommerce sites. Both onsite and offsite reviews, testimonials, and images of your customers using your products are marketing gold for business growth.
One of the challenges with UGC is that it can be hard to find, get permission to use, and integrate into your ecommerce platform or CMS.
Thankfully, there are a number of plugins and solutions (e.g., Pixlee, Curalate) that can provide this functionality for your site.
Here are a few examples:
I’m currently in the hunt for a new lounge chair. This section provides both the context of the product in someone’s home and a review to show satisfaction with the brand.
Here is a similar example for yoga clothing. Curated social media images like these can appear more authentic than the model in the “official” product image.
In my experience running social media ads, lower-quality, candid photography often outperforms overproduced, glossy stock photography.
Obviously, your website needs a review system to share social trust signals.
One of the issues with most review systems is that if you don’t have a high volume of reviews, the buyer might assume you don’t have many customers, your customers don’t buy specific products lines, and/or that your products are not good.
Recommendations are a great pairing or substitute for reviews because they give potential customers a binary look at whether current customers recommend your products.
These recommendations can be aggregated to give you a percentage of recommended buyers, similar to an NPS (net promoter score) at the product level.
Here’s an example from Urban Outfitters:
4. Getting More out of Your Review Content
Five-star rating systems are the gold standard for reviewing products, yet most ecommerce sites don’t extract enough value from this user-generated content.
Here are a couple of useful ways that your visitors can gain even more context for your products.
Don’t make your users scan every review to find the answers they are looking for.
Give your customers the ability to quickly search reviews to find the features, specs, and concerns that are most important to them.
Here’s an example from Guitar Center:
Your visitors will likely read reviews from people who either hated or loved your product. Make it easy for them to filter based on the star rating.
Obviously, we all want more sales; however, we want buyers to disqualify themselves, before they buy, if the product is not a good fit for them.
Don’t let negative reviews pile up because you didn’t do a good job disqualifying customers before they bought.
Here is social proof from a niche ecommerce site:
As well as Amazon:
Curate questions from your customer service ticketing system to identify and answer top-asked questions about your products.
Social proof isn’t just about showing the raving reviews of your products – it’s also about proving that your brand or brand advocates are responsive to your customers’ needs for any question that comes up.
Here is an example from Home Depot:
Home Depot employees, suppliers, and advocates are active across product pages to provide helpful feedback on customers’ frequently asked questions.
6. Third-Party Validation
This is one of the oldest social proof tactics for marketers but is still effective. What signals can you send to your buyer that your products are trustworthy?
An influencer marketing program can help you highlight this. Identify ways to incorporate blogs, case studies, or testimonials for industry-known celebrities on your product and product-category pages.
Here’s an example of a blog post featuring a rising star golfer who uses a specific golf club this website is selling:
Similarly, are there ways you can connect your ecommerce brand to other well-known brands that your buyer trusts?
Add the logos of partnerships, sponsorships, awards, and press mentions that your brand has gained since inception.
Here are a couple of examples from Quip and Tortuga:
7. Trending or Best-Selling Features
No one likes to look like a fool when receiving your product. Use social proof to eliminate this concern by incorporating trending pages, sections, or elements in your site.
Most ecommerce systems allow you to sort a list of products by best selling. Build out a page with your top-selling products.
You can take this further by incorporating social proof within product pages.
If you sell five variations of a single product, let your customers know which ones are most popular. This can be useful across verticals.
On the fashion vertical, consumers may not want the most popular SKU so that they don’t come across someone wearing the same item.
On the other hand, if I’m shopping for power tools, I may want the most popular SKU because others have clearly tested the item and I can trust that it will help me get the job done.
Many options are available for incorporating social proof elements at the macro level all the way to the individual SKU level.
Whether you sell to a B2B or B2C audience, social proof is one of the most impactful ways to improve conversion rates, grow sales, and develop an active network of brand advocates.
via Search Engine Journal http://bit.ly/1QNKwvh
April 28, 2019 at 07:39AM
Google Thanos Easter Egg Wipes Out Half of All Search Engine Results by @MrDannyGoodwin
Worried about seeing “Avengers: Endgame” spoilers on Google?
You could always wipe out half of the search results.
A new (and awesome) Google easter egg is turning the search results to dust.
Here’s how to see it for yourself:
Head to Google. (The easter egg works on both desktop and mobile search results.)
Type in: thanos.
You’ll see something like the following:
See the Infinity Gauntlet (the gold glove with all six of Infinity Stones) in Google’s Knowledge panel? Click on it.
You’ll see the glove snap its fingers.
Then you’ll start seeing the search engine results start to vanish – just as many of your favorite Marvel characters at the end of “Avengers: Infinity Wars.”
The search results will even scroll by themselves, forcing you to watch them as they’re eradicated.
Ultimately you’ll be left with something like this as your search results page:
Indeed, Google’s 96 million results seem to have been reduced to 48 million!
Want to bring all the search results back?
Click on the Infinity Gauntlet again.
All the results will returned.
Here’s a video of the easter egg in action, via Tracy Ingram:
via Search Engine Journal http://bit.ly/1QNKwvh
April 26, 2019 at 12:48PM
Holiday SEO & Marketing Strategy: Win More Traffic, Rankings & Sales by @wburton27
Millions of people shop online every year looking for the best deals for the holiday season.
According to Statista, in the U.S., Christmas shopping season traditionally begins on Black Friday. In 2018, people spent more than $123 billion on retail ecommerce.
With all this time and money being spent online, how can you make sure you have the right holiday SEO and marketing strategy to get more traffic, rankings, and sales?
Let’s explore the following:
One of the most important things to consider before the holiday season is to plan for it. Unfortunately, SEO is not as quick as paid search. It takes time to see results.
If you know that 30% to 50% of your business is done in the holiday season, planning is critical to your success for the next holiday season.
One of the most important things to do is conducting a content audit and analysis to see where the opportunities are for you to create content or update existing content at least 6 to 8 months before the holidays.
I can’t tell you how many times a company has come to me with a request to rank for Christmas gifts, but they don’t have any Christmas related content.
No dedicated landing page that has Christmas gifts, no content that is relevant for different topics around Christmas gifts, no questions that cater toward different Christmas gift intent.
If you don’t have those basic elements, you aren’t going to rank for Christmas gift related keywords.
For example, it would make sense to have content that has some imagery because most people would like to see different types of Christmas gift cards based on the intent of the query.
It would also make sense to have an answer box strategy for related queries because end users are asking questions. Therefore, your content strategy should be holistic to capture them at the early stage.
When trying to pick which products or pages to focus on, analyze your previous performance for the past season.
Review your analytics to see:
It’s always a smart idea to work closely with your paid search team and optimize for keywords and content that performed well from a paid search perspective and rank in striking distance on the organic side.
Having both paid and organic ads will dominate the search engine result pages and put your brand in front of more customers, which can improve sales and drive more traffic.
Don’t forget about social. Social listening can provide you with a lot of content ideas that you may not have even thought about.
You may find some new buzz words, new content ideas, or new opportunities that competitors are using that could benefit your brand.
Pinterest is a must for promoting holiday content. You can create holiday Pinterest boards which will showcase your top holiday products and link to your holiday pages.
Reusing Old Content
Do you have a Christmas guide from last year? You can update it for this year with new products.
If you keep a database of people who have purchased from you last year or have signed up for your email list, use this to get your products in front of them even before holiday time.
You could also use sign-ups for Facebook remarketing.
Writing content simply isn’t enough.
After creating your content plan, always make sure to collaborate with your paid and social team. This additional support will help your content get seen by the masses.
Always support your content with paid social from Facebook, Twitter, and other social channels.
Add links in your email to help spread the word about your content and put the content all over your social media channels and in newsletter and events, etc.
There are several technical mistakes that I have seen brands make trying to optimize for the holiday season.
One common issue: some businesses are not ready for the spike in holiday traffic.
Always make sure you have a lightning fast server that can handle big increases in traffic.
Believe it or not, some popular sites have crashed during Black Friday and other holidays because of the influx of new traffic to their site and unfortunately, they don’t have the proper infrastructure to support it.
When creating or updating landing pages, it’s critical to make sure that they are mobile friendly and load in under 2 seconds at most (preferably 1 second).
Mobile customers are looking to purchase at the moment. Having a poor load time can provide a poor user experience, which could impact your holiday season sales.
Page Deletion & Redirects
Another common mistake I see some brands make is deleting pages without redirecting category and product level pages.
This is a big mistake.
If you delete product and category pages, especially pages that have rankings, authoritative links, fresh and high-quality content, etc., you’re going to have to create a brand-new page if you do not redirect them.
Keep your landing page URLs the same. Never change URLs unless you absolutely have to. If you do, always set up a 301 redirect to the new page.
Running Out of Products
If your brand runs out of products during the holiday season, always have a sound redirect strategy in place to provide them with related products.
This can help users stay on your site, find related products, and help you earn incremental revenue.
Consistently monitor your site for any crawl errors, dead pages, etc. which could impact your site performance.
Structured data is imperative to give additional information to the search engines in the way they could understand.
Make sure all your product pages and important pages on your site are marked up with product schema, and most important of all, review schema.
The more positive reviews you get, the more popular your products become. The more popular your product are, the better rankings your product will receive.
4. Your Checkout Process
Shopping cart abandonment rates are a little over 70% during the holiday season, according to Statista.
The best way to provide a good shopping cart experience?
Make it as easy as possible and to optimize your check out process.
For example, consider the following:
5. Internal Linking & External Linking
Internal linking is an underutilized tactic that could help reinforce important landing pages.
If you have pages that are related to each other (i.e., blog content that showcases tips for choosing the best Christmas card), then that should have an internal link to the main category page.
Look through your site and find opportunities to take advantage of internal link opportunities.
Build links to your site from external domains and have reviews from bloggers that review your products.
This could help get high-quality links to your site that can improve your search engine visibility, traffic, and performance.
6. Measurement Plan
You need to know what worked and had an impact.
So set up a measurement plan to compare year over year performance on how your site performed during the holiday season.
Be sure to track all your keywords. Keep track of every activity that helped support your content and earn new links.
Planning in advance is key to getting a head start on holiday season SEO and digital marketing.
You need to provide the right content at the right moment to end users across all devices and platforms.
Always make sure that the content you give your target audience is relevant and gives your customers what they really want.
As always, use strong call to action statements.
Be sure to integrate with other media to promote your message so it can grow in popularity and increase your visibility, traffic, and sales during the holiday season.
Most important of all, measure your success by comparing performance year over year – and sticking with what works for you.
All screenshots taken by author, April 2019
via Search Engine Journal http://bit.ly/1QNKwvh
April 26, 2019 at 09:47AM
Google bug may select unrelated canonical URLs, could impact indexing
Google tweeted Thursday that it may have selected unrelated canonical URLs for some pages and that breadcrumb trails on mobile might show the unrelated URLs.
It also said that, in rare instances, this could prevent proper indexing.
Here’s the tweet:
Breadcrumbs show a page’s position in the hierarchy of the site and appear under titles in the search results.
What we can do. Google did not offer any actions for webmasters or SEOs to take. But, if you suspect that your pages are affected, you can view the Google-selected canonical URL by heading to your Search Console and entering your page’s address into the URL Inspection tool.
If there’s a better canonical URL than the one that appears, follow the steps on Google’s duplicate URL help page to suggest a new one.
Why we should care. This is the fourth bug that Google has disclosed in April, and it is still resolving issues with Search Console reports, which has some SEOs frustrated over its general lack of reliability as of late.
Although Google was transparent about the existence of an issue, it has yet to provide more useful, detailed information on how the problem is affecting users. Is the bug resulting in incorrect pages on SERPs? Is it showing the correct pages but linking elsewhere? All of this information could be useful for SEOs and webmasters trying to do some damage control.
About The Author
George Nguyen is an Associate Editor at Third Door Media. His background is in content marketing, journalism, and storytelling.
via Search Engine Land https://selnd.com/1BDlNnc
April 26, 2019 at 09:18AM
Earn money on Pinterest with Yoast WooCommerce SEO
With over 250 million users, Pinterest is a platform many online shops cannot ignore. According to the platform, 84% of its users use Pinterest to decide what they should buy next. Whether you have a small business or sell all over the world, Pinterest is the place to invest your time in. Want to start using Pinterest for your business or want to get more out of it? Here, we’ll explain not only how Pinterest works, but also how you get the most out of it. You’ll also find out how the latest schema update of Yoast SEO 11.0 helps you with reaching your goals.
Unlike common belief, Pinterest is not a social media platform: it’s a visual search engine. Users browse for ideas, called pins, and go to other websites to read about or buy something. The pins are vertical images with an optimized meta description.
Because Pinterest creates a personal feed for all of its users, it can place your pins in feeds of people who do not know you yet. This is based on the recent search history of your users and based on the people, subjects and boards someone follows. If you like a pin, you can repin it on one of your own boards, which spreads the message even further. So if you optimize your own pins well, it can go viral if it reaches the right audience.
Unlike social media such as Facebook and Twitter, a pin can generate traffic and customers to your website for months to come. It’s actually more common for a pin to generate traffic a few months after you first put it live, as the power of sharing is incredibly important on Pinterest.
Consider it a snowball effect: as your pin gets repinned, Pinterest will learn more about your pin each and every time. It bases this knowledge on the boards it’s placed on, as well as the description the pin has and the kind of people who interact with it. A pin that doesn’t seem popular at first, can suddenly spike a lot of traffic 4 to 6 months after your first placed it online.
Claiming your Pinterest account with Yoast SEO
Pinterest has two types of accounts: personal accounts and business accounts. If you have an eCommerce site, make sure your account is a business account. It’s incredibly easy to do so in only three steps!
You’ve now claimed your website!
The last thing you need to do is to make sure your pins will show up as rich pins. With rich pins, the metadata is shown on the pin itself. This increases engagement as more information is given. To make sure your website is ready for rich pins, follow the steps on the rich pins validator page of Pinterest.
Product pins: the most important pins for you as a store owner
Pinterest has four kinds of pins:
We’ll focus on product pins, as these are the kind of pins you need to create as a shop owner. Product pins make it easier for your possible customers to see what you’re selling, how much it costs, whether it’s in stock and more. By providing this information immediately, you’re grabbing the attention of your audience and will drive more traffic to your website.
Yoast WooCommerce SEO and Pinterest
The WooCommerce SEO plugin stitches the Yoast SEO schema output and the WooCommerce schema output together, making sure it’s one, coherent, graph. At the same time, it also enriches the output with several attributes.
This means that, when you own an online store that runs on WooCommerce, you only need the Yoast WooCommerce SEO plugin on top of Yoast SEO to make sure Pinterest can get all relevant information. You just have to install the plugin, we’ll do the rest for you!
The moment you or someone else shares the product on Pinterest, we’ll make sure Pinterest understands it’s a product, what the price is and who the seller is. On top of this, we’ll also explain to Pinterest that the main entity of the page is the product you sell.
Implementing structured data properly on your website has always been a hassle. In Yoast SEO 11.0 we made this easier for you: instead of focusing on the technical specifics of your website, you can now focus on selling your product. We’ll focus on the right schema implementation for you!
Schema.org is used to markup products, recipes, articles and more. Here’s a little story to show how it works. Search engines as Google and, of course, Pinterest can read this implementation and present it to their users. On top of this, search engines understand a page or website that has schema.org implemented better. Schema.org is incredibly important for SEO. It will make your website a better search result as it will give your visitors an easier way to pick a result from the list of links.
The post Earn money on Pinterest with Yoast WooCommerce SEO appeared first on Yoast.
via Yoast https://yoast.com
April 26, 2019 at 09:00AM
A Working Mom’s 3 Top Tips for Success & Survival by @christijolson
I spend a lot of time on the road at speaking and presenting at various industry events and conferences.
It was my 75th speaking engagement in 12 months. And my inner monologue bounced between Slow down and emphasize your core points and Oh no, I’m feeling queasy.
I continued to contend with “hyperemesis gravidarum” (severe morning sickness), in my third trimester of pregnancy. And the flight between Seattle and Amsterdam hadn’t helped matters.
This time, I had traveled without my 2-year-old son, who had been my frequent companion in the first half of the year.
Was it a personally challenging year?
Yep. But it was also extremely rewarding. And I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.
I’ve now welcomed my second child, a beautiful baby girl.
In fact, I believe that the 15 years I’ve spent working as a woman in the tech world helped prepare me for some of the craziness of becoming a working mom.
I also believe the reverse is true – that parenting has helped me in the workplace.
Here are three things I’ve learned as a working parent that have made me a more valuable employee.
1. Find Your Tribe
I can’t imagine motherhood without my tribe of moms.
They are my support, my lifeline, my go-to for the myriad of parenting mysteries.
They don’t judge and, like me, they’re learning as they go.
They coax me from the edge of panic and desperation and rescue me when my daycare provider cancels the morning of my executive business review.
These moms taught me the importance of having a support network in my career as well – trustworthy people with whom I can be brutally honest.
Since then, I’ve worked to build a network of peers and mentors who support and encourage me, people who challenge me and hold me accountable to do better. Having this network has helped me to thrive in my career.
I’ve built a tribe of peers and mentors I can trust, where I can be my authentic, vulnerable self.
It’s important to find people who not only support me, but will challenge me to find new and different ways to get things done – and who will advocate on my behalf.
2. Create Margin for What You Hold Dear
Creating margin started with identifying my personal limits and then prioritizing resources, so I don’t find myself teetering on the edge of those limits.
With the added demands of parenting, I’d have been lost without margin. Creating margin has helped me balance my time and energy.
From the time I leave work until I tuck my son into bed, I’m a mom and a wife. My phone is off, and my laptop is put away.
If I can’t get everything done during the workday, I’ll check in after 8 p.m. when my son is asleep. This margin keeps me sane and happy.
How does creating margin help me become a more valuable employee?
I’ve learned to set boundaries and prioritize by focusing more on what I need to get done vs. what would be nice to get done, and carefully managing my available time and energy in-between.
I discovered that it’s less about the quantity of work I do, and more about quality and impact. I’ve learned to say no and avoid working myself into exhaustion.
I’ve learned to qualify my yesses to specify when and how much. And I’ve learned to ask for help and delegate.
By creating margins, I’m able to prioritize, eliminate stress, and be a better mom and employee.
Take time to determine your margins, and then do what it takes to avoid the edge.
3. Be Present Over Being Perfect
I was going to be that mom. You know, the one who cans organic fruits and vegetables from her lush backyard garden.
The one who cooks every wholesome, gourmet meal in her spotless kitchen from scratch. The one who sews stylish outfits for the whole family – maybe even the neighborhood.
And I was going to do it all while being the consummate, full-time professional.
Guess what? It hasn’t happened, and I’m fine with that. Because I’ve learned that being present is more important than being perfect.
I’ve also learned that trying new things and having a #PinterestFail is better than doing nothing – and can make for an entertaining story.
This mantra carries into work as well. I’ve seen too many occasions where talented individuals held back because they were scared of not achieving perfection.
At Microsoft, we’re encouraged to fail fast and learn from our mistakes. This motivates us to try new things and drives business growth.
Presence over perfection doesn’t mean settling or accepting mediocrity. It does mean learning to pursue what’s important and having the courage to embrace the less-than-perfect.
Let go of perfection. Take time to participate in what matters and be willing to fail sometimes.
I believe the lessons I’ve learned from parenting have made me a more effective professional.
I’ve learned to balance priorities, focus on what’s important, and be present.
It’s important to take time to acknowledge the overlap between work and life.
Rather than drawing lines in the sand, let’s choose to embrace this crossover and apply those lessons that add value to our lives and the lives of those around us.
Featured Image: Paulo Bobita
via Search Engine Journal http://bit.ly/1QNKwvh
April 26, 2019 at 08:30AM
Search Buzz Video Recap: Google Search Console Delays, Increase In One Boxes & Search Is Hard
Just a note, I am offline, this video and post was pre-recorded and scheduled to be posted today. Google Search Console is still having delays - I hope it is fixed soon or by the time I wrote this. Google seems to be showing more image boxes...
via Search Engine Roundtable http://bit.ly/1sYxUD0
April 26, 2019 at 07:32AM
Google: No Plans Yet On Migrating Disavow Link Tool
Currently the disavow link tool is available in the old Google Search Console. It has not been migrated to the new version. John Mueller of Google was asked when it will be moved and he responded on Twitter "We don't have any plans announced for that yet."
via Search Engine Roundtable http://bit.ly/1sYxUD0
April 26, 2019 at 07:14AM
Math Sans Bold Unicode Make Your Google Snippets Stand Out
We've seen emojis and all forms of unicode in the Google search results over the years. Most Google will prevent from working because it makes the search results page look awkward. But for some reason the Math sans bold unicode characters work fine in the Google search results.
via Search Engine Roundtable http://bit.ly/1sYxUD0
April 26, 2019 at 07:05AM