Pinterest for Ecommerce

So, if you haven’t heard, Pinterest is now featuring a buy button on product pins on its network. So what does that mean for you and your business? Well, before we get into that, let’s just go over some of the statistics around Pinterest and what has made this one of the most successful social commerce platforms in recent memory.

Not Just Etsy Shop Owners and Recipe Bloggers

In 2013, Piqora did a study analyzing the ROI of using Pinterest, their findings are just the tip of the pin. They found that on average a pin generated 78 cents in sales in addition to 2 site visits and 6 pageviews. Now, by themselves, this might not sound like a lot, but if you’ve got an active board, and your stuff is getting shared, the snowball affect starts very quickly. This is compounded by another survey in 2014 which found that Pinterest users’ average order value was $123.50, which is about 126% higher than the average order value of Facebook’s users. Those are some pretty staggering figures, and like the sub-heading says, it’s not just Etsy shop owners and foodies showing the most success where this is concerned. Big names like Nordstrom are well-known in the pinning-verse.

Pinterest For Your Business

So as you can see, Pinterest is important for e-commerce and is leading the charge in integration between social commerce and e-commerce in general. However, every e-commerce store is different, and they’ll need to find their own way to use Pinterest to its fullest extent effectively. But, here are a few ideas on how to get Pinterest to work for your business.

Tailor Made Boards

When first starting with Pinterest, there is an easy temptation to just create a single board label it, “my company’s board” and call it good. While this is the easy way out, it’s not going to help drive traffic to your board and ultimately your site. Instead of making only a single board, try making multiple boards focused on specific themes or products.

Also, you’re going to want to pin more than just the product photos off of your site. Pinners are looking for ideas or inspiration most of the time, not a specific product so you can’t treat this as just another sales funnel/channel. Additionally, make sure to pin pictures of your products in use along with complimentary photos such as photos that fit the feelings of what your customers feel when using your products.

Pin Optimization

Along with making boards that are tailored towards specific products or services, you’re also going to have to follow some best practices when it comes to setting up your pins. Here a few of them that will help boost your engagement on your Pinterest board.

Firstly, you’re going to want to include a link to the item you’re showcasing, this way, if your prospect wants to learn more, they aren’t just stuck looking at a pretty picture. Next, make sure to include the price of the item with the pin, this will help put them further along the buying process then if it’s just the featured product. Finally, you’re going to want to have between a 200-300 character description. Yes, characters not words, think like Twitter, brevity is King.

What To Include In Your Pin

 

 

 

Now that we’ve gone over what to include with your pin, lets go over what makes an effective image for a pin, seeing as this is the meat and potatoes of Pinterest. According to a study done by Ripen Ecommerce, lighter images are more than 20 times more likely to be pinned over dark images. Additionally, Tall images are shared 67% more often than short ones. Finally, brand images that don’t feature faces within the pin are 23% more likely to get repinned.

What To Include In Your Pin Image

 

Pinterest Optimization Doesn’t Stop At Pinterest

Like the heading says, optimizing your Pinterest boards is only half the battle. To truly capitalize on the referral traffic from Pinterest, you need to make sure your site is prepared for it. According to Pinterest, over three-quarters of their traffic comes from mobile or tablet. What that means, is that you need to make sure that your e-store has a mobile solution, whether that is a mobile site, or your store is responsive. If a pinner lands on a page on your site and it isn’t mobile optimized they’re most likely going to bounce right back to Pinterest.

Put A Pin In It

Social sharing buttons on product listings has become a industry recognized best practice across all social media. Pinterest is no different where this is concerned. “Pin It” buttons and widgets make it easy for customers to share what they like on their own boards. While having relevant pins on your company’s board is great, getting on customers’ boards is fantastic.

Pinterest Isn’t For Everybody

A lot of ecommerce sites have been seeing some amazing success on Pinterest. However, Pinterest isn’t for every ecommerce store. If you have a very visual industry like fashion or cosmetics then pinterest should definitely be part of your social strategy, but more demanding and physical industries like construction or IT should probably look elsewhere since the customer you’re trying to reach most likely isn’t on Pinterest.

For businesses using Pinterest and not seeing a good ROI, I hope these tips help boost your engagement and you see an increase in conversions from it. Curious to see what we can do to help? Give us a call or email us and we’ll see what we can do to help your social commerce flourish.

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Improving Web Development: Getting the SEO and UX Experts to Work Together

SEO today is nothing like what it was a few years ago; it continues to evolve and improve in order to give internet users the best possible experience. Search engine optimization is a vital part of building a healthy web presence – everyone, from technical architects and back-end developers to web designers and SEO experts know and accept that fact.

In spite of this, many web design and development teams approach SEO as an extra to take care of on completion of the project, forgetting or disregarding the fact that user experience is a vital component of any website. Even worse, some designers just do the barest minimum to ensure a site isn’t misbehaving, and then throw in a meta description here and an optimized tag there before calling it a day.

In order to realize any website’s maximum potential, search optimization must be just as important as the design phase; approached holistically and with due diligence. Every webmaster and business site owner will benefit by including SEO experts as early as possible in the project.

This necessitates a development scheme that will ensure harmonious co-existence between the SEO and the web design/UX expert team. It’s well known that there’s some inherent animosity between the two parties. However, all these must be left behind, knowing that both teams’ core objective is the same, to have a properly functioning website that performs well in search.

Here are a few places to begin:

Take Advantage Of The Tension

Marketers and UX experts aren’t too fond of each other, approaching each other as though they’re complete opposites: one responsible for catering to user needs, and the other focused on business goals. Inevitably in the process of development, there will be some friction, but a healthy team should know how to use that friction to the client’s benefit.

The success of both SEO and online marketing depend on a site’s ability to give a good user experience. In turn, marketers are more in tune with what users want and can therefore contribute to the UX development process. Understanding this is essential to foster mutual respect and an atmosphere of collaboration throughout the project development lifecycle.

 Set Up Common Goals and Use Them in Decision Making

Before beginning the process of design, the SEO and UX experts should clearly define and understand the website’s core objectives. This should guide every idea put forward for content, design, or marketing. If both parties willingly collaborate, the two perspectives on the website goals can yield powerful results.

Come together to develop buyer/user personas for the business, which will inform the decision-making process for the entire project. If, as an SEO you find yourself disagreeing with the UX, consult the pre-developed buyer/user personas which supports your idea.

Decisions in web design and development should not be based on hunches, whether it’s user flows or keyword research. Instead, take advantage of your collective knowledge, user feedback, and industry research to make choices which will improve the website. When you struggle to come to an agreement, ask yourselves these questions:

  • Which objective does this idea contribute to?
  • Is there a better way to achieve the objective?
  • Will the user appreciate this idea?
  • How does the content/design element affect our user’s buying/decision-making process?
  • Does the idea drive conversions?

This will ensure you accept or reject ideas based on the most important considerations, instead of just doing it to be right/superior to your counterparts.

Content Should Not Be Created In A Vacuum

Never create content without having the website design in mind. Similarly, design should not be taken as the major decider for the tone and messaging of any content. Early on, figure out which would be the best method to develop content according to your website goals – make decisions about site architecture, pages which need to be included or redone, average length of content and all design elements that would be included.

Deciding the content structure together is important as it will curb any delays once the project begins. In addition, it makes for a better user experience. Having high quality content will ensure that site users convert according to your goals, but only if supported by proper application of various design elements, including appropriate use of white space. Good design without high quality content will create inherent distrust in the brand message passed on to users.

Remember that design is not only important as far as human user experience goes. Consider that Google is continually improving its interpretation of web design elements, including the use of human performance indicators (fast page-load speed, low bounce rates, mobile-friendliness etc.).

These performance indicators tell Google that you have created a user-friendly site, which boosts your authority and consequently ranking. Google robots are now able to identify whether sites are mobile friendly, the font sizes used and a few JavaScript elements among others.

Don’t Get Tired Of Repeating

If you have previously participated in web development projects, you probably know that you are never truly ‘finished’ with any project. This is because the Internet landscape is never static; user needs and requirements are constantly evolving, as are web best practices and search engine requirements. To stay relevant, your website must change accordingly, and in a time-sensitive manner.

The SEO and UX teams will utilize their knowledge from user and market research to inform decisions on user requirements prior to product launches. However, you must also be equipped to ensure that the website’s performance is measurable on rolling out of the product.

After the launch, the SEO and UX teams will now use feedback from users in real life to evaluate the performance of the site, making small iterative adjustments to create the optimal user experience and drive conversions.

By improving collaboration between SEO and UX experts throughout all phases of the project, all projects will get positive impact, giving higher returns to clients by providing better overall experiences for users.

Author Bio

Jack Dawson is a web developer and UI/UX specialist at BigDropInc.com. He works at a design, branding and marketing firm, having founded the same firm 9 years ago. He likes to share knowledge and points of view with other developers and consumers on platforms.

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Why You Should Include Video On Your Landing Pages

In the past we’ve talked about the best practices for landing pages we’ve even given tips about some ways to help improve conversions. However, one thing we haven’t gone over yet with landing pages is using video to help you get your message to your customers.

The long and short of it is video should be used on your landing pages whenever possible. It provides your customer with a way to passively engage with you and experience your message with little effort on their part.

A case study by Eye View Digital showed that by using video you can possibly increase your landing page’s conversion rates by up to 80%! As a certain car dealer says, “That’s Huge!” Additionally, people have been inundated with video since the middle of the 20th century. Web-based video content has such an impact on the way content is consumed it’s what made YouTube the internet’s video search engine.

How Videos Can Increase Landing Page Conversion Rates

Videos have multiple ways that they can increase your conversion rates. Firstly, they have staying power; videos increase the length of time people stay on your page, giving your brand message a higher chance of reaching the customer. Second, by showing the people behind the product, either yourself or your fellow employees, helps to increase the trust factor significantly. Finally, if all else fails, people have a natural preference to watch something to get what they want over reading something.

A/B Testing For Landing Page Videos

Now, of course when you create a new landing page or modifying an existing landing page, you have to split test it. Here are a few ways to make your videos more effective: Firstly, try testing autoplay vs. pressing play. Most usability guidelines suggest not using autoplay as it is mostly used as an interruption technique that ends up annoying most people and they end up bouncing from the page. Additionally, try adding a call to action to the video, try testing between it being permanently visible or showing up at strategic times. Also, try testing the length of the video to see what your customers respond to more. Some products need a detailed video, others you can give it the 30 second commercial treatment. Finally, don’t just wing it, make sure to write a script beforehand, this will help the flow of the video and will make sure it looks and sounds professional.

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The A To Z Guide to Local SEO for Ecommerce

With Google making local results more and more prevalent these days, especially with the incoming “buy now” button, Local SEO is more then a convenience, it is quickly becoming another necessity for businesses to succeed.

The internet has opened the doors to countless opportunities. For artists and writers, it has allowed them to showcase and promote their work online and reach out to new audiences they might not have otherwise reached. For businesses, this allows you to expand your presence while not having to worry about investing in more brick-and-mortar stores. If you run a business that has an online store in addition to its brick-and-mortar locations, you should seriously consider investing in your online presence. Not only is it cost-effective, but when done right, can help you attract the right customers faster. The solution: Local SEO.

Why Local SEO?

As most of you know, operating in the online space has become paramount for success. Everyone is online and competing for those coveted top rankings on the first page of Google searches. SEO is vital to online promotion on a large scale; but, what about on a smaller more local scale? This is where Local SEO comes into play. But, before we get knee deep into talking about Local SEO, here’s some quick statistics about why it should be included in your marketing efforts.

  • Studies show that over 72% of consumers use online reviews when making shopping decisions
  • 90% of smartphone users use their phone before shopping, and 84% use them while they’re shopping
  • 50% of consumers use their smartphones to find local information and have “local intent” or searching for something and including location identifiers (i.e. antique furniture Saratoga Springs NY)
  • Over 4 billion desktop searches in the US have “local intent” as well
  • Prospects that search and find localized results are more likely to convert into sales, because when they look for a service or product and find it locally, they will want to take advantage of this option
  • Local SEO has the highest ROI when compared to other online marketing strategies

Alright, now that I’ve shown you the data, let’s get started in how to get your local SEO off the ground.

Getting Started with Local SEO

In today’s online landscape, there are literally, tens of thousands of places to list your business online, and at the fundamental level, creating local listings is a key component of any local SEO campaign. But, let’s understand why this is important before we go into how to build it.

To help explain the importance of listings and citations, let’s look at the motivations and experiences of two of the most important variables in local SEO: search engines and the consumer.

Consumers today are buried under the number of options available to them. It doesn’t matter if they’re looking for restaurants, shopping outlets, or the closest and cheapest gas station. Search engines help ease this pain by allowing consumers to input a few keywords, which in turn return a plethora of options that make it easier for them to choose one and be happy at the end of the transaction. If the results are satisfactory to the consumer, they’ll come back to the search engine and use it again, allowing that search engine to monetize via advertising.

To make sure this happens, search engines review Exabytes (1 Exabyte = 1 Million Terabytes of Data) of data to be able to serve up the most relevant and best-reviewed options sorted by geography. Additionally, the quality of this data that’s used to process the information can make or break a service. So how is the high quality benchmark for data ensured? Through cross-referencing the data points across the internet. However, there are three major information brokers whose data powers Google, Bing, Yahoo, and many others, and they are:

The information these data stars provide is then cross-checked with more popular business listing services like; Google+ Local, Yelp, Bing Places, Yahoo Local, Foursquare, and others. If your data is consistent across many of these data providers, the more trust is invested in your site and in turn more likely to be served up by Google or the other search engines when someone types in a keyword associated with your business. Quality and relevance above all else is the key.

Now that we’ve explained the “why,” let’s get into the “how.” To begin with, in order for your business to qualify for a local listing in any index, it needs to meet the following four criteria:

  1. Your business must have a name or a DBA
  2. Have a local phone number that matches the city you’re located in
  3. Have a dedicated physical street address
  4. Make face-to-face contact with customers

Next, we’ll look at two factors that have a heavy influence in how search engines and other web services find out about your business:

  • The quantity and quality of links that point to your website and tracking the sites where those links appear
  • Tracking the number of citations of your business and on which sites these citations appear

Now you’re probably thinking, “I get links, I’ve done link-building in the past…but what the heck is a citation?!?” In the simplest terms, a citation is a mention of your business name on web pages other than your own and it usually includes either your business address, phone number, or both, regardless of whether there is a link to your website or not.

For example, let’s take a look at Yellow Pages, where your business is listed, but not necessarily linked to.

Yellow Pages Business Citation

When it comes to creating your business listings and getting citations, you have a couple of options available to you. You can take the DIY approach and list with all the major players (Yelp, TripAdvisor, Yellow Pages, Google+Local, Bing Places, Yahoo Local, and Foursquare), hire a marketing agency, or you can turn to a location-based CMS (Content Management System) like Yext, or Moz Local, where you upload your address once and then use the software to push your listing to everywhere you want to be. Each CMS has its own pros and cons, outside of the cost associated with it. So, if you’re going to look at the CMS route, make sure to do your due diligence and invest in the best one for your business.

Business Reviews and Online Reputation

In 2012, Search Engine Land released a study, and according to the study, 72% of consumers say that they trust online reviews on the same level as personal recommendations. Let that sink in for a moment, people are trusting the reviews of strangers who’ve interacted with your business on the same level of trust as a friend or family member. That’s not all though, in the same study, 52% say that positive online reviews make consumers more likely to use a local business.

Reviews not only help drive a higher CTR (click-through rate) but are listed on search results where your business is shown. So it should go without saying that businesses cannot afford to ignore their reputation on the internet.

Google Review Screenshot

When dealing with online reviews the two main activities are inviting people to leave a review, and managing your online reputation. Getting people to leave a review can be as simple as having a call-to-action at check-out, or bringing it up while you’re conversing with your customers. Managing your online reputation is the other end of the spectrum. Rep management deals with alleviating customers who’ve left negative reviews and self promotion of your reputation as social proof of your goods or services.

On-Site Optimization for Local SEO

Lastly, let’s take a look at what you can do to get your website optimized for local SEO. To start, it’s recommended that you have your company’s NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) information listed on every page. If you have multiple locations, you can either use multiple landing pages for each location, or have it all listed on a single “contact us” page. One thing that you’re going to want to test when setting this up, is to make sure that your NAP is crawlable by Google, because Google can sometimes include it as an image instead of HTML coding.

Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that you’re optimizing for local based keywords, over larger, broadly based keywords. For example, if one of your keywords is “fish market” you’ll want to do, “fish market Seattle, WA” over the broad keyword, “fish market.” Also, you’re going to want to make sure your website is optimized for mobile. As I mentioned in the beginning of the post, 50% of searchers are using a mobile device to help them with a purchasing decision and/or purchase via mobile device. This number is only going to grow, and it’s predicted that mobile use will be 80% of e-commerce traffic by 2018.

Bridging the gap between offline and online experiences needs to be one of the top priorities of businesses today if they wish to survive in today’s digital world. By concentrating your efforts on what I explained here today for optimizing your local search marketing efforts, and you’ll be on your way to better rankings, increased traffic and conversions.

Have any questions for us? Leave them in the comment section below. Want to talk with us about how we can help your business succeed? Email us or give us a call!

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