How usability helps SEO. 5 easy ways to increase search traffic and sales

How usability helps SEO. 5 easy ways to increase search traffic and sales

The article is oriented towards the owners of Internet-shops, but it may also be of some interest for the owners of sites of other types.

Many of us heard a phrase “Sites for people”. It is discussed on forums and on conferences and even Platon Shchukin from the Yandex support service answers automatically: “Continue to develop your site, fill it with unique content and make it user-friendly and with time its position in search results may improve”.

It may seem strange, but robots don’t like sites, made for them. But in the process of searching for seo-traffic optimizers continue to write seo-texts, use other methods and at the same time lose trust of search engines. Within years of improvement of information search the robots have become smarter and they encourage to improve sites in order to make them convenient for users. How can we use it for our purposes?

Below you can see 5 easy ways, which can increase the conversion and search traffic. Use them for your internet-shop and gain double income.

1. Microdata

The search engines give the possibility of improving the face of the snippet in search results, which facilitates the attraction of additional attention.

About Google rich snippets checkout

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/99170?hl=ru

About Yandex semantic HTML read

http://help.yandex.ru/webmaster/?id=1127476

Notwithstanding that the site with 4 stars in the snippet is on the 4th place, it may get more clicks than his upper neighbours. Bounding the site with Google+ profile gives many advantages, and the main is the attraction of bigger traffic amounts without additional costs.

Be creative while using the avatars. It should obligatory include your face, but if you put there a flower, a gift or spanner (or whatever that’s connected with your subject) it will look original and will allow you to reach the ultimate SEO-effect (to increase the volume of organic traffic from the search).

To the question “Will my site be ranked better, if I use HTML?” Yandex is giving the following answer:

HTML may make your site more visible in the Yandex Search and thus attract more visitors, which belong to the audience. Yandex is interested in users, who solve their problems with the help of search. One of the quality measures is even called “The users’ happiness”. The sites, which increase the “happiness”, are ranked higher.

Below on the example of my blog you can see how avatar removal in Google reduced the snippets’ CTR in distribution and its returning increased the CTR.

According to the data from the Google web-masters’ panel, the site’s CTR in search results has increased on average from 7.1% to 8.3%. Some pages have improved their positions, but those, that have reduced, have increased CTR rate in general.

You can find in the Web many cases about traffic increasing via the use of microdata. E.g., you should read how Cyrus Shepard increased free traffic for 35% via optimizing his avatar.

2. Fast site downloading

Good download speed of your site page allows the robot not only index more pages on your site per day, but also allows it to increase conversion (people don’t like to wait) and improve the behavioral factor. If other factors are equal, faster sites are placed higher in the search results.

Having reviewed shopping website Shopzilla, we have confronted the result of reducing the download speed by 3 seconds gave 25% more views and 7-12% more income.

Google states officially, that the download speed is one of the ranking factors. Compare, how fast your site and the sites of your rivals download, make conclusions and use the potential of your site in order to get greater number of transfers from search and page views.

Useful tools

— Page Speed Online — tool from Google. It shows site efficiency on the scale from 0 to 100 and gives recommendations concerning the optimization of pages downloading.

— Pingdom Tools — it allows you to track, where the biggest time loss is during the page downloading.

— Whichloadfaster — tool used for comparison of downloading speed of 2 sites. You can visually observe which site or which variant of your page is downloading faster.

— Webpagetest — one more tool for analysis of page download speed.

3. Detailed contacts page

The average contacts page in Ukrainian Internet-shop looks approximately like this:
In most cases there’s no need to create separate contacts page – it is enough to mention them (phone numbers) in the heading. Sometimes owners add working hours of their office and it looks much better:

When contacts page includes little information, the business seems like illegal one, because its owner hides something. The more variants of contacting you will mention and the more you’ll take care of users, the more trust you’ll gain from both visitors and search engines.

Below you can see a couple of variants of good contacts pages.

Pay attention, the ultimate amount of care of users is concentrated here with the view of them to contact the shop or to find it in the city.

Good contacts page includes:

Phone numbers;
Email address and feedback form;
Business address of the office and its working hours;
Photo of the office face;
Map and itinerary;
References to profiles in social networks;
Other contacts (ICQ, Skype, …)

Some of you may think how this is connected with SEO? That’s simple. Search engines evaluate, is there a real organization behind the site and should it be trusted or not in order to be recommended to search users.

4. Merchandising

“Merchandising” is a beautiful word. For those, who don’t know the meaning, simple explanation is sorting or recommendation. For example, it is better to put the most popular goods at the beginning of the goods categories. This will increase the number of views and conversion, will give more weight to priority goods and will attract additional low-frequency traffic.

Some small Internet-shops sort their goods by A/Z. Maybe it is useful for some categories, but in most cases it’s the sign of merchandising absence.

Big portals understand the value of sorting “on default” and show the most popular goods first. Because in most cases it is what the user wants to see.

When I enter the “Tablets” category the first thing I want to know is the price and comments about the most popular ones, and then choose a suitable device.

When it comes to the product card, it’s useful to use recommendation blocks. They increase the number of page views, increase the average order receipt, interlink goods between each other and increase low-frequency traffic from the search.

Below you can see an example of a good product card, where there are no direct recommendations. And for pouffes there could be shown some new products or by-products in order to increase the number of views and sales.

Here is a good example with block “By-products”.

Another good example with block “Recommended products”

Look, what recommendation blocks are present in the product card of the popular Internet-shop Allo.ua.

Several ideas for recommendation blocks:

— New (from the same rubric);
— Popular goods;
— Recommended.products;
— Similar in price (size, colour, some other characteristics);
— By products;
— Recommended additional products (smart merchandising).

But be careful! Don’t recommend the goods which are outs and shorts!

5. Comments

Introduce the possibility to add comments about your goods and motivate clients to make these comments. It may attract the visitors, increase conversion, create additional content and attract commercial low-frequency traffic.

The comments to this blog supplement an article and let it be found via additional phrases. Separate pages attract 500-600 and more low-frequency phrases from search, and it would be impossible without comments. The same is with comments in the Internet shops.

You don’t have to invent the comments yourself and deceive the users; the clients will do this job instead of you and will do it much better. Remind them of leaving comments about bought goods.

Conclusion

Your site has a great potential. Use it and implement the aforesaid points right now! Add microdata, change your hosting service for a faster one, optimize the graphics and scripts, enrich your contacts page, add recommendation blocks to your goods, demand comments from the clients (even verbal ones) and place them on the site.
It will surely improve the conversion and search traffic!

P.S. The article is prepared on the basis of similar report on the conference Shoplist 2013 in Charkov. You can also view a presentation in which there are more examples.

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