E-commerce Product Reviews: Now More Important Than Ever

The Wall Street Journal reports that more than half the population (approximately 190 million US residents) will shop online this year. And according to a survey by Fortune.com, which polled more than 5,000 online shoppers, more than 51% of all purchases made are online.

Trillions of dollars now change hands through online merchants.Estimates vary, but the number of e-commerce stores is in the tens of millions.How then do consumers decide which e-commerce site to use?

Eighty-eight percent of all respondents to a recent poll said that online reviews “greatly influenced” their decision as to what to purchase and from whom. According to the Consumerist website, 70% of consumers rely on online reviews before making a purchase. Some experts estimate the percentage is much higher, closer to 90-95%.

review

E-commerce reviews are now more important than ever.

Online Reviews

If you want to remain ahead of the competition and build a loyal client base, you must pay attention to your product or service reviews. Online reviews are an essential feature of a website. Without strong online reviews, you cannot hope to succeed.

Website reviews provide consumers with a snapshot of your company as seen through the eyes of fellow shoppers. Good, believable reviews inspire trust and confidence in your product or service. Independent and unbiased reviews will make a potential client much more likely to buy from your site rather than a competitor’s online store.

Remember also that online reviews generate conversions that enhance your search engine rankings. Google can index product reviews, so an increase in reviews will increase your keyword ranking. You just want to make sure that those reviews are positive!

Here are some online review strategies to help you boost your e-commerce reputation.

Ask!

If you want reviews of your products, you should ask for them. Reach out to your existing loyal customer base. Ask them to supply you with an honest appraisal of your product or service.

You can offer them a discount coupon or some other incentive to write the review, as that offering an incentive also encourages repeat sales. Once you do so, part of your strategy going forward should be to include a note or link to a review site with every sale to encourage your customers to write reviews.

Solicit Reviews from other Websites

It is easier to find people, even those who may not be current clients, to review your product than you think.

Find a similar product on Amazon or elsewhere online. Look at the poor reviews.

Sometimes reviews provide email addresses. Contact the reviewers and offer them a free product or a deep discount for your product in return for an honest review.

Bloggers

Chances are there are plenty of bloggers who write about products like yours. Use Google and search for appropriate bloggers, then reach out to them and ask them to review your item. Offer them a sample, so they can review your product honestly.

Third Party Reviewers

There are lots of third-party review sites that have reputations for generating reliable and authentic reviews. They use actual customers who have purchased and used the products.

Contact one of these websites to help boost your reviews. This will help build credibility for your online store.Be careful, however, as many sites offer fake reviews, which will ultimately hurt your reputation.

Contact Amazon Top Reviewers

Some people love to review products and many consider it a hobby. On Amazon, it is very easy to find and contact them. They would provide an excellent, in-depth review of your product.

Social Media

Facebook and Twitter are great places to find people willing to review your product. Use your company’s Facebook page to solicit reviews.

On Twitter, the advanced search function will let you find people reviewing products like yours. Simply search for your product name with a hashtag “productreviews” or “amazonreview.”

Email Marketing Software

Research and contact a good email marketing company, or purchase an email marketing software product. Compile a list of verified email addresses and target them with offers of some sort of incentive in return for a product review.

LinkedIn

You can find potential product reviewers through LinkedIn. You can search for people, or companies, whoreview products. Use InMail on the site and get in touch with them, offering the same incentives you would to others for providing a review.

As with the third-party review sites, do your research and avoid the fake reviewers.

Engage Your Customers

The more you engage your customers, the more you increase their interaction. Maintain an active blog on your website. Post articles related to your product.

Make you and your site industry experts. Offer tips and advice related to your niche. Doing so will encourage your readers to comment and review your products.

All Reviews Don’t Need to be Positive

Due to the rise of fake online reviews, it is now harder than ever to gain a customer’s trust. Amazon does an excellent job of combating this problem by issuing a verified purchaser badge beside the reviewers who have purchased the merchandise.

Extremely positive and highly detailed reviews raise red flags, because no satisfied customer will take the time to gush so much about a product they bought online unless they were paid to do so. For every five-star review, you are bound to get some unsatisfied customers or four-star reviews for your merchandise. In fact, it is desirable to have these types of slightly negative reviews as they show your reviewers are real people.

You can use the negative review to your advantage. Some online retailers have even taken to displaying a “most helpful positive review” as well as a “most helpful negative review” side-by-side to prove their reviews are genuine.

Last Words

Focus on and implement a product review strategy to garner the most you can out of your online reviews. Make your reviews work for you. If you’re unsure about how your online review strategy will work with your website, contact your ecommerce web design agency. The right e-commerce review strategy is a powerful tool that can boost sales and enhance your online reputation.

How to Implement Schema Properly for Better Ranking

Search Engine Optimization is one of the faster-growing online marketing trends, and more businesses are spending a large chunk of their marketing budget on SEO, to boost their online presence. According to Hubspot, 80% of a website’s traffic begins with a search query into Google and other search engines like Bing.

Its usefulness consistently proves itself in the digital age, though a lot of professional SEO’s often overlook the value of some advanced techniques. One of the most powerful yet least-utilized forms of SEO techniques and ranking factor is the schema markup.

Schema seo

What Is Schema Markup?

Schema is a code that you inject into your website to make it easier for search engines to display useful information for users. Basically, it is a type of microdata that helps search engines interpret the information on your web pages more accurately. Inputting Schema defines what the content of a page is exactly and how it should be used and treated.

It is very easy for users to understand the meaning and the content of web pages but search engines have a limited understanding of what is being discussed on those web pages. Adding schema markup is like saying, “Hey Google, Yahoo or Bing, this content describes a specific person, TV show, video, etc.” This, in turn, helps search engines better understand your content and display it in a more accurate and relevant way.

How to Input Schema Markup?

Schema components can be applied directly to the HTML code of a web page. No need to learn new coding skills since web pages still use HTML. You will just have to add bits of schema.org semantic vocabulary to HTML microdata. You can also use a tool like Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper which will generate an HTML that you can simply copy/paste into your site’s source code.

When using schema markup, the goal is to rank and look better on search engine results pages (SERPs) and in front of users. It is vital to understand that there are data markups for all kinds of content types.

These are:

  • Restaurants
  • Local Businesses
  • TV episodes
  • Book Reviews
  • Articles
  • Movies
  • Events
  • Products
  • Software Applications

The first step is to go to Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper. You will need to select a data type and then paste the URL or HTML source of the page you want to mark up. Once that is done, click on “Start Tagging.” Your page will load on the left side while the data items appear on the right side.

Highlight the piece of the content associated with the markups. If the content you wish to markup is an article, highlight the name of the article and select “name” on the right-hand data panel. Continue adding markup items for your content. It is important to add markups to everything in your content that can help better define what your web page is all about. When done, click on create HTML.

The HTML of your page will appear with the microdata inserted in their respective spots. You can download the generated HTML file and copy/paste it into your source code or CMS.

Testing

Now, you would have to find out what your page will look like after adding the markup. This is to ensure that everything is done right and that you will rank better in SERPs. Use the Structured Data Testing Tool to analyse your web page.

You will have to copy/paste your HTML code into the tool and click preview. The tool will show you how your content will be presented in SERPs. Inspecting every markup element added is vital. If you still need to make changes with your added markups, you can do it directly to the HTML code you pasted to the Structured Data Testing Tool. You can also go back to the last page and add more markups.

Once you’re done, do a quick search on your chosen search engine and see if the information displayed about your content is helping users understand what your web page is all about.

Make sure to also use Google’s Automatic Item Update tool if you’re using Schema markup for your business. This enables you to update your product ads directly. No need to create a new HTML code if you’re thinking of adding new products to your business.

A Few Tips

Adding Schema markup to your pages will definitely help you rank better, though there are a few things you have to be mindful of when using this method.

More more and More!

If your web page has a lot of content on it, it is best to mark up every bit of content that you can. Just make sure that you mark up the content that is visible to users who visit your web page and not content hidden in other page elements. Remember, the goal of using Schema markup is to help search engines understand your content better so that they can present your page in SERPs in a more helpful way, which means a better user experience and better SERPs.

Elena is a marketing manager at Keen. She is also a life coach and helps young adults reach their full potential on and off their jobs. Elena is often hired by small local organisations to boost morale and improve team productivity.

9 Basic Components for a Strong SEO Strategy

SEO isn’t something concrete, something that can be defined. No doubt an outline of what it encompasses can be made out, but what it actually consists of constantly keeps changing.

That’s the reason no matter who you are or how much experience you have with SEO, it’s never enough.

digital-marketing-strategy

But then again, even if you’ve got a basic idea of the outline, you can pretty much fill in the circle one way or another. So here are the 9 basic components of a strong SEO strategy.

  1. Backlinks

Backlinks have been the most important and stable part of the SEO game for as long as SEO has been existing.

No doubt their importance has somewhat diminished over the years, but it has never been completely wiped out.

The methods to procure backlinks, the types of backlinks to acquire and frequency of acquiring them has considerably changed over the last decade.

Right now, “Quality” and “Relevance” are placed above “quantity”. So make sure the links pointing back to you are from sites in the same niche. The narrower the gap, the better are your chances for ranking.

Guest posts on sites with similar content is one of the best ways to do so.

  1. Keyword Density and Placement

A tricky one this is, do too much and you’ll be penalized, too less and no one would notice your blog exists.

Keywords are what let Google know what your content is about. So you need to make sure that you let it know, without emphasizing your desperateness to rank for that particular keyword.

The best strategy is to:-

  • Start the article/paragraph with the primary keyword.
  • Headlines can be optimized by embedding the primary keywords in them. They gain a slight preference based on their header tags.
  • Use LSIs:- Keywords with similar meaning, but not exactly the same words/alphabets. For eg. if “SEO Strategy” is your primary keyword, you can use “Strategies for SEO” and other related keywords.

As far as keyword density goes, a density of 0.6-1% is ideal. (It’s not fixed, so keep experimenting!)

  1. Content Length

The longer the content, the better you rank, simple as that. Obviously there are other factors at work like Domain authority, backlinks etc.

But if two websites having the exact same domain profile (no. of backlinks, domain age, DA, PA,TF) post content, one shorter and the other comparatively longer, the longer website is more likely to outrank the shorter content.

The best examples can be seen on Neil Patel’s blogs, where 99% of his posts are around 6-8000 words!

  1. OutBound Links

Outbound links tell Google that you’ve got a credible source for your content and it’s not just heresy.

If you’re talking about SEO Strategies, it’s a good idea to link to the #1 result for the phrase on Google, and if you don’t wish to give them a free link (because obviously that’s your competition), you can always link to Wikipedia, Forbes etc.

These are some of the most respected sites on the web, hence when you link to them it passes some kind of “respect” onto your content as well.

  1. Internal Links

Internal links are one of the most under-utilized SEO strategies. Even though they look like “self promotion”, they work miracles for the Search Engines.

Simply because they help the bots jump from one page to another seamlessly, the same ease of navigation can be said about your visitors as well, and they also add as “backlinks”.

So overall internal linking to your other pages is a great way to tell Google what those other pages are about, as well as enhance the user-friendliness of your blogs.

  1. Image Optimization

A lot of SEOs focus only on the “content”, and they miss out the fact that images are just an as important part of your SEO strategy as the textual content.

The best ways to ensure image optimization are:-

  • Use Alt tags consisting of your primary keywords for your images.
  • Rename the images according to your primary keyword. It’s important because then they’ll be reflected in the image URL as well:- e.g. mysite.com/wp/blog/seostrategy.png .
  1. URL Optimization

Short and Keyword rich.

That’s exactly how your URLs should be.

If your article is about SEO strategies, make sure it’s something like www.yoursite.com/seostrategy or www.yoursite.com/wp/seostrategy works fine as well.

But something like www.yoursite.com/article/93121 won’t do. And again, www.yoursite.com/wp/content/article/blog/seostrategy won’t work either.

Because Google only focuses on the first few words of your URL and the value of the keywords is inversely proportional to their distance from the starting point of the URL.

  1. Website Speed

It matters more than most people think it does.

A slow site not only has a direct effect on your site’s SERP, but also an indirect effect in the form of “”pogosticking”.

Meaning, if your site is slow, most people would hit the back button even before it completely loads, which is called pogosticking and this would push your further down the SERP.

So make sure your site is as fast as it can be. Use a CDN, use GtMatrix and other freely available tools on the internet to find and counter the problems.

  1. Social Signals

Social signals tell Google how “socially popular” the content is. The more shares you have for your URL, the better your chances of getting ranked above your competitors.

You can use plugins like SumoMe to embed a “Share” button on your website easily and insist your visitors on sharing them.

Infact some researchers believe that soon enough, Social Signals would take over Backlinks in terms of SEO importance, hence it’s not to be ignored.

Final Words:-

As I discussed earlier, SEO isn’t definite, you are always free to experiment on your own.

A certain kind of keyword density or URL structure might work better for you than it does for others.

Hence the factors discussed above are just the “outline”, feel free to tear them apart and find your own strategies.

Danish Wadhwa ( https://fly.biz/ ) is Digital Marketing & Branding Pro, who is helping startup and business for sales conversion optimization. His drive, passion, and analytical mind enabled his successful foray into the arena of Marketing & Sales Automation. 

A Complete Guide to the Career of a Freelancer

Pursuing the regular official job might not be your personal choice throughout your life. After having a bad day in the office while dealing with some unreasonable customers, attending pointless meetings you might want to shift your attention towards those attractive freelancing jobs.

But, the toughest challenge is to find the legitimate jobs for moving forward. In order to kick start your career as a freelancer, there is a need for you to become conscious about detecting the scams on the market. Sometimes even the most legitimate offers don’t pay you the amount you deserve.

Freelancing

Here is a list of legitimate works, which you can think about pursuing from your home as a freelance worker.

Work of a Writer and Editor:

Working as a freelance writer can actually be a good option for you. Working with a wide variety of clients would definitely let you know many unknown things about the field. Although how much you are going to earn from the job depends essentially upon your way of working and speed. Sometimes a college degree is essential for getting the job of a online content writer, but as long as you can write well, the degrees will not create any difference.

Graphic Designer:

Just like the content writers, graphic designers have a lot of scope for working as a freelancer. According to the expert reviews, a freelance graphic designer can earn more than $890 per week.

Photography:

A freelance photographer who has a specialization over a particular genre of photography can definitely think about conducting his or her business. Think about choosing the field of wedding photography or portrait makings due to the chances of a high income.

Social Game Development:

Social gaming will stay in fad as long as the social networking sites will be there. Thus, for the freelance game developers this can be a golden opportunity. Opt for the online programming courses for becoming a master of this field.

Online Tutoring:

Unlike the old fashioned tutors, who generally give lessons to their students in their homes, online tutors are more in demand. Thus, if you have a college degree, you can think about providing online tuition to the students. This is one of the best financial career, which you can pick.

Advantages of Becoming a Freelancer:

There are a number of benefits, which has the capacity of leading you towards pursuing the career of a freelancer.

  • Working as a freelancer can definitely let you be your own boss as you can do whatever you want in the given time.
  • Freelancing would let you choose the field you like. Working on your favorite topic can easily bring you the success.
  • You would be able to charge your fees according to the effort you have to put in a particular project.
  • No matter how large the project you are handling as a freelancer, you can have the full profit of your hard work.
  • As you are not going to work as a regular employee, the chances getting yourself involved in office politics are quite less.

Disadvantages of Working as a Freelancer:

In spite of the above mentioned benefits of working as a freelancer, there are some disadvantages too. So, have a look at the other side too.

  • As a freelancer there is no guarantee of receiving a regular paycheck. So, you need to get yourself used to the uncertainty of freelancing.
  • It can become hard for you to plan for the holidays as you never know when they will call you for work.
  • When you work all by yourself without taking the help of an employer then, you need to take all the responsibility of the job.
  • As you are not working under an employer, the chances of getting some benefits like- dinner or lunch treat, a free laptop, bonuses, etc are quite low.
  • There is a chance of getting isolated due to your freelancing job as the chance of having a regular conversation with your fellow workers is not there.

How Can you Become a Successful Freelancer?

It takes a lot for one to plan their career as a freelancer. The success depends mainly upon the level of your hard-work and the imaginative power, which you are going to use.

Here are some of the qualities, which a good freelancer needs to posses.

Skills: At first try to build the required skills and knowledge in the specific field of freelancing. Thus, you need to practice your gathered knowledge for honing the skills.

Make Some Connections: It is essential for you to make a strong connection with your fellow freelancers for getting the support. The professional association in your field will enable you to shine as a well known freelance worker.

Learn the Art of Denying: If you don’t have any specialization in a particular field, then avoid making any commitment regarding that project. Disappointing someone with a wrong process of working might create a permanent patch on your career as a freelancer.

Know your Worth: Conduct a research before fixing the rate of your work. Generally the cost of hiring a freelancer is much higher than hiring an employee. Wrong detection of your work might lead you towards facing some huge loss.

Important Tools for the Freelancers:

Along with the above mentioned qualities, there are some essential tools too, which are used by the successful freelancers.

  • The most preferred tool of the freelance writer is the OpenOffice tool. This really effective writing platform allows the users to finish their work promptly.
  • Freelancers should use some communication tools like Skype for maintaining a connection with their audience.
  • In order to fill the annual tax returns, the freelancers generally use tools like TaxACT. This tool can make the whole process more easier.

Working as a freelancer can provide you with a number of opportunities like leading a trouble-free life. In spite of the uncertainties of the field, you will definitely enjoy the diversity of this work. Most of all, it will provide you with the power of working individually.