How to grow eCommerce sales by 48%

I talk a fair bit on this blog about the way in which we work at Skyrocket SEO but today I wanted to also give you a peak at some of the outcomes of hiring us.

I’ve always said that as a company, we are focused on your bottom line as well as your search engine performance which is why I wanted to write this post to prove that this ethos of ‘more visibility, more traffic, more sales’ is more than just a mantra for us.

The client is happy for us to talk about the results provided specific figures remain undisclosed. Take a look at the screenshot below taken straight out of their Google Analytics dashboard.

That’s a 11.19% increase in organic traffic and a 48.13% increase in revenue that derives from non-paid, Google traffic. This is a superb result as far as the client was concerned but what’s more our Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) had a positive impact on sales from other channels as well which meant overall eCommerce revenue was actually up by 66.5%.

How did we do it?

Through a great deal of digging into data, performance analysis, commercial nouse, SEO expertise and a little common sense. Essentially the campaign has come through 6 phases so far to get to this point:

1) Google Analytics eCommerce Tracking

Installing and configuring Google Analytics eCommerce tracking can sometimes be challenging but it is definitely a worthwhile investment. We offer this to all eCommerce clients that we work with because we feel it is so vital to gaining the edge over the competition and continually optimising not just their SEO campaign but creating an all-round high-performance eCommerce website.

You’ll only start to see really insightful data after 3-4 months (if not longer) but you can start to work with the data once you a few months to analyse. Any less and you could be seeing short-term blips rather than long term trends. A few months arguably isn’t long enough for some businesses that are seasonal for example but that is a judgement call for you to make.

If you don’t already have eCommerce tracking setup then do this first.

2) Keyword performance audit

In my recent SEOmoz post, I talked about the importance of auditing keyword performance regularly to ensure you are targeting (and focusing on) the terms that are driving your business forward.

Me and my team set about analysing keywords – we looked at traffic, conversion and other metrics such as time to conversion and language used. This information is valuableĀ  in shaping a high ROI SEO campaign.

  • We identified keywords that converted well and looked at ways of increasing traffic – we found a number of terms that were bottom of page 1 so we focused on giving these a nudge to the top which almost guarantees extra sales.
  • We identified keywords which had great traffic but unsatisfactory sales levels – looking for potential causes and implemented fixes.
  • We looked for re-occuring themes in high-conversion keywords to see if there were any opportunities to translate this into other areas of the business.

Overall, it’s about trawling data and looking for the obvious opportunities or quick wins initially. You can always go granular after scooping up the low hanging fruit initially.

Pro tip – Google Analytics Custom Reporting made this process much more manageable. The software does the heavy lifting so you can focus on finding opportunities.

3) On page optimisation and tidy up

A great deal of time was invested in overhauling the website on-page to target new keywords an ensure better targeting of existing keywords.

This phase was about much more than tweaking meta titles though because we identified content that needed refreshing to improve user experience and conversion rates. Not only that but we also cleared out junk pages and consolidated closely related pages to avoid an unwanted Panda ambush.

4) Targeting issues resolved

A common theme with keywords that were high-traffic/low-conversion was that the ranking URL was the homepage which means visitors were arriving on the site and then they were forced to navigate to the product category or specific product they were actually looking for.

The trouble with this is that the average consumer is lazy so the majority couldn’t find what they were searching for in one click and consequently left without opening their wallets.

We implemented a little bit of linkbuilding (internal and external) to push the juice at the most relevant page to get it ranking to start attracting traffic there rather than the homepage. These common sense fixes proved instrumental in delivering the revenue increases.

5) Identified new keyword opportunities

You can’t get a near 50% increase in revenue just by optimising what you already have – it is essential to find new pastures to graze from.

This is exactly what we did; we identified common characteristics of the high-performance keywords and translated these insights into finding new keywords for the client to target.

We then tailored some linkbuilding specifically to building visibility on these terms and we have now achieved page 1 rankings across approximately 20 different terms (a mixture of high-traffic and long-tail keywords) – we expect traffic and revenue from these terms to increase as continued resources are dedicated to improving visibility across these new keywords.

6) A/B Page Testing & Page Improvements

We engaged in some more “traditional” CRO tactics and ran A/B tests on product and category level pages to identify ways of improving conversion rate. We then worked the knowledge gleaned from these exercises into improving page formats and removing uncessary ‘furniture’ that had previously been harming conversion.

We’ve yet to really do all the CRO we’d like to for this client and so we are very confident that sales can be increased even further over the coming months.

Now that we’ve fully utilised the data we already have in terms of improving pages. The next step for us is to run usability tests over the coming months to identify even more ways we can improve customer experience and grow sales even further.

Pro-tip – study first, act second. It can be tempting to jump in with big bold changes to see what impact they have on conversion, but in my opinion this is a far too chaotic way to work. It’s better to understand what currently happens and look for ways to improve by making calculated and well-thought out changes, testing them and identifying further ways that conversion can be improved.

We’ve brainstormed ideas and identified further improvements that can be made and we intend to work on these over the coming weeks and months.

The bottom line is that our attention to detail and entrepreneurial spirit is what helps us achieve results like this for clients. We’d love to hear from you if you’re looking for similar results…

Learn more about our eCommerce SEO and conversion optimisation services.

PS. I’d like to thank the client in question for letting us highlight these results. These positive outcomes were made possible by your willingness to listen to us and actually implement our advice. We appreciate it and look forward to serving you long into the future.

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