How to find the keywords that could help get your products noticed

Julian Byrne - Thursday, February 25, 2021

How to find the keywords that could help get your products noticed 

Naturally, if you run an online store, you will always wish to find new ways to draw more attention to your product pages. However, attracting a steady stream of online traffic through organic search results can be tricky when so many other e-tailers are trying to do the same.

Ultimately, the trick isn’t simply to attract a lot of visitors, but also to lure the right kind of visitors – those who would be especially inclined to buy from your website. To get noticed by these people, you should be strategic about which keywords you insert into your website’s copy.


Sow the seeds of success – by starting with seed keywords 

What exactly are seed keywords? In a sense, the clue is in the name. Much like you might plant a seed in order to grow a flower that beautifully blossoms, you can use seed keywords – which usually comprise just one or two words – as a starting point for longer, more effective keywords. 

So, if your company sells footwear, “shoes” would be a fitting seed keyword – as could “trainers”, “boots” and so on. Alternatively, if your online store stocks swimming gear, good candidates for seed keywords could include “swimming shorts”, “goggles” and so forth.


Start to expand your seed keywords into longer keywords 

What phrases might shoppers use when searching on Google for products you offer? You could find out simply by typing some of your seed keywords into Google and leaving its auto-suggest technology to add a little bit more to those keywords, forming more detailed phrases. 

Doing this with “swimming shorts”, for example, brings up “swimming shorts for boys” and “swimming shorts near me”. 

If you still need some more ideas for long-form keywords, though, you could try entering seed keywords into Ahrefs Keyword Explorer or Semrush’s Keyword Magic Tool. 

Discern what intent is evidenced in each keyword you find

While it isn’t always easy to decipher keyword intent, it’s not hard to pick out, say, informational keywords – like those starting with “how” “what” and “why” – and transactional keywords containing modifiers along the lines of “buy”, “deals” and “coupon”.  

You can probably now start creating content around many of the keywords your research has thrown up. 

However, if you are unsure what to do next on either the research or content-creating front, we invite you to consider our search engine marketing packages here at Piranha Designs – as all four, from Bronze to Platinum, include keyword research and guest blogging services as standard.

What’s actually motivating your online store’s target shoppers?

Julian Byrne - Friday, February 12, 2021

A lot of online business owners may feel that they already know whether they sell experiences or physical things. After all, if your firm doesn’t specialise in obvious ‘experiences’ such as holiday packages to Tenerife or driving days that involve blasting a supercar around Silverstone, and instead sells electrical goods such as TVs and laptops, you might think the answer’s pretty clear.

But actually, the true situation might not be so clear – and this can have major implications for how you market what your business does sell, including how you respond to customer concerns.

What is my target customer looking to accomplish?

The above is a big, big question that any business – online or offline – needs to ask themselves regularly.

When it comes down to it, even if – for instance – your store deals solely in electrical items like those mentioned above, it’s not really the items themselves, or even the finer points of their technical specifications, that you’re ultimately selling. What you’re ultimately selling to the customer, is happiness.

Yes, you read that correctly: happiness. Whether your store sells products or ‘experiences’, every store is essentially trying to sell positive and happy experiences.

The customer is approaching your business with a certain need, problem or unhappiness about something, and they’re looking to solve that issue. There’s something that they specifically want to accomplish, and they’ll want to know how your brand can help them to make it a reality.

Let’s look at the aforementioned example of TVs. Your brand might offer impressive 4K Ultra HD widescreen TVs, with pre-loaded streaming apps like Netflix and YouTube. But the customer might be looking for a TV that is available for a certain price, and that has a built-in DVD player, to enable them to watch DVDs for TV programmes and movies that might not be available on Netflix.

You (hopefully) get the idea. Simply reeling off “industry-leading” technical features on your site’s landing and product pages won’t necessarily get you very far, if you don’t understand what the customer is looking to accomplish, and the experience they want to have with whatever product they might eventually buy from you.

You’re selling feelings – so make sure you ask the right questions

Keeping to the TV theme, just think of all of the experiences your favourite TV shows and films bring you... the raw thrills, the sentimental appeal, whatever they happen to be. These experiences are what your brand is ultimately selling, even if you’re handing the customer a box containing something made out of metal and plastic.

However, not all of your online store’s target customers will necessarily be able to easily explain what they do need from a product, so it will also be important to ask questions that tease these needs out. Simply asking them “what do you need to do or solve?” can be a great starting point.

But depending on the product category in question, you might also quiz the customer on their circumstances, activities and preferences. This will help you to narrow down the options so that the shopper purchases and benefits from a product that does give them the experiences they desire.

Remember that a customer whose ‘pain points’ are comprehensively answered by your store’s products, is likelier to be one who continues buying from you for months and years into the future – and they’re likelier to spread a positive word about you to others, too.

For a free no-obligation discussion of your own brand’s needs in relation to website design or other digital marketing services, don’t wait any longer to reach out to the Piranha Designs team.

3 ways video can help drive conversions from your online store’s stuck-at-home customers

Julian Byrne - Friday, January 29, 2021


As we all know, 2020 was a year of significant change, and one of those changes was consumers’ relationship with retail. With lockdown restrictions continuing to be widespread across the UK, shoppers are still being widely denied what may have previously been their favoured retail experience of brick-and-mortar shopping.

In turn, though, our lives have come to be lived much more ‘online’, as evidenced by such trends as a major rise in virtual meetings, online education and – of course – ecommerce.

So, if you’re looking to generate the best sales and revenues from your online store in the year ahead, you can’t simply keep on doing the things that might have been serving you well enough in 2019 or early 2020, before the pandemic made itself felt.

Instead, you need to be constantly looking for new ways to evolve your e-tail store to boost engagement and conversions from all of those (presently largely home-based!) customers. Here are a few ways in which you might do exactly that, while tapping into the power of images or video.

Put a greater emphasis on user-generated content

You might be accustomed to thinking of user-generated content, or UGC, as customer reviews, and that’s about it. And yes, those remain crucial in this ‘new’ COVID era. But with this also being the era of social media and selfies, UGC can also take other forms, such as photos and videos contributed by real customers, showing them using a given product of yours.

You may therefore look to create galleries of these customers’ images or videos, or incorporate them into your blog posts. All the while, the message to your prospective shoppers should be clear: “real people, just like you, use our products”.

Incorporate inspirational and ‘how to’ videos into your product and landing pages

Many of your target customers may be spending a lot more time in their homes at the moment, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be happy to spend that time sifting through other parts of your site, just to find more information about particular items. After all, there will be other sites out there ready to provide them with a better experience.

So, embracing video on your product and landing pages could be a really powerful step to take with your ecommerce site this year. That could take the form of short and informative videos showing ways of using your products, or – building on the UGC point above – you could invite customers to submit such video content themselves.

Embed live video chat into your site

Yes, we said “video” chat – not just referring to the kind of text chatbot you might have made a feature of your site already.

In truth, video-based customer service may be best suited to online stores with a more ‘niche’ or luxury emphasis. After all, some of you reading this might be wondering how you’ll be able to ensure staff are actually available to provide customer service via video.

Nonetheless, if live video chat is a workable option for your ecommerce store, it might make a lot of sense indeed. It would allow you to personalise the shopping experience, making it feel somewhat closer to the experience the customer might expect to have from staff in a brick-and-mortar store.

Is your business ready to investigate these or other ideas for bringing your ecommerce presence firmly into the 2020s this year? If so, don’t wait any longer to get in touch with the Piranha Designs team about our website design or other digital marketing services.

How can your ecommerce store boost its customer retention rate in 2021?

Julian Byrne - Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The retail industry took a hit at the start of the pandemic – and, in a fashion, continues to do so as many companies are forced to keep their brick-and-mortar stores temporarily shut in line with lockdown restrictions. In sharp contrast, however, the COVID-19 era presents the world of ecommerce with a huge opportunity for growth.

Still, a big question is whether your online store can ensure what may have been its pandemic-sparked expansion lasts well into this New Year.

Regardless of how long the pandemic itself lingers in 2021, here are several strategies you could pursue to help keep your company’s ecommerce growth going.

Use the RFM model

The recency, frequency and monetary value (RFM) model enables you to classify customers on account of their shopping behaviour. One way to put it into practice is by assigning each of your customers a score from 1 to 5 on the measures of how recently they have bought, how often and the average monetary value of their orders.

So, a customer who scores 555 should probably be in line for VIP treatment, while one with a 255 score may be tempted back to your online shop by an automated email or text message.

Use customer onboarding to build relationships

Customer onboarding can work with both new customers and those whose transactional habits at your online store have waned. In either instance, though, your objective would be to foster a relationship that encourages the customer to buy repeatedly from you in the longer term.

So, while onboarding for a new customer might involve them registering an account with your online store and subscribing to its content, trying to win back a former customer could entail messaging them privately to thank them for their last order and offering them a discount code redeemable on a future order.

Regularly publish fresh content to keep shoppers... content

How many times have you seen, in your email inbox, a message focused on a specific product? The mere sight of this kind of message has probably made you think “not spam again”. That’s why your marketing campaigns can’t be limited to product-specific pieces like these.

While it would not always be of the best use to your customers, content that touches on pain points in their everyday lives would come across as much less self-publicising. This content can comprise articles and videos, for which we can help you to select the right keywords.

Keyword research and guest blogging are among the services we include as standard with our search engine marketing (SEM) packages here at Piranha Designs. We can help you to choose between our Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum packages if you directly reach out to us in the UK or Gibraltar.

The lessons learned from the UK’s first ‘COVID-19 Christmas’

Julian Byrne - Friday, January 08, 2021

Yes, we know what you’re thinking; that reference to “first” is not an encouraging one. Nonetheless, no matter how long the coronavirus crisis lasts, the fact remains that we’ve learned a lot about the state of retail – online and offline, in the UK and beyond – over the last nine months.

Those lessons, in turn, can have implications for how you choose to tweak your brand’s e-tail presence during the year to come.

Some figures in relation to customer habits over the last few months are, of course, still filtering through. But on the basis of what we do already know, let’s look at some of the insights and conclusions we can draw from the ‘COVID Christmas’ just finished.

Ecommerce is (predictably) thriving

While it has to be the least revelatory development of the UK’s coronavirus-affected festive season, it’s worth reminding ourselves just how drastically the pandemic has helped to accelerate an existing drift towards online shopping.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Internet sales as a percentage of total retail sales had already long been on the up. The first nationwide lockdown, however, vaulted this percentage from 19.1% in February to 32.9% in May. For November – the month coinciding with the autumn lockdown in England – a new peak of 36% was achieved.

December saw the return of the tiered system of restrictions and the widespread reopening of non-essential retail on our high streets; it’s no wonder, then, that the Confederation of British Industry (CBI)’s monthly retail sales balance increased to -3 for that month.

The outlook for January, however, was a much bleaker -33. With much of England having been placed under tougher tier 4 rules for the New Year – bringing about the closure once more of non-essential retail – the ecommerce surge looks likely to continue well into 2021. That could mean even more opportunities for brands that have been optimising their online sales arms since March.

Not all e-tailers and product categories will have automatically done well

Unfortunately, some small businesses that attempted to maximise their online sales during the Christmas season are likely to have learned this particular lesson the hard way.

The fact is that even with the above apparent bonanza in ecommerce opportunities, COVID-19 didn’t just force us online – it also altered our buying habits, including in relation to Christmas gifts.

EBay data cited by CNBC, for example, indicated that gym equipment, board games and jigsaw puzzles saw strong sales in the UK in the run-up to the November lockdown. It therefore seems logical to expect such ‘indoorsy’ items to have been well-represented among popular gifts for Christmas 2020.

So, which product categories may have struggled during the festive period just gone, even for online sellers? Jonathan Pritchard, retail analyst at Peel Hunt, has suggested that “clothing faces the biggest problems because people are not going to Christmas parties”.

Keeping hold of customers is no less important than acquiring them

This particular insight isn’t likely to be a new one to a lot of the more experienced ecommerce brands. For those, however, who may have largely depended on a brick-and-mortar retail presence, only to be forced to largely switch their focus to online selling from March onwards, it’s a key mantra to take into 2021.

What are the key elements an ecommerce product page should have?

Julian Byrne - Monday, December 21, 2020

Whatever components you place on a product detail page in your online store, you will wish them to form an engrossing, cohesive whole that helps inform your customers’ buying decisions.

Here, then, is a rundown of the elements you ought to include as standard on each of your ecommerce site’s pages that focus on a given product from the store’s inventory.

Photography

Naturally, when shopping online, customers can’t physically handle a product and turn it over like they would have the option of doing in a traditional brick-and-mortar store.

That’s why each of your product pages should include an array of photos – we would advise about six to eight – that capture the item from multiple different angles.

A price and call to action

The “call to action”, in this instance, would refer to that trusty “buy now” or “add to basket” button – which you would obviously wish to tempt the shopper to click.

As one major factor that could sway the buyer in that direction is the product’s price, you should display this prominently – possibly right near the call-to-action button.

A written description and specifications

Somebody somewhere might have coined the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words”, but they certainly didn’t own an online store. Besides, you wouldn’t want as many as a thousand words in the textual description and specifications you include on a product page.

That’s because those descriptions should be punchy, specific and easy to understand. In other words, they should get straight to the point – although you should still be careful to include relevant keywords, which our SEO marketing experts can help you to research.

Reviews

Of course, you wouldn’t write these yourself but instead invite customers to do so. However, these reviews should still be given a special space on your product page, as they can constitute a form of “social proof” that backs up your own claims about the item.

Even if it’s a relatively new product that has attracted few reviews so far on your site, those reviews can play a big part in telling the product’s story.

Are you unsure about any aspect of optimising your e-tail store’s product pages to appeal more strongly to shoppers and search engine spiders alike? If so, don’t forget that the friendly and professional Piranha Designs team is always available for a chat when you get in touch with us in Gibraltar, London or Edinburgh.

How your online store can get its Christmas social media approach just right

Julian Byrne - Thursday, December 10, 2020

You might be thinking it’s a little late for us to be telling you every detail of how you should plan your e-tail shop’s festive-season social media strategy, and you’d be right. Hopefully, you’ll have the key planks of such seasonal plans put down already.

However, it might still be handy for you to do a ‘check-up’ of your brand’s approach to social media this Christmas, before you launch the full campaign in earnest.

So, here are some of the key factors to be thinking about – or reminding yourself of – at this late stage.

Is your brand’s social media campaign well-aligned with its broader goals?

Whatever your business’s goals are for its social media channels, now is the time to re-familiarise yourself with them, as you’re planning your posts on the likes of Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for the month or so ahead.

And of course, those goals may well differ from platform to platform. It might be that your brand has a presence on certain social media sites largely to increase brand awareness, while on others, you may be seeking to distribute authoritative and useful content for your target audience, or to acquire new customers.

Whatever – you need to be sure of what your e-tailer’s precise goals are for each social platform, and to plan your seasonal social posts accordingly.

In the process, do what you can to make those goals SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.

What is your social editorial calendar looking like?

The above goals will all be important when you’re putting together an editorial calendar for your brand’s social media presence. Such an editorial calendar should consist of a list of exactly what will be published on each of your social channels, and when.

By now, you ought to have this publishing plan already set out for the rest of 2020. So, have another look now at the mix of what you intend to post.

Does your editorial calendar look a little too heavy on one type of content, for example – such as memes or links to ‘how to’ blog articles – when considered alongside your aforementioned broader goals and the audience you have on that given social media channel?

Do you have a strong sense of who your audience is?

Every social network on which your brand is present should provide insightful statistics about your audience. So, before your Christmas social media marketing campaign gets significantly underway, it’s well worth spending a few minutes checking whether the actual audience you’re addressing on your social profiles is consistent with the one you think you’re aiming at.

If your store sells men’s products, for instance, you may be surprised by how strongly women are represented in your follower base on a specific platform like Facebook.

There are several reasons why this may arise. Your Facebook updates may not be very well-matched to what social content men are looking for in your sector, or your products might be largely purchased by women as gifts for the men in their lives.

You can determine what the situation is for your own brand by keeping a close eye on the demographics of your social followers on specific platforms, encompassing their age, gender, location, occupation and interests – among other things. This will then have implications for the exact social content that you produce.

Here at Piranha Designs, we provide social setup expertise as part of our top-level Platinum search engine optimisation and marketing package. It’s one of the key elements that will help you to get your ecommerce outlet noticed for the right reasons online. So, why wait any longer to talk about it with our UK and Gibraltar-based web marketing professionals?

3 ideas for your e-tail store’s content marketing this December

Julian Byrne - Tuesday, November 17, 2020

You won’t need our team here at Piranha Designs to tell you that this December won’t be like just any old December. While we wait to see to what extent a vaguely ‘normal’ Christmas might be possible amid the coronavirus pandemic, you should now be contemplating the implications of this for your brand’s content marketing strategy for the month ahead. 

Here, then, are three suggestions for the kind of content you might look to create in December 2020. 

Rising to life’s challenges in the COVID era 

2020 will be remembered for lots of things. The biggest, though, will be COVID-19, for the simple reason that it really has been all-pervasive, upending pretty much all of our lives. And with the winter having brought new lockdown conditions, now could be a great time to put out coronavirus-themed content related in some way to what your brand offers. 

A store that specialises in kitchen supplies, for instance, might produce an article or two this month on cooking with the family. Or maybe you run a health food store – in which case, you may write a few pieces on the products you stock that might support immunity and reduce your purchasers’ chances of catching a cold or flu. 

Your organisation’s social conscience 

Have your staff been helping to fundraise or provide products or services to the community throughout the tumult the pandemic has brought? If so, the festive period could be a great time to draw attention to it, and even give a ‘round-up’ of your brand’s charitable activities throughout the past year. 

After all, research has indicated that consumers are much likelier to buy from brands that they consider to have a strong purpose – as well as to defend those brands and refer them to friends and relatives. And in this season of goodwill, you’ll want to communicate that your own brand’s purpose is about so much more than its bottom line. 

Teaching skills to at-home customers 

With so many of us once again stuck indoors right now, it should be no great surprise that a lot of brands are appealing to those who are using their enforced at-home time to learn new skills. 

This will be an especially easy route to take with your content marketing if your store sells items that obviously require skill from the people using them – even more so if those items are likely to be strong Christmas sellers. 

That could mean a store that sells musical instruments publishing a ‘how to’ guide for playing the violin, or an art materials store outlining landscape painting tips for its blog readers. 

Or you may run a store that specialises in vinyl records and record players, in which case, you might blog about how to set up a turntable. Or maybe your car parts store could provide instructions on the process of changing the oil in a vehicle? You get the idea; ‘skills’-based content can be applicable to more online stores’ content strategies than you might first think. 

If you aren’t confident about your abilities to create your own compelling content or simply lack the time to do so amid the Christmas rush, why not get in touch with Piranha Designs? We can provide blog writing and guest blogging services as part of our broader search engine marketing solutions, and we would be delighted to hear from you when you reach out to us.

Will Black Friday sales be such a big deal this year?

Julian Byrne - Friday, November 06, 2020

We’re into November, and we’re sure you’ll know what that means – the return of the now-traditional Black Friday. Falling on the Friday after Thanksgiving Day in the United States – which means that this year, it’ll be 27th November – Black Friday has become one of the most hyped shopping days on the calendar. 

But as you’ll also know, 2020 isn’t just another year. It’s seen upheaval at a level few of us have ever known, with likely knock-on effects for how we shop in the run-up to Christmas, too. 

You might have reason to rethink your Black Friday strategy in 2020 

We all know that 2020 has been a rocky year for brick-and-mortar stores forced to temporarily close for periods of lockdown, and to impose enhanced hygiene and social distancing measures on their premises when permitted to open. So, it would seem that the now-familiar Black Friday scrums are already firmly off the menu this year. 

Combine this with the fact that the latest England-wide lockdown is set to run – at the time of typing – at least until early December, and it’s clear that large chunks of the UK’s retail premises will be off-bounds to pretty much any shoppers at all this Black Friday. 

But even if these lockdown restrictions were not being imposed, there would be good reason to expect a more subdued Black Friday this year. 

That’s because many in retail are also eager to alleviate the stress the pandemic has already exerted on supply chains and delivery services. This is leading to a greater emphasis on season-long deals, rather than necessarily making a big fuss out of a single day or weekend. 

If shoppers can be encouraged to commit to their Christmas purchases earlier than Black Friday, there can be greater certainty about ecommerce stores having adequate stock, and customers receiving their ordered items in good time. 

A season-wide approach is likely to serve your store best this Christmas 

Of course, we don’t expect Black Friday to ‘go away’ completely as a big shopping event, just because of COVID-19 – a cursory search of Google News should be enough to confirm that. 

Nonetheless, it seems that of all years, 2020 will be a year to focus on such broader strategies as launching your ecommerce outlet’s Christmas sales early, refreshing your discount offers on a week-by-week basis, promoting products of particular relevance to those staying at home, and clearly communicating likely delivery times at this time of possibly widespread delays. 

In short, this won’t be ‘just another’ Christmas shopping season – and while you probably realised that already, you’ll need your store’s approach to Black Friday to reflect it. Reach out to the Piranha Designs team today, and we’ll be pleased to further advise and assist you with your Yuletide and New Year digital marketing, website design and related services. 

How to get more of your casual visitors actually buying

Julian Byrne - Friday, October 23, 2020

While, here at Piranha Designs, we would certainly emphasise the importance of effective search engine optimisation (SEO) for attracting relevant traffic to your online store, the fact remains that it’s one thing to drive visitors, and another thing to get those visitors to become paying customers.

Don’t forget that a lot of your ecommerce store’s visitors won’t see your homepage first, but will instead land on a product page or even blog post via a Google search for a relevant term. They therefore won’t necessarily have any particular loyalty or affinity for your brand, or even recognise your brand... let alone know about your broader product range, promotions or brand values. 

So, how can you transform more of those only-vaguely-interested visitors into people reaching for their debit card when on one of your product pages? Here are some proven strategies.

Don’t depend on brand recognition alone

Sure, some visitors to your e-tail site, even from the moment you set up your store, may be people familiar with your brand’s brick-and-mortar shop – if you have one – or they may know the product brands you carry.

For a very significant proportion of those people you’re trying to convert into buyers, though, none of the above will be the case. So, you can’t rely solely on customers being drawn to a particular brand, whether it’s your own or the ones of the items you stock. 

A particular danger of a more brand-centric approach to the structuring and optimisation of your website, is that you might miss out on sales from those searching for specific product types or features, rather than brands.

Give the customer reasons to feel confident about you

While brands that are literally Apple or Coca-Cola might not need that many “proof points” to instil faith among prospective shoppers, we’re presuming your own store’s brand is nothing like as prominent. Imagine landing on a page of your site while not being familiar with your brand at all – would you buy from here?

The answer’s much likelier to be “yes” is you were to see immediately understandable signs of trustworthiness, such as an “about us” page to show the human face of your business, and a phone number to indicate your customers can easily contact you about anything.

A ‘live chat’ feature and the logos of any relevant industry accreditations or certifications could also really help to drum in the impression that your brand is thoroughly reputable and here to stay.

Make it easy for shoppers to choose

It’ll hopefully go without saying for you that the more barriers you can remove to someone buying from you, the likelier they will probably be to do so.

If, as we’ve covered above, a given would-be buyer doesn’t know your brand, the chances are that they might not know your specific products well, either... and that could make it difficult for them to select the item that would best suit them.

Wrong choices are bad news for both the buyer, who will likely be frustrated as a result, and the store, which will have to handle any associated returns.

So, it’s in your interests to do everything possible to make choosing easy, first time out. That might mean including size guides, product comparison charts, help icons, and all of the specification details the customer will need to make the most informed buying choice.

With our search engine marketing (SEM) services here at Piranha Designs encompassing such key elements as keyword research, page optimisation, guest blogging and more, we can leave your store well-placed to heighten the proportion of casual visitors you convert into buyers. Feel free to contact us via phone or email for further information.


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