International SEO & Mobile Optimization Proves Essential for E-Commerce
Ryan Buddenhagen, April 20, 2012
With continued increases in the sales of goods and services through online platforms both here in the US and abroad, there exists several standard musts for companies in order to succeed. These are not necessarily groundbreaking or even new recommendations, but new research out regarding the industry in international markets suggest e-commerce companies are not engaging in these important practices. They are slow to fully embrace the realities of what is needed in order to succeed in the online retail industry. As a result, call them principles, practices, or strategies, but they absolutely need to be implemented to the specifications and needs of each business. Simply put, e-commerce companies must engage in these activities:
- SEO efforts to not only increase SERP rankings but accomplish both task that address user and search engine bot goals (fast page load speed).
- Pair SEO with paid search in order to increase overall exposure.
- Create and optimize a mobile commerce site to capitalize on mobile shopping traffic.
- Conduct social media campaigns focused on two-way communication and purposeful engagement.
These four elements are indeed essential, but as indicted above, not implemented across the board - not even close. In the UK, mobile commerce (m-commerce), online shopping done using a mobile device, is increasing. Online sales from mobile devices increased 254% last month (March) year-over-year, according to Interactive Media in Retail Group. This is great for the industry, but under close analysis, it is not as good as it could be. Consumer interest is there, but e-retailer behavior just hasn't caught up and fully put their proverbial best foot forward.
Mobile conversion rates have doubled, going from .7% in to 1.4% year-over year. The great potential lies in this rate, though; although it is growing it is still much lower than the 4.3% rate achieved by PCs in the UK. The reason? Only 107 of those e-retailers in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Europe have a mobile site. Thus, the majority of interactions with e-retailers in these markets are interacting with a standard site being viewed on smaller mobile device screens demanding pinching, zooming back in, and swiping in order to view the site and purchase products. The facts are when companies join with an SEO company or other marketing business and create a mobile site for their mobile traffic, conversions significantly increase.
International SEO & Page Load Speed
International SEO (ISEO) allows companies to cater to specific markets and the different cultures experienced and languages spoken there. As such, language was the first element that luxury brand Dolce & Gabbana addressed when they began noticing the number of visitors in the US, China, and Japan abandoning the website at a higher rate than previously experienced. The issue was page speed and in a foreign market is considered international SEO. In certain markets the page speed was painfully slow averaging more than 8.5 seconds and it was largely inaccessible at other times. Now, with the changes, the average load speed is less than 1.5 seconds, and this improvement has significantly cut that previously heightened abandonment rate. The result? Increased conversions, and an online experience that matches the image of the brand, thus protecting its reputation- and earning more revenue.
Reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or @ryanwbudd if you need e-commerce recommendations or have specific questions regarding how your business can maximize its e-commerce platform.