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Ecommerce Pitfalls, Tackled - State of Search 2016

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Ecommerce presentation done on 11-15-2016, Dallas, Texas for State of Search 2016. Presenter: Bill Sebald of Greenlane Search Marketing (

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Ecommerce Pitfalls, Tackled - State of Search 2016

  1. 1. How Google is Reading and Ranking Content in 2016
  2. 2. I’m currently accepting new followers - @billsebald
  3. 3. Ten Years Later
  4. 4. It’s like we hit a wall…
  5. 5. “I don’t have any bandwidth.”
  6. 6. Can’t See #*!% In The Weeds
  7. 7. “There are high ROI demands.”
  8. 8. 19 I’ll give you $5, how much will you make me? Don’t Let This Scare You!
  9. 9. (Yes, that means SEO takes longer these days!)
  10. 10. (Yes, that means SEO takes longer these days!) “Just remember, you can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.”
  11. 11. (Yes, that means SEO takes longer these days!)
  12. 12. (Yes, that means SEO takes longer these days!) “You must set targets that are 10 times what you think you want, and then do 10 times what you think it will take to accomplish those targets.” – Grant Cardone Massive thoughts must be followed by massive actions. Be 10x better than your competitors best.
  13. 13. 10b4uSEND It’s worth it
  14. 14. Statistics Online sales will reach $523 billion by 2020 in the U.S. - Forrester, 2016. (Not Duane)
  15. 15. Statistics More than two thirds of eComm website traffic comes from Google, with 43% coming from organic and 26% coming from PPC -
  16. 16. Statistics Mobile devices influenced more than $1 trillion in total purchases in 2015 between online and offline transactions.
  17. 17. “There’s something to be said for familiarity…” - UX Expert
  18. 18. Best Practices tend to grow old. Don’t Blindly Follow.
  19. 19. Statistics Omni-channel shoppers are channel- agnostic. The channel that offers the greatest combo of convenience, value and reassurance wins their business. holiday-season-win-omni-channel-shopper-255412/ by Purna Virji
  20. 20. Statistics Retail websites averaged 1.4% conversion. Online only at 2%. -
  21. 21. Internet has changed how we decide what to buy.
  22. 22. Traditional Product Marketing
  23. 23. ZMOT is the RESEARCH
  24. 24. Who says we can’t provide more information on category pages?
  25. 25. Statistics In most cases, category pages get the most organic traffic. Google friggin’ loves them. - Bill Sebald (again, I’m now accepting followers @billsebald)
  26. 26. Remember when Google gave us the bird?
  27. 27. In order to find and display the most relevant results, Google looks for help from search entities. In short, it is a process by which searches performed by users establish a set relationship that help identify the importance of the various documents and, therefore, influence the information displayed.
  28. 28. Best Case, You See This
  29. 29. Or This
  30. 30. What’s this page about? Not sure, I guess clothes? I don’t really understand the context. I’m not really sure I know what I’m supposed to do on this page. Gotta go, I have video games to play!
  31. 31. What’s this page about? Not sure, I guess clothes? I don’t really understand the context. I’m not really sure I know what I’m supposed to do on this page. Gotta go, I have more trusted and clearly important pages to see!
  32. 32. Statistics
  33. 33. • Fake Ecommerce Category Page • Created 2 Variations – With, and Without Text • Asked the audience of 100: “which do you prefer?” • Followed up with: “Does the content on the right help you make a purchase? Would you read it?”
  34. 34. Results Majority liked having the content, and would be more likely to click through if it's there versus not. No evidence that it deterred from the buying process. Common sentiment: “I would read the content if I were interested in the product.”
  35. 35. So, About Those Best Practices…
  36. 36. Don’t overdo usability. Don’t disregard usability. Balance it. Don’t disregard or overdo usabilty. Balance it.
  37. 37. “I’m in a silo.”
  38. 38. Break Down Silos Talk to brand marketing Talk to merchandisers Talk to designers/UX Talk to salespeople Talk to PR teams Protip: Buying beers can help.
  39. 39. “I don’t know where to focus my time.”
  40. 40. 64
  41. 41. “Where do I start with technical SEO?”
  42. 42. Crawl Everything Like Googlebot: • Follow all “followable” links • Respect noindex • Respect canonical • Respect robots.txt
  43. 43. Then Start With Indexation Run XML Sitemaps Through Screaming Frog; Compare with Google- Emulated crawl.
  44. 44. Meta robots Robots.txt - blocking - noindex Canonical Tags GSC Parameters 301 Redirects rel=“nofollow” 404/410 Know Your Tools!
  45. 45.
  46. 46. Classify Crawl Waste - Duplicate / Parameter Pages - Noindex / Robots.txt Pages - 404’s and Redirects - Backend Directories Basically, hide every trace of all files Google doesn’t need to see.
  47. 47. The smallest “speedups” can add a boost
  48. 48. “Link building for Ecommerce is really hard.”
  49. 49. 80 The Algorithm Loves Links
  50. 50. 83 Fight For Your Experiments
  51. 51. 84 Push Back. Create Space.
  52. 52. 85 Be The Marketer That Moves Your Brand Further
  53. 53. 86 Develop An Experience
  54. 54. 87 Don’t Be Afraid To Take Hits
  55. 55. 88 Challenge “Best Practices”
  56. 56. 89 Do Better At Being A Source For Customer Needs
  57. 57. 90 Break Down Silos
  58. 58. 91 Focus On The Bots
  59. 59. Break it.
  60. 60. Break it. Bill Sebald