PPC professionals continually test and execute strategies to improve the CTR of ads and SEO that can take on some of their processes in order to drive more traffic organically.
This article looks at the 5 ways to do this from an e-commerce point of view.
1. Rich Snippets on category pages
Rich snippets have been around for a good number of years now and a report published by Searchmetrics (you can read it here) back in 2014 stated over a third of keywords in Google search results include Schema snippets; I expect this number to be higher now.
Rich snippets are still not widely used on category pages. You might not know but using them on category pages can drive more people to click on your listings because customers will be able to see how highly rated you are.
PPC ads gain this functionality through external review platforms, but can do that organically too by marking the page with the relevant information for Google.
- Shows positive feedback from customers whose trust you have gained
- The number of reviews is an indicator of the popularity of products
- If you don’t have good feedback, then you could lose a potential customer very early in the customer journey
- Very similar visual to PPC ads which could put people off if they normally actively choose organic listings.
2. Offers Or Price In Title Tag
Retailers in different niches have different ways to foster urgency e.g. luxury uses prestige & quality, fashion uses brand & season and electronics uses price & spec.
For this example I’m going to use price; PPC ads often include an offer or price in the headline and the purpose is to show customers that you offer the best price or have a running offer that can drive traffic through. You can easily recreate this organically as long as you can fit in your primary, supporting keyword and brand in your title tag.
- If you have the best price/offer in the market, then your customers can see it before landing on the site
- Free way to promote your prices against competitors
- Needs to be automated as prices can change quickly. This could create a bad customer experience if you no longer offer the best price in the market
- Research needs to be conducted beforehand on your customers reactivity to price in each category.
3. Create Urgency With USPS
Unique selling points are key in retail. They are the questions customers ask and the answers retailers try and shout about.
USPs stand out when customers scan through paid ads because they reinforce brand values as well as provide tangible reasons to shop with them. Organically you should be punchier with your meta descriptions to sell your brand.
- Takes a conventional marketing practice into SEO thus, creates consistency across all channels
- Gives customers tangible reasons and thus more opportunities for clicks especially if you’re a smaller brand
- USPs need to be quantitative otherwise they lack the punch to stand out
- There shouldn’t be any caveats to your USPs, otherwise it could frustrate customers
4. Strict Character Limits
Character limits have been one of the pillars of SEO best practices but in recent years the importance has moved towards pixel length which means more sites go over the limits.
With PPC, you aren’t allowed to go over the limit but organically you can, it’s just bad practice to go over the recommended pixel limit. Now with the mobile friendly label the pixel limit has reduced so you need to adjust accordingly. If the majority of your traffic is still from desktop then it would be better not to reduce the meta to fit in with mobile.
- Allows your customer to see the entire marketing message (meta description)
- Gives a tidy and more professional visual to customers
- If you have a responsive site then cutting the meta description because of the mobile friendly tag will mean less room to get across your message on desktop
- It’s a manual task and cannot be automated as something important could be cut off and your meta descriptions should be unique per category and product
5. Measure CTR
And finally, measuring the impact of your meta data changes. The primary KPI is CTR and ranking changes – for example if your ranking moves from 5 to 1 then the improved CTR is likely to be due to this. Google Search Console lets you fragment and view CTR by keyword, page and device.
Above are 5 ways to take on PPC processes into your SEO actions. Do you use other techniques? Please comment below!