With the very fast and frequent changes in Google’s search algorithms doing SEO is not what it used to be. What were cardinal rules for basic SEO a few years ago barely remain effective today for getting your website to the first page of a Google search, much less to the top of the results. Since the rules have changed, how you do SEO should change too.
Category Archives: Blog
As more companies plan to grow their capability in the eCommerce space to satisfy the insatiable demands of their customers for online research and purchase, many small to medium businesses are struggling with the skill-sets and costs required to hire new, or train existing staff, to manage this strategy extension.
In particular, auto parts and fitment stuff can be very tricky but we can help with any complex data sets Read More
Gone are the days when you could rank in a Google search by just making sure all the relevant keywords in your web pages’ metadata (titles, descriptions, and a certain percentage in your body text) and with average quality content. Now, with Google’s Quality (aka “Phantom”) Update (in May of this year), websites can no longer get away with ranking in Google just by using basic SEO tricks. Your sites got to have quality content.
And the criteria are …
Neil Patel, of Quick Sprout fame, lists 5 Ways to Create Content That Google Wants to Rank. As a checklist, these 5 points are:
- Is your content long and in-depth?
- Is your content clear, simple, and actionable?
- Is your content user-friendly and readable?
- Is your content backed up with expert opinions and statistics?
- Does your content give readers multiple options?
Of course, following this checklist, Patel’s article runs to about 4,180 words and is loaded with lots of easy to understand infographics, screenshots, entertaining and relevant anecdotes and Internet marketing advice – all presented in Neil Patel’s friendly writing style (go to the Quick Sprout page to read it).
These five tips are, of course, the hallmarks of high quality content – except probably the fifth point, which is just needed when your content, no matter how high quality, becomes too huge to handle without the help of simplifying filters – which are just a way to help limit what part of the content a visitor sees so the website becomes more useful.
But these points are easier said than done. What Neil Patel describes with his five points to great content are the characteristics that make content (blog post, webcast, video, tweet, infographic, etc.) viral – massively and rapidly consumed (read, viewed, or listened to) and shared.
These five points are a tough challenge to every content writer. It’s no coincidence that Neil Patel also wrote 9 Habits great content writers should develop in themselves – because you won’t easily be able to write long, in-depth, clear, simple, actionable, user-friendly, fact-and-data-rich articles if you don’t have what it takes to write great content.
eBay Australia is changing the listing rules for product identifiers in key categories including auto parts.
As PARts Australia say – “Ignore it and you may pay a penalty in poor ranking. Embrace it and you may leap ahead of your competition.”
Increasing the accuracy of listing information is an important part of eBay ongoing work to improve the marketplace experience for all users.
That’s why, starting 30 June this year, all new listings of branded items in New and Manufacturer refurbished condition will be required to include product identifiers including the item’s brand, manufacturer part number (MPN), and global trade item numbers (GTINs) such as Universal Product Codes (UPCs) and International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs) in select categories.
eBay uses these product identifiers to help buyers quickly find the items they’re looking for. When you’re selling, including these product identifiers not only has the potential to increase your items’ visibility in eBay search results and navigation, it can improve your placement in search engines like Google and Bing, too.
Selling automotive parts online has proved challenging for MotoParts, but developing a parts-centric approach has helped the company progress. Power Retail chats to MotoParts’ Scott Shillinglaw to find out more.
With a long history in the B2B commerce space supplying wholesale auto parts throughout NSW and Australia, MotoParts decided to launch into a completely new sales channel to leverage their existing business model. As one of the largest online marketplaces, eBay was the obvious choice for MotoParts to start their online presence and drive a whole new section of growth for the business.
This decision was prompted by the rapid growth of the Australian online automotive parts sales industry (estimated to be worth $380.3 million in 2014-2015 and growing annually at a compounded rate of 17 percent) centred on New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland – areas that have the highest number of kilometres driven.
Power Retail magazine caught up with Scott Shillinglaw, Online Director for MotoParts, to see how the transition came about and how they used PARts Australia for data and technology.
Recognized as one of Australia’s top distributors of automotive parts and car accessories, MotoParts boasts of a colourful history in the B2B segment of the market, offering wholesale auto parts throughout NSW and Australia.
In an effort to leverage their current business model, the company decided to dive into a new sales channel, opening a new section of potential growth for the business. As one of the world’s largest marketplaces on the Internet, it made sense for the company to jumpstart their online presence on eBay, this according to MotoParts online director Scott Shillinglaw.
The Need for an E-commerce Solution
To launch a new online sales channel on eBay, MotoParts needed a comprehensive e-commerce solution capable of handling hundreds to thousands of product listings—a solution that could keep up with MotoParts surging online business.
According to Shillinglaw, MotoParts required a robust e-commerce solution that could help manage product feeds, with the additional feature of transforming product data and making it ready for eBay listing. Moreover, the solution had to mesh with the company’s ERP system, in particular, product, pricing, and inventory data, together with eBay and MotoParts’s e-commerce website.
The challenge with automotive parts suppliers is that the complexity and sheer volume of product parts information makes it difficult to find a working e-commerce solution—one that could withstand the impending massive increase in automobile models and corresponding parts within the next few years.
Shillinglaw said that MotoParts needed their e-commerce data to be in a coherent format, allowing their e-commerce managers to list products on eBay by part and vehicle compatibility, all in such a way that entices customers to make a purchase. If the product isn’t presented in a compelling manner, it won’t lead to sales, he adds.
A PARts Driven Solution
MotoParts turned to an e-commerce solution recommended by PARts, an online solution Enform is certified to provide.
With the new e-commerce solution, MotoParts was able to automate and integrate all their product data into one easy-to-access database, through a tool specifically designed for automotive parts content.
MotoParts can now manage and access their product data in one centralised solution, with orders placed on eBay extracted and standardized into a singular format—integrated with the company’s own ERP system. And you can read more about how MotoParts went online profitably with PARts.
After just a few months of using the PARts-recommended e-commerce solution to open a new sales channel on eBay, MotoParts saw a surge in total revenue by at least 5 percent. The complete MotoParts e-commerce solution was also fully functional in just a few months. The company also saw a drastic reduction in resource time and IT expenditures.
But more importantly, the addition of a solid e-commerce solution into the company’s business foundation means they can now open as many online sales channels as they want, with very little work required.
You can read more about PARts and auto data opportunities here
Come 21st of April, Google will roll out its new “Mobile Friendly” algorithm update which will preference search results for web sites that are mobile friendly.
For your websites, this simply means you’ll get left out in mobile search results unless your website is deemed by Google bots to be mobile friendly.
How should you know if my site is ready for mobilegeddon? Fortunately Google, being Google, has already foreseen the outcry of website owners if they opted to bring their algorithm guessing game to such an important update so they’ve actually rolled out more than enough tools to help you prepare for this big day.
Without further delay, here are the tools and information you’ll need to be able to do a self-diagnosis of your site in preparation for mobilegeddon:
- Mobile-Friendly Test – just simply put in your website URL and hit analyze and you’ll know within seconds if your site is up to speed. Hopefully you’ll get a result like so:
- Google Webmaster Tools Mobile Usability Report – This is another tool that will help webmasters identify elements of your website that does not fit Google’s mobile friendly standards, because it could be that some NOT ALL your pages have problems. Errors here should be addressed if you want to keep up on mobile search results.Here’s an example result for good measure:
- Mobile Friendly Guidelines – In the case you’ll find yourself in the undesirable side of this update, after using the previously mentioned tools, fret not as here’s all you need to be able to get back in the good light of Google mobile search results.
Remember, this is not just about penalties but also about rewards. A more mobile friendly web site will be rewarded as much as a non-mobile site is penalised.
And as always, if you need help in keeping up with all these changes, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us any time.
- A subject that’s a real-world entity
- A description of some characteristic of said entity
- An object that shows the value of said characteristic
Organising content for a website calls for designers to ask key questions on their planned Information Architecture (IA). Usability experts the Nielsen Norman Group (NN/g) broke down these problems, providing answers to the 3 most persistent questions many designers today struggle with when building sites.
How Many Categories do you Need?
The general rule of thumb is to have enough categories to show all the information offered on your site or app. However, what’s considered ‘enough’ will greatly depend on the content and intention of a site.
Most simple sites with a small range of content will usually do fine with a few categories. This minimalist approach helps users find the information they want as quickly as possible. Take for instance, Dyson’s website for their Airblade line of products (the Dyson Airblade is the company’s take on the quick hand dryer). The entire website has a solid IA scheme since all variations of the Airblade fit into 5 categories.
Dyson Airblade Homepage
At the other end of the spectrum is RestroomDirect, a site that also sells hand dryers as well as a bunch of other fixtures for public bathrooms. Condensing all information on the site down to 5 categories makes it difficult for customers to find information on the company’s full range of products, which is why the site features 7 links in the top horizontal navigation, and 17 product categories in the vertical navigation. This combination allows users to easily access all relevant information on the site as efficiently as possible.
Both examples show the basic principle behind determining the appropriate number of categories in a website: go with what makes it easiest for users to access the information they need; don’t box yourself in by trying to hit a predetermined number.
Should you List Categories in Alphabetical Order?
Organising categories by a certain order is another issue frequently tackled by designers, many of whom feel that sorting categories alphabetically makes the most sense.
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to this problem, but what you can do is consider the following factors:
- What organising principle would be more meaningful than sorting alphabetically?
- Will visitors be familiar with the category names
- How many categories do you have?
More Meaningful Organising Principles
One approach that makes more sense than alphabetical organisation is frequency of use, which helps the majority of visitors on a site access the information they’re most likely looking for.
An example of this can be found on RightMove.co.uk, a property listing that has the categories For Sale and To Rent as the first two items in the navigation panel. This setup saves users a tremendous amount of time, since it makes sense to highlight content users are most likely to click on.
If you were to organise categories on this site alphabetically, you would get the unintuitive result below.
However, there are instances when alphabetical organisation is more efficient. If you have categories under just one label (e.g. product names or brand names), users naturally look for information they know, like a particular word—alphabetical organisation is more helpful in this situation.
Do you Need Hover Menus with Touch Devices
With the advent of mobile devices that rely on touch interfaces, UX designers are wondering whether sites should still have hover nav menus.
Hover activated menus are unwieldy for touchscreen users. Even with menus adapted for use with a tap instead of a hover, touchscreens are just too small to display an entire menu. This can result in problems scrolling the menu without deactivating it by touch something else on the page.
However, just because a part of your audience can’t use this feature, doesn’t mean you should withhold it from everyone else. Hover activated menus are still easy to use on conventional desktop interfaces.
The key here is graceful degradation: ensure that customers who can’t use hover activation still have a means of accessing your content. A good example of this setup can be found on the Fedex website, which provides both hover and tap options for all their users, whether on traditional desktop interfaces or touchscreens.
The full Fedex website has hover-activated menus
The mobile version of the Fedex site automatically replaces hover menus with a simpler tap interface
As always good website design is about taking in to account your audience and how you can get them to the information they are looking for quickly and easily. It is worth spending time in the initial concept phase on these types of questions to avoid costly redesign and coding later on. Need help with your site, want an objective review? Contact Enform today.