Last month I was able to head up to Birmingham to visit the UK’s largest multichannel retail event learning about the latest on eCommerce. The internet retailing expo revealed a number of new innovations and strategies that we should all be looking into. My main take away was a case study by Nick Wilsdon, SEO Lead at Vodafone Group. Nick spoke about how to sharpen your SEO strategy to cater for the eCommerce world of 2018.

IRX eCommerce Event

Nick highlighted 5 topics that should be at the forefront of your strategy:

1 – Security threats

There are some simple measures that you can put in place to secure your site. If you have an eCommerce site, ensure you have fully migrated across to HTTPS, this will give the user authentication of the website and show there is protection of privacy and integrity of data. (Reference)

Make sure you’re monitoring all your Google Search Console properties, this includes https://www, https://, http://www. And http://. This will allow you to identify and prioritise issues that arise on your site. (reference)

Crawl your site using 3rd party software. It targets fetching new or updated data from your website and stores it for easy access.

2 – PWA – progressive web apps

A progressive web app is a web app that uses web capabilities to be able to deliver an app-like experience to users. (reference.) PWA’s are created by meeting a checklist of requirements, which are all driving the experience towards:

Reliable pages – When a page is launched from the home screen pages load instantly regardless of the network state.

Faster load times – 53% of users will abandon a page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load, therefore with more reliable pages, creates better experiences.

Engaging users – PWA’s offer an immersive full screen experience and can even re-engage with push notifications.

This has grown engagement and increased conversions from a number of case studies. (reference)

3 – Ever increasing SEO tech

With everything that is going online in the eCommerce world, this is something that you will be able to achieve and build upon regularly. Nick mentions how it is vital to crawl your site and conduct audits continuously, making sure that you are keeping up to date with how search engines compute the search results when someone does a search. (reference)

Nick recommended two software’s to try when it comes to crawling:

Deepcrawl – with a discount using the code NW2018 (limited period)
Screaming Frog

4 – Increase performance expectations

This comes does to site speed. It is really important that you’re improving your site speed wherever you can, Nick recommends moving to http/2 which does help. If you’re unable to do this on your server then utilise a content delivery network (CDN) to deliver pages faster.

A great way to test your site speed for free is to use sitespeed.io.

5 – Voice Search

Probably my favourite part of Nicks presentation. It is no surprise to anyone that voice search is a hot topic of 2018, with digital assistants being adopted faster than mobile the eCommerce world needs to be ready for it. We have all heard or seen adverts surrounding digital assistants by now, but with 75% of US households having one by 2020 and 70% of the market being dominated by the Amazon Alexa there are clear channels to focus on.

Although there were a lot of talks and innovations to take away from IRX these are some prime examples of how fast the industry is moving and how you need to keep on top of it to ensure competitiveness.

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