With nearly seven in every ten UK internet users buying fashion online in 2017, the importance for retailers of being easily found online by potential customers is greater than ever. What is next for fashion retail SEO?
Multi-device is still evolving – as is the customer journey
Gone are the days of a straightforward customer journey online, carried out on one device in a linear way. To make the most of the latest ways of searching, researching and shopping, retailers will need to focus on the intent and behaviour of the user, more than the devices used.
Creating optimised content that is designed to attract customers, on whatever device they are using, to your website, at each critical stage of the buying journey, is no easy task. Segmenting your audience using personas is one way to ensure that you’re covering all bases with the content you create for your website.
Optimise for intent
So how do you know what to optimise for? This is why user intent is so central to a successful strategy. Someone searching for “suits” could be looking for anything related to a smart outfit for a man or woman, or be looking for information on, or to watch the well-known TV show. If they’re looking for clothing, are they likely to be anywhere near the point of purchase? Probably not, if they are using such a broad term.
If you’re targeting men shopping for a suit, knowing your audience well will be a huge advantage here. Is your customer likely to be a savvy fashion buyer who already knows the type of suit he wants by style or look? Or is he more likely to search for an occasion for which he wants to buy the suit e.g. a job interview, a wedding, a black tie event? Matching your engaging content to the user likely to be searching for this by targeting the right keywords, on the right landing pages, can make a huge difference to your conversion rate.
Whilst today’s shoppers may use more than one device during their journey towards making a purchase, now that Google has confirmed it is taking the mobile site as a benchmark to judge a brand’s site across all devices, retailers need to ensure that they don’t let a poor mobile experience drag them down across all areas and allow rankings to suffer as a result.
Think link, as well as influence
Many fashion brands use social media influencers as part of their marketing activity, whether as fully-fledged brand ambassadors or just a way to extend their reach. Leveraging relevant influencers with blogs that have a strong domain to also build links to your brand website can have even greater impact, if in a different way. Working with bloggers doesn’t automatically mean that they come to represent your brand image, and the positive benefit of authoritative links can make it a worthwhile tactic for any fashion retail SEO campaign.
The more things change, the more they stay the same
Whilst times may always be a-changing, SEO for fashion retailers in 2018 is, at its very essence, not all that different to the way that high-quality SEO has always been done.
Thinking primarily about the user and what they need from you at a particular stage on their buying journey has always been the crux of good SEO. The technical aspects of making sure that search engines can read and understand your site with ease still require attention, as they always have done. The ways in which shoppers access and process information will continue to change as technology moves forward. However, ensuring that your website backs up looking good by providing a great UX and smooth paths to conversion will provide an excellent foundation on which to grow the business further.