It’s commonly stated that every Internet user has bought something online at least once. This fact isn’t surprising as every year there are more and more online shops and people become more confident and willing to take advantage of the Internet industry. Many customers or clients prefer this particular type of shopping because it’s available 24/7, thus it’s also conducive for saving both money and time. Keep reading our article and find out how to improve the visibility of your online store.
Shop from home
The e-commerce market has been around for a long time and we can easily distinguish several important moments in its history, however, the greatest burgeoning development undoubtedly took place last year. Why? Certainly it's related to changing law regulations in the European Union such as the Sunday trading ban introduced in Poland, Germany, Austria or Switzerland. . Many entrepreneurs who until then owned only bricks and mortar stores noticed the emerging business opportunity and decided to make extra money, therefore, they opened online branches of their shops, available to customers seven days a week. Currently, in the USA there are already more than 100 thousand e-shops and this number is constantly increasing.
Clothing industry for years remains one of the most popular business sectors - last year, clothes were the best-selling products on the Internet. For example, for Poland, the opening of an online store of Zalando, the German leading company, was a real breakthrough point. Since 2012, Zalando has been number one when it comes to online sales of fashion-related products. In the meantime, other portals of this type have also appeared, including Answear or AboutYou, whose great opening took place last year.
So it's hard to imagine that any of the popular brands, such as Zara, Reserved or Mango wouldn't allow its customers to shop online. Sometimes it even happens that opening a new online shop evokes more emotions than opening a bricks and mortar store. As an example here we can take the Polish H&M Online Store which was opened relatively recently, only in 2015, while other clothing manufacturers had already emerged on the Internet market a long time ago. The impatience and waiting of the customers, among many different factors, proves that fashion has become a permanent part of the e-commerce market across the world and the Internet users are more and more willing to shop online.
It’s not only about the shops
When speaking of the fashion and the Internet, it needs to be noted that it isn’t only about online shops. Here, it’s necessary to mention all the channels that make online shopping so appealing and attractive. Because how to encourage users to shop? Well, it’s a piece of cake - you just have to show your products, or clothes to be more precise, in outstanding outfits that will perfectly convince your potential customers that a particular piece of clothing will make them look like a million dollars.
The Internet is full of websites where fashion bloggers present carefully selected outfits in pictures or short videos and describe particular pieces of clothing - they inform where to get them and how much they cost. Many girls eagerly draw inspiration from the sets of clothes proposed by the stylists who are more and more often treated as authorities on fashion trends. It’s enough to mention famous fashion bloggers such as Olivia Palermo or Zoe Sugg. Moreover, Instagram also plays an increasingly important role in the clothing and fashion industry, but we’ll discuss it later on.
Online clothing - how do users search for it?
Due to the rapid development of the clothing industry on the web and consequently, the constantly increasing number of clothing e-shops, it’s a good idea to take a closer look at how users search for products interesting for them and how they get to the websites of particular brands selling online.
Direct entry to the website dominates in the case of popular brands and large well-established online shops - the users simply enter the address of a given site in the search engine from their memory. This will be the case with the already mentioned Zalando or Zara.
On the other hand, when it comes to smaller shops or newcomers, it’s no longer possible to rely only on brand recognition. Here, you’ll need to get traffic from other channels, including search engines. When you take into consideration how many online shops already operate on the Internet market and how many of them are constantly emerging, it becomes more than obvious that it’s crucial to take appropriate steps to stand out from your competition on the market and do something to be noticed by the customers. Now, we’ll tell you what and how to do it.
SEO for the fashion industry
Below we’ll explain a few issues that should be taken into account when planning SEO activities for an online clothing store. By following these tips, it’ll be possible for you to improve not only the traffic but also the visibility of your website in the search results and this, in consequence, will positively affect your sales.
Seasonality - plan in advance
Apart from considerable competitiveness, the clothing industry can be also characterised by seasonality. And this is one of the most important aspects that needs to be taken into account when devising your SEO strategy. Remember that your intended effects won’t be visible immediately so it’s necessary to start working much earlier. For example, if due to the approaching winter you want winter jackets to be the overriding category, you need to plan the process well in advance. As customers get interested in these products early in autumn, the SEO process should start in much earlier, probably even in spring.
However, if any of your products is withdrawn from the offer remember not to remove a subpage but instead include the message "product temporarily not available". This will help you to avoid 404 errors ("page not found") appearing on the website.
Choosing appropriate keywords
The abovementioned seasonality is also associated with the selection of appropriate keywords which will match subpages with categories or even individual products. These keywords should be regularly changed so that they remain up to date and match the current offer of your shop. For your business it’s better to focus on a bigger number of phrases, because it’ll reduce the risk of suffering the consequences of changes introduced from time to time by Google algorithms.
In the clothing industry long tail phrases also work very well and although they’re less frequently searched for, they make it easier for you to find your way to the front pages of the search results as they’re also less competitive. Moreover, the greater visibility of your page on long tail phrases, the greater the purchase made by customers. Why? When users are looking for very specific products and finally find them, usually they decide to finalize the transaction.
Optimize your content and images
In the case of online clothing stores, it’s important to ensure that the category pages and the individual product descriptions contain valuable content. Similarly to bricks and mortar shops where the customers can turn to a salesman for help if they don’t find the necessary information on the label, in the online shop, they’ll look for it in the description. And if they don’t find it, they’ll probably leave the website rather than call the customer service.
To avoid such situations, it’d be perfect if you could take care of unique descriptions, which will provide the most important information, such as size, fabric or the name of a model. Use this opportunity to tempt your potential customers and in this short text convince them that it’s really worth to buy the product they’re looking at.
You can read more about it in our previous entry: Content SEO friendly.
The case with the photos presenting given objects is very similar. Clothing should be shown on models. This way, the customer will see how the selected piece of clothing looks like on a particular type of body shape in combination with other elements of the outfit. Remember that the format of the photo affects the loading time of the page, so it shouldn’t be bigger than 200 KB. Don’t forget to take care of the ALT attributes and friendly URLs of every graphic that you upload to your website.
When creating unique descriptions for your website, you should also remember about using internal linking. Thanks to it you’ll draw the customers’ attention to other products or categories and consequently your sales will increase. This way, someone who visited your online store only to buy a T-shirt can leave it with a new pair of trousers and a jacket. Such linking can be included in the content of descriptions or separate sections such as "others also bought", "bestsellers" or "similar products".
And what more can you do? UX, blog, social media
In addition to the already discussed activities, you can also take care of the right UX of your website which, in turn, will certainly result in customers willing to visit your shop on a regular basis. Convenient navigation in the form of a clear and intuitive menu divided into categories is a must of every online store.
Include a filtering option for each category, so that the users can more easily find the products they are looking for. At the same time it’ll increase your chances of selling your goods. When it comes to smaller shops it’s a good idea to consider regular blogging as it enables to easily promote your current offer. If you’re looking for useful keywords and phrases, take advantage of Google Trends data which will give you an idea of what users are looking for in a given season.
As far as promotion in the fashion industry is concerned, it practically doesn’t exist anymore without cooperation with so-called influencers. In return for the received products, they present the items on their blogs or profiles on social media, inform how to get them and place links to particular subpages or home page of your store in the description box. Recently, Instagram turned out to be one of the greatest advertising mediums. The possibility of tagging producers on photos enabled direct promotion of many products, including clothes. As a matter of fact, this form of promotion has helped many niche brands to make their mark in the fashion industry.
To sum up
The successful online clothing business requires SEO activities. Whereas large multi brand stores manage to appear on the first pages of search results almost effortlessly, smaller shops need to work much harder to be included in the Google’s index at all. Try out the solutions we’ve suggested, take care of proper optimization of your website and external linking and experience the spectacular effects you can achieve thanks to it.
At Delante since October 2018. Once an avid student of editing, now – a happy graduate. She knows well where to insert a comma and where to eat deliciously in Krakow (and Warsaw!). Originally from Silesia, now in exile in the capital, a lover of sleep, sage chops and Friends.
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