It’s natural that when you decide to open an online store with sports equipment and accessories you want to sell as much as possible. As it’s commonly known, a considerable part of the Internet traffic results from Google search queries. Therefore, if you’re thinking how to attract customers to your website, focus on achieving top possible positions when it comes to key phrases in Google.
Why does your sports shop need SEO?
The sports industry belongs to the most competitive sectors in the network. Every year new stores offering sports equipment, accessories or clothing emerge on the market. The trend towards a healthy lifestyle is undoubtedly the factor that positively influences the sports industry, including the sale of sportswear, footwear or other goods.
Sports and recreation industries incorporate all accessories for exercising, sports equipment, fitness as well as sportswear and footwear, therefore their potential is very promising. Apart from that, all sorts of sporting events, promotion of active lifestyle and influencers present on social media are a real driving force in this sector. That’s why an effective SEO strategy is essential if you run an online store and operate in the industry.
How do users search for sports products?
Searching for sports products, especially these professional ones, is based on long-tail keywords. Above all, such phrases aren’t so highly competitive and using them makes it easier to be ranked in TOP 10. Very often, apart from the model and the name of a manufacturer of a given product, customers decide to enter more precise descriptions such as “Shimano Disc Brake 6 Screws 160mm”. Thus, while optimizing the website for search engines you should take into account long-tail keywords which contain details concerning the size and specification of the product. So for example, focusing only on general keywords like “the disc brake” or “Shimano disc brake” may generate traffic in the top of the sales funnel, but it’s the long-tail keyword “Shimano Disc Brake 6 Screws 160mm” that’s more likely to be sold. You should also bear in mind that selling a wide range of products dedicated to various sports and using general keywords during the SEO process equals competing with the biggest manufacturers.
Factors that increase your conversion rate
High conversion rate is the real objective of every online store. Conversion rate is simply about users performing the actions desired by business owners, such as adding a product to the shopping cart, making a purchase or clicking on the contact tab. Factors that may affect the assumed conversion rate include:
- a user-friendly and intuitive website,
- simple navigation,
- functionality of the shopping cart,
- an appealing product range,
- high quality photos as well as extensive, detailed and at the same time unique product descriptions,
- seasonal sales and special offers,
- CTA (properly designed buttons that call to action).
Extensive and credible product descriptions
Sports shops should put great emphasis on creating unique and detailed product descriptions. In fact, this is the deciding factor when potential customers choose the store to do their shopping. The product description should contain all the necessary information and at the same time convince the users that the thing they are looking at was created specially for them. It’s a good idea to prepare two versions of the description. The short one, explaining the designation and the most important features of the product, should be placed right next to the photo and the second, detailed version, with all the characteristic parameters and relevant information concerning the product, under the photo.
Avoid copying descriptions from websites of other manufacturers if you’ve their goods on your offer. Why? Well, this will only increase the internal and external duplicate content on your page. Instead, write 2-3 sentences about the product because even such a short recommendation is better than a duplicate description found in every other online store.
A catchy photo, GIF or a short video presenting the product is a must of every online store. Customers want to make sure that they’re buying the appropriate item and they do it by careful examination of the photo. High quality images showing each side of the product and the possibility to enlarge the picture undoubtedly attract customers and influence their decision making. Remember about the equally important factor – alternative texts to photos which apply also to videos that don’t have to be long but should present functionality and the most important assets of the product. Thanks to them Google robots recognize what’s shown on a picture or video. Short videos with reviews of given items are gaining popularity among other selling techniques.
Cross-selling and up-selling techniques
The aforementioned selling techniques aim to increase profits from a specific transaction. Above all, these methods are less intrusive and don’t discourage customers as much as pop-ups.
Cross-selling is about offering additional products or services to the product already selected by the customer. It aims to show potential customers items that may be of use to them. The “others have also bought” section is one of the most popular types of cross-selling techniques. It’s a perfect way to draw customers’ attention to the recently purchased or viewed products.
Up-selling, on the other hand, is about showing the customers more expensive products with parameters or features superior to those of the item they’ve already selected. It’s a good way to increase the value of the transaction, starting from the basic product. So for example, if your customer is searching for running shoes at an affordable price, you can display more expensive models made of better fabrics.
Frequent mistakes of sports shops
The vast majority of online stores which emerged on the market want to use general keywords in their SEO strategy. Although such phrases have a high search volume, things get complicated when it comes to SEO of a recently opened store. The appropriate choice of keywords will also positively influence the search results, especially the ones of shops offering professional equipment for a given sports discipline.
Keywords stuffing of product or category descriptions is another common mistake than can be encountered on websites of numerous online stores. Consequently, the website might be filtered by Google robots and positioned lower in Google Keyword Rankings for specific keywords.
Another problematic issue of online sports shops is the lack of product reviews. Although the reviews don’t have to be reliable and it may seem that people nowadays don’t pay so much attention to them, still, a lot of customers search for product reviews before placing an order, especially when high-priced items are concerned. The section with user feedback is a great solution as the customers themselves create unique and helpful content.
Seasonality of the industry
The popularity of different sports equipment undoubtedly depends on the time of the year, therefore skis, goggles and helmets sell better during winter. It’s more beneficial to prepare your budget for advertising and SEO in advance instead of running the same campaign throughout the whole year. Optimizing your advertising campaigns according to the seasonality of the industry might be a factor which will significantly improve your sales despite the growing competition on the market.
What else affects the visibility of your website in Google?
In the today’s era of the Internet, a responsive or mobile version of a website is a key factor. Every year the number of transactions finalized with the use of mobile devices is growing.
Designing a transparent and intuitive to navigate website ensures a better user experience. And as you already know, a good UX gives Google the information that the website is user friendly and people are willing to visit it. It also influences how frequently others will link or recommend your online store on various blogs or forums and this, in turn, has a positive impact on your position in the search results.
Professional blog and systematicity
As we’ve mentioned on numerous occasions, content is king. Blogging gives you the opportunity to publish unique and useful texts helpful to your customers or related to the industry or the products on your offer. It’s particularly beneficial when it comes to niche sports industries as blogging enables you to act as an expert and provide potential customers with a professional piece of advice. Blog is also a perfect place for testing your goods or creating various rankings. Using this solution will help you to promote brands or models that are particularly important to your business. Additionally, Google appreciates websites that provide their visitors with valuable and up-to-date content on a regular basis. Blog is also a great way to attract traffic directly to your website. If customers manage to find the answers to all the questions that bother them on your site, they won’t choose the competition. Remember that each published post contributes to the ultimate goal of selling the product.
Fanpage on social media
Nowadays, when there’s a growing trend towards staying fit, the profile on the most popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram or Youtube is a must of every online store offering clothing, footwear or sports equipment. Having the account on social media enables you to easily promote your blog posts and inform your customers about special offers or new products in your store. What’s more, sports lovers eagerly share their achievements and workout photos. Internet users more frequently search for instructional videos and advice on various sports disciplines. Thus, operating in social media is a great opportunity to find a new target group for your products or services, as people increasingly purchase new equipment or sportswear based on reviews and recommendations.
The implementation of an SEO strategy in your online sports shop aims not only to improve brand recognition and visibility of your website but also to achieve the desirable sales volume. Reaching the objectives involves many factors. Apart from an eye-catching product range and high quality customer service, it’s important to continuously optimize your advertising and marketing campaigns and to take care of satisfactory UX. SEO is only one of the components that will help you to obtain the intended results.