Search Engine Optimization in the Fashion Industry
With fashion being one of the most cutthroat industries, all brands, whether smaller or larger companies, online only or in-store, regularly compete with one another for consumer business.
The fashion industry is unlike any other. When it comes to fashion, you are selling something bigger than just a regular product or service. With fashion, you are selling a possible lifestyle that the consumer can obtain if they invest in your brand. You are selling certain feelings and emotions that your brand can bring to consumers. And ultimately, you are selling a story.
Today, consumers are more demanding of brands. Why is that? Consumers are more aware of their needs and expect instant gratification. Amazon, for example, has a loyal customer base because products are always in stock and can be delivered to that customer’s doorstep that day, or the day after. It is up to brands and businesses to recognize these needs, as well as meet or exceed expectations to achieve customer satisfaction.
Have you ever had a shopping experience, whether online or in-store, where you fall in love with an item and go to purchase it only to find that it is sold out? Or they are out of the color or size you need? What now? Because consumers seek this instant gratification, most will choose to take their business elsewhere.
But how do consumers go about finding that same product in the style, size, or color they desire? This is where search engine optimization becomes key in the fashion industry.
The SEO best practices could benefit fashion brands by helping to boost their Google rankings as well as drive traffic to their site, potentially acquiring new customers. Other business components such as brand strategy and social media are important for a brand to succeed. But it is the intricate SEO tactics that will drive a brand to the top of the cycle above competitors and prove them to be everlasting.
Here’s a look at how the SEO best practices can be implemented in the fashion industry:
Keywords: The SEO best practices all start with keywords. Keywords can come from what your ideal customer or prospective customer searches on Google. The higher you rank for a certain keyword, the higher up you will be placed on the list of organic search results.
Keywords can come from product types, material, or color. If a consumer searches “women’s boots” and your brand sells women’s boots, you would want to be one of the top searches that the customer sees. That is the importance of keywords.
Page Title / Meta Description: Page titles and meta descriptions help consumers to decide if they should continue to your online store or keep searching. Targeted keywords that you’re trying to rank for should be in the page title and descriptions, as well as state any of your major marketing points such as a popular brand name, styles, shipping details, or discounts. If you are currently promoting an offer of “50% off all shoes,” that should be clearly stated in the description. Experts say that in order for a meta description to be effective, it should be informative in addition to being between 150-160 characters in length.
Image ALT text: It is important to make sure that the picture of the product on the site contains ALT text. Google is not able to identify images and associate words with them. Adding ALT text to an image that describes exactly what the image is, will help to improve your search engine ranking.
If the product that the picture displays an oversized blue knit sweater, the ALT text for that image should be “oversized-blue-knit-sweater.”
Internal Links: Internal links help Google to understand what your site is about. The use of links and appropriate anchor text will boost your SEO value and furthermore, contribute to your ranking. Inserting hyperlinks that link to similar products and other relevant resources will help customers navigate through your site.
For example, if you’re shopping on a site, you might scroll down below the product and see “Customers Also Bought” or “Recommended Items For You.” Having these additional links will increase your click-through rate.
Content: Content is key and can help drive traffic and prospective customers to your site. Fashion blogs already have a huge following. By adding a blog to your site, it helps to create more social sharing opportunities, promotes your brand, and can be used as a way to alert customers of any current or upcoming promotions and deals, restocks, or new product arrivals.
One content idea could be to create a blog about upcoming trends for the fall season and then include possible outfit combinations along with images of your products and direct links to purchase those products. Adding in hyperlinks that take customers to the product will help to move them along in the buyer decision process.
Lilly Pulitzer demonstrates the concept of content perfectly. Their fashion blog Resort 365, located on the top of their homepage, provides their customers with outfit inspiration, updates on current deals, collection previews, and the latest trends. Their blog posts contain a slideshow of images of their products that then links consumers to a page where they can purchase the product.
Not only does content add SEO value, but you can also take advantage and leverage customer purchases through the use of good content. Get creative with your content. Sell a look or the perceived lifestyle of your brand that your customers are attracted to.
The strategic use of SEO best practices will help to improve search engine rankings, increase brand presence, as well as drive consumers to your site. If you are interested in learning more about how SEO can help your brand dominate in the fashion industry, Results Driven Marketing can help! To learn more about Turning Clicks into Clients, contact RDM today at (215) 393-8700.
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