SEO Benelux Meet-up in Ghent: Grava was there!
On Thursday, February 27, SEO Benelux organized its third Belgian meet-up, for the second time in Combell's offices in Ghent. Grava was happy to be there again, all the more so because this time, the theme was e-commerce. Originally, FairEtail, now Grava, was strongly focused on e-commerce customers, and even now, this market is still very important.
Some 75 guests were welcomed by SEO-Benelux founder Mathias Noyez, and after a networking moment with a snack and a drink, the presentations could start.
How to deal with sold-out products?
Chantal Schinkels of Guapa e-commerce is the first speaker on the programme. With more than 12 years of experience in e-commerce and as a Magento specialist, she has fascinating insights into how to deal with sold-out products in your webshop.
What do you do when your product is sold out? How do you retain the SEO value, and above all, how do you retain your customer?
- Leaving the page online just like that with a mention 'out of stock' is not a smart move. This leads to a useless click, there is no Call to Action, the visitor can't continue on the site.
- Leave the page online, with an option for a waiting list. A call to action like "Keep me informed" with the option to leave an email address. This can be a solution, but only if the product hasn't disappeared permanently. If the visitor does not receive a message when the product is back in stock, he will also be disappointed.
- Another possibility is to make it a 404. In that case: create a custom page, keep track of your visitor. A page on which apologies are offered for not being in stock, where the search bar is prominently present and from where you can click through to other relevant products, these are all possibilities not to let the visitor click away. A big "but" in this story: if the relevant product page had a high SEO value, with a lot of external links, you have to be careful. This link juice is lost due to the 404 status, and because of this, your SEO value will drop as well.
- In that case, it is a better solution to keep the product page online, and thus the link juice and SEO value, and show the customer alternative products.
- When the product will be permanently out of stock, you can also redirect via a 301 status, in which case you also keep the value of the external links.
Content as an SEO asset for e-commerce niche player
The second speaker is Jente Kasprowski. Jente is manager at Webdesigner Inventis, and he runs a niche webshop for ecological baby products, Blabloom. Besides Blabloom, he has extensive SEO experience with clients such as Pukkelpop, Ancienne Belgique and Primus Haacht.
How does Blabloom handle his SEO? Basically, the technical side has to be in order, with a clean html code, structured data,... But technology alone is not enough. The e-commerce market is huge, big players like Bol.com and Amazon make it even more difficult for an SME to rank in the top of the search results.
Yet Blabloom succeeds in this, thanks to their content
As a website you become more relevant as you publish better content that answers the questions your audience is facing and strengthens your brand.
You write for people, not for search engines, make sure you know your audience. What do they want? What are they looking for? What questions do they have? If you can answer them, your relevance will increase.
Consistency can be created by drafting a content calendar, making sure your content is reasonably timeless, but still invest some time regularly in pruning and updating your content. Jente likes to compare it with gardening, old articles can be taken care of from time to time, place new photos, create new links, add information based on questions that come in. Involve your customers by, for example, posting reviews, or having them test products.
Blabloom scores on optimized brand pages, category pages and product detail pages. Making these relevant and based on content is probably not possible for every product. But these are clearly the opportunities for a smaller niche webshop compared to the bigger ones like a Bol or Amazon.
Panel discussion with SEO specialists
Traditionally, SEO Benelux ends with a panel discussion moderated by Mathias, in which not only Chantal Schinkels and Jente Kasprowski are present, but also our own Jeroen Sneppe and Daan Deruyter of Colruyt Group. An interesting discussion about various SEO topics, such as keyword research and the use of different monitoring tools.
Thank you SEO Benelux for organizing this event, and we are happy to be back at the next Belgian edition!