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How to Use Rich Snippets to Boost Ecommerce Sales

ecommerce computer screen

As digital marketing campaigns continue to evolve and become even more competitive, many ecommerce businesses are looking for ways to stand out from the pack. Employing less common marketing techniques is a strong strategy, and dedicating resources to the creation of rich snippets in search engine results is a wise investment. With only an estimated 17% of marketing campaigns focusing on rich snippets, it’s relatively easy to take advantage of this area of search engine optimization (SEO).

What are Rich Snippets?

Rich snippets provide extra details about your business during internet searches. Technically speaking, this descriptive information comes from structured data in coded bundles within HTML. Though Google admits that the rich snippets do not assist with rankings, the snippets help search engines understand your content and present the appropriate information.

Rich snippets often display above or below the general snippet on the search engine results page (SERP). The extra information, a result of structured data added to your website, helps searchers learn more about your products and business with the key details you highlighted for Google to possibly display.

Rich Snippets for Ecommerce Websites

Many types of structured data can benefit an ecommerce business, resulting in rich snippets that stand out in search results. Five of the most common types of rich snippets proven to increase clickthrough rate and online sales include:

1. Product Details and Additional Products

Though this may seem to be a common sense explanation, a rich snippet product description helps you clarify information. For example, if a person had only searched for a broad term such as women’s shoes, the product rich snippet would include links to items such as women’s sandals, women’s athletic shoes, etc.

Product type rich snippets may also include links to related products. An online retailer of baked goods, for example, can showcase links to additional cookies, though chocolate chip may have been the initial search.

2. Price

There are pros and cons to displaying a price as part of a rich snippet. On the one hand, if your price is competitive, you can draw your potential customers in to your online shop. The other option is to not display the price in order to encourage traffic to your site. Displaying price ranges are still another option. There is no wrong choice, though a web consultant would be able to advise you as to the best marketing strategy. Sales and promotions, however, should definitely be noted.

3. Availability

Though you may lure potential customers to your online business by concealing a product’s availability, this decision will do more harm than good. An out of stock item should be noted, as customers are likely to be disgruntled if they complete the shopping process only to find the item is no longer available.

Limited quantities should also be posted as rich snippet content. Items in short supply appear to be in high demand and could attract customers to your site. Mentioning that an item is in stock also helps your potential customers know they can easily make a purchase.

4. Images and Videos

If your ecommerce business offers specialty items, perhaps words won’t do your items enough justice. Rich snippets with video and images can make your products stand out on the SERP page, as well as allow unique characteristics to be more visible.

5. Ratings and Reviews

If your website allows customers to submit reviews of your products or if you can link to a distributor’s page with reviews, such as an Amazon page, it is a compelling marketing strategy to include the reviews as rich snippets. Reviews of products increase sales anywhere from 60-80%.

While you may not want to highlight negative ratings as a rich snippet, bad reviews can still increase conversions over 60%. Reviews provide online shoppers with a sense of trust and credibility for your business, so their inclusion is often encouraged.

Though the above are the 5 most common rich snippets, other options include:

  • Store Name
  • Site Architecture
  • Event Details such as a sale, product launch, etc.
  • Search Box

Again, the use of rich snippets involves the application of marketing and SEO strategies. Thus, a digital marketing firm is perhaps the best choice to make these creative decisions.

Implementing Rich Snippets

The creation of rich snippets involves a bit of coding. Each variety of snippet has a unique installation process and requires manipulation of the HTML source code. Google has both the Structured Data Markup Helper and the Structured Data Testing Tool to assist with the process, but it may not be enough for proper installation. Instead, the expertise of a web consultant or web developer is strongly encouraged.

Paramaya Web Consulting is a web consulting firm that handles digital marketing and web development. With over 17 years of experience, let us expand the reach of your ecommerce business. Call us or use our contact form to schedule a free site review.

Seven Medical Blog Content Ideas to Engage Potential and Current Patients

Digital marketing for doctors

Word of mouth referrals are not enough for medical doctors to expand their practice. For most healthcare practitioners, a website is the only method of advertising. Accordingly, the website must be developed with medical search engine optimization (SEO) techniques in mind to attract clients. Venturing further, the medical content must also evolve to meet the needs and interests of potential and current patients.

Generic or “sterile” content is a deterrent to potential patients. As many potential patients have a fear of doctors, a medical website must be inviting and appealing. The trick is to keep the blog engaging and conversational, yet still maintain your identity as a medical expert.

The following are 7 blog categories that allow for countless posts to help your practice engage new and current patients as well as stand out from your competitors.

1. A Highlighted Disorder or Condition

As millions turn to WebMD and similar websites to research various disorders or ailments, your medical website should embrace this trend. Identifying and describing the medical conditions that affect your patients is both an SEO boon and a chance to promote your medical knowledge and expertise. You’ll be embracing the searches that your potential patients conduct and also help them understand what health problems they may be facing.

Though the most common disorders that are part of your medical specialty should be evergreen content—permanent page content—your blog can focus on lesser known diseases. For example, a neurologist may need evergreen content discussing migraines, but can have a blog post that identifies a rare type of migraine such as sporadic hemiplegic migraine.

2. Fast Facts and Trivia

Though the longer content in #1 is strongly encouraged, condensed medical blog posts consisting of fast facts and trivia are also highly recommended. Here, lists and bullet points of interesting and helpful health information would be presented as a quick read for mobile viewing and double screen users. Topics like “10 Symptoms of Lyme Disease” or “5 Surprising Facts Regarding Depression” are appropriate for this category of blog content. Like #1, this content is medical SEO friendly and also demonstrates your capabilities as a well-studied practitioner.

3. Health in the News

Health and science news often captures the attention of internet news scanners. It is also not uncommon for a patient to ask a doctor about whatever medical development he/she perused that seems relevant to his/her health. Blog posts can identify these new headlines and briefly discuss whether or not they are relevant to patient care.

4. Healthy Lifestyle Tips

When internet browsing isn’t centered on self-medical diagnosis, many browsers scour the internet for tips for living a healthier life. There is perhaps no greater resource for health information than a medical doctor. Accordingly, tips regarding healthy eating and exercise should frequent medical blog posts.

These posts also allow for guest posts from patients. Ask for recipe suggestions and exercise techniques and allow your patients to shine. Furthermore, when the patients submit the content, there is a greater chance they’ll share the blog post and earn your medical practice publicity, in return.

5. Health Reminders

Health reminders are ideal for social media content, however, in the absence of social media accounts, blog posts are a suitable replacement. Here, you can remind patients to schedule flu shots, take folic acid, etc. The reminders would have a brief summary as to their relevance, and are strong content for medical SEO purposes.

6. Doctor, Staff and Patient Updates

Doctor and staff updates should be a regular occurrence on your blog both for self-promotion and humanization purposes. For example, a doctor is encouraged to mention which medical conference he or she attended, but should also have follow-up posts with discussions of pets, children, hobbies, etc. Patients want their doctor to be well-rounded and not just a spout of medical knowledge.

Patient updates aren’t always appropriate depending on the specialty, but many practices should make use of the opportunity. An orthopedist can discuss an injured athlete competing again. Gynecologists can have birth announcements. Orthodontists can have “smiles of the month.” The possibilities are truly endless, and a patient who feels celebrated will provide word of mouth referrals.

7. Natural Remedies

Thought natural remedies are a point of contention for many healthcare practitioners, many specialties would benefit from blog posts discussing the pros and cons of these options. Yoga for stress relief and the lowering of blood pressures is one example. The benefits of eating dates during the third trimester of pregnancy is another. Whether the blog is used to encourage healthy habits or debunk myths, this is yet another SEO friendly topic that readers will be interested to view and share.

Though these seven categories can ease writer’s block for medical blog posts, the creation of these posts takes time that a doctor typically lacks. Furthermore, the blog post should achieve maximum SEO optimization by way of proper formatting and keyword research. Thus, a medical practice is best served by hiring a digital marketing firm.

Paramaya Web Consulting has been in business over 17 years and fosters strong relationships with their clients. We work with you to produce content that matches what you want to present to your potential patients as well as engage and inform your current patients. Call us today for a free consultation!

A Beginner’s Guide to Local Search Optimization for Medical and Legal Professionals

This post was written by our staff SEO writer, Nancy Rapp, who has a law degree and works as a professor of legal studies. Her unique background allows her to view the world of law firm SEO from the eyes of both an attorney and a web consultant.

find a local professional

Though many medical doctors and lawyers have created websites for their practices, not many of these sites adhere to enough of the major search engine optimization (SEO) guidelines. A critical component of healthcare and legal SEO techniques is attention to local search optimization. This post explains how patients and clients rely on local search and what practices need to do to stay competitive.

What is a Local Search?

Doctors and lawyers operate in what are known as “brick and mortar” businesses. The name comes from the fact that clients and patients have to physically enter these establishments in order to receive professional services. The website is merely for marketing, informational and contact purposes. Thus, SEO for doctors and lawyers needs to be structured around the businesses’ location.

Fortunately for professionals, Google’s algorithm for FIND <THINGS> NEAR ME changed the face of internet searches. As a result of this location-based search option, many searches are phrased as “need doctor near me” or “top lawyer in my city.” Accordingly, more legal and medical professionals can employ SEO practices in order to capture these potential clients and patients.

SEO techniques can be put into place to help a medical practice or a law firm rank when these searches are conducted. Rank is important as patients and clients are more likely to call for an appointment with the business that appears on the first page of the search engine results pages (SERPs); especially the local 3-pack near the top of the Google search results. In fact, nearly 80% of internet users never even consider the second page of the SERPs.

Local 3 pack example

The Critical First Step of Local Search Optimization

No matter how much time or money one devotes to his or her law firm’s or medical practice’s SEO, the return on investment will be limited unless the professional creates a Google My Business (GMB) listing. Essentially, the listing is a free tool that allows a business to be part of Google’s search results in Google Maps and the local 3-pack, as well as the basic SERP.

The GMB listing also feeds data to the “Knowledge Box,” which appears on the right side of the SERP and contains critical business information such as a link to the business’ website, contact information and hours of operation. Depending on the needs of the business, the GMB box can also contain items such as ratings, map directions, click to call buttons, message options, popular business times, etc. A newer feature from 2017 also allows businesses to create posts for promotions, features, services, etc.

The GMB box not only helps when searchers apply the “near me” option of Google, it also provides contact information when a search is conducted for a doctor or lawyer by name. By making all of the relevant information available with a quick search, the searcher is more likely to schedule an appointment with the easy-to-find professional.

The creation of a GMB listing is simple and only requires a Google account. The creation of listings for law firms and medical practices, however, can be a bit trickier than other businesses. Professional organizations commonly have several practitioners who operate out of various locations. Though the Google My Places tool may help, an SEO expert is the best person to create the GMB profile to make sure all of the information is properly listed. As over 30% of potential patients and clients will look elsewhere if a listing is incorrect, it is important to avoid errors.

Maintaining your Local SEO Presence

There are dozens of steps to best handle local SEO for law firms and healthcare practices. The following, however, are arguably three of the most important SEO techniques that need to be addressed.

1. Draft relevant evergreen content.

Prospective patients and clients often begin their local search by researching their health problem or legal circumstances. For example, “divorce process in Georgia” or “availability of medical marijuana in South Carolina.” Similarly, searchers may browse for “doctor who treats migraines near me” or “top immigration attorney near me.” Accordingly, content should be written to cover common questions and topics while also using location-based keywords.

2. Manage your local citations.

With local searches, many potential clients and patients will rely on location-based directories. Yelp and Angie’s List, for example, provide listings and reviews for local businesses. Many doctors and lawyers focus on national directories such as Avvo, FindLaw, Healthgrades and RateMDs, but all directories need to be checked to ensure that your name, address and phone number are correct.

3. Create a social media presence.

Social media is growing in its influence for professional organizations. With 1.4 billion logins a day with Facebook alone, it is foolish to ignore these digital marketing resources. At a minimum, law firms and medical practices should create business listings within social media sources such as Facebook, as these listings appear is search engines. Furthermore, professionals can tie their business to local events and the community in order to make themselves the appealing local choice. (For a more detailed overview of how social media can be used to promote a local business, click here for some ideas.)

The above just skims the surface of the complex process involved for maintaining the local SEO for a professional business. In order to devote the time and attention to SEO practices that will garner the most potential new clients and patients, it is best to hire a web consulting firm with trained SEO experts.

Paramaya Web Consulting has been in business since 2001 and has provided SEO and web consulting services to dozens of clients. Schedule a free website review with the firm that values direct communication with its clients.

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