We have weathered the initial storm of Brexit, and battled our way through the pandemic, but now retailers are facing an even bigger challenge. The economic outlook is uncertain and consumer confidence is at an historic low – lower even than it was during the 2008 crash.
In spite of all of this, online sales are still growing steadily for the long-term, hitting 30% of total UK revenue in November 2022, according to data from the ONS. In fact, Shopify data found that in 2021, only 18.8% of sales were made from online purchases, and this is expected to hit 20.8% this year, and reach 23% by 2025, which is some impressive growth in only a 5 year period!
Most retailers we are talking to fall into one of two categories:
- They have seen a boom, having been able to capitalise on the extra online spend coming from a shutdown pandemic society forced online; or
- They’ve been seeing core metrics, whether sales, traffic, revenue, fall and they want to reclaim those losses.
To the optimist, ‘problem’ one might seem like the dream – lots of extra money coming into the business can never be a bad thing, right? Well, not always! To the pessimist, what this means in reality, is the business wants these numbers matched at the very least, or more ideally, improved upon. Whether it’s the CEO, Accounts Department, or your automation or reporting software issuing these commands, for years it’s been standard business practice to set targets based on last year’s data. The challenge we’re all facing now is that data from the last few years is so out of the ordinary, setting targets on the basis of this alone is not only going to be tricky, but possibly even dangerous.
So, in these times of feast and (rapidly encroaching) famine, how can you leverage recent successes and build a moat around your market share?
Well, the answer might seem simplistic, but it is the foundation of everything…you guessed it: data! Here at Vuzo, we know a thing or two about data. We’re not just talking about your website analytics or your CRM data, we’re talking about All. The. Data. The fact of the matter is, there are plenty of brilliant tools and bits of software out there that will give you lots of amazing information but, unless you:
- Are 100% convinced of their accuracy and their compliance,
- Have the time and expertise to sift through it all on a regular basis,
- Understand the core elements that are going to be useful for driving real change,
- Are able to summarise it quickly and accurately to get company-wide buy in…
It doesn’t matter! Unfortunately, the old cliches are true, and it isn’t about he size of your data operation, it is about what you do with it…!
What Data Should I Be Looking At To Keep My Website Growing?
In short, you should be looking at everything – your website analytics, your CMS or CRM data, your customer data – how are they talking to you? What platforms are they using? What are they saying? Then there’s your competitors; you might not be able to see their website data but there is plenty that can be seen: what are they doing that’s working? What are they doing that isn’t? And are you placed to offer a convenient alternative to their disgruntled customers?
The problem that we excel at fixing, is finding the gold in all this data. The core nuggets that are going to help you, wherever possible, maintain and build upon that traffic growth no matter where it came from.
What about customer acquisition?
Customer acquisition is going to be the hot topics of 2023. Costs are going up, and budgets are tight across the board, and so retailers will be fighting to maintain and grow their customer base. The solution to this is to be more specific in your targeting. Enrich your data sources with additional information, and put your budgets to the best use by reaching customers who are most likely to buy from you.
Luckily at Vuzo we have a range of tools that can help you do just that, by plugging into your existing marketing efforts. Check out GeoLogic, which can help enrich your postcode data, and ReviewLab which gives you incredible insights into your review data.
How Can I Grow My SEO Traffic?
Whether your traffic came via SEO, content, social media or some other media where they found your brand without you having to pay them, this type of traffic can disappear as quickly as it appears if you don’t understand it.
The good news is, unless you rank at position one for every keyword anyone could possibly type to describe your brand, products or services (a feat that even Amazon can’t yet achieve), there’s always room to grow.
The bad news is, if you’re thinking of keywords as individual entities, you’re thinking too granular.
What Data Is Important For SEO Growth?
Trends! Instead of taking individual keywords, take all the referring keywords of a page, of a category or website section. Start applying labels to them, ideally, a full set of labels would mean each keyword is tagged with:
- Brand or non-brand
- Website category, sub category and tertiary category
- Commercial or informative
- Glamour keyword or longtail
- Rough search volume (just to help prioritise)
- Ranking URL (and change frequency)
- Ranking URL CR and AOV
- Ranking URL top level SEO elements in place (Meta data, headings, unique content, internal links etc)
- Ranking URL schema mark up
Now, instead of reporting that Keyword A has lost three ranking positions since last week, you’re tracking data more holistically which is essential for SEO.
Now you can see that although traffic is down, actually non-brand traffic (where the SEO is usually focused) is up. You can see that Category B on the website is showing a consistent increase in non-brand commercial keywords ever since the new season’s products were added or the content updated.
You know where the commercial focus for a new creative campaign should be or which pages could benefit from some fresh contextually relevant internal links from a top performing blog post.
Even more importantly (from an SEO perspective) you can see instantly any impact from any Google Update. You can see instantly if it was just commercial terms impacted or just pages with thinner content. Was it the majority of glamour keywords that suddenly saw a ranking increase, suggesting the whole site might be being rewarded?
Add the same data for a variety of competitors and you’ve got even more insight. Was there no ranking change, but traffic suddenly went down? Maybe your competitor updated their meta description with a more enticing CTA, or perhaps their schema updated to display a new, lower price?
The great news is that once you’ve got this data tracked, you can start to see what’s working and where there’s still room to grow. With this, it becomes much easier to maintain that growth, and identify the best ways to reach your audience.