If you run or work on ecommerce sites you are likely to be in a competitive vertical. As Google clamps down on the guys that have used quick wins and less than desirable tactics to dominate particular verticals it is time for the those that have always played by Google’s guidelines to step into the limelight.

But:

  • What can you be doing for your site that will help you rise in the search results?
  • What can you do for your site that will help attract natural links?
  • What can you do for your site that will help you with social traction?

Today I am going to look at some sites that have used original or unique approaches to their sites and campaigns in order to gain search engine wins.

Enjoy!

 

Amazing Product Pages

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Take a look at Firebox. This is one of my favourite ecommerce sites and their product pages are generally pretty awesome.

Firebox create some of the most amazing product pages in the gadget vertical thus allowing them to related for all kinds of products and categories – as well as some high volume search terms as well:

firebox ranking for gadget

 

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Firebox go all out on their product pages to make sure there is enough high quality (and useful) content on their pages to rank almost across the board for the long tail product specific search terms. Their pages provide information that people looking to purchase theses products will actually need. Lets take a look at this page for a cool camper van tent:

greta product pages from firebox

What we can see here are:

  • Great pictures
  • Clear calls to action
  • A simple design
  • An attention to what drives conversions
  • Related products
  • Easily sharable

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If that was all that they did that would be fine – but they take it further. the guys and gals at Firebox know that providing value for their customer and potential customers can have a great impact on their search rankings and their conversions. Thus, we see this:

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more great content

firebox using unique images

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Firebox take it to the next level including:

  • some great copy – original, written with wit and a consistent style and with the user in mind
  • multiple pictures- including diagrams
  • videos
  • user generated content
  • technical information
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Want to see the whole page? Check out this quick video!

Has it been successful? Well if you check out the number of linking root domains in the screen grab below I think you can say that it has been fairly successful!!
check out the links and social on the firebox page
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Create Unique Products

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There have been a few instances of the last couple of years of sites that have created a unique product in order to drive potential customers to their site – these are often designed with the idea of also getting links to the page or site and social shares.
One of the sites that has best demonstrated this tactic is Wish.co.uk. Essentially an experience days site Wish have gone on to add more and more unique and extravagant experiences. This of course means that more people talk about them (both offline and online) which in turn turns to links and social shares – which of course turns into more people talking about them – and the cycle continues.
So what have wish come up with that has resulted in the links and social shares that you need to succeed online?
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The Romantic Break for Three

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Yes, that’s right for three! for the more liberal minded Wish offers this as an actual product!
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wish romantic break for 3
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Has it been successful? Well it isn’t the best they have ever produced with only 12 linking root domains and a few hundred social shares – but this is evergreen, this is slowly going to be grinding away in the background earning Wish links and social shares for months and months.
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romantic links and shares
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Zombie Boot Camp

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What geek doesn’t want to go on a zombie boot camp? This is a case of Wish understanding where all the link authority is on the Internet (it lies with the geeks), but also taps into the kind of day experience that you would want to share socially.

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zombie boot camp for links
Has it worked? Er, yes this one has been a bit of a success:
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zombie boot camp links

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Be Rubbish

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Okay, this maybe isn’t the greatest idea in the world and potentially it is quite hard to pull it of. I include it here just an example off how sometimes left-field thinking is sometimes chanced upon rather than created. Even you haven’t seen this site before you are in for a little treat. Ladie’s and gentlemen I present Lings Cars (as a video so that you can appreciate it without having to visit!!)

Has it been successful? The question is how could this fail to be successful? An outstanding success…
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link and social for lings cars

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Create Inventive Category Pages

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Whoever said that your category page should have a pretty picture, be well optimised and have 300 words of terrible SEO copy may need a reality check. Whilst you should always make sure that your pages are accessible and optimised well that doesn’t mean over optimisation is ok!
Check this video of the category page from the Dutch online retailer HEMA, this is what happens when you select this page:

Was it successful? This is without a doubt incredibly successful – pulling in loads of links and social shares, no doubt doing wonders for this company’s bottom line!!
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hema creative category page
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The (Not So) Hidden Amazon Review Extras

King of ecommerce Amazon knows the value of this kind of content and there are often pages on their site that get flooded with odd, funny and sometimes not safe for work  (a quick warning before you click the following links) that get them links and social share deep in their site. Note: We all know that Amazon has a shed load of links, but every little counts, right?

Do they know about these comments and reviews? It would be naive of us to think not! Will they take action? Probably not -they are too valuable to them. Read some of these reviews and try not to share them – it’s like trying not to lick you lips after a doughnut!!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/BIC-For-Amber-Medium-Ballpoint/product-reviews/B004FTGJUW/ref=sr_1_2_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/B000KKNQBK/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

http://www.amazon.com/Wheelmate-Laptop-Steering-Wheel-Desk/product-reviews/B000IZGIA8/ref=dp_db_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

http://www.amazon.com/Uranium-Ore/product-reviews/B000796XXM/ref=dp_db_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

http://www.amazon.com/Avoid-Huge-Ships-John-Trimmer/product-reviews/0870334336/ref=dp_db_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

http://www.amazon.com/PLAYMOBIL%C2%AE-36138-Playmobil-Security-Check/product-reviews/B0002CYTL2/ref=dp_db_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

These kind of ideas can’t be used across all verticals and niches – but what you can do is apply some left-field thinking to how you approach promoting your site. Whilst you shouldn’t ignore the tactics that you are using at the moment you need to expand your horizons and think about what your customers would find useful or funny.
Google havn’t finished with their war against spam and over optimsation – you are going to need to be creative if you want your site/s to continue flourishing – hopefully these examples can serve as inspiration.