Optimisation is among the most fluid, mobile industries you could ever work in. Minor tweaks to Google's search algorithms can and have flipped the entire sector on its head overnight, and it seems like new, disruptive technology emerges on an almost daily basis.
What's an E-commerce webmaster to do?
The best answer is “stay paranoid, and read constantly”, but the next best is likely “stay ahead of emerging optimisation trends”. With that in mind, check through some of these industry changes you can expect for the coming year.
The Continued Rise of Advanced Retargeting
While more of a UX hack than an SEO one, ad retargeting is a vital weapon for anyone making a living off of Ecommerce. Retargeting, if you haven't heard the phrase before, involves tagging a site visitor with a cookie (or in some cases, using a pre-existing database of information to target specific individuals), then presenting them with tailored ads based on their prior actions.
While this may sound simple, it actually provides an enormous boost to your conversion rates by short-cutting sticky parts of the buyer's journey. Despite this, retargeting is still under-utilised, largely due to the difficulty and cost of adopting it.
2015 should see this change. I fully expect more affordable, user-friendly services to start offering automated retargeting. Chances for new webmasters to enter the game for less money should crop up, and in fact already are – Ebex, for example, is already doing some characteristically excellent work.
Video Becomes Ever More Important
If you're a digital marketer of almost any stamp, this should sound familiar. Video has been the content holy grail for some time now, and it's due to hit E-commerce in a big way.
While it's expensive and time-consuming to produce video content, it's one of the few ways for small to mid-size E-commerce players to separate themselves from reselling giants like Amazon. Video has a marvelous penchant for viral spread, is increasingly well-understood by search engines, and makes up the majority of content viewing on the web. Tough as it may be, it's time for Ecommerce marketers to get in on the game.
Mobile Becomes Even More Dominant
As of 2014, 33% of E-commerce store visits came from mobile devices. To me, this is shockingly low, and due to shoot up if it hasn't already. Responsive design and even devoted mobile apps are going to become more and more important in 2015, so make sure you stay ahead of the curve.