Do you want to simultaneously increase your ecommerce store’s conversions and receive more visibility in search results to attract new customers?
Let’s look at three powerful and proven ways the leading online sellers increase conversion rates and search visibility through social proof, user-generated content (UGC), and website security – and how you can do the same.
3 Conversion Questions Online Retailers Must Answer
When it comes to conversion rate optimization for ecommerce stores, there are three questions you must answer if you want to remove uncertainty, create higher levels of trust, and converts more shoppers into buyers.
You need to convert more shoppers into buyers.
There are three questions visitors will ask themselves when they visit your site:
- Do I trust this website or seller? Can consumers trust the merchant to deliver the product as it’s described, in a reasonable timeframe, and provide customer service if needed?
- Do I trust this product? Can consumers trust the product quality, specs, features, functions, and results as described?
- Do I trust this transaction? Can consumers trust that their personal information is safe during the checkout process? Can consumers trust that their financial and personal data will be protected?
Your website must remove uncertainty – the friction that creates abandonment, by answering all three questions. This will create higher levels of trust.
These three critical conversion questions can be answered quickly and easily using what Shopper Approved calls the Traffic & Conversion Stack (T&C Stack).
Common Ways Ecommerce Retailers Convert Visitors
Analysis of product pages from major ecommerce retailers shows how each uses similar trust-building features and user experience (UX) to convey that the website, product, and transaction are credible and trustworthy.
Product Reviews Increase Conversion
If you look under the product title in the Amazon listing above, you will see the familiar links to the retailer’s product ratings and reviews, and product Q&A, in the same location, every time. Creating a familiar and trusted UX.
The reviews and ratings serve as social proof or confirmation that other people trust the product as well as the vendor selling it.
To better understand the consumer perception and value of this UX and specifically these trust signals, Shopper Approved conducted a national survey of 600 U.S. adults, during which they discovered some interesting findings about the value of reviews and consumer behavior.
- 61% of consumers found product reviews to be absolutely essential or very important during their product research phase.
- 66% of consumers are highly or very highly influenced by the number of product reviews.
- 72% of consumers are highly or very highly influenced by the average star rating of the product.
The Power of Q&A to Convert
Just like customer reviews, questions posted by potential customers about the product fall into the category of user-generated content. A searchable question and answer (Q&A) section allow potential customers to get answers that will remove uncertainty, and influence their decision to purchase the product.
In the same consumer survey, Shopper Approved validated how a Q&A section can help boost conversions:
- 94% of consumers are more likely to buy a product if a Q&A is present on the product page.
- 75% of consumers found it very or extremely important that a product page contains Q&A.
Visible Security Seals Increase Trust
In addition to social proof and user-generated content, Amazon places a secure transaction link beneath the Add to Cart button. When you click on this link, you get the trust and reassurance that your transaction will be secure.
This same trust-building experience is replicated within the Shopper Approved T&C Stack. When the shopper clicks on the “Secure transaction” seal next to the Buy Now or Add to Cart button, they see a pop-up from Trust Guard that ensures them the site is secure, and it has been scanned within 24-hours for malware, and that the SSL certificate is active.
This Trust Guard website security seal alone has been independently tested by Conversion Fanatics to improve conversion rate (CVR) by 19%, and average order value (AOV) by 71%.
In regards to website security, the Shopper Approved survey found the following.
- 88% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a product page with a website security seal or secure transaction link by the Add to Cart button.
- 83% of consumers said it was very or extremely important that a product page displays a website security seal or secure transaction link by the Add to Cart button.
More Impact When Used Together
To create more trust and greater convenience, consumers prefer to see all three elements used together on the product page.
- 91% of consumers surveyed said they were more likely to buy from a product page that displayed Product Reviews, Q&A, and a Secure Transaction seal over an identical product page that did not.
Although the major ecommerce brands use a very similar UX that has been tested and proven successful by Amazon, any website can now use the same trust-building and high converting UX preferred by 91% of consumers surveyed. And this configuration and UX with the T&C Stack by Shopper Approved have generated a 75% conversion rate.
Is Amazon’s combination of social proof and user-generated content proprietary?
A similar formula is used by other online retailers, including Home Depot.
Beneath the name of the product, you will see links to the number of product reviews and the questions and answer section for the product. Although they do not offer a secure transaction link beneath their Add to Cart button, they do offer the option to buy via PayPal, which people know and trust from eBay and other online marketplaces.
Macy’s employs two forms of social proof on their product pages. They have the:
- Link to product reviews beneath the product name.
- Total number of customers who have purchased the product above the add to bag button. This serves as a trust signal that the transaction will be secure.
Tractor Supply Company
Tractor Supply Company uses the area beneath the product name to offer social proof and user-generated content alongside tabs for product details, specifications, and documents.
Beneath their Add to Cart button, they link to a page that reinforces the policies for contactless pickup at one of their stores and delivery. Although it doesn’t increase customer confidence in the transaction itself, it does increase confidence in the seller and their conditions.
How Trust And Q&A Improves Search Visibility & Traffic
We find that after answering a customer question with an answer that confirms the product is a good fit we generally see an order approximately 75% of the time.
Google has become a huge question-and-answer engine. Making search optimized Q&A more important as an on-page conversion tool, and an off-page traffic-driving strategy to serve the answers to search questions at the top of search results.
People typically trust and click on, the top organic search results more than those at the bottom of the page. And the Shopper Approved study found that:
- 80% of respondents said that if a website answered a question they had, and that website showed up at the top of Google search results, that website would have more credibility.
- And 73% said they would be “highly likely” or “extremely likely” to visit that website.
Optimize For Long-Tail Keywords In Search
Thin content is generally ineffective for SEO unless it’s optimized to answer a specific question and to appear in a Featured Snippet. When you have hundreds or thousands of these long-tail questions and answers with the appropriate schema markup, you can increase high purchase intent traffic to your site.
For example, RVupgrades dominate the search results for specific RV parts, even beating out Amazon. This kind of highly optimized Q&A search strategy is also part of the Shopper Approved T&C Stack.
Thin content in the way of ratings and reviews can also be optimized for visibility in rich snippets for brand and product searches.
Improve Your E-A-T
The methods used by Amazon and other major retail brands mentioned above not only optimize your store for conversions, but also for visibility in Google search results.
To explain how each portion of the Traffic & Conversion Stack fulfills E-A-T: Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, look no further than section 2.6 (Reputation of the Website or Creator of the Main Content) in Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines.
In this portion of Google’s guidelines, the human search evaluators are instructed to look for the opinions of real people about the website or the person/organization behind the website. The evaluators are told that they shouldn’t base their decision solely on the information provided by the website, but also look for trusted, external sources of reviews and ratings.
As a Google Review Partner, platforms like Shopper Approved allow you to collect seller ratings via a trusted external source from real customers.
2.6.1 Research on the Reputation of the Website or Creator of the Main Content
In this portion of Google’s guidelines, it states the following:
“Stores frequently have user ratings, which can help you understand a store’s reputation based on the reports of people who actually shop there. We consider a large number of positive user reviews as evidence of positive reputation.”
This is just one more great reason to have verified reviews from real customers collected by a trusted external source. You can also use services that distribute your reviews to open review destinations online.
Sending a portion of your customers to leave reviews on open review platforms ensures that your brand appears in the top review networks like Google, Sitejabber, the Better Business Bureau, and ResellerRatings. This will also ensure that Google’s search quality evaluators find good reviews of your business.
4.5 A High Level of Expertise/ Authoritativeness/ Trustworthiness (E-A-T)
In this portion of Google’s evaluator guidelines, Google discusses the use of user-generated content on forum and Q&A pages.
“In fact, some types of information are found almost exclusively on forums and discussions, where a community of experts can provide valuable perspectives on specific topics.”
This is another reason to add a Q&A section to your product pages. In addition to adding high-value long-tail keywords for SEO to your product content, this section can help establish your expertise on the topic.
If you want to increase your ecommerce store’s revenue, consider implementing the Traffic & Conversion Stack, which answers the three critical conversion questions of trust – can consumers trust you, your product, and the protection of their personal information?
By providing social proof, user-generated content, and proof of website security, you can ensure that consumers feel confident about their purchase, and search engines like Google can feel confident about your website’s level of expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.
To learn more about the Traffic & Conversion Stack, download the free ebook and research, How to Increase Your Ecommerce Revenue with the Traffic & Conversion Stack.
How to Increase Your E-Commerce Revenue
with the Traffic & Conversion Stack.
The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor's own.