Volusion SEO: Top 10 Tweaks to Optimize a Volusion Store

Volusion just like Shopify and Woocommerce is an e-commerce store creation software that’s built on the ASP platform. It lets you create online stores with ease. But then, of what use is an online store without proper search optimization? This is the aim of this post, to guide you on Volusion SEO and the best ways to optimize a Volusion store.

Before we dive into the lists properly, I’ll like to say a thing or two about Volution software.

Volution Software Overview and Features

Volusion software is a premium eCommerce website creation software that’s built on ASP.net. It is modern and comes with marketing, tracking analysis, and abandoned cart report features.

With Volution online store creation software, you can create unlimited products, automate shipping, online support, and easy order checkouts.

On top of these features is – the ability to add a blog section to your online store, do SEO, and product listing optimization. There are tons of guidance and resources to help anyone create an amazing business with Volusion software.

10 Tweaks to Optimize a Volusion Store

If you have an old store that’s built with Volusion software or planning to do SEO for your new online store; these 10 tweaks will help you do proper Volution SEO irrespective of your targeted audience.

1. Enable SEO Friendly URLs and take note of your Sitemap URL

This is one of the first steps to do SEO optimization for your online store. Assuming that you own a fashion store for T-shirts, watches, and shoes and one of your store items is LA Customized Tshirts.

After enabling SEO friendly URLs options, the URL for the product in bold is going to be //myonlinestore.com/La-Customized-Tshirts-p/xxxxx.htm instead of //myonlinestore.com/product_details.asp?ID=xxxxxx. This would ensure that your keywords are passed along with the product’s URL.

Do not forget to note down your Sitemap URL at this point. It is usually https://www.mystore.com/sitemap.xml, and the checkboxes for canonical links and Hyphens (-) use must be ticked as well.

2. Submit your Sitemap URL to Google, Bing, and Yandex

This is one of the fastest ways to index your online stores quickly. Apart from faster posts/page indexing, you’d get to see: index coverage error notification, search improvement tips, ranking position, and other important optimization metrics.

How to submit your sitemap to search engines?

First things first, you’d need to take note of your sitemap URL which is normally https://www.mystoreurl.com/sitemap.xml. After that, you must verify your website, and then submit the sitemap URL to them.

The link to verify and submit your store sitemap URL to Google search console, Bing webmasters dashboard, Yandex console and etc. is provided below for your learning.

  • For the Google search console use this URL.
  • For the Bing webmasters dashboard use this address.
  • To submit to Yandex.Webmaster dashboard use this page.
  • For other robots.txt compliant search engines such as ask.com, Baidu, and etcetera, add your sitemap URL to the robots.txt file by using the guide below.

Step 1: Log in to your volution store’s admin dashboard.

Step 2: Hover over marketing ==> SEO ==> find robot preferences and click on it.

Last Step: Modify the contents with the one below and save changes. Remember to change the mystoreurl.com part to your store address.

3. Update Metadata for your Store and Special Pages.

This is as important as the first. Having unique and custom metadata such as meta description, tags, and keywords helps users from search engines to understand your page contents.

Optimizing the contents of this section correctly can grow your search traffic by over 20%. This is largely so because CTR and dwell time is one of the major ranking factors in modern SEO.

I strongly recommend that you use slightly different values for your Home Page metadata and that of Default Values. This is because – the details entered in the default values section would populate help pages, policy pages, article pages, gift pages, and other pages that aren’t as important as your store homepage.

Getting this right will reduce the risk of having so many pages with duplicate titles and/or duplicate meta descriptions. You can also create custom metadata for other pages from this window.

Note: To access this windows, you’ll need go from ==> admin dashboard ==> marketing ==> SEO.

4. Optimize Images, Product description, and Listing Pages

In modern SEO, load time and responsive pages are as important as CTR and image alt optimization. Although Volusion software is CDN ready, having lighter images would do you many good.

Another important aspect of image optimization is the use of proper alt text and title description. It is important for you to use a unique and concise description in the alt text filed for every single product image you upload. This would help pass on the right description and keyword along with your images.

All in all, every product page must have a unique description that’s not found anywhere else on your online store, along with links to similar category pages. To edit products SEO metadata for existing product pages: use ==> admin dashboard ==> Inventory ==> products.

5. Redirect Ranked, but Deleted Pages

Assuming that for some reason, a particular product line is discontinued and they’re well ranked in search engines: It is an important rule of thumb to have them redirected to useful/similar page instead of having them hit error 404.

For example, there’s a Real Madrid customized wristwatch that’s no longer sold and deleted, but other sports watches are still available for sale on your store. You can simply redirect the former URL to the best-selling sports watch or the base category for sports watches. This way, the link juice is passed and users are presented with an experience that’s better than showing an error 404 page.

To redirect dead, but ranked pages correctly, follow after the simple guide below.

step 1: Log in to your volution store’s admin dashboard.

Next Step: Hover over Settings ==> Maintenance ==> find manage 301 redirects and click on it.

Step 3: Enter the dead page’s URL tail (without including the primary domain name) in the source path and the logical page you’re redirecting to in the target path as seen in the image below.

Step 4: Repeat same for other erring pages and click on save to complete.

Points to note:

  • Only deleted or non-existent pages can be redirected.
  • Always redirect product lines you’ve discontinued to the most reasonable pages.
  • You can use the 301 redirection tool to fix other error 404 pages such as the ones caused by migration, category page deletion, domain/URL changes, and etc.

6. Organize and Optimize your Blog for Proper Content Marketing

Volusion SEO can’t be 100% complete without proper content marketing. Even business portfolio websites use the blog to show their expertise and/or rank for important keywords.

Having an active blog section for your online store would not only improve ranking, but engagement, faster indexation, and improved social signals. The easiest way to have an organized blog on Volusion is to –  create a Blog category and then bud all of your new blogs as sub-categories under it.

Proper metadata must be entered for the blog category and sub-categories. Remember to use detailed titles and descriptions for your blog pages. Having rich media content such as videos, GIFs, and photos in your blog pages can increase user engagement by over 15%.

Users are more likely to share engaging content with rich media on social media than they would for boring, soulless contents. Remember to make only blogs that are 100% related to your brand/products: that way, you build authority, trust, and returning visits.

7. Ensure there’s no Broken links and HTTPS pages with Mixed Content issues

While this is not as important as the other 6 Volusion SEO tweaks above, it is necessary for older stores that were formally on http address.

If you’re seeing mixed content issues on some of your important pages, use the free tool at whynopadlock.com to troubleshoot and fix such challenges.  If the error is caused by images that are still linking to http resources, simply fix them by:

  • Identify the pages with such issues.
  • Edit them and switch to html mode while on the edit window.
  • Replace all instances of http with https and click on save/publish to update the page.

To fix broken links, identify the erring pages and update/remove the dead links or simply redirect them (for internally broken) to the most logical pages.

8. Hunt for Social Signals like you Hunt for Search Traffic

Social media networks are a great source of traffic for most websites, including online stores. Having social media sharing buttons on your blog and product listing pages would help skyrocket your store traffic.

This is because social signals do improve search engine ranking and can also bring steady direct visitors to your online store. Having Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, and Google+ social media sharing buttons is a good standpoint for most online stores.

If the default sharing buttons that are integrated with Volusion software isn’t good enough for your social media sharing needs, you can opt for any of these free social media sharing services.

9. Create Social Media Pages for your Online Store

This is another important aspect of online store optimization that’s mostly ignored by some businesses. Having engaging social media pages for your online store would improve ranking in many ways than one.

You can create a social media page for your business by visiting the official homepage of these social networks. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube/Google+, Linkedin, and Pinterest are the top social networks to consider for new businesses. You can use these free tools to automate content sharing on your social media pages.

10. Track and Monitor your Store Performance on the Regular

Google Analytics is unarguably the best tool for this job. While you’ll normally get a regular update on your website performance from the Google search console, it is important to have one you can monitor on the daily.

Google Analytics with Volusion Ecommerce Tracking enabled would help you monitor your website’s performance and other important traffic metrics like:

  • Dwell time
  • Bounce rate
  • Traffic sources
  • Search performance
  • Transaction ID
  • Best traffic source and etc.

All in all, having Google Analytics on your online store would help know what works and what doesn’t. The guide to install Google analytics with e-Commerce tracking code on Volusion stores can be found on this page. It is practical and easy to carry out.

Wrap Up on Volusion SEO Tweaks and Search Optimization

That’s all we’ve got today on Volusion SEO and how to optimize your online stores in 2018. We are confident that these tips would help you do modern SEO in your online stores.

The search optimization and Sitemap submission part are to help you see various aspects of your site through the eyes of search engine crawlers and do proper optimization where and/or when necessary.  PPC and other forms of paid traffic can come in handy for new/growing stores.

Have questions or other tips to share on Volusion SEO? Please do let us know about it in the comments section below.

How to Use Bullet Points to Sell Products

In our fast-paced world, everyone wants to get as much information as possible in the shortest amount of time. This rings especially true with product descriptions.

While bullet points about products are key, detailed descriptions about products and services are necessary to answer questions and increase visibility. Amazon takes this approach, making it quick and easy to first determine if the product you’re viewing even meets your needs. For example, searching for an inexpensive food processor may turn up the 8-Cup Black & Decker model FP1600B.

We can quickly see if this food processor will be powerful enough for our needs. Source: Amazon.

By listing key features using bullet points, shoppers can quickly decide if the product is worth further study. In the example above, we immediately see the power, the capacity, and what accessories are included. From there, we can move on to the detailed description and customer reviews section, or simply return to the search results.

Bullet points also give us other benefits:

  • Alternate terms (or keywords) to explain features that are described in more detail elsewhere on the page;
  • Display more important components as customer questions arise;
  • Make links to supporting content, such as videos, testimonials and blog posts, more prominent.

Writing bullet points isn’t just a matter of putting “points” in front of sentences, though. To be successful, you need to focus on the ability of a shopper to read and understand, very quickly, what a product does. It requires the use of simple, yet descriptive, terms. Bullet points are not a place to keyword stuff, because shoppers can’t be left thinking about what you’re trying to say.

The standards of where bullet points appear on the page have changed over the years. Initially, we would read a product description and then look at the list of features. Now we want to see that short list first, and that content determines if we’re going to spend time reading anything else on the page. Most products will benefit more by listing the bullet points first.

Another option is to integrate bullet points within the product description. This works well when the description is right aligned, and the points are placed after the first paragraph.

You can also list bullet points after the first paragraph the product description. Source: Williams-Sonoma.

Most products are best explained in three to seven bullets. Some highly detailed ones may need more, but consider what’s most important. You don’t want to sacrifice the shopping session because of lengthy text that’s sole purpose is to help the shopper determine the product’s suitability.

Bulleted lists should include the product’s key selling points, which includes:

  • Prominent and unique features;
  • Dimensions and weight;
  • Materials (e.g. stainless steel, 100 percent cotton);
  • Special care instructions (e.g. hand wash only);
  • Where the product was made (ideal for U.S.-made items);
  • Warranty information.

Look at AmazonBasics’ Come-Apart Shears page. The fact they “lock” is key, and who knew they could be used to crack open nuts?

Keep bullet points short and sweet. List 3 to 7 selling points. Source: Amazon.

While Amazon’s details list format is a good example, the product description that appears further down the page typically isn’t sufficient at all. Which brings me to the most important “bullet” point about bullet points: Bullet points should not replace the product description.

Rely solely on bullet points, and shoppers will look elsewhere for the details they need.

The Future of Human Resources is Here: Automation of HR Management

Processes in the HR department has always been thought to be highly manual. After all, the “human” aspect in human resources is always very pronounced. However, automation is slowly becoming more prevalent in HR, and soon, HR departments will veer away from manual and embrace automated processes — while maintaining the “human” aspect of their operations. everything that can be automated, will be automated. Current HR staff need to adapt to the coming changes or get left behind in the dust.

Automation is the future of Human Resources

Many questions arise for the future of HR. How can HR processes be automated? Will work be done by machines, leaving humans jobless? Will processes and methods change significantly? However, all these may be given light just by answering one question:

What is HR automation?

Simply put, HR automation aims to enhance the efficiency of the HR department through liberating employees from manual and repetitive asks. This allows workers to focus on the more complex and creative aspects of the job, such as strategizing, planning, and decision-making. When standard and tedious HR tasks become automated, companies can effectively reduce both cost and time spent on manual processing and HR planning.

The benefits of automating HR processes

When HR processes are automated, companies can streamline, integrate, and deploy functions and services efficiently and swiftly, but at a much lower cost. at a considerably lower cost.

Here are the benefits of HR automation:

  • Increased productivity because of faster data processing and sharing
  • Better employee engagement, leading to lower employee turnover rates
  • Reduced costs related to paper-based processing
  • Better compliance and lower rates of risk or policy violations
  • Effective organizational growth due to more efficient hiring at optimal operational cost
  • Significant drop in errors related to data entry and lost documents
  • More insightful reports that lead to better business decisions
  • Better ways to hire, train, and retain skilled employees
  • Better and faster analysis of HR data

The future is here. HR departments need to change with the times, or face the risk of getting left behind.

Outsourcing Helps Businesses Survive During COVID-19 Pandemic

28% of enterprises in various industries turn to outsourcing as a COVID-19 survival tactic.

Traditional business models and operational tactics have come to a halt due to the pandemic. The mission for companies today is to adjust their methods not just to survive the changes due to COVID-19, but to prepare for a post-pandemic world. It seems like many of the changes initially adopted as a survival strategy, such as remote-work setups, are now here to stay.

Outsourcing builds an enterprise’s agility and resilience, especially during COVID

Close to one-third (28%) of companies in the UK have turned to outsourcing as a primary strategy to combat various lockdowns and restrictions. Research from Opinium and LiveArea show that IT and marketing are the top industries that have outsourced as a response to the pandemic — at 37% and 32%, respectively.

Outsourcing and other long-term strategies emerge due to COVID

Elliott Jacobs, LiveArea EMEA commerce consulting director, provides insight on the changes in business methods and strategies. He says that, “Although the pandemic is ongoing, we are beginning to see long term businesses strategies emerge, primarily the widespread shift to agility and digital. Outsourcing not means businesses can scale if needed, but also bring in new capabilities and fresh thinking quickly and efficiently.”

The good thing is that the pandemic has forced enterprises to come up with innovative solutions that may be better for the long-term. He explains that, “Businesses across the UK will need to completely rethink their businesses. As no one can fully understand the implications of Covid-19, companies must invest in adaptability and resilience. Fundamentally, this means developing the ability understand market changes and react instantly. Only then can brand cope and even flourish in a post Covid-19 economy.”

Change is inevitable. How businesses respond to change is what sets a winning company apart from the others.

10 Recruitment Trends and Statistics to Attract Top Talent

Hiring can be tricky, there’s no doubt about it. And finding the person who ticks all the boxes is even more challenging in this strong economy. With the national unemployment rate down at just 3.6%, employers are competing to lock down top talent. 

If you too are on the lookout for new workers, then you’ll be glad to know we’ve compiled a list of top recruitment statistics and ten trends to help you create an effective hiring strategy.

We’ve gathered the most relevant stats about the current state of the recruiting industry and the hiring process. You’ll also find information on the latest recruiting trends and the benefits of creating a diverse workforce. We believe a little empathy goes a long way, so we’ve also included statistics about how candidates feel throughout the experience. 

Without further ado, let’s take a look at our list.

Top Hiring Statistics

  • More than 73% of job seekers today are only passively looking for a job.
  • The candidate application rate goes up by 34% when a job post includes a video.
  • 54% of hiring professionals say work flexibility encourages retention and 51% agree it attracts candidates.
  • 80% of HR leaders say employer branding has a significant impact on their ability to attract talent. 
  • On average, a corporate job post receives 250 resumes.
  • It takes recruiters only six seconds to revise a candidate’s resume.
  • Top talent gets hired by recruiters within 10 days.
  • 73% of job seekers say the process of looking for a job is one of the most stressful events in life.
  • 83% of candidates say it would greatly improve the overall experience if employers provided  a clear timeline of the hiring process.
  • Only 25% of companies set gender diversity targets when creating their hiring strategy.

Top Trends in the Current Job Market

1. The national unemployment rate fell below 4% in 2019.

(Bureau of Labor Statistics)

The year began with a fairly low unemployment rate of 4% in January and has only decreased since. In fact, the unemployment rate has now reached its lowest level since 1969; in April and May it was just 3.6%. According to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in July alone approximately 164,000 jobs were created.

2. There have been 0.9 unemployed people per job opening in the US since September 2018.

(Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Employment statistics confirm that the US job market is currently a candidates’ market. With a hot streak of low unemployment numbers, companies are having a tough time finding the right workers. There simply aren’t enough job seekers since the ratio of unemployed people to job openings fell below 1:1 at the end of last year.

3. 45% of job seekers say it’s harder to find a job than last year.

(Jobvite)

Despite a booming economy and low unemployment, nearly half of all job seekers feel it’s more difficult to land a job in 2019 than it was a year ago. Rural workers are more likely to say this than city slickers, with 27% and 17% of respondents respectively giving this answer. Job search statistics also show that most candidates from the transportation and real estate industries (56%) find job hunting more challenging this year than they did last year.

4. On the other hand, 20% of job seekers also say it’s easier to find work in 2019.

(Jobvite)

On the contrary, a fifth of all job seekers had no difficulty finding employment this year. Some 20% of candidates with a college degree and 20% residing in big cities said job search was easier this year. Even more workers from “high-skill” industries feel this way. A quarter of those looking for work in the tech industry, in telecommunications, and in marketing said it was easier to get a job this year compared to last year.

5. 40% of employers plan to hire full-time, permanent employees this year.

(The Harris Poll)

According to the Harris Poll’s annual recruitment statistics, four in 10 employers reported intent to take on new full-time employees in 2019. Another 47% planned to recruit part-time workers, highlighting the strength of the economy.

6. 66% of US companies were planning to expand in 2019.

(GMAC)

Most corporate employers in the US have expressed optimism for this year, with about two in three companies overall reporting plans to growing their human capital and expand their business. This might turn out to be difficult with a shortage of workers. However, offering competitive benefits could sway professionals to leave their current positions and come work for new employers.

7. More than 73% of job seekers today are only passively looking for a job.

(Workonic)

Workonic’s job search stats reveal that nearly three-quarters of American job hunters aren’t actively looking for a new job but would consider one if the right opportunity came along.

8. More than one in four working Americans weren’t searching for a job when they found their current job.

(iCIMS)

A lot of people are just somewhat satisfied with their role and wouldn’t mind changing employers if a better position came up. However, employers seem to be missing out on passive job seekers, since 42% of employed Americans say they haven’t been contacted by a recruiter in the past year.

9. 19% of workers admit they have, at some point, turned down a job after signing an official offer but before their first day.

(Jobvite)

Jobvite’s hiring stats show an eight-point increase from last year’s results, when only 11% of the US workforce admitted to having bailed on an employer. Of those who back down on a signed offer, 58% say they got a better one from another company. Another 38% cite personal reasons for such a move, 28% decide to stay at their current company, while 17% discover new information about the company’s culture that changes their mind. Some respondents gave more than one answer to this question.

10. More than 20% of recruiters feel they cannot meet the demands of the best candidates.

(Workonic)

In this candidates’ market, job seekers get to be picky about the company they want to work for. They ask for all the perks they deserve and employers compete for who’ll meet their demands. Unfortunately, hiring statistics reveal that one in five talent-acquisition specialists admit their companies can’t deliver what worthy candidates ask for.

Recruiting top talent

With the current talent shortage, employers are forced to up their game in order to attract high-quality staff. The latest recruitment statistics indicate that being upfront with candidates about the duration of the hiring process and remuneration enhances their experience and creates a positive employer brand. Job seekers increasingly value a flexible work environment. They also respond well to job posts with video content about what it’s like to work in a company.

Hopefully, you are now armed with the knowledge you need to win over the workers you want on your team.