Why intent is key in online fashion retail SEO

How does a fashion label find its audience online? Buying clothing and accessories from websites is now the norm, according to a recent article by Hit Search Limited, with 70% of UK internet users opting to buy in this way. What can brands do to boost their fashion retail SEO?


A non-linear journey

Online shopping is no longer a case of finding a favoured retailer’s site and simply progressing through the buying process, step by step. Today’s shoppers use multiple devices, often simultaneously, and have a more complex relationship with browsing and purchasing.

Targeting modern fashion shoppers is about identifying intent, and creating optimised content to attract users at each stage of the buying journey. Personalisation and segmentation help brands to ensure content is reaching all receptive audiences, wherever they are.



The importance of intent

Intent is about being able to contextualise a user’s search term and provide better search results based on their past behaviour. For example, a customer’s search for a ‘scarf’ could indicate a wide range of products, from a woolly warmer to a vintage headscarf to a lightweight shawl for a wedding. The more you know about the customer and their previous purchases, the better you can determine intent and provide optimal targeted content.

As Kitewheel’s State of the Customer Journey Report 2018 recently revealed, there has been a 204% rise in the use of ad tech and 141% rise in IoT interactions from 2016 to 2017, as brands try to gather deeper insights into their customers’ journeys across a multitude of touchpoints.


Today’s online fashion space

Consumers today use multiple devices on their way to making a purchase. Google ranks sites by taking the mobile site as a benchmark, meaning that brands who fail to provide a smooth and seamless mobile experience will slip down the SEO ratings.

SEO is not only about search terms, though – links from influencers are also key with strong, heavily visited domains giving your site greater recognition, whatever the duration of the link-up.



Underlying principle: good retail sense

The main principle behind good SEO is understanding the customer and how to please them, which is at the heart of all good retail practice. Designing an SEO and UX system that prioritises the need of the customer at each stage of the buying journey will pay dividends.

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