Warren Cowan is chief executive of SEO specialist OneHydra.
The rapidly changing fashion seasons mean we are seeing a quicker turnaround on garments on the high street and online than ever before. With the fashion industry now introducing new designs on a weekly basis, the simple categories of spring/summer and autumn/winter no longer exist; we now seem to have 52 ‘micro seasons’ per year. Spanish retailer Zara, for example, is delivering a range of new designs to its stores twice a week, while Topshop adds 400 styles to its website every week. So it’s even more important for retailers to make sure your stores - and more importantly websites - keep pace with fast fashion.
Optimising your website and updating search engine optimisation (SEO) keywords is essential. Let’s take for example the clog. ‘Clog’ and related search terms were searched for 33,700 times in August. I would expect major fashion retailers to have a dedicated ‘clogs’ page on their website, but our research shows this isn’t the case. They also showed nothing on clogs in their ‘hot products’ sections, ‘trends’ menu of their navigation bars, or in the menus on shoes pages. In terms of search, they simply don’t exist.
Invisibility can be the kiss of death in terms of search. In this instance, none of the high street fashion companies or even footwear-dedicated retailers we looked at rank visibly for ‘clogs’ or its related terms in an online search. Yet search terms, including the keyword ‘clogs’, dramatically increased at the start of May. It backs up our findings that it can take up to three months for retailers to make required SEO changes. In fashion, three months can mean the difference between summer and winter collections.
Those retailers struggling to optimise their ecommerce capabilities based on fast-paced trends should consider just how effective their SEO processes are. Retailers must stop waiting months for SEO changes to be implemented and look to technology to enable them to keep up with the fast-changing face of fashion.