How TurnTo Can Help Improve Your eCommerce Site’s SEO

August 21, 2019 by Rahul Chadha

Speed Matters for SEO

In recent years, many of Google’s changes to its much vaunted search algorithm and ranking system have made site speed more important than ever. Essentially, Google wants everything on the web to be faster, and now gives preference to sites that load quickly, especially mobile sites.1

TurnTo has made improving our clients’ SEO a core performance metric for our four products—Ratings & Reviews, Community Q&A, Visual Reviews, and Checkout Comments. Here’s how:

  1. TurnTo’s product widgets are written using an extremely lightweight JavaScript framework for the fastest display rendering.
  2. Our JavaScript bundle is one-half to one-quarter the size of our competitors’ and it’s fully optimized for speed.
  3. TurnTo’s code libraries dynamically load only what’s needed on a given page, improving browser performance.

TurnTo JavaScript File Size vs. Competitors

The Freshness Factor

Search engines love active pages that are frequently updated. TurnTo’s products capture more content than the competition with innovations like Inbox Submission, which lets shoppers submit product reviews and ratings directly from within the body of an email. Features like this and others provided by TurnTo give your product pages a steady stream of frequent updates. That’s a signal to search engine web crawlers that your page is important and will boost your SEO as a result.

Star Ratings Drive Click-Throughs

TurnTo’s star ratings are fully indexable by search engines. That lets an average star rating for a product on your website show up right on the search engine results page (SERP). A recent study from Conversion XL found that having star ratings appear in search results can improve click-through rates by as much as 35%.2

Carhartt Product Listing Ad example

Lots of Long-Tail Keywords

Some great news about voice of the customer: your customers write product reviews using the same words and phrases that people searching for those products also use. Product reviews embed these long-tail keywords right into your site, with little to no effort on your part.

Long-tail keywords are especially useful to eCommerce sites because they tend to be three- or four-word phrases that are highly specific and indicate that a shopper is close to a purchase. That means your website and product pages will rank higher in search engine results pages for shoppers who are pretty far down the sales funnel and have signaled a strong intent to make a purchase.

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1 Using Page Speed in Mobile Ranking; Google Webmaster Central Blog, January 2018

2 Do Review Stars on Google Help Click-Through Rate?; Conversion XL, December 2017


TurnTo Releases New SpeedFlex™ Widget Architecture for Faster Site Speeds and Highly Tailored PDPs

May 2, 2019 by Rahul Chadha

TurnTo Networks has announced the release of its new SpeedFlex™ widget architecture, supporting its full Customer-Generated Content suite of Ratings & Reviews, Community Q&A, Visual Reviews™, and Checkout Comments™. SpeedFlex™ combines the lightest, fastest-loading widget components with a server-side customization model that gives full control over layout and functionality as well as look and feel.

With SpeedFlex™, eCommerce sites no longer face a trade-off between a slow-loading but easy widget implementation, or a fast-loading but time consuming API project. Now, brands and retailers can have the best of both approaches: customer experiences that are uniquely tailored to their brand and product categories, a quick implementation with minimal effort, and fast page loads that improve conversion rates and deliver meaningful search engine optimization (SEO).

An architecture designed for speed

Compared to the other leading enterprise customer content platforms, TurnTo’s SpeedFlex™ provides a JavaScript bundle that is one half to one quarter the size and is parsed, evaluated, and executed by the browser 2-3 times faster.

To achieve these performance levels, TurnTo wrote the SpeedFlex™ code from the ground up using the most modern and efficient reactive JavaScript to deliver a full enterprise feature set in the smallest package. Speed is further improved through a configuration model that loads only the exact code needed for each page and the replacement of heavy sprite graphics with vector SVG images.

Page load speed is an important factor for conversion rates and for SEO. Making web pages load faster can reduce abandonment rates by 20%. And with its recent “Speed Update,” Google’s search ranking algorithm now privileges fast loading pages, especially on mobile.

Since product reviews, Q&A, and customer-generated photos are some of the heaviest components on eCommerce sites, the speed improvements provided by SpeedFlex™ can make a significant difference to overall site performance.

Unique customer experiences without API work

SpeedFlex™ enables online stores to easily tailor not only look-and-feel but also layout and even functionality without resorting to time-consuming API work. With TurnTo’s unique new architecture, configurations of all aspects of design and information architecture are composed server-side and dynamically loaded to the production environment. Configurable breakpoints ensure optimized display on all device types from a single theme definition. With this approach:

  • Changes made to the configuration appear immediately on the site without the need to edit code on the page itself
  • A single page type can support multiple design theme variants for A/B testing
  • The functions and experience provided to the shopper can vary depending on the category of the product

Bliss sees dramatic performance improvements

When skincare brand Bliss switched to TurnTo and implemented SpeedFlex™ on, the file size and load time of their product reviews components decreased to less than half of what they were before.

“We’ve been highly satisfied with our switch to TurnTo,” said Karilyn Anderson, VP of Digital at Bliss. “With TurnTo’s SpeedFlex™ architecture, we were able to easily achieve a highly customized layout and look exactly tailored for our brand, while at the same time significantly improving our site performance.”

“SpeedFlex™ is not only the highest-performance widget platform for enterprise-scale eCommerce sites today, it’s the foundation for our vision of bespoke customer experiences, going forward,” said George Eberstadt, TurnTo’s Founder and CEO, said. “In today’s competitive world, one-size-fits-all is not a winning strategy; brands and stores have to differentiate and deliver unique, compelling experiences. SpeedFlex™ enables the rapid innovation that leads to real business advantage for our customers.”

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