Paid social media ads, paid search engine ads, and email campaigns are not the only ways to drive significant traffic to your online store. If you want to generate high-quality, sustainable traffic, search engine optimization (SEO) needs to be part of your marketing strategy.
Many e-commerce entrepreneurs overlook SEO because other methods provide more predictable and immediate results. But SEO is every bit as valuable as paid ads and campaigns. In some cases, it benefits online stores more than other channels.
Below, I’ll explain how SEO impacts e-commerce brands and the essential elements of a successful strategy.
E-commerce SEO is all about optimizing your online store’s content to make it as easy as possible for search engines to crawl and feature your site on the Google search results page. It includes adding thorough product descriptions on all of your product pages with relevant keywords sprinkled throughout.
You can also help your company rank higher by obtaining backlinks from other websites your target audience frequents.The primary goal of e-commerce SEO is to increase organic traffic to your site through Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search sites.
Organic traffic refers to the flow of visitors to your store that you don’t have to pay for, as they’re coming straight from Google. Every Google search engine results page (SERP) contains 10 organic results among the paid ads. Incorporating e-commerce SEO can help your product pages show up on the first page of these results. Even appearing on the second or third SERP can boost your sales, but most shoppers never make it past the first page, which is why it’s such a sought-after accomplishment for e-commerce businesses to appear at the top.
It’s easy to see how SEO can benefit businesses, but how does it help e-commerce entrepreneurs specifically, and how do you know if it’s worth the investment? Here are seven reasons to incorporate SEO in your marketing strategy.
I mentioned how advertising and marketing methods like paid social media and search engine ads can generate excellent traffic. These, and several other strategies, can indeed draw lots of visitors to your website in a short amount of time. But there’s a catch: you have to keep paying to maintain the traffic, and that can quickly get expensive. Not only do you need to continue paying ad providers — if competition increases, you may have to pay a higher rate over time to keep the same level of traffic.
Putting sweat equity into SEO helps you achieve a steady flow of sustainable traffic that will continue to bring eyes to your site for years to come with no further investment. You’ll do most of the heavy lifting in the early stages and reap long-term results. All you have to do is keep creating high-quality content and maintain your website to rank high in online searches.
Besides generating sustainable traffic, SEO has a way of getting visitors to your store who are more likely to make a purchase. Keyword research is one of the most crucial aspects of SEO, and a big part of the process is spreading short and long-tail keywords throughout your content that are highly relevant to your industry, target audience, and products.
Finding and targeting these words and phrases can drive large volumes of consumers your way. Say, for instance, your online store sells green cleaning products. You could target a search term like “best green cleaning solutions“ and build content to achieve high rankings for that keyword. In other words, SEO can increase traffic to your site, and if you target the right keywords, you can attract visitors who are ready to make a purchase.
Keep in mind that using niche keywords will drive more relevant traffic to your online store. This may sound daunting, but there are agencies that are experts in this process that can help you, like GR0.
Sales are the ultimate goal for your e-commerce business, and brand visibility is essential for boosting sales. SEO increases your online store’s visibility and makes your brand a part of the conversation when consumers are facing a buying decision. Brand visibility works in your favor even if a shopper chooses a competitor from the search results. The fact that your website is in the same list means they will automatically consider you as an alternative (even if they don’t realize it).
All it takes is for your rival to drop the ball on customer expectations, and your site will be the first source the dissatisfied customers run to.
E-commerce SEO also benefits your business regarding your existing customers. When you rank high on SERPs, your customers can easily find you. It’s hard to overstate how important this is if your URL is easy to misspell, hard to remember, or doesn’t match your brand name. If your customers can quickly find your brand, it will reduce friction and make them more likely to purchase from your store again.
Further, consider that many consumers search for companies straight from Google instead of typing in a URL. If you want customers to find you online, implementing SEO tactics is non-negotiable.
Building customer trust is more challenging for e-commerce businesses than brick-and-mortar stores. Still, customers must trust your brand to feel comfortable enough to buy from you. Fortunately, you can boost customer trust in your e-commerce business in many ways, including ranking higher on SERPs. Google only ranks websites highly when it trusts them. Therefore, the higher up your website ranks on SERPs, the more reputable your brand appears. And appearing on the first page also suggests to consumers that other people trust your company. So why wouldn’t they?
You could be missing out on lots of sales if your e-commerce business isn’t remarketing. Remarking essentially means collecting customer data so you can retarget potential customers after they visit your online store. It’s relatively simple: you add a piece of code on your site, visitors are added to a list, and you retarget visitors on the list.
For instance, if you own a sporting goods store, you might gather data from visitors who browse a page for a specific type of athletic clothing. If those visitors leave the page without making a purchase, you can serve them ads for that article of clothing via Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms.
So, you’re beginning to understand how e-commerce SEO can boost traffic to your online store and build customer trust. These factors can lead to a significant increase in sales.
Consider the core requirements of a successful online store:
- Offering high-quality products for a competitive price
- Getting your brand in front of people
- Developing enough trust that potential customers want to purchase from you
Employing SEO won’t make your products better or your price more competitive, but it will help create more exposure and trust, directly and positively impacting your sales.
Implementing e-commerce SEO effectively will result in high-quality, sustainable traffic without requiring you to pay the significant ongoing costs of paid social ads or search engine ads. That said, SEO is not entirely free. You don’t technically have to spend money on SEO to reap benefits, but you will need to invest time and energy. And unless you have SEO expertise, you’ll probably need to hire website experts, writers, and other marketing professionals to reach your goals.
The good news is these professionals can help you improve your rankings more quickly than you could yourself, so many e-commerce entrepreneurs consider it well worth the investment to work with a one-stop shop digital marketing agency.
Successful e-commerce SEO involves many moving parts, but these core components will help you start off on the right foot.
You can’t develop a cohesive e-commerce SEO strategy without mastering the art of keyword research. Take time to learn the various methods and tools for finding high-value search terms for your content.
As an SEO beginner, you probably don’t really know where to start with optimizing your online store. Fret not — check out what your competitors are doing. Scour their homepages, product pages, and blogs to analyze the keywords they’re using.
Most e-commerce businesses spend the majority of their SEO resources on their homepages. It’s not the only webpage you’ll want to optimize, but it’s typically the best one to start with.
Consumers are drawn to websites with simple designs and layouts. Achieving this with an online store can be challenging, especially when adding products and categories. However, site architecture is crucial for search optimization. Make sure there is a well-defined navigation hierarchy (e.g., homepage, product categories, specific products, etc.) on your site.
These days, consumers aren’t going to sit and wait for pages to load, and most people prefer shopping from their mobile devices. Ensure your website is high-performing and responsive across all platforms.
Once you’ve made progress on your homepage, start optimizing all your product pages. Aftera ll, they are the lifeblood of your e-commerce business. Go beyond the average three-sentence product description; adding more information to your product pages will help Google find them. Spend time crafting product names, optimizing images, and creating product videos.
Don’t make the mistake of leaving SEO out of your marketing strategy. Optimizing your online store can do wonders for your website traffic, brand visibility, customer experience, and sales. And it’s much cheaper than paid ads. Keep researching to build a solid e-commerce SEO strategy, and you’ll see a positive impact in no time.
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