Today’s eCommerce landscape is more competitive than ever before. In 2020, millions of online retailers generated over $4.2 trillion in global sales. In Canada alone, monthly eCommerce sales reached an all-time high of 4.82 billion CAD!
While there are many ways to generate a buzz for your site, nothing beats the growth potential and sustainability of organic traffic.
For some of the most successful online retailers on the web, roughly 37.5 percent of shoppers come from search engines. Furthermore, organic traffic outpaces paid traffic by a ratio of 20:1.
What’s the best way to build organic traffic and drive sales? The solution you’re looking for is eCommerce SEO.
What is eCommerce SEO?
The concept of eCommerce SEO is nothing new. SEO, also known as Search Engine Optimization, is a marketing technique that can make your site more visible on search engine results pages, or SERPs.
The goal of SEO is to reach one of the top spots on a Google results page. Doing so can significantly impact your store’s success.
The number-one spot on Google SERPs enjoys a click-through rate of almost 35 percent! The CTR falls exponentially the lower you get. However, appearing anywhere on the first page can make a massive difference in traffic and sales. The average Internet user rarely ventures onto the second results page.
SEO is all about the long game. It’s an ongoing process that can take several months to generate positive changes. Other marketing techniques like paid advertisements can provide quick results. But, SEO is a long-term investment that gradually improves with time. When done successfully, it can create stable traffic that launches your online store to the upper echelons of eCommerce success.
Why eCommerce SEO is Important for Your Online Store
SEO isn’t a random marketing technique with questionable results. It’s a tried and true strategy responsible for the success of some of the biggest online retailers in the world!
Take a moment to search for products you might be interested in purchasing. There’s a good chance that your results page will have familiar brand names and juggernaut eCommerce sites. This is because those sites took the time to develop an impactful SEO strategy that continues to serve them well to this day.
Beyond increased traffic, here are some ways that eCommerce SEO can benefit your business.
Enhanced Brand Awareness
Brand awareness and SEO go hand in hand.
One of the pillars of SEO is authority. As you develop content to increase visibility, your brand becomes synonymous with the queries for which you rank. Over time, your company becomes a trusted source for helpful information, valuable insight, and relevant products.
High Long-Term ROI
Compared to other marketing techniques that provide quick results, SEO has a better return on your investment. It doesn’t cost a dime to rank on Google SERPs. All you have to pay for is the work that goes into developing optimized content.
In the long run, SEO can lead to substantial growth. For example, a survey by HubSpot showed that companies that focused on SEO and content marketing were 13 times more likely to experience a positive ROI than those that didn’t.
Fueling the Marketing Funnel
SEO can fuel your marketing funnel along every step of the process.
About 81 percent of all online shoppers do some research before making a purchase. With effective SEO, you can intercept shoppers as you create awareness and interest in your products. Carefully optimized content can then build desire and encourage action.
A Stronger Customer Impact
SEO isn’t the only marketing tool you have in your arsenal. However, it is one of the most impactful.
Roughly 80 percent of web users ignore Pay-Per-Click ads thanks to a phenomenon known as ad blindness. That’s on top of the 42.7 percent of global Internet users that utilize ad blockers.
Proper SEO doesn’t feel like an advertising or marketing gimmick. It’s about delivering valuable and relevant content that shoppers can use. For this reason, it has more influence than traditional ads that web users can ignore.
Strategies for eCommerce SEO
Successful SEO implementation can be a monumental task. The challenge can be even more significant if you have a website with hundreds of product pages. But don’t let that turn you away. Remember: SEO takes time to see results.
Incremental changes can make a world of difference in your site’s visibility. All it takes is a manageable strategy.
In-Depth Keyword Research
One of the first things to do is perform keyword research. This process helps you figure out what terms shoppers use to find products or services relevant to your offerings. The concept seems simple enough, but keyword research can get complicated very quickly.
Almost 93 percent of all keywords get ten monthly searches or fewer. As a result, you have to be strategic in your efforts. During your efforts, you should answer the following questions:
- What keywords does the site already rank?
- How do competitors rank?
- How relevant are the keywords to your target demographic?
- How many people are interested in the keywords?
- Does the intent of the keyword line up with your brand?
The goal of keyword research is to pinpoint what your audience is searching for and what you can do to wiggle your way into their sights.
Not sure where to start your SEO efforts? Look to your fiercest competitor.
Your best-performing competitors likely already have SEO techniques in place. Use their site as a baseline and point of comparison for your own. The goal is to surpass them, so why not use their website to get some valuable insight. You can look into:
- Keyword rankings
- Domain authority
- Social media presence
- On-page Metadata
- Website performance
- Site structure
- SEO content
Optimized Product Pages
Next, you can focus on creating the most attractive and SEO-friendly product pages possible. Ultimately, your product pages are going to be the lifeline of your site. Simple images and basic descriptions aren’t going to cut it.
Optimized product pages have:
- Relevant keyword placement
- Optimized product names
- Keyword-rich title tags and URLs
- High-quality multiple images
- Testimonials and reviews
- Consistent branding
Your online store should be so much more than just a place to buy products. The foundation of SEO is effective content marketing. You have to deliver valuable information that generates traffic, creates interest in your brand and products, and converts casual visitors.
Beyond product pages, every part of your site should have SEO-friendly content. That includes the:
- Landing page
- Customer service page
- FAQ section
- Contact pages
- About pages
You don’t have to limit yourself to one type of content. You can create:
- Blog posts
- “Best of” lists
- Informative articles
- “How to” guides
- Glossary pages
- Audio and video content
- Interactive media
Get creative with the type of SEO content you provide and don’t be afraid to mix things up! Video content can increase organic traffic by 157 percent. Meanwhile, images appear for about 27.9 percent of queries. So branch out and provide a wide variety of content your customers will enjoy.
Site Architecture and Performance
Don’t forget to make your site as user-friendly as possible. That means creating a well-designed user interface that’s easy to navigate. Your online store’s architecture should be accessible while making things easy for search engine crawlers to index your site.
Site architecture is a complex topic in its own right. However, the goal is to keep your site consistent and easy to navigate. Things can get cluttered very quickly in an online store with hundreds of products. To avoid turning your shoppers away, pay attention to:
- URL structures
- Product categories
- Internal linking
- Navigation schemes
Overall performance matters, too. About a quarter of all Internet users will leave a site if it takes longer than four seconds for the page to load. Even a one-second delay can cause a 16-percent dip in customer satisfaction.
Keep your website optimized for growing traffic. That way, every shopper has a top-notch experience. Consider developing internal links as well. Doing so builds a stronger relationship between content and increases the time visitors spend on your site.
Even after seeing results with SEO, it’s an excellent idea to follow through with Conversion Rate Optimization, or CRO. CRO and SEO are two sides of the same coin. SEO is responsible for getting traffic to your site. Meanwhile, CRO encourages those visitors to convert and make a purchase.
CRO/conversion research can show you how to optimize each page to influence potential customers as possible.
Over to You
There are so many ways to get traffic coming to your site. You can pay for ads, establish an email marketing strategy, put social media to good use, and more. All of those techniques have their place in your marketing efforts.
However, eCommerce SEO can expand your reach farther than ever before and generate organic traffic that continues to build as your site evolves. Think of SEO as making your site appealing enough to get visitors to come to you. By laying the groundwork early on, you can see steady and sustainable growth that helps your business reach new levels.