women searching for online products

The Importance Of SEO For eCommerce

In this day and age, most online purchases begin with a Google search. Research shows that approximately 95 per cent of all website traffic goes to the results located on Google’s first page. The five results perched at the top of this page receive 65 per cent of all traffic. A mere five per cent of users will click through to the second page of a Google search, and far fewer people will continue to scour through anything beyond that. 

Now, you may have been led to believe that the order in which those millions of search results are displayed on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is random and out of your control. As a matter of fact, it’s quite the opposite. Your website’s rank can be managed and improved manually, and it all boils down to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

In e-commerce, SEO is widely considered to generate the highest return on investment when compared to other online marketing strategies. So, whether you’re opening a new online store, or creating a digital arm for your offline business, your primary concern should be visibility. The higher your website ranks, the more traffic you will receive – it really is that simple.

But there is a catch.

The order of search engine results for any search query is constantly changing, leaving digital marketers running to catch up. Popular search engines can update algorithms at their will, with advanced technologies making search results more precise than ever before. What works for one search engine doesn’t necessarily work for another, and the factors that determine a website’s rank can change from one day to the next.

Setting Up E-commerce SEO For A Successful Launch

Before your e-commerce website goes live, you’ll need an SEO plan – albeit a flexible and adaptable one. Every SEO journey begins in the same place: keyword research. This process can be a complicated and time-consuming exercise, requiring specialist knowledge in order to get the job done well. But, while every other aspect of SEO is subject to change, the need to do keyword research remains the same. That’s precisely why experts recommend investing in thorough keyword research when setting up your e-commerce website.

The first step of keyword research is investigating search terms. What words or phrases do people use to begin an online search for the products you’re selling on your website? Do the names of your products have synonyms used in different parts of the globe? What about spelling variations? You will also need to consider the keyword difficulty (ie. how many links would be needed to rank for that specific word), and the keyword volume (ie. how popular that search term actually is), to prevent your website from getting lost in the depths of Google’s results pages. 

All of the questions above, and many more, can only be answered by using keyword analytics tools. While readily-available tools such as Google Search Console can be used to analyse a website’s historic traffic data, newer e-commerce sites will need to look into specialised keyword research tools in order to find the right keywords to target.

Next, you’ll need to create a well-structured link architecture for your e-commerce website by formulating a sequence that will actually make sense to your online visitors. This is a crucial part of the SEO set-up for your e-commerce website, which needs to be considered during every step of the web design and content creation process. With a well-structured website and content that is both user-friendly and keyword-rich, you’ll be well on your way to achieving a desirable SERP position!

Creating An E-commerce SEO Strategy

Way back in 1996, when the Internet was still in its infancy, Microsoft Founder Bill Gates coined the phrase ‘Content is King’. This saying has become the motto of every successful digital marketer, with good reason. Investing in high-quality, engaging and keyword-rich content for your e-commerce website is intrinsic to enhancing your SEO strategy. While larger companies may opt to hire an in-house content marketer to meet their organisation’s needs, other e-commerce businesses are outsourcing this task to professional and experienced content writers. 

From choosing a perfectly optimised title to including effective Calls-to-Action, content writing for your e-commerce website should always be driven by accurate data. Ideally, plans for e-commerce SEO should span a period of six months; less than that means you’ll need to constantly rethink your strategy, while anything longer may become redundant due to algorithm developments. 

Implementing Tools For Data Tracking

One of the most common questions for the SEO uninitiated is ‘How do digital marketers know what actually works?’. The answer is simple – data. The internet has made it incredibly easy to gather tonnes of data about how we think, live and spend, simply through our internet activity. Tools such as Google Analytics, Facebook Business Manager, Google Search Console and Google Tag Manager are a digital marketer’s dream, and perfectly designed for tracking the effectiveness of your e-commerce SEO strategy.

When used correctly, e-commerce tracking can help businesses leverage data and gain valuable insight into who their audience members are. These tools can answer questions such as:

  • How many people are visiting your store?
  • Where do your visitors come from?
  • Which product categories are they most interested in?
  • What do their buying processes look like?
  • Is your content marketing for e-commerce actually working?

Indeed, knowing your audience is key to widening your client base and converting those leads into sales. And, if you really want to make the most of this data, we suggest inserting additional dynamic fields into your e-commerce website. These dynamic fields will push data from your e-commerce website pages into new data layers, which can be pulled into Google Analytics for a
deeper understanding of your clientele. This will help you to squeeze all the information you possibly can out of your visitors’ activity – like which products are making the cut to client shopping carts, only to be discarded before check-out, or how many times your clients caught a glimpse of an item on your homepage before clicking through – to help fine-tune your users’ experience of your website!

Localising Your E-commerce Website SEO

People love to buy local products that instil a feeling of familiarity and trust between the business and the consumer. When buying online, that relationship is often non-existent. Potential clients may find it difficult to interpret prices in foreign currencies, and product descriptions often get lost in Google Translation. 

If you’re intending to reach out to an international audience, localising your e-commerce website is an important step for SEO. Simply put, e-commerce localisation means that your website will exist in multiple forms to reflect the language and currency used by the targeted audience. This may also mean producing different marketing campaigns to attract more diverse clients, or providing different services, products or payment methods according to the client’s location. By understanding where your key audience comes from, you can create an online experience tailored to their needs. This will result in a superior customer experience, which may lead to increased conversions and a better SERP ranking!

Setting Up Google My Business For Retail Outlet SEO

For smaller companies, investing heavily in e-commerce content marketing to improve their organic search ranking can be costly. The solution? Setting up a Google My Business account! This is a free, powerful and essential tool to help people to find businesses online. Plus, Google My Business creates a level playing field for businesses of all sizes, giving well-optimised business accounts a chance to rank higher in Google searches.

In addition to this, companies listed on Google My Business are more likely to earn trust from customers. Trust plays an important role in a customer’s buying decision, but building trust in a virtual space can be quite tricky. This is why Google My Business allows clients and businesses to communicate through public reviews, which will be visible to potential customers when searching for a product or store. 

Analysing Your Online Competition

After reading this article, you’ve probably gotten the impression that SEO is all about you and your own business. While it’s true that achieving a good SERP position requires you to dig deep into analysing your own approach to e-commerce SEO, always remember that your business is not operating in a vacuum. With the right tools and know-how, analysing your online competition is a simple and efficient way to stay ahead of the game. 

By conducting a thorough analysis of your competitors’ website, you can gain insight into their marketing tactics, identify keyword gaps, and discover your comparative strengths and weaknesses. All of these factors can contribute to your e-commerce SEO strategy, to grow your audience and improve your website’s overall performance!

Do You Need Help Getting Your E-commerce SEO Off The Ground?

If you’re struggling to keep up with the everchanging SEO landscape, you’re not alone. Many e-commerce businesses fail to implement the necessary SEO strategies for their websites due to a lack of time or resources. That’s where we come in. With years of experience under our belts, we’ve seen how e-commerce SEO has developed, and we’ve guided our clients through those changes every step of the way.

If you need any help planning your SEO strategy and set-up for e-commerce, our team of experts can provide the necessary support you need to elevate your website.

We can also connect you with professional and experienced content writers, to ensure that your website fulfils its SERP potential!

Could you use a helping hand in examining any of the areas listed above?

Get in touch today!

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