There's a popular saying that "e-commerce businesses live and die by their ability to attract and keep customers." This statement holds true every way you look at it. The soul of e-commerce is customer interaction. If nobody does business with your brand, you'll soon find yourself out of the market. It's that simple.
That said, how do you get more people to interact with your brand and business? The answer is search engine optimization (SEO). Of course, marketing tools like an internet phone call, paid ads, and influencer marketing can be effective. But SEO offers a more organic route to generating new leads and customers.
Search engine optimization is tweaking your website’s content to rank better on search engine result pages (SERPs). SEO is anything you do to your website to make it more visible on search engines while remaining relevant to your customers. It usually involves tactically employing specific keywords and strategies to rank higher on search engines.
You've probably heard people talk a lot about “e-commerce SEO,” - and now you have questions. Well, SEO is pretty much the same for all types of websites - e-commerce or not.
It’s all about optimizing various structural elements on your website to show up on search engine results. You’ll optimize your product feeds, paywalls, landing pages, and even the checkout pages to make your e-commerce website appear higher on SERPs.
Statistics show 70% of marketers believe SEO is more effective than pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Usually, PPC and other ad strategies offer instant gratification by providing a large inflow of traffic to your website. However, while they may help you get a high volume of visitors per visit, there's no guarantee those same leads will return.
One thing that keeps visitors coming back to your website is their experience while browsing. On-page SEO is vital because it improves each customer’s experience with your website. PPC doesn’t influence customer experience. It’s up to you to create those experiences with different SEO strategies.
The numbers indicate that 73% of customers make buying decisions depending on their experience with the brand. In other words, PPC may help you generate leads, but SEO enables you to keep them as customers.
Here are the top benefits of SEO for your website and business.
Many e-commerce businesses rely on ads as their primary lead generation technique. But ads are only effective as long as you’re paying for them. SEO improves customer experience. But more than that, SEO is also capable of drawing attention to your brand.
Excellent SEO helps you rank better on Google and other search engines. A high ranking on Google puts your brand right in front of people looking for the products and services you offer. That way, it'll generate organic traffic to your website.
Interestingly, your website's appearance on the SERP may be the first time a prospective customer will be interacting with your brand. Thanks to SEO, a new customer now knows about your brand. Isn’t that the definition of awareness?
Another major talking point is that customers may put more stock in SEO. It’s easy to assume brands that earn their spot on the SERP through proper SEO will provide a better experience than those who pay for ads. This opinion increases their likelihood of clicking on the top-ranking pages.
The traditional marketing funnel goes along the lines of:
It relies heavily on a steady stream of prospective shoppers. A marketing funnel will be pretty much useless without consistent interaction from new shoppers.
A closer look at SEO pricing shows it’s the more cost-effective route to increasing organic traffic to your marketing funnels. It also ensures the progress of prospects through each stage of the funnel.
The whole point of SEO is improving the content on your website, from the images and videos to written content. To rank higher organically, you’ll need to use keywords intentionally while also ensuring content relevance.
For e-commerce websites, a good portion of your content will be on your products page. The products page and the order processing page are areas you’ll want to have your most engaging content.
Instead of debating content writing vs. copywriting, it’s better to mix both strategies - with a focus on SEO. Ensure the message in your website content and keywords are relevant.
SEO focuses on target keywords; it enables you to make the most of keywords customers use to find their way around the internet. That said, you’ll also want to avoid duplicate content. For instance, copying the same product descriptions as your suppliers or competitors is counterintuitive to SEO and constitutes plagiarism.
Content optimization will yield a significant increase in traffic for little to no cost. It requires only a little knowledge of people's searching habits. You should also know how to tailor relevant content to match keywords. These basic SEO practices will not only help you rank higher on SERPs but also improve how leadss interact with your platforms and brand.
When you invest in SEO, you're signing up for long-term efficiency. SEO helps you keep customers. When you invest in ads, social media campaigns, and other digital marketing strategies, the value mostly stops when the campaign ends. SEO is a continuous effort, not a one-time campaign. The process never ends, and neither do the results.
SEO is a never-ending cycle of projects to keep your website relevant. You're constantly engaged in making your website better and easier for customer engagement. You're continually looking for ways to make the most of your content, designs, and products. Most importantly, you're perpetually improving every element that makes up your e-commerce website.
One of the fastest ways to build credibility is to earn the recognition of your peers. The same holds for e-commerce marketing. A simple route to creating a name for your brand and improving awareness is to earn the recognition of other brands. In the world of SEO, other brands will show their recognition for your brand through backlinks.
Backlinking is not just an important marketing tool for a SaaS company. Your e-commerce business can also take advantage of it. Other brands can identify with your e-commerce website or brand by backlinking to your content.
Building backlinks is an important goal and an integral part of SEO but you can't get quality backlinks without a properly optimized website. Nobody wants to link to a website with poor content and website structure.
It’s not just about accumulating backlinks, either. Instead, you’ll want to get quality backlinks from authoritative websites. Search engine bots use backlinks as a measure of content credibility. Hence, they’re pretty much an endorsement of your brand by the other website.
Now, this is the point every e-commerce business owner loves to hear. Yes, SEO can increase your conversions significantly. However, the effects of SEO on your sales may not be direct, and it may not offer the quick results paid advertisements bring. But, you can always bank on the long-term effects it can have on your business as a whole.
Organic leads from SEO have an average conversion rate of 14.6%. In addition to increased conversions, here’s how SEO can transform your sales:
The cumulative effect of these key performance indicators (KPIs) will ultimately translate to an increase in sales for your business. These effects may not be immediate; it would be ridiculous to expect a sudden increase in the scale and performance of your wholesale business. However, they're sure to happen if you're diligent with your SEO strategy.
The e-commerce market share exploded thanks in some part to the pandemic. It’s a business niche that’ll only keep growing and expanding. So, you must position your brand to take advantage of that growth.
SEO gives you a vantage point. But, it also requires consistent effort and dedication. The soul of SEO is quality and relevant content creation.
You need to consistently create quality content appropriate for visitors and relevant to search engine algorithms. If you can't do it yourself, you can employ B2B SEO services to help you out.