Business owners and marketing professionals use SEO marketing daily to get the best out of e-commerce. Yet for many, SEO remains a mystery and understandably so. SEO can seem like a complicated process only theoretical Astrophysicists might use. Luckily, you don’t need a fancy degree to put SEO tools to good use. SEO can deliver big results and put more money in your bank with just a little planning.
So, then what is SEO? How does it work? Why is SEO important for e-commerce? We’ve put together this SEO guide to answer these questions and more. We’ll show you how SEO works for e-commerce and increases your online presence, drives more traffic to your business website, and grows sales like never before!
Reasons SEO Is Crucial For E-commerce Success
First, it helps to decipher just what SEO means. SEO is short for “search engine optimization.” While it sounds like something you might overhear at a mechanical engineers convention, it is simply the process of tailoring your website to fit what will get the best search engine results. SEO is often divided into four main areas of focus:
- On-Page SEO, or all that can be updated on a website, including titles, descriptions, and images.
- Off-Page SEO, or information shared outside a website, such as reviews or business directories.
- Technical SEO, or everything related to web design, structure, and functionality.
- Local SEO, or information catered to a specific region.
Each phase impacts the other, so ideally, you want to create an SEO strategy that cohesively ties all SEO phases together. Ok great. So, why is SEO important for e-commerce? Recent studies show that over 90% of online use starts with search engines, with over half of those using search engines to research products before purchase. That’s a lot of sales potential waiting to be tapped into. So, effective SEO is essential for driving customers to your website and capitalizing on all those sales opportunities.
Driving Traffic To Your Website With Search Engine Optimization
The key to successful SEO is understanding the relationship between search results and web traffic. Search engines look at hundreds of factors when ranking relevant sites. So, the more your website’s design, content, images, and links are relevant to a user’s search, the better chance of a higher search ranking. This optimization leads to increased traffic to your site which you can convert into sales.
Statistics show that most users rarely pass the first page of search results. So, earning high ranks is vital to getting more of your target audience to see your website. Most search engines, like Google, Bing, or Yahoo, place paid ads atop search results, with unpaid or “organic” search results following based on their rankings. These organic searches are the bread and butter of an SEO marketing plan and make for a great return on investment (ROI).
Since organic searches are free, they are the most cost-effective way for business owners and marketers to get relevant information into the hands of those searching for it. In addition, high-ranking organic searches deliver higher clickthrough rates (CTR) and conversion rates (CR), or the number of website visitors who make purchases.
Search Keyword Intent and Traffic Cycle
While high search rankings improve web traffic, web traffic rates also improve rankings. No, you’re not stuck in a weird Sci-Fi flick. It’s just the natural cycle of search results and web traffic fueling one another. How it works is search engines use algorithms designed to recognize a site’s traffic rates when displaying search results. So, websites with the highest traffic and relevancy get higher rankings and often know what the target keyword intent is. It starts a kind of SEO snowball effect. The higher rankings mean more direct traffic, and more traffic gets better rankings, generating more traffic, and so on.
In addition, search engines measure the bounce rate or how long users stay on web pages. So, the longer a user remains on your website, the lower the bounce rate. This also translates to higher search rankings and increased website traffic.
The best way to reduce bounce rates is by providing website visitors with a useful, appealing, high-quality web experience. Backlinks, the links to your website placed within other sites, also play a large part in fueling better rankings and driving more traffic. So, consistently updated content, both On-page and Off-page, is the key to getting customers to your site and keeping them there.
Optimizing Product Listings With Informational Keywords
Web users are by nature information hungry, so an e-commerce site needs to provide customers with interesting yet informative product information that is regularly updated. Bounce rates increase if customers have to go to another website to get product information. However, optimizing product descriptions gives customers the incentive to stay on your website, make purchases, and regularly use it as a resource.
Product pages with minimal or no information won’t get the job done. Yet descriptions don’t need to be overstuffed with facts or statistics either. Instead, the goal is to provide relevant information that captures customers’ interest and persuades them to buy the product or service. So, product listings with intriguing titles, descriptions, and images can help lower bounce rates and increase conversion rates while encouraging return visits.
Since content language, structure, length, and imagery affect SEO results, identifying the most effective product content can be a work in progress. However, there are several tips you can use to help build top-notch, fully optimized product content.
Let Your Brand’s Personality Shine
Product descriptions and other website content are not mutually exclusive. It all needs to be tied together to create one voice or personality. In addition, it all should reflect the personality you want your brand to share.
If your brand projects a touch of humor, then be sure to inject that into each product description. If your brand requires a more stoic, professional tone, product descriptions should reflect that. Creating descriptions that mirror your brand’s personality provides continuity and greater sales potential while creating a better customer experience.
Know Your Target Customers
Knowing who you want your e-commerce site to cater to might seem obvious, yet a target audience can often get lost in the shuffle. So, it helps to identify customer information, such as demographics and spending habits, that you can blend to create one ideal profile or “buyer persona” to target.
A buyer persona allows you to create more relevant content and build a better customer experience, generating higher search rankings. Also, it means you are helping customers get the products they want and, in the process, building trust that leads to consistent, long-term sales growth.
Have An eCommerce Keyword Strategy
Regularly optimizing your website helps bring more users to your website and generates more relevant content, demonstrates more value, and encourages more purchases. Yet to take full advantage of SEO and get the best search rankings, content must be built around informational keywords. Search engines like Google or Bing recognize frequently used search words and direct customers to websites featuring the words in the content.
So, building clear, purposeful, and engaging content around the words or phrases related to products frequently appearing in search results is critical to SEO’s effectiveness. Our SEO specialists can help you identify appropriate keywords and develop an eCommerce keyword strategy that ensures search engines direct more customers to your website.
Optimize Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions
When mapping out product pages, it can be easy to put all the focus on creating great content. Yet titles and meta descriptions play a big part in how search results are displayed. Title tags and meta descriptions are HTML descriptors that give search engines a short description of each webpage. These are the first thing customers will see within organic search results. So, the title and meta description must be clear and relevant to the user.
Product page titles should be short and to the point, no more than 70 characters. So, glancing at search results, users can see what the webpage offers and that it matches their search intent. You don’t need to get fancy with titles. So, keep them accurate and concise to better your chances of increasing traffic and CTRs.
A key to any high-quality product content is demonstrating why the product has value for the customer. Creating a buyer persona is immensely helpful here as it allows you to more succinctly zero in on what products or services your target customer most values. Customers won’t necessarily see value from a list of facts and figures, even if implied. So, you’ll need to inject context into product descriptions.
Ideally, you want to create content that directly connects the product or service to the key benefits your buyer persona might desire. Using your brand voice is a great way to demonstrate key benefits to customers while maintaining highly effective SEO.
Finish With a Call to Action
Optimized product descriptions can capture attention, yet customers might need a little nudge to buy. So, it’s good to add an appropriate call to action (CTA) to the product page to encourage customers to proceed to checkout. A CTA provides one last push for customers to act on their interest and buy the product.
You want to continue building trust with customers and allowing them to shop confidently. So, the trick for an irresistible CTA is to convince the customer it’s the right time to act. Providing a quick recap of the product’s benefits or uniqueness can make for an effective CTA, and sometimes just a quick “buy now” option can make the difference. In addition, evaluating a buyer persona can help determine the most effective CTA for your web content.
Finding the right product content that works for your e-commerce website might take trial and error. Yet analyzing search and website data can go a long way to finding the right fit. As a result, you’ll be able to create higher visibility for your site, bring more users to your website, and increase sales.
Improving Website Usability
Another factor in how well your e-commerce site performs within search engines is your website’s overall usability. Website design and structure can dictate whether or not your website gets top rankings in organic searches. So, it is best to perform regular website audits to highlight the best SEO improvements. Here are five areas to consider when auditing web design and structure:
- Web Performance
Optimizing web performance is a Technology SEO component that can drastically affect your entire SEO strategy. For example, the longer it takes for webpages to load, the more it cuts into views, CTRs, and conversions. In addition, unresponsive or slow pages make for a lousy user experience. So, work with top marketing specialists to find the best design and technology fit for your site.
Crawlability is how well a search engine can scan or “crawl” through your website to identify its search relevance. The easier search engines can crawl, the better SEO results your site will receive. In addition, internal links can help make navigating from one page to the next easier and minimize dead ends that can limit crawling.
A URL is an address that lets search engines, and users know where to find each webpage. URLs carry customers from search results to your site. In addition, a good URL structure brings order to a website and makes navigation easier for users. Simple URLs that accurately describe the webpage are best as they’re easier to read and share. The result is improved CRs, CTRs, and conversions while encouraging more traffic and better search rankings.
- Internal Links
Internal links help search engines identify all relevant pages within your site and, when used with select keywords, can also help boost search rankings. Internal links also help make getting around your webpage easier, enhancing the user experience. So, having a great internal link strategy can help put your SEO plan over the top.
- Mobile Optimization
Mobile devices are increasingly the go-to options for consumers, so it is crucial to include mobile optimization during web design and e-commerce SEO strategizing. A website that is optimized for all types of devices and operating systems delivers:
- A better user experience.
- Higher search rankings.
- Increase web traffic.
- Higher CTRs.
So, work with your SEO team to develop a mobile version of your e-commerce website that provides the usability and versatility necessary for optimal SEO results.
Building Brand Awareness and Trust Through Digital Marketing
No one will buy what you’re selling if they don’t know or trust your brand. You don’t want customers avoiding your website as though it’s a robocall warning of an impending IRS investigation. That doesn’t do anyone any good. So, building awareness and trust is critical to your website’s traffic flow.
Providing interesting and relevant content increases brand awareness and trust as more people see and share information about your site. You want your website to be a valuable resource that customers rely on for regularly updated content, intriguing product descriptions, and an enjoyable customer experience. The more customers learn about and trust your website, the better the search rankings.
Also, you and your customers deserve to feel secure online. So, ensure your website uses the highest levels of security and maintains updated certificates. N2Q can help identify the best security options for you, so you can gain customer trust by showing you take their security seriously.
Another way to build trust and awareness is through Google Business Profile, formerly Google My Business. When users search for products or businesses, Google directs them to relevant Business Profile pages, Google Maps, and other apps to make it easier for customers to locate businesses. In addition to featuring customer ratings, Business Profile lets you customize information, special offers, and event announcements. The result is a powerful SEO tool that is especially beneficial to Local SEO strategies for building trust and brand awareness locally.
Ongoing SEO Optimization With SEO Tools
Optimizing your website for the best search results is not a one-time affair. For SEO to be effective, all aspects of SEO need to be monitored and regularly updated. In addition, ongoing audits of your business’s SEO performance give you data you can use to refine your SEO strategy further, tweak buyer personas, update links, and improve the user experience. The results are better search rankings and increased organic traffic to your website.
SEO for e-commerce is a constantly changing world that does require diligence when riding the endless waves of marketing trends and algorithm updates. As the criteria set forth by search engines change, so must SEO tactics. However, ongoing SEO maintenance is the best way to overcome these challenges. So, by sticking to high-quality SEO practices and regular optimization, your business will be ready to handle any changing trends or algorithms that will invariably get thrown your way. That’s why our SEO experts are here to help you stay ahead of the curve.
Jumpstart E-commerce with SEO Services From A Professional
While it has many moving parts, SEO is simply about identifying ways to improve content for better search results, visibility, and sales. By synthesizing On-site, Off-site, Technical, and Local SEO to achieve optimal search rankings, your e-commerce site can achieve short and long-term sales goals while delivering tremendous ROI.
So, now that you’ve been thrown into the deep end of the SEO pool, you’re ready to towel off and chat with our marketing gurus. No to The Quo is your very own expert SEO crew that’ll help get your website shipshape and ready to sail the vast digital sea. So, discover all the treasures SEO can bring to your e-commerce business, and let’s parlay today!
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