You must have already heard about how eCommerce just experienced a 44% revenue increase in 2020 compared to 2019. This got you thinking that you should migrate online to give your stagnant business a boost. So, you hire a web developer and now you have an eCommerce website you’re happy with. Now all you need to do is wait for visitors to pour in. Easy, right? Not exactly. The truth is, there are over 6 billion websites on the Internet as of 2020, and with services like Wix.com making it easier for anyone to start a website, that number is only expected to increase every day. How on earth can you expect to stand out amongst all those other websites? The secret – search engine optimization (SEO).
What is SEO? To put it simply, it’s using different techniques to bump your website’s placement on search engine results pages (SERPs). Why is this important? Well, studies show that the higher your website is on SERPs, the more impressions and traffic it will get. Studies show that less than 6% of people go to the second page of Google, which means, if you want people to know your eCommerce site exists, you must strive to at least get on the first page of SERPs.
eCommerce SEO is one of the most important digital marketing strategies for retailers that just launched a new website. If your website is new, no one will know about it, thus you can’t just expect a huge amount of traffic from the get-go. SEO boosts not only your brand awareness and site traffic but also your revenue. More site visitors means more potential customers.
But how does one carry out SEO? While the exact criteria for how website ranking is determined is a closely guarded secret, SEO experts use their knowledge of search engine algorithms to make an educated guess on what these criteria are. Spokespeople from Google and Yahoo have also gone on record to clarify what does and doesn’t matter, so we have a pretty good idea of how to do SEO effectively. We’ve listed a good strategy for you to try down below.
- Keyword research
Keywords are the cornerstone of your SEO campaign. You must first identify which keywords you want to rank high in. The best way to do this is to use keyword research tools. There is a wide range of software for you to choose from, with varying prices and features. A good keyword research tool can tell you the search volume of specific keywords, which can give you an idea of how competitive it is. The more competitive a keyword is, the harder it will be for new websites to rank high in that keyword’s SERPs. You can expect general terms like “fashion” or “electronics” to be dominated by the big players in that industry.
However, the good news is that general keywords often have a low purchase intent. Longer keywords are less competitive but the users who search them are much more likely to convert. Someone who does a Google search for “Crayola white air dry clay” is more likely to buy than someone who searches for “clay”. When you’re drafting your list of keywords, focus on longer keywords that still have a decent search volume. You should also target keywords relevant to your business. Targeting relevant keywords means you’re more likely to be found by your intended customer.
- Website optimization
eCommerce SEO experts say that one of the major criteria of SERP rankings is the user experience the website provides. The better the user experience, the higher the website will rank. A good user experience naturally comes from having an optimized website. This means your website must have:
- Quick loading times. Users nowadays expect pages to load in 3 seconds or less.
- A stylish and modern design. 38% of users claim to stop browsing a website if the design is unattractive.
- A clean layout. Online shopping is a largely visual experience, so if your site layout is messy, users won’t be enticed to buy your products.
- Intuitive and smooth navigation. If any of your links are broken or misleading, it will disrupt the user’s browsing experience and they might abandon your website in frustration.
- Updated security. Since an eCommerce site requests sensitive information like credit card details and shipping address, users won’t shop on a site that isn’t secure.
- Good content. Content is a great way to engage with your users and keep them coming back. It’s also how you can target keywords for SEO. Incorporate keywords into the body or title of your blog posts or videos to match with user searches. Tackle topics relevant to your business and your users. For cosmetics brands, you can upload makeup tutorials using your latest collection. For home improvement companies, you can write instructional articles on DIY repairs.
A professional web design agency can audit your site and identify any problem areas you can address. Remember that your website is the digital equivalent of your physical store, so if it doesn’t offer a good user experience, you can’t expect customers to stay, much less buy anything.
The era of desktops has come and gone. Now, people largely use their mobile devices to access the Internet. This means that your eCommerce site needs to cater to mobile users. Ensure your website has a responsive design so that it displays properly regardless of the screen resolution. You can also take it a step further by developing a mobile website or app. Having a mobile-friendly site also boosts your SEO efforts as search engines are prioritizing sites that are compatible with mobile devices.
What you need to know about SEO is that it will take months to a year to get tangible results. The most effective way to launch your eCommerce site is by combining various strategies. While you’re waiting for your eCommerce SEO campaign to bear fruit, you can take advantage of social media, email marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, etc. What you learn from these other strategies can also help boost your SEO efforts.