How E-commerce SEO Can Help Bring Customers to your Store

The ins and outs of doing business are constantly changing, and those changes are happening faster than ever, thanks to the internet. At one time, having a brick-and-mortar store with a nice sign out front, an anchor store, and an ad or two in the local newspaper was considered enough for your business to survive, if not grow. But now, having a strong online presence is mandatory, regardless of whether you only have a physical store or an e-commerce store, or both. The pandemic showed us how quickly companies must navigate the commerce world and how those with an online presence were able to act nimbly to transform between physical and virtual stores. The internet also means you face increased competition from companies around the globe and outside your region. Instead of just reaching a few thousand people in your immediate geographical area you must now reach millions of people, billions even, just to compete with them! And, without e-commerce SEO services to help your business rank when prospective customers search for products like yours, you’re simply not going to survive.

start search onlineWhy you need e-commerce SEO

While a brick-and-mortar store can still be a fine investment, many successful companies don’t even bother with one and migrate directly onto the internet, where their website is their only storefront. As you can see in the image above, e-commerce sales are predicted to continue to grow, especially after the big push provided by the economic shutdown during the pandemic.

We also see a change in user behavior. Most users now start their product search online rather than browsing store shelves for options that solve their problems. And you know from your own browsing behavior that you don’t bother going beyond the first page when searching for alternatives unless you need something highly specialized. Instead, you select an option that shows up near the top of the search results.

How do you get your links into those coveted positions where users actually click? Well, you use SEO or search engine optimization.

How SEO works

To understand SEO ranking factors, let’s take a step back to look at how the ranking process works. Here’s a visual to help you.

SEO
What is SEO, and how does it impact your business performance?
  1. You post a piece of content, such as a landing page, on your website
  2. A little snippet of code we call a bot scans the internet and finds your new content
  3. It looks for keywords to determine what your content is about. This is the first cut when it comes to showing your content.
  4. Your content goes into a massive database categorized by your keywords.
  5. A rank is determined based on how well your content performs against the ranking algorithm (more on this later)
  6. When a user enters a query, Google or whatever search engine they use attempts to interpret their intent. In other words, the search engine (now powered by AI) tries to figure out what the user is looking for.
  7. The search engine first looks for keywords that reflect user intent and then produces a rank-ordered list of results that match those keywords.

SEO ranking factors

Search engines use a set of ranking factors embedded in an algorithm. The major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing all apply a search page ranking based on your SEO scores. To make sure your online storefront is scoring at its highest capability, it’s critical to pay very close attention to your posted content to make sure it is properly optimized. Put the focus on your product pages and your SEO-optimized product descriptions by creating a blog or running your site through a technical audit. To ensure your store’s website achieves the highest rankings on search engine results pages, it needs to be optimized to give you the optimum results that ultimately spell profit for your brand!

The Google ranking algorithm uses an estimated 200 factors along with weights assigned to the various factors to create this rank-ordered list. Among the most influential factors (those with the highest weights) are:

  • engagement on social media, which is a surrogate for value
  • number of backlinks and the quality of these backlinks, which also represent perceived value
  • other indicators of value such as time on site, bounce rate, pages viewed, etc.
  • a secure website
  • page load speed
  • good user experience, including navigation
  • mobile friendliness
  • content optimization, such as using your keyword in headings and within the content, images, etc.

Many of these companies offering e-commerce have access to an amazing number of digital tools to help them sell their goods and services. It can admittedly be a bit daunting to choose the ones most valuable to your operation at first, if only because of the bewildering variety of choices, but there is help available! If you are interested in starting up your business on the World Wide Web, make it easy on yourself by engaging the services of an e-commerce SEO agency that has all the know-how and cutting-edge tech tools in place to get you up and running in style! They can help you get the most out of your investment by ensuring that your internet storefront is easy to find by interested potential customers!

There are so many tools you can use to succeed on the international internet marketplace that it would be impossible to cover them all in one go, so today, we will focus on just one of the most useful and guaranteed to succeed: e-commerce SEO!

What is e-commerce SEO

So, what exactly is e-commerce SEO?

A web page with a higher ranking is going to receive more traffic, as I discussed earlier. While it is possible to achieve great results with pay-per-click ads, SEO gives you the opportunity to draw in highly relevant user traffic that converts at a higher rate than any other marketing tactic except email marketing.

All of these ranking factors affect your SEO and how your web storefront ranks in search engine results pages like Google’s. Let’s now examine more closely some key components you can use to create a successful e-commerce SEO strategy so you can reach and stay at the top of those results!

Where to focus your SEO efforts for the best results

As you can see in the image below, organic traffic is your largest source of traffic to your e-commerce store. And, organic traffic is a direct result of SEO because your content shows up in a position where it garners clicks.

e-commerce SEO
Image courtesy of Marketing Insider Group

Technical Setup—There are many different ways to optimize the technical aspects of your internet storefront. Some good examples are page speed, HTTPS, mobile friendliness, and submitting your XML sitemap, which Google uses for its index. Ensure Google detects when you update your content and you can resubmit pages to get them reindexed quickly.

Content – The name of the game is content optimization. Producing fresh, valuable content on a consistent basis has the biggest impact on your rank. Here are some things to keep in mind as you produce content, especially on pages critical for your success, such as your landing pages.

  • Longer posts outperform shorter posts. Aim for 900+ words, although most content in the first position features 2000+ words.
  • Include your keywords in your content, especially in your headings, subheadings, meta descriptions, and alt tags used to define images.
  • Focus on informing and entertaining with your content. Don’t over-promote.
  • Include a few images and lists to make your content scannable

Link Building—It’s important to consider the internal links within your website as well as any external links from outside sources coming in and going out. You have to be able to properly manage all other resources that link back to your site for authority. If you can choose the right sources and, best of all, get cited as a trusted resource by another organization, your brand’s reputation and credibility get a boost in rankings. Creating infographics and custom images and focusing on adding value are great ways to gain backlinks. Also, consider guest posting.

User Experience – One of the ways Google and other search engines (yes, there are still others!) determine what sites will achieve what rank and what order is by leveraging user statistics. These indicators that your site provides a good customer experience can include bounce rate (negative), time spent on page, load time, repeat visits, and more. The questions they seek to answer are “Can their search engine users find what they are searching for on your site?” and “Is your website’s information reliable?” If Google and its competitors can answer those with a “Yes,” then your site might find itself on the coveted first page of results and maybe even achieve the holy grail of SEO, top-of-the-page ranking!

Conclusion

Using e-commerce SEO to drive more traffic to your internet storefront is one of the best ways to create a natural increase in your profits. For more information on e-commerce in Australia, including guidelines, visit The Treasury’s website. The internet is wide open for business, so don’t let yours get left behind, invest in a solid e-commerce SEO strategy today so you can reap the rewards tomorrow, and every day after!

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