11 Things to Know Before Creating an SEO Strategy for Your eCommerce Brand
by Ron Dod
Home | Blog | 11 Things to Know Before Creating an SEO Strategy for Your eCommerce Brand
Are you seeking a new, effective method to help grow your eCommerce business and expand your brand to a different audience? Without a well-developed SEO strategy, your eCommerce site will have a difficult time ranking on Google, Bing or any other search engine, making it a challenge for your company to reach a new audience. Using an SEO strategy can boost your brand credibility, increase conversions and introduce your products to a new audience.
What Is SEO Strategy?
SEO (search engine optimization) is a type of digital marketing strategy that focuses on growing your website’s organic web traffic. Your site receives organic traffic when an internet user enters search terms (known as keywords) into a search engine and discovers your site as one of the most relevant answers to their query. Because SEO relies entirely on attracting organic traffic, your strategy must include methods for predicting which phrases people will search and helping search engines realize that your website fits this search.
SEO vs. PPC
The two major types of digital marketing, SEO and PPC address very different online marketing aspects. While SEO focuses on increasing organic traffic, PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns require eCommerce sites to bid money on keywords in order to populate at the top of the search results list. Keywords range in price for this service based on popularity.
You can identify the difference between paid and organic results as PPC campaigns are labeled on Google as a “sponsored result.” Using both SEO and PPC can be greatly beneficial to your business. PPC drives more immediate returns, while SEO is a long-term strategy to build brand awareness and search visibility. Ideally, you would want to create both an SEO and PPC strategy for optimal marketing results.
The Benefits of SEO
Trust and Credibility
The goal of any SEO campaign is to have your site rank as one of the top search results for a given keyword, as the first page of Google pulls in 92 percent of all search traffic. When your website appears at the beginning of the list, people are more likely to click your link because they trust your site’s answer. Most of this trust stems from people’s belief that the search engine is reputable, like Google, and that it will generate the best results. When your brand consistently ranks highly on Google, your company becomes associated with knowledge and credibility, which makes first-time customers feel more comfortable making a purchase from you.
More Cost Effective
In order to run a truly successful SEO campaign that will build your business, it helps immensely to have the advice of an eCommerce marketing expert. You can work with a team of digital marketers to determine specific SEO goals for your company and implement comprehensive strategies to help you reach these objectives. Although you will need to include this in your marketing budget, you will not need to pay for the advertising itself, lowering your overhead costs.
Targeting High-Quality Traffic
When you use paid advertising campaigns, the strategy revolves around taking your business to consumers while SEO is more about helping your potential customers discover you. Because your audience is searching for a term that has to do with your business, they are already interested in some aspect of your eCommerce store. Once you’ve ranked on the first page and you’re attracting shoppers, it’s up to your business to show consumers why your products are worth the transaction.
Increase in Sales
With the help of an SEO strategy team, you can easily track dozens of analytics and metrics related to your SEO efforts, which provide insight into your ROI. From this information, you can track when SEO strategies seem to increase conversions and replicate these results to continue raking in revenue. SEO analytical programs allow eCommerce marketing experts to see exactly how customers found your site and what steps they took before a transaction.
Create a Long-Term Plan
After first implementing a new SEO strategy, it takes a bit of time for Google to review your site’s pages and accurately rank your site based on keywords (sometimes, this process can take up to three months). But, once you’ve started to build credibility, Google will begin to recognize your site as an authority on certain searches, making it easier for your site to rank in the future. This is called domain authority, and it refers to how relevant your site is to a specific topic. For example, if you search for restaurants or bars in a certain location, you’ll likely find major websites like Yelp or TripAdvisor near the top of the list because Google recognizes that these sites are an authority on reviews and attract a high level of web traffic.
Important Elements of an SEO Strategy
Before creating an SEO strategy, familiarize yourself with terminology and components of any basic strategy plan. If you’ve never worked with SEO before, it can be a very overwhelming topic, which is why it’s recommended that you work alongside a marketing agency with a deeper understanding of SEO. Because of routine updates to the Google algorithm, SEO strategies and tactics often change at the drop of a hat to keep up with new requirements. Working with a team can help you address these necessary changes and stay on top of new updates as they are released.
The first and most important step in developing an SEO strategy is the keyword research stage. This process involves analyzing popular keywords that are applicable to your eCommerce business and determining a strategy for how you can rank for this search term. If you don’t have experience with keyword research, this can be tricky without the help of a marketing expert because there are many factors to consider before targeting a keyword- including the monthly search volume of that term and which other sites are already ranking for it.
Meta Tags and Descriptions
Creating meta tags and meta descriptions for each landing page, product page and content page is essential to helping Google identify what your website is about and whether or not it fulfills users’ search queries. Meta descriptions are the short summary that appears beneath a link’s page title when viewed on Google, and meta tags are part of the HTML code that makes up your site though they are not viewable for internet searches.
Content marketing and SEO typically go hand-in-hand because website content can focus on important keywords that help drive traffic to your website. Content marketing can take many forms, including photography, videos, social media and blogs. Blogs are often the most common type of content marketing for eCommerce businesses. Beneficial to both shop owners and consumers, this SEO strategy provides useful information to shoppers while also helping your site to rank better, therefore attracting more consumers to your site.
Another key component of SEO lies in link building, which are hyperlinks connecting shoppers to specific websites or other pages on your own site. In order to be viewed as a legitimate source by Google, you need to include both internal (links to your own site) and external (links to other websites) links. Internal linking is important to keep people on your site and hopefully guide them towards products they will purchase. External linking demonstrates to Google that your website is reliable as it signals that you are citing other sources within your own writing.
Use SEO Strategy to Expand Your eCommerce Business
Without attracting new shoppers to your business and fostering strong relationships with current customers, you’ll have a difficult time growing your business. Implementing a strong SEO strategy along with content marketing efforts is a long-term approach to building your brand’s credibility and recognition.
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Ronald Dod is the Chief Marketing Officer and Co-founder of Visiture, an end-to-end eCommerce marketing agency focused on helping online merchants acquire more customers through the use of search engines, social media platforms, marketplaces, and their online storefronts. His passion is helping leading brands use data to make more effective decisions in order to drive new traffic and conversions.