E-commerce is continuing to rise as a major facet of the retail market with plenty of room for growth. According to the US Census Bureau, e-commerce only accounts for 8% of retails sales. Plus, statistics show that most internet users are buying products online. Therefore, if 2018 is the year you decide to join the e-commerce world, you are making a wise decision.
If you are new to B2C e-commerce, you may stumble and believe that simply purchasing and using marketing techniques and tools will result in big earnings. Yet, if you do not employ the right SEO strategies, you are heading right into the danger zone. You don’t start an e-commerce business hoping to fail. SEO, or search engine optimization, is a key component of e-commerce success – and one you will not succeed without.
Distinguishing between E-commerce SEO and Other Types
SEO is the strategy used to help a website move up higher in the search engine rankings. Why does this matter? Studies show that most internet users do not go beyond the first five results on the search engine results page (SERP). In short, if your e-commerce results do not appear in the top of the SERP, you will not be making the money you should be making. This is where a solid SEO strategy comes in.
SEO is traditionally a combination of website design, content, and optimization designed to take you to the top of the search results. The experts key into the ever-changing Google algorithm to try to make your website one of the first potential buyers find when they are searching for the products your business offers.
However, e-commerce SEO is slightly different than standard SEO. For instance, a standard website will use SEO to gain more site traffic, which will hopefully lead to more traffic through their actual doors. Since e-commerce exists without a brick and mortar shop, SEO exists to drive more traffic and sales. E-commerce SEO, when implemented correctly, will result in a higher ranking ensuring more traffic and better business.
Nailing the Basics of E-commerce SEO
The trick with e-commerce lies in selling the product to the customer. Since the customer does not have access to the physical product, it is up to the seller to provide a clear picture of the item. With e-commerce, this means using descriptive SEO targeted product descriptions, exceptional photographs, and effective comparisons.
However, a strategic SEO plan should also be implemented. When it comes to product descriptions and comparisons, your content should integrate SEO keywords strategically. Additionally, images should include the best “alt text” content, as this is how Google “views” images on websites.
Yes – You Need to Do an Audit
Once the initial e-commerce site is developed and running, you need to do an audit. Do not let the term scare you – no one is coming after you. With a website audit, the audit team is reviewing the website to indicate any potential flaws or issues that might hurt your site traffic and is looking for ways to improve your site overall. Hiring a professional to do an audit of your site means you will end up with an effective digital marketing strategy and a well-designed site that will generate more sales.
Keyword Strategies That Will Lead to More Sales
Keywords for e-commerce are slightly different. Essentially, owners must focus on “buyer intent.” When the buyer goes to the computer, what terms will he use for searching for the products?
For instance, each e-commerce has a niche. But, beyond that niche, there are also individual products that they want to be sold. For instance, a pet store sells pet supplies. However, the pet store also wants computer users to find their site when they look for a particular pet item such as dog leashes.
Begin by doing your own research. Look at your competitors and the keyword searches that bring you to their site. Look at their products and their products descriptions. Another way to come up with keywords for e-commerce is to head to Amazon. Simply by placing in the first term such as “educational,” it will use autofill to provide you multiple suggestions from popular searches such as “educational toys for 2-year-olds.” Use these long tail keywords to help you beat the competitors.
Your Site Architecture Should Be Designed with the User in Mind
Your e-commerce site must be designed with the user in mind. It needs to have a simple user interface and be as easy to navigate as possible. Users should be able to get to the products they are interested in no more than 3 clicks. If the user must click more than 3 times to get to the product, you will quickly lose their attention (and their business).
Your Site Absolutely Must Be Optimized for Mobile Devices
In 2018, if your site is not optimized for mobile devices, you can count on losing business. Not only will you lose customers if they cannot view the site on their mobile devices, Google will notice. As One SEO explains, “Google favors websites that are mobile-friendly.”
Speed Up Your Site Before You Lose Potential Buyers
Additionally, if your site is slow, you will also lose customers. A Radware study in the UK and the US show that the majority of shoppers name slowness as the number one reason for not completing a purchase. Do not let your site speed keep you from increasing revenue.
The Little Things Do Matter
Do not get lazy when it comes to the little things because they do matter – in a big way. Adding the keyword to the URL, the title (or the H1 heading), the image alt text, and throughout the text will improve your overall SEO. Thus, improving your ranking in the SERP and increasing your site traffic.
Your Content Must be Exceptional
Finally, while it may seem easy to dismiss the importance of content on an e-commerce site since you are primarily selling goods, content is still essential. Content includes the product descriptions, reviews, comparisons, and blogs. If your site provides the audience with content and products they can trust, you will build a long-term clientele. This is the reason why blogs are just as important in 2018 as they were in 2008.