It's no secret that the majority of businesses online work within an eCommerce framework: a company has products or services to sell and customers who want to purchase them in a few simple clicks. But regardless of the demographics of your clientele, eCommerce SEO strategies are crucial for boosting sales and attracting new customers.
Today, we'll delve into eCommerce search engine optimization and how your business can leverage these insights to grow your customer base and revenue.
The Ultimate Guide to eCommerce Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Considering the sheer number of websites that exist, all vying for attention, one of the toughest hurdles is getting seen on search engine results pages. You have to do everything possible to ensure that customers are exposed to your products or services and can find you when they search. You can have the best website in the world, but it doesn't mean anything if people don't know about you.
Most people (92%) lean towards Google as their search engine of choice, so it's essential that you target the keywords potential customers search. That way, your website, and your content appear as relevant answers to their questions. If you want to be ranked near the top, you'll have to focus on SEO best practices.
Keep in mind that Google doesn't reveal exactly how their algorithm ranks websites since many aspects of the ranking system for organic search results are confidential, but they've revealed enough to help SEO experts put together a list of best practices.
Know Your Business Inside Out
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it is a crucial part of improving your eCommerce website and your SEO. By knowing your products or services, you'll be able to determine your target audience. Then, it's just a matter of learning more about your audience and how to appeal to them.
Visitors want the content they're presented with to be relevant to their searches. No matter what demographic those customers fit into, they will not purchase your product or read your posts unless you provide them with answers that solve their immediate query.
Like any goal, your business goals should follow the rules of being specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound, or SMART.
Setting goals help you measure your progress and test out whether new marketing strategies are making headway or you need to tweak some things. They also provide a source of motivation and clarity since you know what you're trying to achieve and can plan accordingly.
Remember, goals can be adjusted. When you achieve one, take some time to celebrate the win and then reconfigure it for your next step. On the other hand, if you exceed the time limit you set for yourself without achieving the goal, it's time to rethink the bounds. Is the goal too far-fetched?
If it is, try starting with a smaller or more limited goal and going from there. However, suppose you didn't reach the goal because of unpredictable events or external influences unlikely to happen again. In that case, you could consider keeping the goal and extending the time limit.
One of the best ways to get a sense of doing business is to watch your competitors. Look for companies who have existed in the space for long enough to become established and see what they're doing right.
You won't want to copy every aspect of their strategy, but if you notice that many companies in your industry do things a certain way, there's probably a good reason why.
Identify Target Keywords
As you get to know your business and your customers better, you'll start to find the keywords that should be connected with your company. (Tools to help you do keyword research include Google Keyword Planner, SpyFu, and others.) With the right keywords, you generate more traffic and drive more conversions by capitalizing on their high search volume.
You'll want to ensure that your keyword research is relevant to your company, products, and content. However, you don't want your keywords to be too vague because you may receive clicks from people who are looking for something else entirely. This can theoretically hurt your search rankings if users do not find the information they are looking for as search engine knowledge graphs note that your links are not being clicked when returned in search results. The search engines will also take your bounce rate into account.
Additionally, always check the competitiveness of the keywords you pick. If you're competing against industry giants or tons of websites using the same keyword ideas, your company might never rise in the rankings and domain authority of search engines to become visible enough to attract customers.
However, be careful about overusing keywords. Google penalizes websites to rank lower when they repeat the same keywords over and over again instead of using content marketing to implement natural-sounding content that adds value for their readers.
Make Your Website Simple and Straightforward
The most important part of your website, once potential customers have found it, is to ensure your eCommerce site is easy to navigate. You want your site's architecture to make it easy for customers to find what they're looking for without wasting time with unhelpful search results or pages that take forever to load in.
When you have a website that users can interact with, they'll feel more connected to your ecommerce site and your content. This can be in the form of leaving reviews for products or services, having chat forums to answer questions, or other ways for your users to connect with others on your platform.
Natural Language Searches
When your customers have questions, they don't want to figure out the right combination of keywords to find the FAQ or answer page they need. They want to ask questions naturally, as they would to another human being. If you have an AI-powered site search engine that processes natural language, you'll make it easier for customers to find what they need in less time.
Generate Useful Blog Content
Blogs are extremely helpful for customers and brands in a number of ways. For customers, they are a way to understand the company and get a feel for what they're trying to achieve with their products or services. This humanizing element is a good way for customers to connect with brands on a more personal level.
However, the main purpose of blogs is to boost awareness of your brand and use keywords, link building, backlinks, technical SEO, and internal links to increase the chances of a customer stumbling upon your website. For instance, you can use Google keyword planner to research your product's name and generate a keyword list for your specific products or services.
Blogs can also incorporate keywords that might not otherwise have a place on your online store or in your product pages and category pages but are related enough to produce relevant and organic traffic.
Additionally, blogs can provide answers to questions or tutorials for using products. This information is valuable to customers because it saves them the hassle of calling your support center, and it saves your company in overhead costs.
Long-tail keywords are searches that involve more than a single word. People often use them to find specific products or services online when they've done a little bit of research. By discovering which long-tailed keywords fit with your products, you can also boost recognition by creating blogs that address those phrases.
Naming your blog or your first header after those long-tailed keywords is a great way to improve your rankings in search engines and directly address your customers' needs.
Learn the Customer Buying Cycle
There are five stages of the customer buying cycle, and you'll need to recognize them and how they should be encouraged to drive conversions.
- Awareness – this is the first stage when a customer realizes that they need something. They'll start to look around for their options, and your website needs to appear.
- Research – in the second stage, customers begin doing their research on their options. Customers often start looking at websites, maybe reading a few blogs, or checking product reviews.
- Comparison – the third stage is an extension of the second, but the customer has narrowed down their options to a few stores. These keyword searches will ask for direct comparisons between your store or product and a competitor.
- Purchase – the fourth stage is when the customer makes their purchase. At this point, you don't need the strong calls-to-action since the customer has already decided to buy; just make the buying process simple.
- Retention – this stage encompasses everything that happens after the purchase. You'll want to ensure you give the customer a fantastic experience, so they'll want to come back in the future.
Understanding search engine optimization is a crucial part of succeeding as an eCommerce store. Using keywords and blog posts to draw customers to your website and rank high in searches is the best way to spread the word about your products or services. Once they're in, be sure to have a straightforward website that directly answers their needs, and you have the makings of greatness.
Contact us today to learn more about boosting sales and attracting more customers to your website.