eCommerce SEO refers to the organic (natural) process of making your eCommerce website rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). When you search for something on Google, for example “running shoes for women”, you’ll be taken to the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) which looks like this:
Nike, Footlocker and Adidas appeared on the top three spots in the organic listings. This means that out of millions of web pages possible related to “running shoes for women”, Google determined based on its search algorithms, that these eCommerce platforms were the most relevant to your search query.
Improved position in search results is every brand’s goal. Consider these statistics on how a first page ranking impacts an online store:
- com reported that high ranking websites acquire 36.4% of the traffic which isn’t available to lower ranked competitor sites. Traffic comes from the influx of site visitors who land on your website as a result of organic search results.
- A website ranked #1 on Google SERPs has an average click-through rate (CTR) of 31.7 %. Every time a website moves up a notch in search results, the CTRs increase by 30.8 %.
- Among websites listed in Google’s first page SERPS, the top three ranked websites get the highest number of click-through rates: 31% for #1 ranked website, 14% for #2 ranked website and 10% for #3 ranked website.
- 6% of ecommerce orders are directly tied to organic traffic
- According to ad network Chikita, websites on Google’s first page SERPs obtain 92% of search traffic. Traffic drop tremendously on the second page by 95%.
Why eCommerce SEO is Relevant to my Online Business?
With all its wonders, why do online retailers still neglect SEO? It‘s simple: some are impatient and want immediate results, which isn’t what SEO is about. SEO is a long-term strategy. Rankings improvement takes months. Preference for paid search is understandable, except that you’ll have to spend more for visibility on search results page. You bid for keywords and pay for every click on your ads. The bigger the campaign scale, the bigger the marketing budget required for its implementation.
Here’s the caveat: once you stop paying for the ads, results dwindle. Your brand’s visibility on SERPs plummets, so do your sales. eCommerce SEO comes in handy at this point. It yields the highest ROI amongst other digital marketing campaigns while leveling the playing field for big brands and SMEs.
SEO generates quality traffic at lesser costs. In fact, based on Nielsen’s study on 1.4 billion searches, users tend to click on organic results on Google and Bing than paid ads. 94% of respondents overwhelmingly clicked on organic listings while only 6% clicked on paid ads. A Forrester Consumer Technographics survey also showed that 49% of consumers rely on organic search to make informed purchase decisions. One thing is clear: The bulk of sales come from traffic generated by SEO.
SEO is time-consuming, but worth it. If done right, eCommerce SEO can get you that highly coveted first page rankings. Investment in SEO reaps long-term rewards: Greater visibility atop SERPs creates high quality traffic, which then leads to sales. Higher sales mean higher consumer interest. Unlike in paid search where results are co-terminous with spending, SEO’s traffic is sustainable. Optimised websites draw traffic and generate revenues even after the launch of an SEO campaign. This saves you precious money in the long run.
Content Marketing as a Crucial Aspect of eCommerce SEO
An important cornerstone of eCommerce SEO campaign is content marketing. As Forbes puts it: SEO is the body, content marketing is the soul. The substance of content marketing is the use of valuable and relevant content to drive profitable consumer action.
So you ask, “how do I start an effective content marketing strategy?” “What content do I publish for my targeted niches?” Here are some useful tips:
- Interactive Content
Content Marketing Institute’s latest research showed that almost 46% of marketers prefer using interactive content to engage audiences. Among its benefits are higher engagement rates, consumer data collection and brand loyalty.Interactive content allows the audience to enjoy and interact with your content, not just consume it. Interactive content makes participants think and respond – whether it involves answering questions, exploring scenarios or making choices. When audiences are captivated from beginning to end, brand retention is likely.
Sephora is a good example. Its “Virtual Artist” encourages users to do a product try-on, find their desired shade of make-up, and know what looks nice on them.
Another great example is Marriott’s interactive assessment which helps users plan a family trip, depending on activities they like.
- Blog Writing
A Content Marketing Institute survey showed that more than half of business owners viewed blogs as a critical component of their content marketing strategy.Additionally, Hubspot found that eCommerce websites with active blogs have 434% more indexed pages those without blogs. More pages indexed means better visibility in SERPs. Those with blogs also generate 88% more leads and 57% more paying customers than their non-blogging competitors. Thanks to blogging, Shopify increased its number of paying customers by 55%, with their revenues pegged at $389 million.
In a crowded online marketplace, blogging gives you a significant advantage over non-blogging competitors. Consumers naturally gravitate to brands with in-depth understanding of their products and consumer needs. Of late, many brands rely on how-to blog posts because they work well. Take a look at Gillette’s How to Shave Your Face article:
Or Adidas’ How to Clean your shoes article:
As you can see, a common factor among these blog posts is that they seek to answer queries and provide meaningful advice to their audiences in an interesting way.
Blogging isn’t writing half-hearted or uninspired content just for the sake. Churning out one article after another won’t do the trick. It’s finding ways to resolve challenges experienced by your intended audience.
If blogging seems overused to you, brand storytelling is an effective alternative. Just look at the statistics:People remember compelling stories. Whenever a story appeals to emotions, it sticks to your audiences. Storytelling presents an opportunity to create a genuine bond and make them understand the lifestyle of your brand and how your products can add value to their lives. Here’s a look at some brands that have resorted to brand storytelling, and succeeded at it:
Cooler brand Yeti regularly publishes top quality web videos of people living their outdoor lifestyle. It positions its brands as a crucial element of any great outdoor adventure, not through hard selling but by highlighting the different attributes of the brand in each story told. Yeti’s story entitled “My Mom Vala” featured a single mom who runs a fishing business and raises her 9 year old daughter at the same time. The story exemplified toughness and resilience, which resonates the qualities of YETI products. The result? Increased sales revenues for YETI’s pricey coolers.
Some brands have also used storytelling to express brand philosophy, or social views. Gillette’s brand story “We Believe” focused on defeating toxic masculine traits leading to sexual harassment and bullying. While it’s easier for brands to remain apolitical to avoid controversy, Gillette’s gutsy move paid dividends – the ad has sparked conversation among consumers, generated press coverage and garnered over 33 million views.
Content marketing, in a nutshell, is about providing user-focused content that inspires and creates memorable experiences for audiences. Sending the right messages to the right people is not just the right move – it’s already a crucial step to brand awareness and customer patronage.
Eager to launch your brand’s content marketing campaign? We have content specialists who can help you jumpstart. Grow your brand’s online presence; get in touch with us today.