You might have heard or seen the term “SEO” a lot in the online industry, social media and many unsolicited emails you get every day. If you don’t know what is SEO then you will understand the basics of SEO after reading this post.
Every shop needs customers who buy from that shop. In traditional brick and mortar establishments, the numbers of customers were limited to a specific area.
The competition was also very less because of the very few shops selling the same or similar products in the vicinity.
But, with eCommerce, a business can sell its products globally and could have millions of customers.
But, at the same time competition is also very high because of the thousands of other eCommerce shops selling similar or same products.
So, technically the eCommerce shops that appear on top of the Search engine result pages get clicks from the customers and get sales. Whereas, those which couldn’t make it to the top search results either have to advertise or suffer poor or no sales.
Now the question is how competition eCommerce stores can make it to top search results and not you? So, the answer is simple, they have done SEO better than you.
What is SEO?
Let’s begin with an example to make it better understandable.
Imagine that your potential customer search for the products (mountain trekking gear) you sell in Google and gets about 2,48,00,000 search results. But, that potential customer clicks on the first result and buys the mountain trekking gear he was looking for.
That’s good because he could easily find and buy what he was looking for. But, the bad thing is – he didn’t buy that trekking gear from your site, because he couldn’t see your site in the search results on Google. In fact, your shop wasn’t even on the first page results to be noticed by that customer.
And that happens because of SEO. Your competitor who appears on the first page of the search results has done their SEO that’s why they gain the top positions in Search Engines and hence attract customers and sell their products to them.
SEO helps increase the organic search traffic to your website. This way SEO connects your website to the prospective customers who are searching online for the products your website offers.
Many studies found that the first organic search results get over 73% of the total traffic on the internet. More than 66% of online sales happen on the sites which rank on the top three positions of search engine result pages.
Is SEO a Future Proof Investment?
SEO is the backbone of the entire online business. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it helps the websites rank better in the search engines.
Top ranking websites gain the trust of the customers and also get much more sales than the website those don’t get those top ranks.
If SEO is done right the websites maintain the top ranks forever in the search engine result pages. And hence keep getting conversions from the search engine organic traffic.
Needless to say that SEO helps save you a lot on the paid ads because SEO already ranks your website on top. Paid Ads also do the same thing – show your website on top of the search engine results.
But, it vanishes as soon as you pause your ads. Plus Ads are quite expensive as there are lots of businesses competing to get that top position on the search engine results. More you pay a more prominent position you get on the paid ad listings.
SEO, on the other hand, stays forever if it is monitored and maintained. SEO has been the essence of search engine rankings from the very beginning of the search engines.
Still, search engine algorithms are designed to provide the users with the best and most relevant results based on their search intent. Hence, it is clearly evident that SEO is not going to be finished ever.
SEO is a complex process and takes time to make a website rank on the top of the search engines. No one can cheat their way to make it to the top of the search results.
However, some people and companies promise to deliver fast results which are nearly impossible to do in an ethical way. Also, you should know that doing black hat SEO is unethical and often results in the blacklisting of the domain in search engines.
You should be careful while hiring the person or company to do the SEO for you. We will talk about that later in this post.
Why an e-commerce Business Need SEO the Most?
Though every website on the internet is built for people to visit it and SEO does that for those websites. But, eCommerce websites need it more than any other website.
Because they have relatively high competition in terms of driving traffic, growing up their customer database and increasing sales. That’s how eCommerce businesses survive and grow.
Amazon, alibaba, ebay, and every other eCommerce business grew because of SEO. I know these are big global brands, but they also started small.
Even the smaller eCommerce companies need SEO to stay ahead of their competition. SEO not helps gain top ranks for a website but also builds trust among customers, prospects, and vendors.
With SEO, you can target your customers by determining what terms they use while searching for the products you offer. You can target them not only locally, but also internationally. That’s what SEO can do for your businesses – connect you to your customers and win their trust.
How SEO Works?
As you know that SEO is a marketing technique that helps to grow your business by making it visible to your customers when they look for the products you sell online.
But, as I said earlier SEO is a complex process and it requires a strategy to get results from it. So, first, you need to set SMART objectives. SMART is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.
Once you have set your SMART objectives you can put your efforts and focus on things to achieve those objectives through SEO.
For instance, your objective could be to create brand awareness, achieve a revenue target, increase your ROI, acquire more customers, or anything according to your business preference. And the best thing is that you can measure the results of your SEO efforts in quantifiable numbers.
Search is the number one source of driving traffic on the sites which are around 300 times more than other sources like social media, paid ads, referral, etc.
Is SEO a One Time Investment?
SEO is a constant process and requires constant monitoring of the trends, numbers, algorithm updates, competitor’s activities, content demand in the market, new keywords or keyword updates and a lot more.
Technically, SEO needs to be monitored and kept updated in conformance to the search engine algorithms and content demands of your audience.
So, something which is constantly going on needs constant investment in terms of efforts and resources. If you have hired someone to do the SEO for you then you need to pay them for their services.
But, still, it’s a more sustainable, cost-effective, and long-term business investment you will make. Also, it is way cheaper than the paid ads and other paid channels and delivers better results for a long time.
Hence, investing in SEO is worth. And as an eCommerce business owner, you should not ignore it. Or you might never be able to see the full potential of your eCommerce business.
Why SEO Take a Long Time to Deliver Results?
SEO doesn’t yield results instantly like paid advertisements. With paid ads, you may start seeing the results in 10-15 minutes of your campaign launch.
That’s because paid ads are shown on top of the search result pages where people searching for those terms click and transact. Whereas SEO has to deal with a lot of challenges to earn you those top ranks organically.
What are those challenges which SEO expert has to deal with to bring your website on top of the search results?
As you know SEO is a complex process and it takes time to give results. Let’s see what those challenges are.
In online businesses competition is relatively very high. Big and established players rank good on the search engines. And for a new entrant competing with the established players is difficult.
Google and other search engines rank the websites based on algorithms that consider over 200 different factors to award top ranks.
Needless to say, that to get top place in the search engines your website needs to meet the maximum of the criteria from the 200 signals of search engine ranking algorithms.
Now to compete with the established players you need to surpass them. SEO experts put together an SEO strategy after doing a lot of research and analysis. It can help you beat your competitors and take your website on top of search engine result pages.
Doing all of that takes time and sometimes it takes up to two or maybe three years. Expecting to get results in less than 3 months is too soon for new companies competing against the established big players in the same industry.
Link building is one of the major ranking factors considered by the search engines to rank a website. Technically link building means getting endorsements from other websites that talk about you and add your website link on their website.
Links from high Domain Authority sites have more value than the low authority sites. However, getting links from High Authority websites is not easy. The Domain Authority is measured by the age, popularity, and size of the website.
So, to get better links from your competition you need to analyze all their backlinks and try to get better and more links than them to rank higher than them on the search engine result pages.
Content is the first and foremost requirement for the search engines to rank a website. Make sure you have original, informative and engaging content that your audience loves. Also, ensure that your content is well-optimized to be viewed on a mobile device.
Also, having the fresh content and website which keep updating their content gets a good ranking on search engines. Besides, you need to constantly keep producing original and quality content to keep up with your competition.
This also includes proper meta tags, descriptions, images, alt tags, image captions, click points, etc. Everything needs to be perfect and should follow the guidelines of Google and other search engines.
You need to have a mobile-optimized website so that the users who visit your website can access all the content and information they are looking for easily.
Also, a mobile responsive and mobile-optimized website is now one of the major ranking factors by the major search engines. Also, it makes complete sense to have a mobile responsive website considering that 79% of searches happen on a mobile device.
Avoid Getting Banned from Google
I have heard people saying that I can buy thousands of backlinks and rank in weeks, not in months. Even many SEO professionals seem to be talking such language. But, that’s a wrong practice and in such cases, Google bans your website.
Once Google bans your website recovering from their penalty is even tougher than accumulating organic backlinks ethically. Take your time and create quality backlinks from credible sources. That’s where SEO experts can help you do it slowly and organically.
Keeping Eye on Algorithm Updates and Keeping Your Website in accordance with the Update
Search engines constantly keep improving and updating their algorithm to serve the people better. So, you should follow all the changes in the algorithms and be prepared to be dropped down after each update. This is where the SEO experts help you keep your rankings stable by quickly adapting to the changes in the algorithm updates.
So, these are not the only challenges that an SEO expert has to deal with to rank a website on top of search engine result pages.
There are many other things that an SEO expert has to keep into consideration to keep your website always on top of the search engine result pages.
Now you see how time-consuming and complex process is SEO and why it takes a long time to get top search engine ranks organically. But, the results of SEO are amazing and are worth waiting for.
SEO Lies, You Should Be Aware Of?
There are a lot of lies that you may hear about SEO. You should keep yourself away from such lies and misconceptions. Here are some of the SEO Lies you should be aware of:
Guaranteed #1 Rank in a Month
Many people and SEO agencies claim to get you #1 rank for your website in search engines. That’s a lie. No one can guarantee you #1 rank in a month or two in search engines. If someone claims to do so you should be aware of that.
Do not get fooled by such people. SEO takes time and it doesn’t happen so soon. If someone tries to do it unethically using unfair practices might result in Google imposing a penalty on your website or completely banning. It leads to serious problems.
Shadow Domains and Redirects
Many people use shadow domains and redirect traffic to your website. This increases the traffic on your website but that traffic is irrelevant and also search engines can ban such sites from getting traffic from those questionable redirects.
You should keep an eye on the traffic patterns and also ask your SEO agency about any unusual traffic from questionable sites. You should be aware of this.
Thousands of Organic Backlinks in a Month or Two
You will find people and agencies offering to get you thousands of high-quality backlinks from high DA and PA sites in weeks or months. Do not get into that practice. It’s called link farming and Google bans such sites using link farming to make their own sites rank higher in the search engines. This will be an absolute waste of your money and also bad for your website.
How to Hire SEO Expert for Your eCommerce Website?
So now you understand the process of SEO. Also, you understand the importance of SEO for an eCommerce business. Now you want to know how to do SEO for your eCommerce Website. Let’s see how you can do that.
You have three options to choose from if you want to do SEO for your eCommerce Store.
- Hire individual SEO Expert
- Hire an SEO Agency
- Get in-house SEO Experts
Depending on your needs and budget you can choose from the above three options. But, still, keep an eye on the progress and set specific goals for your SEO.
Now after reading through the entire post you understand what SEO is. And, how important it is for your eCommerce Business. But, you need to make wise decisions, choose your SEO expert carefully and set SMART goals.
Keep monitoring the progress and make your eCommerce grow organically. SEO is a long-term but sustainable source of getting relevant traffic for your business. Hence, it is the best investment you make to your business growth.
The post What is SEO and What Does it Mean for eCommerce Businesses appeared first on Digitoly. Digitoly - Digital Marketing & Branding Consultancy authored by Krishan Kant Upadhyay