As the world around us becomes more and more dependent on the internet, so too, do businesses of all sizes. This can be beneficial for small companies, as a shift towards e-commerce can easily help increase profits. But how is a small company supposed to compete with their corporate counterparts, who oftentimes have far more resources to dedicate to their web presence?
Thankfully, search engine optimization, more commonly referred to as SEO, is a simple tool that can help small businesses e-commerce businesses compete in the growing digital economy. So, just how does SEO work, and how can it help to benefit e-commerce businesses in the broader market?
What is SEO?
Put simply, search engine optimization is the act of gaining web traffic to your company’s website or e-commerce store from search engines. Think of SEO as a “hack” that can allow even the smallest businesses to develop a high level of traffic to their website in a very short amount of time. As search engines depend on a computer program called an algorithm to determine the most relevant sites for each search, SEO is all about convincing this computer program that your small business can help to satisfy a customer’s needs.
How Can SEO Help My E-Commerce Business?
As mentioned briefly above, SEO can allow small e-commerce startups to compete with the biggest brands in the world. Regardless of your company’s size or product, investing in a great search engine optimization strategy is a powerful tool that can assist in driving new customers to your site. This increased web traffic frequently means more opportunities to make sales, which presents small businesses with a fantastic growth opportunity. In other words, think of SEO as a form of internet marketing that is capable of creating new customers at a fraction of the cost that is typically required from traditional marketing approaches.
What Does Successful E-Commerce SEO Typically Involve?
At its core, a successful e-commerce SEO strategy depends on three significant factors:
- Relevant Content: Adding lots of content on your website that is directly related to your product or service can significantly increase your position within the search engines. A great place to start is with a blog focused on your industry or business sector.
- Develop Authority: SEO is quite interesting, as it takes things that are done outside a company’s website into account as well. In short, this means that posting content like links to other relevant sites, sales of your own product or service, and integrating your own social media feeds into your website can help to convince search engines that you are a trustworthy and authoritative voice in your field.
- Website Optimization: Believe it or not, there is a lot of “behind-the-scenes” work that can be done to improve your website’s search rankings. Commonly referred to as “SEO technical optimization,” this practice can be quickly learned from any number of free resources on the topic available on the web.
These aspects form the basis of any strong e-commerce SEO campaign, but there are numerous other approaches that business owners can take to maximize their return on investment. With this in mind, let’s explore some often-overlooked factors that can make-or-break an SEO campaign.
What Are Some Overlooked SEO Factors?
Search engine optimization can be as simple or complex as one wants to make it. Unfortunately, we have seen far too many e-commerce business owners take the easy way out and dedicate little time to developing their SEO marketing strategies. While attempts at SEO can fail for many reasons, it is typically due to the absence of a few key factors.
Before highlighting these shortcomings, we want to strongly encourage our readers to consider implementing these facets of SEO into their own campaigns. E-commerce marketing is a game of extremely slim margins, and as such, it is the little details that can mean the difference between capitalizing on the power of SEO or squandering an excellent marketing opportunity.
- Making Your E-Commerce Site Mobile Friendly: All too often, e-commerce looks great on a desktop, but are barely usable on mobile devices. As mobile devices have accounted for the majority of internet searches over the past couple of years, your company’s ranking will inevitably fall if it is not mobile friendly. Long story short, if your e-commerce site isn’t optimized for mobile, then it is effectively irrelevant in the eyes of Google’s algorithms, and your sales will undoubtedly suffer as a result.
- Great E-Commerce Websites Are Secure Websites: In today’s digital environment, being able to broadcast the fact that your e-commerce website is secure is a key facet to success. In fact, the ownership of an SSL certificate, which is a crucial marker of website security, is one of the main ranking criteria that Google weighs when indexing e-commerce websites. In fact, Google Chrome and other web browsers will now warn users if the web page they are visiting is not SSL certified, which can easily cause your budding business to lose valuable customers. In the end, a robust e-commerce site must be secure, or its sales will quickly disappear.
- Failing to Supplement SEO With Social Media Marketing: SEO is undoubtedly a robust tool for driving potential customers to your e-commerce storefront, but it is all for naught if such strategies are not paired with great social media marketing. Believe it or not, the increased traffic from social selling platforms like Facebook and Instagram helps to boost your search rank, which proves that social media marketing is one of the most overlooked aspects of e-commerce SEO. Active social media will promote your brand’s awareness while simultaneously driving new sales, which is a certain win-win situation if we’ve ever seen one.
Overall, SEO marketing forms the backbone of any modern, successful e-commerce enterprise. If you aren’t yet an expert in SEO, the good news is that there are tons of great resources online to help you get up to speed. Strong SEO means strong e-commerce sales numbers, so we suggest you get started on learning more about this great digital marketing technique today.