What is SEO & Why Is It Important to eCommerce Businesses?by Jeffrey Almarez | September 16, 2022
"The internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow". - Bill Gates
If you're a startup or experienced business owner that still hasn't considered promoting your products online, especially through an eCommerce website, then you're probably losing a lot of opportunities for growth in your business.
According to Statista.com, there are about 5 billion people worldwide on the internet as of April 2022. This massive amount of online users provides endless possibilities for any business big or small.
However, you may have a lot of questions, such as where to begin and what your company needs to succeed when promoting it online.
In this article, we'll give you an introduction to SEO, a cost-efficient strategy that increases web visibility, particularly if you're setting up an online store.
SEO which stands for "Search Engine Optimization" is the process of optimizing websites or web pages to rank better on the results pages of search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
Search Engines: How do They Work?
According to Ahrefs - "Search engines are like libraries for the digital age."
Basically what search engines do is that whenever they discover a website, they send out "robots" also called "web spiders" to crawl all pages of your site to gather pieces of information about the site's content. This process is called "indexing".
Then the data they gathered is what you usually see on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Ninja Trivia - As of January 2022 according to StatCounter, Google has the highest market share (percentage of worldwide users) of 91.43% among all search engines followed by Bing with a 3.3% market share and Yandex with 1.29%.
Why is SEO important to business?
SEO plays a pivotal role in enhancing your website's visibility, driving increased traffic, and creating valuable opportunities to transform potential leads into loyal customers. Discover a suite of powerful SEO tools designed to maximize your rankings and online presence.
To better understand the fundamental process of optimising websites for search engines, outlined below are the 3 pillars of this strategy and the description of what aspect they are involved in on your website.
3 Types of SEO:
- Technical - The backend of your website is crucial in this aspect. During the web development phase, all webmasters must build websites following the standard search engine requirements such as implementing a good site architecture, fast page loading speed, and security. Having a tool to conduct a full audit for your website helps to ensure your website's overall technical health is at maxima like Semrush and Ahrefs.
These websites offer free trials that you can use to help you decide which one to guide you on your SEO journey.
- On-Page - This refers to any activities taken to improve the website's content. On-page optimisation's main objective is to make sure that all of the content on your website is relevant to the industry or niche to which it belongs and to encourage a positive user experience. Creating perfect meta titles and meta descriptions, conducting keyword research to find keywords with high volumes of searches, adding well-detailed product descriptions, and publishing blog posts are the most common strategies marketers use with on-page optimization. Additionally, it's crucial for website owners to avoid using duplicate content.
- Off-Page - This refers to the strategy of building up your website's reputation through the help of external factors such as backlinks or referring links from other relevant websites, social media shares, local citations from highly recognized business listings or directories, and customer reviews. In other words, the objective of off-page optimisation is to earn "votes" for relevance, trustworthiness, and popularity. Fixing broken links is also part of this process.
However, a website owner must understand that not all off-page strategies are beneficial. There are ways of getting traffic on a website that violates most of the search engines' guidelines. This type of strategy is also referred to as"black hat SEO".
Benefits of SEO to E-commerce Businesses
- Search Engine Optimization Promotes Brand Awareness - By properly answering searchers' questions through the content available on your website, you increase user satisfaction, which encourages them to return to your website and even tell their friends, coworkers, and family about their positive experiences, encouraging them to visit your site as well.
- Search Engine Optimization Helps in Maintaining Customer Relationships, Building Trust, and Boosts Lead Generation - Due to the vast number of users worldwide, search engines are expected to provide only relevant data on their results page. If an eCommerce website has the chance to be in the top search engine results, users are more likely to think that, that website is reliable and trustworthy, and they will only choose that site for their next search, regardless of what that search is about.
Although optimising a website for search engines is a long-term approach, you must be able to keep your web pages in top positions by putting good content marketing strategies into place. This is because there is a chance that rival businesses will try to outperform them by similarly optimizing their websites and stealing all of their current and future visitors or customers.
- Additionally, It Can Also Be Used To Gain Insight About Market Demand - While you occasionally monitor the search engine performance of your website using data monitoring tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console, you certainly will gain insight over time into what products and categories in particular pique your visitors' interest.
- Optimizing Websites for Search Engines is Cost-Efficient - As the traffic that ecommerce sites may gain from optimising for search engines is free, you can save money which you can spend on whatever other digital marketing strategies you prefer.
However, if you are a business owner who doesn't have enough time to do your own ecommerce SEO strategy, (let’s face it, it’s almost like learning a new language at times!) hiring an SEO specialist or a digital marketing agency with years of experience may be the best solution as you can rely on their experience and expertise while saving you time and frustration as you don’t have to learn yet another online marketing strategy.
- It is Constantly Evolving - To encourage convenient user interactions search engines (especially Google) constantly update the way they present information on their search results. Ecommerce websites most of the time gain from these upgrades because they are the ones that must emphasize details about the products or services they sell to draw in potential customers.
Google Shopping Ads, Structured Data/Rich Snippets, and Breadcrumbs are the best examples of search engine updates that benefit eCommerce stores the most.
Despite all of the aforementioned advantages that search engine optimization may provide to an eCommerce website, it's critical to always keep in mind that you must put yourself in your consumers' shoes and make an effort to understand their questions to provide them with the information they need.
The common misconception that marketers have about search engine optimisation is that it's all about gaining more visibility online to increase sales and revenue for their website (although this is also one of its main goals). Some may neglect the most important factor to consider; which is if the content they offer has any value for what their potential customers are looking for.
Simply put, search engine optimisation is a give-and-take process.
To ensure the success of your ecommerce website for this aspect of digital marketing, you need a deep understanding of this process by conducting research.
However, if you are too busy you can also try to look for a professional SEO service in Australia that offers a clear plan with proven results at an affordable rate.