Guess what. Ecommerce sales will rise up to $4.9 trillion by 2021. That’s just 2 years from now. Furthermore, out of this $4.9 trillion, Amazon already owns a trillion dollar business right now. Also, ecommerce is taking its baby steps. It is going to get huge in the coming years. If you are already into this space & want to make it large, this is the time. It’s now or never. You are here, reading this because you wanna learn about ecommerce, how to make money with ecommerce. Well, this post is not about that. Here you’ll learn about ecommerce SEO. A cute little thing that can put you in a position to make money with ecommerce.
Wait, did I say SEO?
Yes, I did.
Irrespective of where you host your store, SEO for ecommerce sites is going to be your magic wand to rule the game.
This post is for those who’re willing to put their time, effort & capital to make some luck in this space. As part of this guide, I will be covering the following:
What is SEO? Why is it important for ecom businesses?
80 mistakes you should ritualistically avoid in ecom business(infographic)
Brief ecommerce best practices
With that said, let’s begin.
What is Ecommerce SEO? Why Is SEO For Ecommerce Site Important?
The ecommerce SEO is nothing different than regular SEO except the fact that in this case, you are search engine optimizing an online store. Basically, ecommerce SEO is the regular SEO techniques with an ecommerce flavor in it.
Did you know that there are 3.5 billion searches made every single day, just on Google? Even if a fraction of this number is for buying products online, this gives a huge margin to target & bring more sales from it. Furthermore, if this is the number of searches made, imagine the number of search results served. Mind-blowing right?
But, how do you stand out among billions of search results? There’s no way to pay for higher rankings. That’s not how it works.
That’s where ecommerce SEO comes in picture.
Not convinced yet?
Here are 3 reasons you cannot ignore SEO to thrive & survive among the big guns.
Why Ecommerce SEO is Important?
You’ve probably heard of the fruits you will reap once you start putting efforts in SEO. You’ve seen leading digital marketers talk about it.
Also, I bet you’ve heard a myth that SEO is dead. Trust it isn’t. SEO is immortal, just like the internet. SEO can skyrocket your business, bring earthquake of traffic to your online business & help you meet all your business goals.
But, don’t trust me, here are some numbers that will convince you.
1. ~91% of the pages are invisible to end users on Google
A study conducted by Ahrefs found that almost 91% of pages in the search results get little to no traffic from Google.
I’m sure you don’t wanna land up in the 91% league. With SEO, you can mark your territory and rule while everyone else is sharpening their axes.
Next, unless you’re living under a rock, you must have heard of referral traffic & organic traffic. Here’s a self-explanatory graph from the same study conducted by ahrefs, that shows the importance of referral traffic and hence, SEO.
How’d you get the referral traffic? By creating content and search engine optimizing it. Again, you see the SEO doing the heavy lifting for you? Furthermore, referral traffic also signals the search engines that your webpages are authoritative.
Additionally, referral traffic will also increase chances to rank for multiple high-density search terms. Here’s what the same study found.
The more SEO you do, the more you get rewarded. Simple math!
2. Organic traffic is the key to your business goals
Once you’re into ecom biz, get ready to get your hands dirty in PPC. Not immediately, off-late for sure. PPC sends highly targeted traffic to your product pages, the conversion rate of which is sky-high.
However, once you stop putting time, effort & most-importantly, money in PPC, you won’t see results. That’s why relying on organic traffic so much useful. Even if you don’t put efforts daily, you high-performing article will do justice to your business.
Optimizing for organic traffic is a gamble(the most decent word I could use), therefore it’s dicey whether or not you’ll rank well for your target keyword. Unless the keyword density is potential enough.
You can see that top-ranking search results also rank for 1000+ keywords. But how many keywords are actually bringing potential traffic?
But they’re just enough to fill your bucket with organic traffic. So, as part of takeaway, I’d only say to target high-density keywords.
3. Boost conversion rate with help of SEO
Remember, how many searches are on Google each day?
It’s 3.5 billion searches.
With these many people searching for solutions & answers, it gives you a super wide room to push your products & make a bomb of money.
Let’s visualize & do some math…
Imagine, out of 3.5 billion searches, 10% is your target keyword. That’s 350 million keywords.
Also, imagine you rank for 1% of those 350 million keywords. That’s 3.5 million keywords that you rank for.
Out of those keywords, you get sales for 1% of those keywords. That’s 35000 keywords.
Now, for the 35000 keywords that your convert, you bag a profit of $2.
You tell me how do you make?
$70,000? And that’s the earning for just one day.
This doesn’t happen overnight. You’d need to put in a hell of efforts & time. Also, having a sales funnel will be fruitful from its inception.
When your prospect searches for a product you serve without any search intent. They’re less likely to convert. Suppose they come across a specific feature that your offer and they dig a little deeper and find details that’s solves their problems exactly the way they expected.
Slowly, their requirements will get narrower & so will their research. This will lead them through the sales funnel designed on your business website.
Here’s how a typical sales funnel looks like (thanks to ahrefs):
Once you rank for your target keywords, this conversion funnel will come in action. Design your conversion pages accordingly. I encourage you to create content that answers very specific yet highly searched keywords. Once the ball gets rolling, you’re only going to make a profit, provided your product is actually a game changer.
Now, for the beginners, here’s good news (technically)
~92% of the keywords have search volume <= 10. That’s a very big window to target. Though you’ll get hands-on only the fraction of the huge chunk, but why not?
That’s how heroes learn to fly…
These queries are super-duper specific and chances of converting are equally high. When you address highly specific queries, you get rewarded big time. When you begin with these baby steps, the search engine’s gonna love this and push you higher for more competitive terms.
Sure, you can gamble for more competitive terms with help of PPC, but here’s what I’ve observed & even you would’ve experienced it. Whenever served with ads, you’re more likely to click the organic search results.
Exit right away if I’m wrong.
Organic search results have a soft corner in all our hearts. Even though we don’t pay for it, ads don’t get clicks.
Sorry PPC, your time is yet to come.
Now that I have your attention, let me share the mistakes ecommerce businesses commit. This includes the big guns that are ruling the ecom industry right now.
Mistakes Ecommerce Business Owners are Committing Right Now
Special thanks to Paul Lovell for his expertise in SEO & PPC that resulted in this awesome infographic.
They say mistakes are the best teachers. So you already know 80 ecommerce best practices. However, I’ll list a couple of direct one in the next section. Hop in there
Ecommerce Best Practices You Should Follow in 2019
1. Get HTTPS for your Online Store
ecommerce involves real money, hence you cannot afford to compromise on the security. Furthermore, if you’re hosting your online store on WordPress, the security is in your hands(if you opt for self-hosted wordpress over managed wordpress)
https gives you an extra inch to cover your customers into a secured space & give them reliable experience. If you opt for Bluehost, you get a free SSL certificate & a domain. Here’s a guide to get the free SSL certificate & a domain.
2. Dig well for highly specific keywords
Even Amazon does the keyword research to get more organic & highly targeted traffic. Ecommerce is such an industry where less traffic is the new sexy. Ecommerce products target highly specific keywords that may not always have a high search volume.
As aforementioned, high traffic keywords for ecommerce doesn’t convert well. Less traffic means a higher chance of converting. If search engines notice more & more user converting into customers, the search engine will be proud to show your product pages to more users & hence convert more.
3. Create sitemap
If you are on wordpress, creating a sitemap super easy. Simply install Yoast SEO plugin and the plugin will create a sitemap for you. Copy that XML file & paste it in Google search console. Do this for all major search engines in your country. Though Google dominates, but you cannot ignore the other search engines too.
Sitemaps will have all your product pages & once they’re added to the search console, it will start indexing depending on the on-page SEO of those individual pages.
4. Setup Google Analytics
Google has its eyes everywhere. But before you pull data(that Google has) of your competitors, clean your own house first. Google Analytics is a simple tool that pretty much tells everything about your online store.
Just add cute little GA tracking code to your website, sit back & relax. Once the data starts accumulating, you’ll get know a lot about the visitors and reshape the various strategies you have to market your business.
If your budget permits, Google Analytics + Google Ads are just awesome. Remarketing is a great tool that brings customers who’ve visited but did not convert.
5. Map keywords to all the pages
Sure, online stores have dozens of pages & mapping keywords to all those pages is a tedious rework. But trust me, it’s worth the time & effort.
Spy leaders in your space & head over to SEMrush, enter their domain & see the top performing keywords. Design your pages according to that & see the results coming.
Pro Tip: Simple search on search engines will show ads. Use the title meta tags used in those ad copy directly. Since they’re ranking well, you can rely on those ad copies.
Final Thoughts on SEO for Ecommerce sites
Sure, the ecommerce industry has just begun to explode. It’s just the upper crust of the ice that’s breaking. But it’s a mammoth of the internet-verse to bid on. This industry ain’t gonna stop booming.
If you’re serious for that t-shirt store or selling hand made greeting cards start right away. This industry is not gonna disappoint anyone if done right.
I’m sure this guide has helped you gain some knowledge. If you find this overwhelming, it’s okay, I’ve been there too. I’ll help you grow inch by inch.