ECommerce SEO Agency: Why Their Role is Crucial to Your Online Success
If you are selling products or planning to sell products online, there is no other way around it to increase sales and revenue without the expertise of an eCommerce SEO agency. Here is why.
More and more companies are going digital and are taking their products online, turning traditional stores into an eCommerce business. And for a good, profitable reason – people increasingly use the internet to search for products before buying.
So you should take advantage of the huge potential of Google and other search engines. However, based on studies, only those on the first page of search engines will get the leads and new clients.
Meaning, if you are on the second page (or lower) of search results, your business will hardly thrive. Your products will DROWN underneath those on the first page.
Your only option to increase sales and revenue without eCommerce SEO is to spend thousands of dollars per month on the long term using paid search or social media ads.
This is not a good, viable option.
Don’t get us wrong – paid search and paid social are good marketing strategies especially when starting out or promoting a certain product that needs eCommerce sales. To thrive with the highest ROI in the long term, you want organic traffic.
ECommerce SEO for Long-Term Results with The Highest ROI
Enter eCommerce SEO to the rescue.
Well, the numbers speak for themselves.
According to Advanced Web Ranking, the top five in search engine rankings get over 72% of the desktop and mobile search queries’ clicks. So if ten people are looking to buy, say, a doormat, at least seven of them will be directed to the top five results.
Allow us to show you these numbers in real life to help you appreciate them. The keyword “doormat” has had 247,000 search results globally in just the past month. Considering the top result gets 33% of the clicks, that’s equal to 81,500+ visits to your store in just one month.
Based on the average conversion rate of 2.12% for eCommerce, that would translate to 1,728 sold in one month! If you sell your doormats at $20 apiece, you expect to make at least $34,560. That is the power of ranking on search engine results.
“But what if my page is in the top 10 (not top 5) of results? Shouldn’t that be good enough?”
Think about it: when was the last time you scrolled past the first page of results? Do you remember? You don’t, right? That’s because, according to statistics, results ranked six and below get less than 4% of the clicks.
Almost no one scrolls past result number five, much less to the second page. That’s why if you’re not in the top 5, then you’re nowhere.
The Importance of Organic Traffic
Here is another metric that explains why you should care about getting organic traffic.
Yotpo combined data from over 120,000 eCommerce websites and broke down their traffic sources. While 40% of their traffic volume comes from direct, meaning the visitor typed the page name directly into the browser, over 34% of average visitors comes from organic traffic or search results.
Over a third of your visitors get into your page through results. If you don’t build up your website’s search engine optimization, you’re likely missing out on this big chunk of your market.
One other reason eCommerce pages and brands also vie for the top spot is they want to be seen as an authority figure in that niche. You see, Google’s algorithm scores your pages through multiple metrics, including webpage relevance, content quality, usability, and more.
If you rank as the top result, that means the search engine considers you an expert in that niche. For this reason, ranking at the top will not only get you immediate sales but will also help with your long-term branding.
As you saw in the title, and as you’ll read in the rest of this article, we’ll be mentioning Google a lot. You’re probably asking yourself, “why Google?”
According to the latest market data from StatCounter, the answer is pretty simple: Google is the leading search engine in the world. Its market share of 92.41% eclipses all other competitors – including Bing (2.46%), Yahoo! (1.48%), Baidu (1.3%), DuckDuckGo (0.6%), and others.
More than being the most utilized search platform, it is also a leader in developing search technologies. Several search technologies used today are based on the software and algorithm developed by this company.
This is true even for brick-and-mortar shops. According to Google, 63% of purchases, whether online or offline, begin with a search. Whether you utilize different eCommerce platforms like Amazon, have your eCommerce website, or own a physical shop, many shoppers being researching the product they’ll buy online.
Because of these reasons, it just makes sense for SEO experts to focus on Google. And while there may be minute differences in how these search engine platforms execute their search pattern, the core concepts are the same across these companies.
What is eCommerce SEO?
ECommerce SEO is a marketing strategy of driving organic traffic to your online store to increase sales and revenue. This is achieved by the use of the most relevant and valuable keywords and content to make your store’s products and pages come up in relevant searches, and by increasing site visibility through gaining links/mentions from other websites.
ECommerce SEO is summed up in 2 major techniques: on page and off page.
On-page eCommerce SEO
On-page eCommerce SEO is the optimization and maintenance of all your webpages, especially product pages, so that your products come up in search queries through the use of keyword and content research, meta tags, product and content planning, schema markups. Throughout all these, it involves studying your competitors, as your aim is to eventually overtake them.
Offpage eCommerce SEO
Offpage eCommerce SEO, on the other hand, involves SEO techniques outside of your site that will help your eCommerce business to increase organic traffic and rank. This eventually leads to more sales and revenue. The most notable off-page optimization is link building wherein other websites mention yours as a link.
Now that you know why you should get to the first page of search engine results, the next question is: how does it work? How do you get there?
What are eCommerce SEO Services?
Ecommerce SEO Services are cost-effective and long-term marketing strategies that aim to make an eCommerce site come up in relevant searches, thereby increasing organic traffic to the website with the aim of converting these visits to sales.
This includes regularly evaluating the product pages and blog posts to optimize them both for a great user experience and improved chances of ranking.
Ecommerce SEO services include many complex moving parts. Some of these are keyword research, content research, and management, competitors’ analysis, regular website audit to check any issues, technical SEO, Google Analytics monitoring, and content strategizing.
Almost all these, except for Google Analytics, require the use of premium SEO tools.
It is for this reason that you cannot successfully attempt to DIY your eCommerce SEO.
Do I need an eCommerce SEO agency?
You need an eCommerce SEO agency because they have the expertise to make your products and other webpages come up in relevant searches and be on the first page of search engines, especially Google.
With SEO, they can get your products in front of searching customers ahead of your competitors.
This they can do with the use of SEO tools and other methods to study market data. From this, they can plan your ranking strategy to get to the first page of Google and stay there.
Remember that there is so much competition in practically every product, and only those on the first page will likely get leads. Your eCommerce SEO specialist will make optimizations so that your product can stand out amidst the sea of competitors.
SEO is the most cost-effective marketing method and has the most long-term results. So, if you want to get the most ROI for your online store, eCommerce SEO is the way to go.
What are the tasks or services that an eCommerce SEO agency performs?
Do Technical SEO
Technical SEO improves the chances of your site’s online presence, indexing of pages, and enables monitoring of your site’s performance via Google Analytics. Technical SEO includes
1. Google Site Verification – this makes the indexing of pages faster. Not just because you have published a product page or blog post does it mean that it is indexed.
Site verification helps in this regard via Google Search Console (GSC). GSC also is where you submit your site’s sitemap. Further, it shows if your site has a Google penalty, has some page issues, and is a tool for validation of issue fixes.
2. Installation of Google Analytics Tracking Code – this will greatly help you see a lot of information about your eCommerce site and is thus necessary. It shows the source of traffic, top pages, location of website visitors, how long they stayed on your site, conversion rates, among a host of other data.
Perform Keyword Research
The truth is, before you even put up your online store, keyword research is a must. Why?
Because you need to know what people are searching for and can thus help you plan your products, the structure of your website, and store categories. This will also help plan the meta titles, meta descriptions, and content of your web pages, including blog posts.
To be able to find the best keywords to use, eCommerce SEO experts use keyword tools to determine the right words to use for your products’ meta titles and meta descriptions so that your products come up in searches. They even calculate certain figures to predict the chances of ranking.
Also, as far as product descriptions are concerned, eCommerce SEO specialists can modify your product descriptions to highlight the most searched product ingredients for example or features that searchers are looking for.
This task also helps in coming up with blog post ideas to further improve your eCommerce site’s online presence such as long-tail keywords that are easier to rank for.
Content Strategy and Content Creation
Content strategy and creation are a crucial part of eCommerce SEO services. Google loves useful content, so part of SEO strategies is updating your site with content related to your niche. This will increase your chances to come up in organic search because the more you post new content, the more chances to be indexed for more keywords.
Content creation is not limited to blog posts, and this is where most eCommerce site owners make a mistake. There is a lot of sameness in products, that most product descriptions are copied exactly from the product source. This is actually bad eCommerce SEO.
Why? This amounts to duplicate content, and when you have such in your product descriptions, search engines see no value in them. You must create custom product descriptions, such as adding more useful information. This is where eCommerce SEO services come in to create custom content.
Ecommerce SEO services will never be complete without schema mark-up. Schema markup is responsible for those attention-grabbing stars in search results. Take a look at this:
So what is schema markup? A schema provides information about a certain product, business, is organized in an “outline” that is recognized by search engines. When search engines understand your product information, you increase your chances of ranking in search engines.
To implement schema, though, requires skill as it requires adding the schema script on the header of a product page. And with so many similar products in the market, this is a must in eCommerce SEO services to make your products stand out.
Siloing and Interlinking
Siloing is when you group related content to establish your niche topics. Organizing them helps search engines understand your content further.
Interlinking, on the other hand, is when you link your pages to one another. It can be product to product, product to a blog, or vice versa. For example, you have published content about the dangers of going out during the day without sunscreen and it links to your sunscreen product.
Interlinking is important because it:
- introduces your reader to other pages on your site, and
- lets search engines discover your pages when they follow the links on a page.
However, this also needs data to make sure your interlinking is well-planned, such as interlinking strong and weak pages to boost the weaker, non-performing pages. This can considerably boost traffic so this must be included as a regular ongoing task of eCommerce SEO services.
Monitor Site Performance via Google Analytics and SEO Tools
As eCommerce SEO services are an ongoing task, monitoring the site’s performance is crucial to the endpoint which is increasing revenue. With Analytics monitoring, there are many valuable data that can track the progress of marketing strategies, not just on SEO or organic traffic but also in social media, Google ads/paid search, and other promotional efforts.
It also shows the performance per page, location of audience, demographics, and more, which will influence the next marketing efforts with the end goal of increasing website traffic, potential customers and turn them into buying clients for an increase in revenue.
SEO tools, on the other hand, provide valuable information in monitoring keyword and content performance, reflect results of eCommerce SEO campaigns, among other information on efforts related to marketing strategies.
Another task that is part of eCommerce SEO services that can be aided by SEO tools is link building. This is when other websites mention your website as a link. To search engines, when other websites refer back to your site, it is a sign of trust and confidence, and thus helps boost ranking.
Monthly Website Audit
Another crucial part of eCommerce SEO services is a monthly website audit. An audit reveals a host of issues on your website that can affect its search engine rankings.
Check slow loading pages
Slow loading pages can cause a visitor to leave a site. A page should load in under 3 seconds. An audit reveals the reasons for the slow load and recommends a fix.
Find any broken links
Broken links are a signal to search engines that the site is not properly maintained and can negatively impact SEO. This also gives a poor user experience.
Check toxic links that should be disavowed
Toxic links are backlinks to your site that are not of good quality, also known as spammy links. As this can severely affect search engine rankings, toxic links should be disavowed by submitting this link to Google.
Poorly optimized pages
Header tag problems, thin content, low text to HTML ratio, missing or duplicate meta tags, schema markups, image and media issues, and more.
Technical SEO Issues
This pertains to robots-txt issues, sitemap issues, orphaned pages, and lately, the Core Web Vitals.
Url structure in eCommerce SEO includes, in the case of an eCommerce website that sells internationally, the hreflang part of the URL. For example, /es-me/ for a URL means a page in the Spanish language and for Mexico or /de-de/ for a webpage in the German language in, of course, Germany.
If a website serves international customers, then the website URL is not optimized for specific languages and countries.
Aside from that main URL issue in eCommerce stores, there are other URL structure issues such as:
- Very long URLs since Google says those extra words do not help in SEO anyway
- Using hyphens instead of underscores is the preferred practice
- A URL that does not “speak” to the reader and is hard to understand, like a series of numbers instead of keywords about the topic
This is when your website does not load the page even if it is not a broken link. This is usually a server issue or error 5xx. This matters because it means your pages/product pages are not loading right and can cause a buying customer to leave – which is bad for eCommerce SEO.
Things to Avoid
During the infancy of search engine optimization, these black hat techniques were used by some in SEO campaigns. Although it was sufficient to get you to the top spot back in the day, crawlers and algorithms today have grown sophisticated enough to detect these.
Every provider of eCommerce SEO services knows to stay away from these. Even if you get away with these tactics for a while, getting caught would result in decreased SEO ranking or an outright ban.
This is when websites show a different page to crawlers and users. Search is designed for humans, so if you created a page intended for the crawler and then re-route traffic to another page when people click on the link, this is bound to affect your SEO score negatively.
Buying links and spamming comments in blogs are old tactics. Most search engines have caught on to this practice, which most probably leads to poor-quality content anyway. It’s best to avoid these because even if you get away with it at the start, you’ll probably be caught and lose your rankings sooner than later.
Stuffing & Hiding
This is the practice of flooding your content with keywords excessively, so much so that it becomes spammy. There’s a good balance between the number and variety of keywords to add to your content. You could find these through good keyword research and online SEO tools.
Another trick that will get you into trouble is keyword hiding. This is the practice of placing keywords inside your page that your users don’t see. Crawlers easily detect this and take it as a sign that you are faking your content. Avoid this at all costs!
If your page hosts stolen content – like plagiarised articles and images or illegally downloaded music and video – then expect your site to drop in its SEO ranking. Search engines discourage illegal activity and expect its results to stay within the realm of the law.
Pages that have annoying pop-ups and intrusive ads negate user experience. Nobody likes obstruction to the content they want to see. Furthermore, adware and malware sometimes hide inside these ads, so your page SEO is negatively affected by these things.
Search engine optimization is such a deep and broad topic that it is impossible to discuss everything in a single case. This overview has already covered so much, yet it only scratches the surface. Nevertheless, it should be enough to get you a bird’s-eye view of what SEO is.
The Importance of Technical SEO
Your website’s architecture has a significant impact on your eCommerce SEO ratings. Search engines don’t like linking to pages with 404 errors, security issues, and poor loading times. Be sure to deal with these problems as soon as you see them.
Security is Paramount
In this day and age where data privacy is treasured, and significant data leakages can get to news headlines, people are more aware of their security. This is the reason why you should secure your entire website through the use of HTTPS.
Although using this only slightly affects your technical SEO score, the lack of secure protocols could scare off potential customers, especially when they’re at your payment gateway.
Page Loading Speed
People are inherently impatient – they always want their results instantly. Your page is no different; that’s why it should load fast. This is more important nowadays, now that mobile search is taking precedence over desktop and laptop use.
These are just some of the things that you need when dealing when SEO. Take note that there are still several on-page and technical SEO techniques you need to master when creating your own SEO marketing strategy.
The Advantage of Hiring An eCommerce SEO Agency
SEO is a continuously evolving niche. As people’s habits change with the times, so do search engine algorithms. And if you throw machine learning into the mix, then expect changes to come monthly, if not weekly, or even daily.
Technical SEO Expertise
The number advantage you will get if you bring an eCommerce SEO company onboard your website is that they will be able to audit your pages and see how it currently performs. And they do it not just via a simple search but through the use of multiple (and expensive!) tools.
These SEO experts can see the amount of organic traffic your website has, its sources, what keywords are being used by your pages, your page codes, any issues in your entire site, and many more. They have enough knowledge to see the SEO health of your online store and how it can be improved.
Furthermore, if you’re not inclined to learn about SEO, it is best you work with top-rated SEO agencies with proven eCommerce experience and case studies to show for. You could better spend your time focusing on your expertise.
Keeping up with Changes
Any eCommerce SEO company worth its salt should be aware of all the industry changes. Since 2003, there have been over 80 significant changes to Google’s SEO algorithm. As a matter of fact, the latest change just happened less than three months ago.
eCommerce SEO experts should also be knowledgeable in black hat SEO – not to practice it, but to avoid it. Some SEO practices should be avoided altogether, as it could lower your SEO ranking – or get you banned outright.
Unless you have the time to keep track of all these changes and do’s and don’t’s, then I recommend working with an eCommerce SEO company.
One other main advantage of working with an eCommerce SEO agency is that they either have digital marketing agency contacts or are a part of one themselves.
As you see, a holistic marketing strategy will not just rely on SEO. While an increase in SEO is highly desired for organic search, social media, paid search, Google ads, email marketing, and many more are all crucial parts of a top-rated agency.
What kinds of online stores can use eCommerce SEO services?
Practically all types of eCommerce stores need SEO, especially because you want to give a pleasant user experience when selling products online and you want to make sure that your site is properly maintained.
Furthermore, eCommerce SEO services enable a product to rank above other competitors. This is very important since studies reveal that only those web pages on the first page of search engines will get leads and organic traffic.
How can eCommerce SEO help my store?
ECommerce SEO services can help your online store in many ways. With constant monitoring, updating of your eCommerce store, and adapting changes according to market data, it will let your products become more relevant to searches and this come up in search engine results ahead of your competitors.
It will also ensure that through constantly maintaining your eCommerce website, your clients can have a pleasant user experience.
What to Look for in an eCommerce SEO Company
When looking to hire your first eCommerce SEO agency, you should look out for several factors to ensure you get a good deal from your investment. Google even released advice on hiring an SEO agency to help website owners find a good team to work with.
Puts Your Best Foot Forward
SEO is not a magic pill that will solve all your problems and increase your sales. What an eCommerce SEO agency can achieve is to show your eCommerce store’s best face, ensure that the right customers get to your page, and get your online stores known to the broadest audience possible organically.
For this reason, a good eCommerce SEO agency will not just look at your website, but study your business in general. They should be familiar with what you offer, plus your goals and existing marketing efforts to be able to provide holistic SEO strategies.
Improves the Searcher Experience
If the eCommerce SEO you’re working with doesn’t take the user into account, you should consider that a red flag. This is because eCommerce SEO should be about the user, not the search engine.
An SEO strategy must always have the end-user in mind – because they are the exact reason why your online store is existing. If you optimize your eCommerce store for your market, then organic traffic will come rolling in.
Recommends Best Practices
eCommerce SEO experts are knowledgeable and would recommend SEO best practices to you. If their SEO strategy seems to be a bit dubious or touches on the negative topics we’ve discussed earlier, it’s best that you work with someone else.
If your eCommerce SEO strategy gets flagged by search engines negatively – it could cause you to lose SEO ranking or have your website delisted from the search engine altogether. This means you wouldn’t appear in their search results. Ever.
A good eCommerce SEO agency would not hesitate to back up its recommendations with documented links and data from Google themselves. Although it is typically not a requirement, they should be able to readily give this to you when requested.
Holistic Approach for Happy Customers
If you think about it, the main purpose of SEO is to keep searchers (which is your market) happy. So any good eCommerce SEO strategy should focus on your entire business – not just your website.
For an SEO campaign to work effectively, the agency should not just look at your website, but at your overall goal. They must know who you’re selling to, so they could determine what keywords your market use. They must understand them, know how they think, and figure how they search.
All this information (and more!) would let you have cost-effective SEO strategies that target your exact market and increase your conversion rate. They should also consider your existing marketing efforts so that your eCommerce marketing would come together as a team to bring your sales to the next level.
When looking for eCommerce SEO services, they should be able to provide you with solid references and case studies. These would help determine if they’re an effective team and would help improve your overall SEO rating.
You should look at their team members – see if they have specialists dedicated to eCommerce SEO. It might be difficult if you’re working with a team that is so constrained by their workload that they can’t focus on delivering quality work.
For example, writing written content is vastly different from creating images. You also can’t expect an expert website programmer to design your visuals. Although there are rare cases where one person can do it all, he or she might be constrained by the load they’ll be bearing.
Transparency of eCommerce SEO Services
Another sign of a good eCommerce SEO company is they educate you on your SEO campaign and processes. This helps you by ensuring your staff are well-informed and can include SEO in their workload.
No matter how advanced or technical SEO they’re using, if they could explain it to you in layman’s terms, then it will be beneficial for you and your team members. When your entire team is on the same page, you could enjoy better results from your SEO campaigns, and thus help increase your eCommerce sales.
Leadership & Culture
One of the most important things to look for in any agency or company you’ll work with is their leadership and culture. Are they a pleasure to work with? Do they provide full service? Do they give us value and peace of mind?
There are some great companies out there that have run highly successful SEO campaigns, but if you can’t work well with them, there are award-winning service providers out there that could help increase organic traffic to your eCommerce website.
Contact Digital Delane for eCommerce SEO Services
ECommerce SEO services are just about the most important and most cost-effective strategy as explained with these proven SEO tactics. It is impossible to DIY the SEO of eCommerce businesses.
We must keep in mind search, and thus SEO is for humans. In the end, it is the human eye that will be looking at your website – crawlers and indexers are just there to get it to the audience.
No matter how great your eCommerce SEO agency may be, if you don’t create your website to be enjoyed by people, then you wouldn’t last in the top spot – if you make it on the first page.
Digital Delane is a full-service digital marketing agency providing not only eCommerce SEO services but a complete online marketing solution throughout the US. Services include search engine marketing, social media, influencer marketing, and digital branding. Book a free consult or give us a call at 323.524.9990 and let us discuss how we can help your e-commerce store meet its goals.