Building a professional business website, figuring out what to sell online, and generating converting traffic is easier said than done. Even after getting all the above nailed on, it can take years before you actually start bringing in a steady stream of sales.

For a startup business looking to compete with industry giants, there is really only one solution, and that’s search engine optimization (SEO). That’s getting consistent, high-converting traffic you don’t have to pay for… so where do I sign up? However, before you think all your prayers are answered, there’s another stumbling block in the way. Between Google algorithm updates and excessive industry jargon, SEO can be a tricky tactic to master.

These five steps to selling more online will talk you through the most successful search engine optimization strategies for ecommerce business owners.

But first, what is ecommerce SEO and why is it important to your business?

Search engine optimization is all about getting your website to appear higher in the search engine results for competitive keywords and phrases. A whopping 30% of clicks go to position one ranked websites. That’s incredible, especially considering how many competitors exist online. Ranking at the very top of Google will result in more eyes on your brand and no doubt more high-quality conversions.

Aren’t my competitors practicing search engine optimization? Not necessarily. They may think they understand ecommerce SEO, but no one knows exactly what Google wants. If we knew the answers to that, well, a lot of marketers would be out of a job. There’s always going to be someone who knows more than you about search engine optimization. Success comes from consistent testing and research. Our findings come from dominating the rankings for popular terms and holding those positions using only ethical, white hat practices. Simply put, we rock at ranking websites.

Here’s how you can do the same for your business, and make money online.

Step 1: Long-tail keyword research

The first step to any online strategy is aggressive keyword research. We say aggressive because guessing your customers’ needs is just not good enough. You need facts. Use keyword research tools to access the popularity of keywords and phrases and their search volume for the best results.

It’s well-known that not all keyword research tools generate the same data; results are based on average monthly searches. However, using a variety of industry-standard platforms like Ahrefs, Google Keyword Planner and Moz will produce the most accurate results.

It’s hardly surprising that the ecommerce market is booming. Online is a quick, efficient way to sell products in volume. However, the downside is competition. It’s going to be incredibly difficult to rank for ‘beds,’ for example. You’ll be competing with established brands like DFS, Dreams and Wayfair.

You can still rank for commercial keywords like ‘beds for children,’ ‘bunk beds for small children’, ‘cabin beds for children.’ Can you spot the difference? These commercial keywords are still focused on buyer intent. For one, they are much easier to optimize for giving you a quicker turnaround on results. They also focus on people who are clear on what they are looking for and are, therefore, one step closer to making a purchase.

Step 2: Voice search optimization

Next up is the consideration of voice search optimization that is closely related to long-tail keywords. More and more people are searching with conversation-based queries, as opposed to typing a couple of words into Google and hitting ‘enter.’

These searches are often carried out on a mobile device using voice search software as it’s quicker and less time-consuming. One thing you must account for is that people are impatient. They need answers now, not seconds later, when they have typed out a query. Optimizing your website for voice search queries will drive traffic from people searching on mobile devices.

You should also factor in mobile vs desktop behavior. For example, product pages are often viewed for the first time on mobile, but people return to purchase a desktop. Don’t neglect desktop because mobile search is on the rise. Your site should be optimized for all devices including desktops, tablets and smartphones.

Step 3: Integrate Instagram

You can’t fight facts. People buy with their eyes meaning all online promotion should include high-quality images. Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media profiles around, connecting influencers, brands and buyers. If you take professionals photos, use trending hashtags and post at the right times of day then you are well on your way to building an audience that is interested in your products.

The key to success is getting your audience to engage with your products. Photography is great, but it should be coupled with an intriguing caption and ‘shop now’ functionality. For ecommerce companies, the best results come from ‘instant purchase posts’ that link directly to product pages.

Step 4: Remarketing

How many people visit your site just once, and make a purchase? Probably a lot less than you think. Their interaction with your site is comparable to a first date. You’ve had a lovely experience. They have gone above and beyond to impress you. But, you can’t make the first move without getting to know them a little better. The same applies to your ecommerce site. If people are investing their hard-earned money and time into your products, they need to trust your business. It’s about building a relationship with potential customers.

It’s worth directly addressing hesitation as people often need reminding that you are still an active online business. The more times your brand name is mentioned across the internet, the more trust and authority you acquire. A great marketing technique, used to combat uncertainty, is remarketing. Remarketing adverts will be shown to people who have left your site without making a purchase. Visitors could perhaps be persuaded with free shipping or a significant discount, for example. Remarketing can also be used to help convert visitors who have abandoned their cart.

Step 5: Customer reviews

While customer reviews aren’t something that marketers have much control over, they have a critical impact on SEO, so it’s important to work them into your strategy. Consider the following:

Google My Business (GMB) reviews: The reviews on Google My Business can hugely influence the credibility of your business. It’s the first thing people see when searching for your business, so it needs to impress. While a negative review can damage your reputation, a positive review can send your conversion rates through the roof. Some people even consider the inclusion of keywords in reviews to impact site rankings positively – but you didn’t hear that from us!

Social media brand mentions: Mentions on trusted social media can positively impact your search engine rankings. Brand mentions lead to user-generated content and authority, which impacts your online visibility. Basically, if you publish high-quality content on the internet and it’s shared – we’re not only talking about a link to your site, but people talking about your brand on social media, then you are doing great. Take this one step further with interaction with these comments and shares for better results.

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