June 22, 2018
Written by Helen Nazarie
So, you’ve opened your online shop a few months ago and your sales do not grow as it was expected, do they? You Google “the best online shop in the UK”. Is your shop on the first page? Is it on the second one?
The competition is fierce…
You dedicate a part of your budget to different marketing campaigns, but the results are disappointing. You might have short-term achievements, but you need some long-term and cost-effective solutions.
Have you heard about SEO?
If not, then it’s the right time for you to learn about it. If you have some basic knowledge, then you should dig deeper and understand why it is important for you and your business.
In this article, we will speak about what SEO is, the reasons why your e-commerce business needs SEO, why seeing the results takes too long, and how to choose the right specialists.
What SEO actually is
Let’s start from the beginning.
Imagine that your potential customer opens Google and types some words like “automatic travel umbrella” and gets about 7,920,000 search results. But, she clicks on the first result to see what they offer.
The good thing is that she’s found an umbrella, and actually ordered it. The bad thing is – it wasn’t your online shop. In fact, your shop wasn’t even on the first page results to be noticed by her.
In other words, SEO will help you increase the monthly quality traffic to your website and connect with your potential buyers who are searching online for the products that you offer.
According to studies, the first organic search result gets the 33% of traffic.
SEO is a fantastic business development tool which will bring you closer to the people who are ready to be converted and to make a purchase.
SEO is not finished. Ever. And, you can’t buy or cheat your way to the top of the search results. Though some SEO specialists may promise you fast results, you should know that it’s nearly impossible and they simply want to fool you and take your money. We’ll discuss this in point 4.
But now, read about why exactly your e-commerce business needs SEO.
Why does your e-commerce business need SEO?
Do you have any plans like launching a new brand, a product line, or do you want to enter new markets? With SEO, you can target your customers by determining what terms they use while searching for the products. Not only locally, but also internationally.
SEO is simply a marketing channel that helps to grow your business. But first, you need to determine your clear strategic objectives which are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely (S.M.A.R.T.). Adjust your objectives according to the things you want to achieve through SEO.
It goes without saying that investing time and resources in search engine optimisation is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies. SEO provides many benefits to your Ecommerce business that traditional marketing and paid advertisement can’t. Let’s name a few:
- Increased ROI – SEO strategies serve to long-term success which will bring its results over time.
- Higher Google Rankings – Once you start optimizing your website and content for search, gradually you’ll notice that you have higher ranks than you had before. Besides, you’ll see that your organic traffic increases accordingly.
- More Conversions – Optimizing your product pages for specific search terms and keywords will help you get more targeted traffic. As a result, more and more people ready to make a purchase will visit your shop and see your products. This will lead to increased conversion rates.
- Measurable Results – Another advantage of SEO is that you can measure the results of your optimisation. This will give you an opportunity to adjust and improve your strategies to get better results and higher rankings.
A study by Outbrain shows that search is the #1 driver of traffic to content sites, beating social media by more than 300%.
Still not convinced? The e-commerce industry is very competitive, and SEO helps you to increase your chances of winning customers. While you think about implementing SEO tactics, your competitors are acting. This is how we get to the next point – why does it take a long time to see the results?
Why does it take a long time?
Does it really take up to 4-6 months to see the first results of your hard work and spent pounds? This is one of the most-asked questions about SEO. As a CEO, you want to see quick results and the ROI. But, you have to wait. Let us explain why.
- Your Competition – If you are new to the industry, it’s most likely that you have some big competitors who lead the way. And, your greatest challenge here is to not only reach them but also to surpass them. They might have spent several years to build and grow their websites, which now have the top organic search results. You must optimize your website and product page content and fight for your desired keywords. This will definitely take up to several years.
- Link Building – This may sound unfamiliar to you, but in order to gain some authority for your website, you need to have it mentioned on different websites which also have high domain authorities. The DA is measured by the age, popularity, and size of the website. So, in order to do it, you need to spend a lot of time by analyzing the backlinks of your competitors and creating a database of trusted websites. Then, you need to try to reach out to them and ask for cooperation, create quality content, make sure that your backlink is safe and the published content is well-optimized. This may take time, but you won’t regret it. Besides, you need to constantly do it to keep up with your competition.
- Getting Banned from Google – ‘I can buy thousands of backlinks in a month’, – you would say. This is not how it works. Google is watching you and following your every step. So, in case of unusual activities and unnatural links connected to your website in a short period of time, Google will detect the spam links and will ban your website. Take your time and create quality backlinks.
- Updated Algorithms – Search engines are constantly being updated and improved. So, you need to follow all the changes in the algorithms and be prepared to be dropped down after each update.
Here are the key points you need to know about SEO and the time that needs to be dedicated to it. This may seem to be very difficult and time-consuming. But, the results are worth the wait.
How can SEO specialists fool you?
To keep you away from the danger of being fooled or deceived, we’re going to speak about the negative outcomes of trusting the wrong SEO specialists.
- The most common promise they give is that they guarantee to bring you to the top of rankings or even #1 ranking on search results in a short time. The Google algorithms are truly unpredictable, and if anyone claims to know them, then he’s most probably lying. Or, they may use some aggressive tactics to achieve short-term results. But, later on, it’s likely to lead to very serious problems.
- Beware of the SEO specialists who create shadow domains and direct the traffic by using questionable redirects.
- Another scam is that they place so-called doorway pages with keyword overload somewhere on your website by claiming that it will help to become more relevant for more queries.
- There are some people who promise high rankings for very easy keywords or long-tail keywords, which are not difficult to target and rank for.
- Be careful while giving access to your sites FTP to the hired SEO agency or specialists. Always ask them about the changes they make and their activities on your behalf. If something goes wrong, your website may be removed from Google’s index.
It is frightening, isn’t it? This is why it’s crucial for you to choose the best SEO specialists for your business who will help you grow, instead of harming your online reputation. To get more information on this, you can visit Google Webmasters Support pages.
How to choose an SEO specialist?
After learning about the ways that dishonest companies can fool you, you are ready to choose an experienced and trustworthy SEO company. There are three types of SEO specialists that you can hire: individual consultants, agencies, and in-house specialists. If you don’t have in-house SEO specialists, then you choose between the individual freelancers and SEO agencies.
But, what are the main criteria for choosing the right SEO team? Here are some important things to learn about the specialists in order to compare them and understand their level of experience and professionalism.
- Ask them about the process and what types of services they offer. E-commerce is a specific industry and you need to make sure that they have experience in this field.
- Request reviews, testimonials, and some examples of their long-term clients. If the SEO specialist has a long list of short-term clients, then you can’t trust them. Look for those who have long-term and ongoing projects.
- What tools do they use for research, reporting, link building, and technical SEO?
- Learn more about their pricing structure and the method of communication. Some agencies may charge you for the project, the others – per spent hours. Choose the specialists who will always be available in case of any emergencies and problems.
- Get information about the early termination of the contract and whether there are any fees.
- Check their knowledge of the latest Google algorithm updates to see if they are up to date with SEO news.
- Request the key metrics which are going to be measured and reported on. This will help you understand their level of experience.
Getting all this information can’t guarantee you a high-quality SEO service, but it will reduce the risk of hiring unreliable companies. In any case, you need to choose carefully and to weigh out all the advantages and disadvantages before your final decision.
As the CEO of your company, you are responsible for the stable growth of your e-commerce business and the increased sales over time. As you can see, SEO is one of the most effective marketing tools which will be the right long-term investment for your business.
Use the above-mentioned tips to avoid getting fooled by the SEO specialists you hire and to find a great SEO team to partner with.