Your marketing campaign for your ecommerce website is an important strategized effort to make your target customers aware of your brand and product, with the goal of ultimately leading them to your website to become your buyers.
On our blog, we talk a lot about how to market your products and reach your target customers, and many ecommerce businesses tend to rely on paid advertising on Instagram, Facebook, and Google Ads to reach their customers. Many ecommerce businesses, especially when just starting out, place very little consideration on search engine optimization or SEO, despite the fact that SEO is largely free, works for you in the long run—unlike paid social ads, and has the highest ROI of any type of ecommerce marketing campaign.
When a website ranks high on a search engine results page or SERP, it’s pretty much the equivalent of hitting the goldmine in ecommerce, where a shop is very likely to reap the benefits of free, recurring, and converting website traffic.
Ranking high on the SERPs should be high on your list of priorities as an ecommerce store owner because if you don’t rank well, that means you are most certainly missing out on the possibilities of making sales and making bank this year.
Research into SEO shows that ecommerce businesses that use content marketing strategies have a higher success rate in converting than ecommerce businesses that do not. Content marketing is an acting force in driving paying customers to your online store.
So, how do we get your ecommerce website on top? The great thing about working on SEO is that it’s never too late, whether you are working to build a new ecommerce store, or trying to improve your existing online business, we have got you covered on our guide of strategic steps and types of content that can help you improve your SEO game and the overall performance of your online store.
The first step to optimizing your website for SEO lies in keyword research. It is the most important step and cannot be missed in the effort to optimize your site.
What is keyword research, you might ask? Keyword research is when you search for and conduct an analysis on search terms that people type into search engines, with the intention of optimizing your site based on and around those terms.
Consider your niche and the industry that you work in and brainstorm the topics you think your target audience is interested in. For instance, if you run an online store selling baby clothes and accessories, what do you think your potential customers are searching for online?
Some topics can include newborn accessories, baby swaddles, bibs, etc. Make sure to come up with a comprehensive list of relevant topics that you know your customers are out there searching for.
When you have a list of topics, one great thing to do is to go on Google Search and type your topics into the search box, where Google will give you suggestions based on what other people are also searching for.
For instance, when you type in the words “Baby Swaddle” you might get suggestions that include keywords and phrases like: baby swaddle bag, baby swaddle wrappers, and more. These are also good for adding to your list of keywords. You can also go ahead and do the same with Youtube suggestions, and even Amazon suggestions.
You can also use dedicated SEO tools for an extra boost on keyword research like Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Google Keyword Planner. While this isn’t a complete guide on how to use tools to generate keywords, it’s important to take note that SEO keywords are relevant because they will guide the direction of your content, helping you to create searchable material on the SERPs.
It can be time-consuming, but laying down the foundation for your SEO strategy based on these keywords is the “key” to helping you develop a killer strategy for developing your site and its content.
Remember, search engines aren’t just trying to provide users with sites holding the most relevant keywords, but they are also trying to provide the most valuable, in-depth, and authoritative content based on the significant topics.
Now, let’s dive into the kind of content that ecommerce sites can utilize to appeal to SERPs, and ultimately, to your customers.
Type of Content that Helps SEO
Content is the information that you place on the ecommerce site that you will use to attract traffic and potential customers. Your intention in creating content shouldn’t be just to increase traffic but to create content that actually converts visitors into becoming paying customers. This is why it’s important to develop content that doesn’t belong in the dumpster, and this means you’ll have to put in the work because search engines like Google value high-quality content and rewards it with a higher search engine ranking.
Here are the types of content that can help you optimize your store and help your potential customers find you on the search engine results page:
Long-form content like blogs has proven to be more engaging, more shareable, and better for SEO. According to Wordstream, having a blog is one of the easiest ways of creating a regular stream of SEO content.
For one, blogs are definitely more engaging than the description on a product page, and we cite it as a great way to build industry authority, credibility, and even trust. A blog can help your ecommerce website promote your online store in a way that is free, it can help you reach more people, generate return visitors, and help make more sales online.
You can use your blog to explore different ways of reaching your audience with a variety of content. For instance, you if run an online store selling pet supplies, you can run an article on common dog food allergies, while conveniently holding a line of dog food for allergy-sensitive pets that you can link readers to.
Starting a blog can be hard work, but it’s the kind of work that can really pay off if you remain consistent enough to meet your goal. It is one of the ways for your site to attract traffic organically—which means blogging can help you cut down costs for ads.
Research conducted on SEO and search engine ranking found that blog posts of 2000 words tend to fare better than shorter blog posts on Google. Today’s shoppers are avid researchers and in search of high-quality information, and if people are interested in what you have to say, then they might want to check out your shop, and even sign up to your mailing list for more articles.
Remember that, when your audience reads something from you that they loved or found particularly useful, not only are they more likely to share your content, they will be more likely to keep coming back to your website, even sign up for your email list, and stick around as loyal customers.
2. How-To Content
As we said, the modern shopper is out on the hunt for information, and how-to guides are especially helpful and offer shoppers some pretty targeted information usually portrayed as step-by-step guides.
How-to guides are also considered to be long-form of content like blogs. Their purpose is to instruct the reader and guide them towards a specific goal, whether the content consists of a how-to in building something, operating a device, or any other action.
The great thing about how-to guides for ecommerce stores is that these guides specifically address customers’ problems. For instance, if you run an online tech shop selling drones, a how-to guide on how to set up and operate your best-selling device will certainly come in handy for your customers and interested buyers.
A how-to guide like the one mentioned above will also function as a way to attract new customers, and will also act as a form of post-purchase customer service for your customers. What’s more is that how-to content includes keyword phrases that are excellent for upping your website’s SEO game, helping you rank higher on the SERPs.
In terms of content marketing, how-to guides are also one of the more practical forms of content that actually holds value to your customers. And just like blogs, how-to guides are also highly shareable and universally accessible to all types of ecommerce retail businesses. Whether you are running an online pet supplies store, bikini shop, or kitchen accessories store, it’s time to start brainstorming a few of your own how-to guides for your customers.
3. Video Content
While text and images may give your online store a boost on search engine results pages, some research suggests that sites that harbor video content are over 50 times more likely to rank higher than sites that do not utilize the video in their strategy.
Search engines rank websites that provide quality content and answers to their searchers’ questions, and as digital marketing evolves, video content will continue to influence the way that we shop. Today’s shoppers prefer to watch video descriptions and often do their research to find product demos and reviews online. Written product descriptions are limited in enabling the potential buyer to “experience” the product, whereas video descriptions and demonstrations help to stimulate the shopper’s interest.
For example, let us say that you are running an online store selling apparel made from an innovative new fabric blend that people are not familiar with yet, a video production explaining and showing off your new product will work to excite, engage, ad educate your target audience far better and more efficiently than static image and text.
According to a survey on online consumers, 50% of shoppers want to watch videos before they purchase electronic goods, appliances, tools, and even personal care products. The survey also found that 85 percent of consumers between the ages of 18-34 report they’ve purchased a product or service after viewing a video.
You’ll know by now just how important images can be in the world of ecommerce. Your online store relies heavily on images to make sales, run ads, and your social media pages. Images have to power to communicate and convey visual information, traits, and the real-life function of your products to your consumers. Images are what captures the eye and attention of your potential customers and turn them into your buyers, so it’s important that you maximize their potential.
Unfortunately, many ecommerce stores seem to be using generic-looking, stock images for their site. When you run your site on stock images or product images taken directly from the manufacturer, you’ll run the risk of not being able to stand out, looking sub-standard, and missing out on web traffic.
More than 20% of all searches conducted in the U.S. happen on Google Images in 2018. This means that if you aren’t thinking about optimizing the images on your site, you’re ignoring a rather valuable asset your online store has.
There are a number of things you can do to optimize your website for images, and one is to use unique images for your site whenever possible. Re-naming images are also important. When renaming image files for your online store, make use of words that clearly describe the image seen.
Another important note for all ecommerce store owners to consider is image size. When image sizes are too large, this can decrease a site’s load time, which subsequently decreases your search engine rank, as SERPs tend to favor sites that load quickly.
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