The year 2020 was a game-changer for the eCommerce industry.
Statista reports that global eCommerce sales in 2020 alone amounted to $4.28 trillion. This translates to about $1 for every $5 spent shopping.
Still, the industry is growing. More players are stepping in to share the pie with industry giants like Amazon and Alibaba. In 2020 alone, Shopify – a leading eCommerce platform – recorded the equivalent of a decade of growth in just a few short months.
Image source: Business to Community
While the exponential growth of the industry is good for key players, it presents several challenges to smaller businesses starting out in eCommerce, namely:
- More competition from other firms offering similar services
- Increasing marketing and acquisition costs
- Higher operational costs
- Limited visibility
That’s why many in the trade opt for other low-cost alternatives to conventional marketing methods, such as content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO provides businesses with an opportunity to rank on Google so as to get traffic and generate meaningful leads. As many businesses are competing for the limited slots at the top, there is a need for small businesses to adopt effective SEO strategies that will scale their businesses.
In such a challenging economy, bringing in more sales without spending more on advertising could be a great way to make your business grow.
Nowadays, there are many “online SEO gurus” offering quick-fix solutions. They are lying. SEO is a lengthy process wherein those that do it right become victorious.
That said, here are our five SEO tips to effectively boost your organic site traffic and generate leads for your eCommerce store in 2021 and beyond.
SEO Tip 1: Optimize Your Site Structure
Google is a business. As part of their ongoing strategy to increase their user base and serve their clients, they prioritize the user experience (UX) and security on their platform. And that means making it their priority to serve only users with sites that meet these goals, a feat that is intertwined with your site structure.
That’s why optimizing your site structure for a seamless visitor experience ought to be at the top of your SEO strategy. How do you optimize?
- By ensuring that your website is HTTPS-protected. HTTPS protects your client data from third-party sniffing programs. It could also be the cause for you to rank higher than a similar site.
- By working on your site load speed and responsivity to reduce bounce rate. Customers are very likely to leave your site when it takes longer than six seconds to load.
- By optimizing your on-page elements for ease of accessibility.
Also, as 65 percent of people shop online through their mobile phones, it would be wise to optimize your site for mobile in order to provide the best experience.
SEO Tip 2: Optimize Your Keyword Strategy
According to HubSpot, Google processes 63,000 queries per second on average, which translates to 3.8 million strategies per minute. For a platform keen on providing each user with the best results possible, keywords play a huge role.
Ranking on Google, therefore, dictates that you implement an informed and detailed keyword plan in your content strategy that will drive the right traffic to your site and generate leads for your eCommerce store. For a beginner, using keywords in your content as an SEO strategy starts with understanding the different types of keywords – transactional, navigational, informational – and the reality that informational keywords make up the bulk of searches with 80 percent.
Researching the best informational keywords in your niche and building content around them is a great way to make yourself visible to the Google algorithm. Knowing this is the easy part. Implementation, however, requires a tactical effort at analyzing your site alongside competitors in your niche.
Pick up an SEO keyword research tool for this process and add your site to it. Some of the most popular tools include:
Categorically analyze and group the data by site, type, keyword search volume and the average cost per click (CPC) for each keyword.
Low volume indicates low competition hence a higher chance to rank. Combine these with a keyword prioritization model to find the most practical keywords for your site.
However, bear in mind that long-tail, low-volume keywords are the most practical for an eCommerce site.
SEO Tip 3: Create Targeted Content
You are only as relevant as the value you provide your clients. As an eCommerce store, getting your clients to understand the value your products offer them is key. You ought to create targeted content that explains the value or benefits of your products rather than focusing on the features.
But as an eCommerce store with only product pages, how do you create targeted content? Start by:
- Providing well-written product descriptions
- Including a content marketing plan in your long-term strategy
- Optimizing your website copy to direct clients to relevant pages fast
Creating targeted content for your site should form part of your SEO strategy and informs the intent for each keyword you want your site to rank for. But content is more far-reaching than blog posts. It also includes your website’s on-page site factors, such as page titles, copy, images, alt tags and anchor text for your links.
Optimizing your content and keywords also helps boost customer experience and your rankings on Google.
SEO Tip 4: Write Better Meta Descriptions
Want to increase your click-through rate (CTR)? Work on your meta descriptions. Your meta description is the first piece of content a visitor sees before clicking on your page. It functions as an advert for your services, setting the user’s expectation on the value they would receive by clicking.
Writing effective meta descriptions would result in a higher click-through rate (CTR) translating into more traffic for your site.
What makes an effective meta description?
Natural language that describes a specific value, outlines benefits and features a targeted keyword for your SEO. It should also possess a call-to-action (CTA) to prompt the visitor to click.
SEO Tip 5: Build Your Site Authority
Google strives to provide its clients with high-quality information from reputable sources. As such, ensuring you earn a position on its favorites list comes with working on good ol’ backlinks.
Building a network of reputable links to your site allows you to assert your relevance to the algorithm while promoting your brand and creating awareness – you develop a presence in your industry.
Link building doesn’t have to be an arduous affair. Start by leveraging site analytics tools to analyze your competitors’ websites for opportunities. You could then reach out to reputable sites building their authority with offers. Also, as part of your link building strategy, you can leverage directory sites, resource pages and product influencers for links and mentions.
While external links are important, having a network of well-established internal links also goes into asserting your dominance. Check your site for broken links and provide linkages between similar pages (clusters) to improve the customer experience (CX) and aid Googles crawlers in understanding your site.
SEO is a process. It takes time to fall in line with Google’s algorithm. Draft your SEO strategy and begin implementing it now. Your store will stand a better chance of ranking with an early start, a good plan, resilience and adaptability.