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The Importance of an SEO Strategy for E-commerce Websites

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What exactly is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)? SEO is simply the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. Playing a fundamental role in digital marketing, a robust SEO strategy  increases the visibility of your e-commerce store when people search for related products or services on popular search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo!. This, in turn, gives you more opportunities to convert qualified prospects into customers. 

SEO can be broken down into different types as well. On-site SEO, also known as on-page SEO, refers to rules and checklists to apply on each page on your site and content to make it search engine friendly. Whereas off-site SEO, which refers to optimisation done outside of your own website, also impacts your rankings on search engines. An example of off-site SEO is link-building.

Some of the leading e-commerce platforms such as Wix, WordPress, Shopify and Magento, also happen to be the most SEO-friendly ones. This means that using one of these platforms for your e-commerce business would better attract potential customers and provide your customers with great user experience while shopping at your online store.

Why is SEO important for e-commerce businesses?

According to an article by Forbes, having a solid SEO strategy is critical to the success of any e-commerce website. Big or small, SEO will help to maximise your e-commerce website’s profitability — here’s how.

Technology has changed the way consumers purchase products, with an increased amount of people shopping online — search results are now an integral part of the decision-making process. Hence, by ignoring SEO you would essentially risk your website becoming invisible on the internet  since SEO is required to appear as a top result. If you were to check out the analytics of your website, you would notice that organic search would be one of your top sources of revenue. 

Unlike paid search traffic, the traffic from organic search is “free”, meaning that SEO is a cost-effective way to grow your business. With SEO, you can attract quality traffic in large volumes without having to spend money on other resources such as costly banner ads or other forms of advertisement. 

The effect that SEO has on your business is also long-lasting. For paid advertising, the drop in traffic becomes evident once the ad campaign is over. However, with a solid SEO strategy, you will remain visible to your audience through search results on search engines. 

How to design an SEO strategy for your e-commerce website?

There are many simple ways to improve the SEO on your e-commerce platform and landing page. 

1. Use long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific keyword phrases that visitors are more likely to use when they are ready to purchase a product. In fact, an article by Visibility states that 95.8% of Google searches consist of more than four words. These keywords that contain more terms than average, that are unique to your business. If you are in the business of selling speakers, a long-tail keyword could be “portable waterproof speakers for cycling”, instead of short-tail keywords such as “best speakers”.

When integrating keywords into your content, ensure that they are precise by adding your speciality or location. When your keywords are more specific, you will be able to target niche demographics for your products. The chances of customers clicking on your website increase, and as a result, so does the conversion rate. Of course, the use of long-tail keywords should be done in combination with short-tail keywords to produce the best results. 

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2. Choose the right domain

Get a personalised domain and keep it short and catchy or relevant for brand recall. You would want to include your business name or area of expertise, along with the main keyword. This will increase the chances of your website coming up when your branded keyword is searched. Purchasing a domain can be as easy as visiting domain registrars such as A2, GoDaddy, or Namecheap and making your purchase by paying a fee.

3. Make it mobile-friendly

According to a report done by Google, mobile searches in Malaysia for the term “best gaming phone”, “best place in…” and “best time to…” grew 1.2 to 2 times in 2020. It is safe to say that most searches are now being done via mobile. So, ensuring that your e-commerce website is mobile-friendly is non-negotiable and essential for your business to succeed online. To ensure that user experience is seamless on mobile, ensure that the theme you choose is mobile-friendly. You should also reduce the size of images, use large, readable fonts, avoid using Flash or popups and reduce the amount of content on each page.

4. Go local SEO

Local SEO takes advantage of searches performed on mobile devices, with local intent. Improving your local SEO will help you attract consumers in the area your business is based at. 

Ways to improve your local SEO include using local keywords, claiming your directory listings and creating pages for your businesses on Google My Business and Google Maps. Get your business on Google Maps by filling in your business profile on Google My Business, which enables you to manage and optimise your business profile on Google. Also, create an account on as many local directories (websites that feature listings for businesses in a specific area, with a niche or in a certain industry) as you can — this will legitimise your business in the eyes of the consumers. 

5. Optimise your images

While having high-quality visuals on your website is important, it does not help with SEO if there are no accurate descriptions or captions written for your images. To improve SEO on your website, add unique textual descriptions to your photos. By doing so, it is more likely for these images to turn up on Google Image Search. This will direct more organic traffic to your site. 

Invest in SEO for your e-commerce business now

Understanding just how deeply-embedded search engines are in our day-to-day lives makes it clear how important SEO is for businesses. Having a good SEO strategy is critical to ensuring the growth of e-commerce businesses. Invest in a stellar SEO strategy for your e-commerce website and boost sales and revenue today.