How an eCommerce SEO Campaign Affects Conversion Rate
Proper search engine optimization can have a dramatic impact on the performance and effectiveness of a website. For online stores trying to increase conversions specifically, an eCommerce SEO campaign may be the single most important step in reaching that goal.
There’s more to SEO than just increasing your traffic. There’s no doubt that this is a massive part of why we tailor our websites for the search engines, but as the world of SEO has evolved, so has its intended purpose. Search engines like Google take hundreds of metrics into account when ranking a website, and it all boils down to user experience.
Years ago, search engines were generally information-based, and the system could more easily be understood as a means of matching users up with the most relevant information to their queries. The problem is, this is not how search engines work anymore, and if you are still thinking on these terms, you’re probably not utilizing SEO to its fullest extent.
Ranking high on Google or other search engines is no longer about information, it’s about the experience it provides the user. Back in the infancy of SEO, it was relatively simplistic to rank any website, because all you had to do was pick a keyword and provide the most relevant or comprehensive information about that keyword. It didn’t really matter how spammy your website was or even how slow it was. The search engine algorithms were far easier to please, with most of their emphasis being on title tags, meta tags, and a few other little details.
Google realized after a while that this system was not providing an optimal user experience because the SERPs could easily be hijacked by unscrupulous marketers and even scammers trying to push anything they wanted to the top of page one with impunity. This “information-based” search engine format has since been phased out completely in favor of a more user-experience related model.
User experience as a concept is harder to pin down, but Google and the other major search engines have made great strides in this area, utilizing any number of hidden metrics and user data to accomplish this feat. Factors like how easy it is to navigate the website and find what you’re looking for, how fast does the page load, how many ads are present on a particular page, is the page mobile-friendly, all play a role in how well a website ranks.
In other words, you are no longer tasked with merely providing information for your users, you need to take their enjoyment into account. Your website should help the user, and as an extension of that, your website should connect the user with what they need. This is often information, but it can also be a product, service, or form of media.
When it comes to eCommerce SEO, what you are providing ultimately boils down to your product, but there’s far more to it than that. Think of what it would be like if you walked into a store expecting attractively laid out product displays and instead were met with dusty unkempt shelves and dim lighting, cramped aisles, boxes strewn about, and no clear help desk or checkout station. How fast would you leave that store, even if you knew you could get what you wanted if you spent half an hour digging around?
Most people would run out of a store like that without even a second glance, and the same rules apply to your website. If it is slow, confusing, cumbersome to navigate, or suspicious in any way, users aren’t going to stick around and find out if you have what they’re looking for. In most cases, they will hit that back button so fast they won’t even see your newsletter popup form.
Well-implemented SEO is about more than gaining traffic from search engines. This is an old way of looking at things, and doesn’t really do justice to the modern-day complexities and purpose of SEO as a whole, especially as it applies to eCommerce. The ultimate goal of your SEO campaign is crafting a professional and inviting user experience that not only pleases the search engines, but results in more conversions. This guide will cover some of the basics as to why SEO impacts conversion rate, the ins and outs of targeting, and how SEO is the backbone of a better customer experience for your shoppers.
Proper SEO Attracts Hungry Customers
There was once a time where the results of decent search engine optimizations were like casting a wide fishing net. Because of the lack of competition and how easy it was, relatively speaking, to rank for specific keywords, the traffic that typically resulted from such work was both abundant and often lacking in quality.
The world of SEO has pulled a proverbial 180° turn, as now it is more difficult to rank for specific keywords because of the competition and how stringent Google’s algorithm checkpoints are, but as a result, the traffic you get is far higher in quality.
Quality organic traffic is the golden goose of the eCommerce world. It will continuously provide targeted traffic on autopilot for free, so long as you continue to please Google and keep your website in good standing. SEO works so well for eCommerce because the refined algorithm ensures that your website is only appearing for the most relevant search queries for users’ needs. In other words, Google acts as an intermediary between the user and the product they need, which in this case is on your website.
Google helps users find what they are looking for, not just in terms of information and products, but in the overall experience as well. Your online store has to meet certain expectations, such as aesthetics, how easy it is to find products, the checkout process, and more. If these elements are present on your website, Google will connect your content with the appropriate users based on their specific search terms and questions.
By implementing professional eCommerce SEO, you are effectively attracting your potential customers from all over the web right to your website. These users are on Google for a reason, specifically looking for a product that they need, whether it’s to solve a particular problem or simply for entertainment or recreational purposes, their goal is for their search query to be satisfied with a result. If your website is optimized in such a way as to provide that result, you will not only increase your traffic, but you will be increasing your conversions as well.
Better Targeting Means More Conversions
When you run an advertising campaign, you have to supply targeting data in order to serve ads to the right audience. With SEO, there are some similarities, but rather than focusing solely on metrics such as location and income, you are developing your targeting around what kind of experience the user will have and if your website provides the best possible answer to a specific problem or not.
One of the reasons why organic traffic can be so effective for eCommerce businesses is that experiences and emotions are often valued more than practical solutions. If an ad looks decent enough to click on but leads a user to a website that appears shoddy or dull, they might just leave even if the product they want is staring them in the face. You will only be rewarded from Google if your website has already been vetted by users, because search engines factor metrics like bounce rate into their ranking metrics. By investing in SEO, you are creating an environment for conversions from any source, be them organic, from social media, email campaigns, or PPC campaigns.
By catering directly to your customer’s needs in terms of the experience they want to have when they visit your website, it will generally result in more positive interactions all the way around, including email list signups and reduced cart abandonment. Better targeting simply leads to more conversions, which is not always so when you’re running ads. You could have the best targeting in the world but an unoptimized website will leave potential sales on the table.
SEO Optimizations Enhance Your Brand
Brand image was never much of a factor back in the early days of SEO. A completely unstyled HTML document with the right title tags and content could rank well, but these days, there are far more ranking factors that Google uses to determine what kind of experience will be provided for its users.
A better-looking, more functional website will always be a boon to your brand image. These two areas of your business go hand-in-hand in fact, as branding is a key component of most products. Part of what attracts consumers to a certain product in the first place is the brand image that’s associated with it and what that brand image makes them feel.
The same can be said about your website and how it helps customers relate to your products. Your website is an extension of your brand and should be treated as such from a design standpoint, which will provide Google with all of the right ranking signals, including that you are the authority source for everything related to your brand name and the products you carry.
Google has been increasingly favoring “authority” websites and with their latest core algorithm change in May of 2020, it’s looking like now more than ever that authority is one of the primary factors Google relies on to determine if a website deserves to be on page one. They want to see social proof, strong brand recognition, and powerful trust factors, because this is what users look for as soon as they get onto an eCommerce site. If those trust factors aren’t there, they are unlikely to possess the confidence to buy from you.
User confidence is a ranking factor in itself, and should be taken seriously if you want more conversions. You should be doing everything in your power to make your online store look professional and put any fears the user may have to rest immediately. This includes easy to find reviews on your product, an FAQ section, brand partnerships, an extensive About Us page, and plenty of personality. Users don’t want faceless corporate branding, and neither does Google.
SEO builds your brand by ensuring that your website meets certain standards of professionalism and user experience, thereby increasing brand presence on Google and brand awareness in your potential customers. This is something that other forms of marketing don’t quite capture as comprehensively, which makes eCommerce SEO all the more valuable if you are trying to build a successful online store and increase your conversion rate. Trust and powerful branding will go a long way toward attracting more organic traffic and getting it to convert.
The Right eCommerce SEO Services to Manage Your Campaign
With its increasing importance and complexity, you can’t afford to leave your SEO to chance, especially if you intend on reaching your conversion rate goals. Your SEO needs to be managed by a team of knowledgeable pros who can dive in headfirst and really put together a campaign that will get you the conversions you’re looking for.
Here at Genius eCommerce, we have a long history of helping online businesses navigate the dark jungles of SEO by implementing proven strategies based on powerful metrics like user experience and on-site optimization, in order to get your website on page one and enjoying more organic traffic and conversions than ever.
If you have been searching for a way to really boost your conversion rate and build brand authority naturally, professional eCommerce SEO services are the path you want to take. Reach out to us here and we’ll be happy to listen to your specific SEO needs so we can put together a winning strategy and get your business on the right track. You can reach us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 267-225-1946.