The quest for customers when running an eCommerce site often involves lengthy and expensive marketing campaigns. While such an approach is undeniably effective, it’s important to remember that there is more than one way to gain conversions. By earning organic traffic, you will be passively generating potential leads in the most cost-effective manner possible.
Here are seven tips for gaining traffic through SEO.
Ensure you have an SEO strategy in place
A wise soul once claimed that failing to prepare is preparing to fail. That certainly applies to SEO. You must have a medium- and long-term strategy in place, preferably crafted with the help of an industry expert. While it’s true that Google regularly moves the goalposts when it comes to SEO and page ranking, that is no reason to forgo an agreed approach.
Trying to second-guess Google is a fool’s errand. Every time you think you’ve found the answer to outwitting the Big G’s algorithm, they will simply change the question. If you have a strategy in place, you can ensure that you stay on the front foot. Taking a reactionary approach will leave you constantly chasing shadows and faltering behind your competitors.
Assign a budget for SEO
If you’re running an eCommerce website, it can be tempting to direct the lion’s share of your marketing budget into Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns. That is understandable, as PPC is ultimately where the money is. You can expect more consumers to convert from a PPC advert, which is an immediate boost to your bottom line.
The only issue with this approach is that you need to pay for every conversion. Eventually, that will become expensive – and all it takes is a couple of lean months for your entire strategy to lie in tatters. Investing in SEO will require a little more patience before you see results – but playing the long game can be hugely beneficial.
The key word here is ‘investing’, as this describes the process of spending money on SEO marketing. You are not paying for immediate conversions. Instead, you receive potential leads and brand awareness for your money – ensuring that consumers are more likely to purchase from you in the future. While this approach requires faith, it can become highly profitable when you start making wholly organic conversions.
Don’t neglect quality long-form content
Informative, entertaining, and engaging long-form content is among the most reliable ways to gain organic traffic. Consumers do not want to be treated like nameless, faceless cash dispensers by businesses. 64% of online shoppers want to feel a connection and kinship to a brand. 76% of these buyers will purchase from such a business over a competitor. That’s surely reason enough to personify your eCommerce site.
One way to achieve this is through keyword-rich content marketing that appeals to Google’s E-A-T algorithm. If you can populate an eCommerce website with blogs and articles designed to improve the reader’s life, you’ll find a place in the hearts and minds of consumers.
Showing willingness to discuss, and even resolve, pain points without a hard sell will encourage plenty of organic traffic. Every click comes from a potential future customer that is now aware of – and thinks highly of – your business.
Refine and update your content
While generating long-form content is important, it’s not as simple as “write a blog, post a blog, count your money.” If it were, we’d all be millionaires. Even evergreen content needs to be updated and refreshed from time to time, alongside new posts.
Evergreen content is named this way as it never loses its relevance. A blogpost from several weeks, months or even years in the past may continue to bring traffic to your site. As great as this is, tread carefully. Times – and trends – change. What you wrote in this blogpost may have rung true at the time of posting, but new information has since come to light that contradicts your claims.
In addition, by its very nature, evergreen content is cyclical. A post may gain plenty of traction, fall off the radar for some time, then enjoy a second viral life. Internet users are never slow to decry a post as old news and thus unworthy of their time if it’s been seen before, but refreshed perspectives will head off such reactions. Equally, regular updates will impress Google. Your page ranking will reflect your efforts.
Ensure your eCommerce site architecture doesn’t hinder your SEO efforts
The architecture and infrastructure of an eCommerce website requires the walking of a delicate tightrope. You’ll want to focus on your products and services for sale, making these the most accessible elements of the site. Avoid losing sight of the importance of content too, though. You should audit a website regularly to ensure it continues to perform well.
If a consumer walks into a brick-and-mortar shopfront, they’ll have a sales assistant on hand to help them navigate the store and answer any questions about products. The text on your site needs to replace this service. Just as a pushy sales assistant can deter a customer in reality, though, too many pop-ups, CTAs and redirects can frustrate and confuse an online shopper.
By all means, prioritise the promotion of your items for sale. That’s the purpose of an eCommerce site. Instead of pushing for the conversion, though, guide a wavering customer toward your long-form content. It’s better to keep a user warm than to lose them forever. Consumers who return to check in on your content contribute traffic, even if they’re not making a conversion.
Build industry relationships and make use of your network
Any successful businessperson knows that connections are everything, and eCommerce is no exception. Build as many relationships with reputable websites that operate within the same niche as your eCommerce store.
If you can partner up with them and earn some free exposure, that’s great. Never underestimate the power of high-authority backlinks, though. If you can encourage respected sites and resources to link to your eCommerce store, you’ll see an impressive rise in organic traffic.
Make your pages shareable
When Tim Berners-Lee invented the internet, he intended to allow the brightest academic minds across the globe to share ideas in an instant. To an extent, that is what has happened. Alas, even the most remarkable scientific breakthrough will never gain close to the viral traction of a funny cat video.
As a business, you need to be targeting this “cat economy”. You can pour hours of your time and thousands of pounds of your money into crafting SEO-friendly content, but if nobody shares your eCommerce site with their friends and peers it will be of limited use.
Think back to our discussion on long-form content marketing and consider this statistic. 94% of people share content that they feel will improve the lives of others. Tap into this sense of online altruism by making your content sharable and encouraging any spreading of your gospel. The more people that are visiting your website, the more leads you are generating.
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