What is SEO and why does it matter in ecommerce?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of generating more organic (i.e. free, natural) traffic from sites like Google, Bing and Yahoo.
Ecommerce SEO is all about ensuring your product pages appear among first ten organic search results. Of course, there are many more pages to explore...
But the higher the page number you rank on, the lower the traffic you’ll generate.
A few years ago, a study found that only 4.8% of searchers make it to the second page of search results. Page 3? Only 1.1%. I suppose that’s why they say the best place to hide a dead body is on page two of Google.
Your rank on the first page matters as well. The same study found that the top result grabs 32.5% of traffic on average. The second result grabs only 17.6%. By result six? You’re looking at less than 5% of traffic on average.
There are many factors that can make your online store appear higher in search results:
- the number of natural (not paid or social media) links pointing to your store from other websites
- the authority of the website based on engagement and other factors
- the age of your domain name
- website structure and content that is optimized for search engines
When you are new to selling online, it can be difficult to do much about the first three factors. It takes time to build a reputation for your brand and get other sites to link to yours. You can plan for the long term in your content strategy.
The name of the game, then, is to rank as high on the first page of Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. as you can for search terms that your potential customers might be using.