As a growing eCommerce brand, your success hangs on your online store’s notoriety. Your absolute #1 goal should always be to increase your store’s visibility to gain the most attention possible. A sure-shot way of accelerating this is by partnering with an experienced eCommerce SEO agency. But what exactly does it take to be a good agency?
Allow us to explain:
In the year of 2020, retail eCommerce sales across the globe eclipsed a whopping $4.25 trillion – nearly quadruple what they were in 2014. Now that might be great for the industry, but what does that mean for you – the business owner?
- eCommerce is quickly becoming the preferred way for buying and selling goods and services on planet Earth.
- There is a lot of competition on the internet.
No really – there’s a LOT. Try roughly 20 million online stores. 😨
To put it into perspective: Those are 20 million stores that online shoppers could potentially buy from instead of you.
So, being faced with one of the most saturated markets in the history of mankind, how the hell are you supposed to separate yourself from the pack?
Believe it or not – it’s easier than you think.
eCommerce SEO: The Game Changer
You’ve heard the term before – hell at this point some people write it off as a buzzword. But to this day, the key to becoming a dominant online brand cannot be accomplished without one essential thing: Search Engine Optimization.
The philosophy of SEO is simple but firm: No one will know you exist if they can’t find you.
The purpose of SEO is to catapult online stores to the top of SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) so that a brand is more likely to be discovered by wandering online users.
This my lovely readers is the game changer.
“Why does this matter?” I’m sure someone in the back will yell. 🤔
Well, if you’ve taken a good look around lately you’ve probably noticed every single person having a smartphone. You would think that most people would use that power to research things they’re interested in buying. That hunch would be dead-on. A 2017 study showed that 88% of consumers conduct online research prior to making digital purchases.
And it’s important to note something when people use search engines: 90% of them won’t get past page one.
If you’re not popping up early enough in search results when people are researching something that you specialize in – there is no stress ball strong enough to handle the squeezes you’ll be dishing out when your business shows minimal growth next quarter.
An Important Distinction
It’s important that before we dive into the weeds, we discern the three different forms of SEO:
- On-Page SEO
- Technical SEO
The first term is self-explanatory: On-Page SEO aims to make changes directly on your store pages. This will make your website have more favorable content that search engines like to promote. These changes are relatively simple to make, and often don’t require the help of coding nerds to make possible. The important step here that many people miss is doing proper keyword research to find opportunities with the most amount of traffic and least amount of competition.
Technical SEO, on the other hand, is a whole different ballgame. Where as On-Page SEO aims to improve site readability and content, Technical SEO operates on the “back-end” of your store. It focuses on improving how the data of your site is transmitted so that search engines have an easier time understanding how your website is structured. This kind of work often takes long stretches of time – often upwards of a few months depending on the complexity of your store. But it can make an incredibly positive impact on your search rankings. For that kind of work, you’ll definitely need those nerds.
Backlinks are the result of the process called link building – or in other words a hyperlink. The overall goal is to get other websites to link to your stores products or blog posts. This can improve search engine visibility if the website linking to you has a high domain authority.
What You Should Ask Your eCommerce SEO Agency
We now know what SEO is and why it’s so important. So to get your store on the right track, you’ll need to find an agency that knows what they’re doing.
The issue is there’s a lot of imposters out there who will claim they’ll 10x your store’s traffic in a matter of a few months without any real pathway of getting there. It’s very easy to get duped into thinking that eCommerce SEO is an easy process that a lot of agencies understand and are able to implement correctly.
But the reality is, with the ever-changing landscape of the web on a day-to-day basis, you need to make sure that who you’re investing in is the real deal. So we’ve compiled some incredibly important questions you need to ask when talking to a potential SEO partner:
What kind of work have you done for other brands?
Results matter, especially in the world of SEO. In fact, that’s all that matters. It’s important that your prospective SEO partner has yielded positive growth for their already existing clientele. Don’t be afraid to ask for the traffic reports from their other clients as well as what you can expect on a monthly basis. You should fully expect a well-endowed SEO agency to provide you with statistics and data that reflect the success they have already brought to other eCommerce brands.
What methods do you prioritize to maximize SEO impact?
Your eCommerce growth partner should not hide their techniques from you. While SEO is a very complicated world, agencies should be able to explain how they’re able to achieve high rankings on SERPs with realistic goals. Vague promises and being told to just “trust the process” won’t work out the same way it did for the Philadelphia 76ers.
An important rule your agency should know: Content is king, even in 2021.
Your SEO agency should reiterate that to you and either help you write that content or give you an outline of keywords you should be targeting during the content creation process.
You also should be ready to hear something that might hurt: your website sucks.
If your website sucks, your SEO campaign isn’t going to work. The SEO agency should tell you this upfront before investing in a high-ticket item such as an SEO campaign.
How can you tailor your approach to fulfill our business goals?
eCommerce SEO doesn’t take a “one size fits all” approach to brands. Every store has different goals within different industries and different markets. A powerful agency will be able to tailor their services to fulfill your goals while still providing an overall improvement to your SEO impact.
What are your short-term and long-term goals?
- Do you want to drive more traffic?
- Do you want to drive more sales?
- Do you want more newsletter subscribers?
- Is there a specific product you want to promote?
All of these goals should be set upfront with your agency to make sure the focus is aligned.
Is the Agency Familiar with your CMS?
eCommerce SEO is highly technical and you want to make sure the agency you choose has experience with the specific platform your store runs on. All of the eCommerce platforms are very different and you’ll want to make sure an agency has a developer on their team that is familiar with it to make sure all of the changes get implemented correctly.
SEO is still a dominant marketing channel in 2021 and if you’re not focusing on it with your eCommerce brand then you’re missing out on a lot of potential sales.
You’re probably wondering where to find an agency that can get you started on your SEO journey. Well we’ve got some good news for you, you’re already here. 😏
Our team at YourStore is ready to help grow your brand through strategic eCommerce SEO & CRO. Feel free to ask us all of those questions above, we’ll be happy to answer!
Once you partner with us those 20 million stores won’t stand a chance. 😉