If you are looking to increase your e-commerce sales, it’s time to get up close and personal with SEO.
There is no arguing that online business sales are on the rise. So, it’s sensible to deduce that the higher your website ranks, the more you will sell. U.S. retail e-commerce sales for the first quarter of 2019 amounted to $137.7 billion, which was an increase of 3.6% from the fourth quarter of 2018. How can you tap into that?
Let’s jump right in.
How can SEO increase your online business sales?
You’ve created an online business selling products or services, you’ve managed to create some semblance of a following, and you may have even generated a decent amount of sales through paid ads, social media, or other organic means.
But it’s inconsistent, and you need to scale in order to cultivate a long-lasting source of targeted traffic and buyers. After all, your business relies on your customers for success.
You’ve heard about search engine optimization but haven’t taken it seriously because you either don’t know how effective it can be, you don’t think it’s worth the investment, or you don’t have time to “wait it out.”
We’ll be the first to tell you… it’s time to take it seriously.
SEO is a game of commitment, so it’s important to bear in mind that slow and steady truly does win the race. But how can it help you?
Here are five ways optimizing your website for search engines can increase sales for your online business:
1. Drives Relevant Organic Search Traffic
Website traffic is great and all, but if your visitors aren’t converting, whether in the form of email opt-ins, leads or sales, what’s the point?
SEO allows online businesses to target their preferred audience, driving tailored traffic and leads to their websites and e-commerce stores. All web surfers have search intent – informational, navigational, transactional, and commercial – and it’s essential that you recognize whose needs you want to meet.
Understanding user intent and optimizing your website to cater to it is one of the top ways to increase sales. As an online business looking to sell products or services, paying attention to the keyword(s) that your preferred audience enters into a search engine is the best way to optimize your website for more conversions.
Relevance is the name of the game, and if you’re irrelevant, you’re not in the game.
On the contrary, traffic that arrives out of the left field may not know what they are looking for or may seek something that your website doesn’t offer. SEO allows you to acquire the organic search traffic that you want.
2. Improves the Construction of Your Website
When search engines crawl your website and get caught in a tangled web, aka poor site construction, irrelevant content, and broken links, it makes it difficult for the spiders to decide whether your website offers enough value to readers.
Search engine optimization and site reconstruction can help rid your site of irrelevant, poorly written content and make it easier for spiders to crawl and index your site appropriately. The results of these crawls play a significant role in where your site is placed in the search engines.
The construction of your website is a huge factor in increasing online sales, both from an SEO standpoint, and a user experience standpoint.
3. Strengthens User Experience & Increases Retention Rate
Not only will a well-organized website help you rank higher in the SERPs, but it will also help convert leads into buyers.
Have you ever visited an online business with the intent of shopping, but ended up so overwhelmed or frustrated by the poorly organized site and content structure that you bounced rather than browsed?
The more appealing your website is, the longer a user will remain on the site, thus increasing the likelihood of making a purchase while assisting your efforts to rank on Google.
A reader that is confused by your site’s content or is unable to find what they are looking for will leave your website and try to find the information they seek elsewhere.
If the same user is attracted to your website, finds what they are looking for, stays on the page for a long time, and even clicks to another page, Google will look at your business favorably.
SEO specialists will ensure that website content that is clear, easy to read, relevant, and concise. They will also ensure that the usability is up to snuff with Google’s criteria.
User experience comes first, search engines come second.
4. Optimizes with Keywords for Search Engine Relevance
While keyword research and implementation are not the only factors of SEO, they are some of the most important.
The whole point of search engines is to present users with websites that are relevant to the search term they entered, so it goes without saying that keyword optimization is essential in ranking.
Optimizing each page on your website with terms related to your content, particularly products or services that are for sale, will help rank specific pages, not just your primary domain.
For example, if you sell handmade accessories, your SEO specialist will want to optimize product types with varying keywords.
So, if you sell handmade cotton scarves, handbags and headbands, and your products and product categories have their own separate pages, they should each be optimized with keywords related to handmade cotton scarves, handmade cotton handbags, and handmade cotton headbands – on the appropriate pages, not site-wide.
This will help search engines pull up…
…in the SERPS, rather than just:
This will bring your customers directly to your handmade cotton scarves, and thus increase sales potential, rather than to your homepage, which would force them to browse and hopefully find what they are looking for.
5. Helps Potential Readers Understand What Your Site is About
Not every web surfer is click-happy. A description of your web page is essential in helping prospects decide if they are going to choose you or someone else. Neglecting your meta description may lessen your chances of winning the never-ending race.
Optimizing your site with a SERP description will help grow your traffic. Think about what makes you click a link; are you more likely to click something that describes the page, or something that consists of non-sensible, irrelevant hoopla?
For example, when you search “how to make money online”, one of the first results is an article by thepennyhoarder.com. The block of text displayed beneath the link is the meta description, which is there to help potential readers understand what they would be reading about if they clicked the link.
The more information this text provides, the more likely someone will be to click through.
You can also see this information by clicking CTRL > U or by right-clicking on a website and selecting View page source. A quick search for the meta description shows a match, indicating that this article was specifically optimized to display text describing the page’s content.
When this bit of information is not provided, the SERPs will display the first 1-2 sentences of your page content.
Take a look at the description of another search result for the same term.
While this site is ranking for this keyword, the meta doesn’t tell us much more about the post.
Which would you click? The one that tells you that you will learn how to make money by the end of the day and uses actual numbers, or the one that didn’t optimize their content and has the first sentence of their post as the description, telling us nothing more than what the title says?
We know what we would pick.
Not only does a custom meta description increase your odds of getting traffic from an audience perspective, but it also helps Google rank you in the SERPs.
Now, not every site that ranks for a handful of high-volume keywords will be racking in the dough. It really depends on your strategy. If you’re purely dropping your keywords into a couple of headers, you may just walk away with the traffic.
However, if your strategy is designed with the goal of generating leads that will eventually convert to sales, SEO could prove very profitable for your online business.
A solid SEO strategy will grow your website traffic over time, ultimately increasing your online sales and growing your business.