Many e-commerce websites rely on returning customers, traditional word-of-mouth, and a variety of ad campaigns for the majority of their website traffic. For this reason, many site owners undervalue or underappreciate the impact of SEO on their bottom line. At best, neglecting SEO can result in missed organic traffic and potential sales. At worst, it can have a negative impact on other advertising and marketing campaigns. Ultimately, engaging in a minimal amount of basic SEO is still vital for the success of an e-commerce for a variety of reasons.
Best Way of Reaching Core Audience
Traffic driven by paid advertisements targets customers searching for a wide range of terms, some of which may not be within a specific website’s sphere of influence. Yes, the terms are always going to be logically related to relevant products. However, that doesn’t guarantee that a consumer is going to have any interest in the products that a specific website is offering unless they are searching for that exact product.
While SEO is not as aggressive as advertising campaigns, the traffic that it generates is, by its very nature, more focused. When a website is optimized for a specific phrase or set of phrases, all of the organically generated traffic is going to consist of individuals searching specifically for variations of that phrase.
Most E-commerce Websites are Already Generally Optimized
One of the things that many people don’t realize is that there is a significant amount of overlap between e-commerce best practices and SEO best practices. The things that search engines value: fast load times, clean layout, uncluttered design, are many of the same things that attract consumers to a website. This means that in most cases, a solid SEO foundation is already in place. This minimizes the amount of website downtime required for full optimization as well as mitigating a portion of the costs associated with hiring an SEO specialist.
Complements PPC Campaigns
SEO or PPC campaign is a false dichotomy. Savvy owners understand that there is a significant amount of overlap between the two traffic generation methods and that proper SEO can actually improve PPC results. First, monitoring SEO results and tracking organic traffic generation can provide a list of potential keywords for future PPC campaigns. Additionally, effective on-page SEO can lead to a higher overall quality score which can, in turn, reduce the cost of a particular PPC campaign.
Great Return on Investment
Pound-for-Pound, SEO is usually one of the most cost effective portions of any advertising or marketing budget. When used in conjunction with other best practices, SEO can lead to an increase in lead generation or product sales disproportionate to its initial cost.
Long Term Investment
Unlike many traditional marketing tools, the effectiveness of SEO is not dependent on a continual infusion of cash. While SEO is not entirely “set-it-and-forget-it”, it is a long-term investment, especially when compared to something like a PPC campaign. Actually, SEO shows an increased effectiveness based on the length of time that certain aspects have been in place. This is because most search engine evaluative algorithms place an increased emphasis on stability and longevity with regards to on-page elements.
While many marketers will try and claim that SEO is dead or no longer relevant, that is just not the case. Is quick and dirty SEO as effective as it used to be? No. Search engine algorithms have gotten better at detecting deceptive tactics and punishing dishonest practices. However, as long as the focus is clarity and quality, SEO will always be an effective marketing tool.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who has worked in eCommerce for the last five years. She currently writes for Rakuten Super Logistics and recommends them for all your online order fulfillment needs to further your success.