Why SEO is necessary for e-commerce stores
So why is SEO necessary for e-commerce stores? The typical ecommerce journey goes like this. An ecommerce company founder gets an idea about a product. He or She visits Alibaba to find a manufacturer or supplier. Then the founder makes the first order and the products are delivered to their country/location in a month or so. Could be even faster depending on the shipment method and lead time.
The founder then creates a quick website on Shopify or Wix, because it is too darn easy to set up. After that, he/she sets up Social Media Ads, Mostly Facebook/Instagram. Then they wait to for the orders to start trickling in
From the outset, it may seem that SEO has no place in the model. Because, if you think about it, they are already getting traffic and they are probably making sales. But its much more complicated.
- 1 The problem with ecommerce
- 2 The Moat
- 3 Why SEO?
- 4 Some SEO tips for ecommerce
- 5 Summary
The problem with ecommerce
The problem with the internet is that there are people watching you. If you manage to become a success selling a certain product, there are bound to be copy cats. Hell, the company in China(or the country you made your product order/manufactured) could notice that you are doing quite well and set up shop in your own country and sell the exact same thing you are.
This is the ecommerce trap. Much as it easy to get started, it is also very easy for everyone and thus the competition is stiff.
In addition to that, ADs work on a bidding process. Meaning that the more people that are bidding for the keywords you are targeting the more you have to spend on ADs. This creates a very unfortunate race to the bottom type of situation whereby ecommerce businesses have to take less and less profit in order to compete. Some find themselves in the unenviable situation whereby they have to sell their products at a loss just to maintain market share.
This is the death trap with ecommerce. Unless you are able to build a moat to protect your business, marauding bands of competitors will sweep by and put you out of business.
What is a moat anyway?
A Moat is simply a barrier that protects you and keeps the competition away. There are several moats you could employ for ecommerce. We will discuss some of them.
- Good customer service
- Better and faster delivery
All those could work as really great moats but they have one drawback. They are also relatively easy for a competitor to replicate. I mean, patents work well but they could just modify the design and sell variations of your product. The rest such as good customer service, branding and fast delivery can be easily implemented by a competitor with enough funding.
Hence my belief. You see, the only real moat you can use to defend your ecommerce business is SEO
The thing with SEO is that its accumulative and it takes a long time to work. In addition to that, it provides a cheaper source of traffic than ADs. Let us discuss the two reasons and a few others in detail
SEO takes a long time to work
I am not kidding. It takes almost 24 months for some websites to reach optimum traffic and trust with the search engines. This may seem like a daunting and scary thing but think about it, it will take your competitors equally as long. Lets say you launch your ecommerce store. Then you implement an SEO strategy and 24 months later, you are doing really well with regards to traffic and sales. You competition by then would have noticed. But they will not be able to go toe to toe with you because, they will also need 24 months to get their organics up.
And that is the beauty of SEO. You cannot copy and replicate overnight. Meaning, once you get established and maintain you SEO strategy, keeping all other things constant, your competition may never catch up. After 24 months, they get to where you were, 24 months ago. Its an insane first mover advantage
SEO is relatively cheaper than ADs
This is another great benefit of SEO. With ADs, you have to spend money to get the traffic. If you stop spending money, the traffic stops. With SEO, the traffic will be continuous. Meaning that it will keep coming for the next foreseeable future.
So you will have the option of either reducing your AD spend or maintaining it to get even more traffic. Keep in mind, by this time, the only source of traffic for your competitors is ADs. You are getting both organic AND AD traffic. Its a good place to be.
Leads to repeat traffic
Because SEO is all about publishing useful content for your users, there is incentive for them to keep coming back to the website. This works wonders for brand awareness and customer loyalty. You are no longer just a pusher of product but a trusted adviser who entertains and educates. This makes you more valuable than your competition.
Another benefit of SEO is that, there is a possibility of your users sharing your blogs, tips and articles with their friends and family. This leads to more eyes on your brand and more potential for revenue growth.
Some SEO tips for ecommerce
As we have just seen SEO is the secret sauce that is going to keep you miles ahead of competition. It will help you build a consistent and scalable source of traffic that you could provide you with customers for years to come. Did I mention its sustainable? Meaning that the traffic is pretty consistent. It won’t just vanish overnight.
As a short primer, I am going to give you some SEO tips for ecommerce
Blogs are essential
You better start teaching yourself to write. You are going to have to create good content that is going to resonate with your website visitors. Aim to educate and entertain your visitors. A good blog length is 1500 words.
Keywords are important
You need to learn to research what people are searching for. The terms people use to search are called keywords and you need to optimize your website with them
Think through your overall website architecture. Is it easy to get around and find what you are looking for? Is the layout simple and intuitive? Think simplicity
Fast load speed
Load speed is everything, you need a website that loads quick. The more people wait, the less interested they become in your website and you lose out on traffic. And because people are having a bad experience, Google and other search engines may not send you more traffic.
Build your funnel
It is not enough to get traffic, you need to channel that traffic into your channel. So you would use top of the funnel keywords to get general traffic, middle of the funnel keywords to validate the prospects and bottom of the funnel keywords to push the sale.
Collect customer emails
After you get the traffic, you need to almost seduce them with gifts to make them give you their contact information, after that, its simply a matter of maintaining contact with the prospect/customer by giving them value in the form of newsletters and offers.
As you have seen the question isn’t why SEO is necessary for e-commerce stores, its, have you created your strategy yet? Leverage the power of SEO to build your online business and more importantly, stay ahead of the competition.
Thank you for reading, if you need any help with coming up with your strategy you can always reach me here