A computer screen shows the words "DO MORE." It is a reference to how online eCommerce stores must use more SEO tactics to outrank their competitors.   Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash

Why does your eCommerce store need SEO? 

eCommerce has become a powerful means of selling products online. A key benefit is that it allows businesses to sell outside of their geographical location to individuals around the world, enabling the eCommerce companies with the strongest online presence to rake in enormous profit margins.  In 2017 alone, the eCommerce industry reached $2.3 trillion in sales globally.  In 2021 this number is expected to more than double, to $4.88 trillion in global sales. If you want your business to capitalize this revenue, then a solid Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy should be at the top of your priority list. With so many options to purchase items online, eCommerce competition can be fierce. To get ahead, companies must rely on strong search engine optimization (SEO).

Search engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of maximizing your online presence for search engines.  It carries the benefit of appearing in search results when your customers search for keywords related to the products or services you sell. SEO is fast becoming the most popular way for businesses to promote themselves online. Investment in SEO reflects this, with SEO spending projected to reach $80 billion in the U.S. alone by 2020.

Unsure how SEO can help your eCommerce business?  Let’s explore 6 reasons why you should put your marketing budget towards SEO – backed by consumer research.


6 Benefits of SEO for eCommerce Sites

  1. SEO Boosts Your Site Visibility

Imagine for a second that you spend no money on SEO.  Having a website that lists your products will get you nowhere if no one can find you and this is essentially when happens when you don’t invest in SEO.

Major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing use algorithms to bring up the most relevant content when people search for your products or services online.  Unfortunately, your competitors are using SEO tactics so that search engines, like Google, will bring up their website first and this results in a loss of sales for you.  What’s more, 75% of people do not look past the first page during a Google search, which means that if your site isn’t ranking on the top few pages, you aren’t making money.

A good strategy for ranking high involves targeting long tail searches with your content.  This is because short tail searches such as “fitness” is a much more competitive keyword to rank for than “fitness center in Edmonton”.  Tailoring your content for long tail searches can help you to rank for the search queries most relevant to your business, industry, and geographical location.

Another good SEO strategy involves focusing on answering your audience’s burning questions about your products, business, or industry. For your website to improve its rank over time, your content needs to be incredibly useful.  This means everything you write should fall into one of three categories: educational, informative, or entertaining.

The very core of an eCommerce website is having your site appear in the major search engines when customers search for your products online. SEO can help you increase your ranking over time so that you appear in the top search results when customers are searching for your products online. The right SEO strategy can help to multiply your customer base within the span of a few months.


  1. SEO Creates a Better User Experience (UX)

To maximize your conversion rates your SEO strategy should focus on improving your customer’s experience (UX) when shopping on your site.  Key areas to focus on are the product pages, the checkout process, and mobilization of your website.

On your products page, you can improve the user experience by having a dynamic website that learns from the products that users click on. For example, let’s say you are looking for a pair of black sunglasses online.  After you click on one pair of sunglasses, the website recommends two similar pairs of glasses below, both in black. When provided with on-target suggestions, you are more likely to find the exact pair of sunglasses you are looking for – which translates into more sales for the eCommerce site.  A strong SEO strategy will focus on optimizing your product page – making it easier for your customers to find exactly what they are looking for.

The second main consideration for optimized user experience should be the checkout experience for your customers. For a user-friendly checkout, avoid having surprise shipping fees that appear at the end of the checkout process.  Significantly, 36% of online shoppers find that the checkout process can be frustrating, especially when they have to fill out too many data fields. This leads to unhappy users and is a leading cause of why customers fail to buy a product after adding it to their shopping cart.  SEO is all about making your site a pleasure for customers to use, and this includes making your checkout process quick and easy.

Finally, for a great user experience, you should be thinking about mobile optimization of your website.  With 50% of all internet users using their phones, having a mobile-friendly website is crucial to promoting your business online.  Not to mention, buying products with a smartphone is becoming more commonplace and you don’t want to be losing customers online if your mobile website is too hard to navigate. A good SEO strategy will make sure your mobile website is just as easy to navigate as the desktop version. Since search engines like Google favour mobile-friendly websites, you will benefit from a higher website ranking when you optimize your website for mobile.


  1. SEO Increases Conversions

When you invest in SEO, you are investing in building your brand’s values, making your eCommerce company more likable and trusted.  This will, in turn, lead to more customers and repeat customers, as people become more familiar with your band name. Though a strong brand image can help, whether people will convert depends on two key things: ranking high in search results and user experience. When you pay for SEO, you are investing both of these factors that drive online sales.

What can you do to improve your eCommerce website’s user experience? A good first step is ensuring you have an easy checkout process with auto-filled information fields.  This can help improve conversion rates since fewer people will abandon their shopping carts due to a lengthy checkout process.  To optimize your checkout experience, try to offer either free shipping or reasonably priced shipping with rates that appear up-front. Surprise shipping fees that appear only at the end of a checkout process is a leading cause of abandoned shopping carts.

If you are looking to increase your online conversions, SEO will ultimately help in two major ways.  First, it will increase your website visibility, boosting your website traffic. Second, a good SEO strategy will focus on improving your customers’ experience as they browse your website, making the buying process much easier.


  1. SEO Helps Gain Global Customers

A major advantage of owning an eCommerce website is that you can sell to people outside of the geographical region where you live.  In fact, there’s nothing stopping you from selling your products to a global audience around the world. Having a strong SEO strategy can help your site to rank high, not only locally, but around the world.

Major search engines, such as Google, optimize their search results based on the geographical location.  There are even different versions of Google.com targeted towards either Americans, Canadians, or individuals living abroad. What this means is that if you typed in a Google search query “sports equipment” the search results would bring up different results based on whether you searched for this information in Canada or the United States.

To break into a new market, you will have to develop an SEO strategy for each of the countries you are targeting. You should also target keywords specific to not only your company but also to the countries you wish to sell to.

To gain worldwide rankings for your eCommerce site, your SEO strategy should focus on four key things.  Firstly, your IP address should be optimized for the countries you are targeting. Secondly, you should invest in a top-level domain (TLD).  Thirdly, your onsite content should be optimized for all the countries you are targeting. Finally, your backlink profile should include backlinks from websites based out of the various countries you are targeting.


  1. SEO Has Long-Term Benefits

SEO is in some ways much more valuable than paid ads because it involves creating a website and content that naturally ranks highly with search engines. A good SEO strategy will focus on optimizing your online presence in every way including content writing, product description writing, link building, and using SEO-optimized keywords. With a strong enough SEO strategy, your eCommerce website can appear on the top page of Google on its own, without the need for paid ads. This results in some long-term cost-savings for you.

The long-term effects of SEO abound.  A good SEO strategy can directly increase sales every day.  It is possible that one well-written blog article will continue to pull in new customers, creating more sales for your eCommerce company over time.  To maximize the number of website visitors you get for your content, you should use social media and email marketing to grow your brand.  The more social media followers who share your content, the more website visits you will generate.  Having an eNewsletter people can subscribe to is a great way to pump out new blog content as well, furthering the website traffic you generate for each article. Sharing great content will also help you gain more eNewsletter subscribers, allowing you to advertise to more prospective buyers through eNewsletter campaigns.

A key benefit of SEO is that once you enter the top 10 search results, you will benefit from a huge increase in website traffic and online sales.  Once you enter the top 10 results of Google it is very hard to fall out of that top ranking and consistently updating your content should help you stay there, indefinitely!  Strong content doesn’t stop giving, because chances are, the content will still be relevant (and therefore searched) in five months, five years, and beyond. In this way, a strong SEO strategy creates continual value by delivering content that people won’t stop searching for.  The more helpful and searched your content is over time, the higher your ROI for your SEO efforts.  Engaging content will also earn you more shares via social media, referral traffic, and backlinks from websites referencing your content as a resource.

When you invest in SEO over time your new content builds upon the success of your past content.  For example, if over a 12-month period let’s say you write one blog per month.  For each blog you write, you receive on average 100 website visitors per month. By the time you are at the 12-month mark, your blogs will be bringing in 1,200 visitors per month for your 12 different posts.


  1. SEO Helps You Compete Online

Independent of whether you are using SEO or not, your competitors are. These SEO efforts are gaining your competitors higher search rankings and more website traffic.  In order to beat the competition, you need to be employing SEO to outrank your online competition. If you are a small business, it will be hard for you to outspend your competition in paid advertising.  However, it will be much easier to invest in a winning SEO strategy to outrank your competition.

When it comes competing with other eCommerce stores, your rank is the biggest driving factor behind your number of sales. With 75% of users never searching past the first page of Google, you must rely on a strong SEO strategy to make it to the top few pages of Google.  If you can make it to the first result on Google for a given, you will benefit from over 35% of all website traffic for that search. This will translate into a huge increase in sales for your eCommerce company.

With over 1.5 billion websites online globally, a good SEO strategy is needed to stand out against the competition. To best compete online, you should have an attractive shipping and delivery policy so that your customers don’t have to wait too long or pay too much to have your products shipped to them.

Beyond improving the user experience, your SEO strategy must focus on all elements of online marketing. To outrank competition, you need a 360-degree SEO strategy that focusses on everything from fresh content and on-page optimization to backlink building and off-page optimization.

While content quality and uniqueness plays into your ranking, you can optimize the value you get from each post with a number of techniques.  First, you should optimize your page titles, headings, text, images, meta descriptions, and alt descriptions for search engines.  Promoting your content through various social media channels can help you expand the reach of your content, earning you even more website visitors each month.  Finally, you can combine several related posts together and then make minor content adjustments to repurpose your content.  Finding creative ways to repurpose content will help to maximize the ROI you get from your SEO efforts.


In summary, SEO can help your eCommerce store meet its end-goals and has numerous benefits.  Firstly, SEO can boost your website visibility by making your website appear more frequently in search results.  Secondly, SEO can lead to a better user experience (UX) for your website visitors.  Thirdly, SEO can increase your conversions, resulting in more sales for your eCommerce site.  A fourth way SEO can benefit your eCommerce site is through growing your business globally.  A fifth way you will benefit from using SEO, is that SEO efforts you make today will have long-term effects on your website ranking and traffic.  Finally, SEO will benefit your eCommerce site by allowing you to compete with bigger brand names online.

Why you need SEO for your online eCommerce store can is best summarized in the words of Dr. Christopher Dayagdag: “The success of every website now depends on search engine optimization and digital marketing strategy.  If you are on the first page of all major search engines then you are ahead among your competitors in terms of online sales.”


Improve Your SEO with Lean Marketing

Looking for some quick tips on boosting your SEO? This article on the 6 Essential Lessons of SEO can help you with the basics.

If you are looking for experts to handle your SEO efforts for you, we can help.  At Lean Marketing, we are experts in all elements of digital marketing, most remarkably in SEO. Do you need your website to rank higher in major search engines, like Google, Bing, and Yahoo? Set up an appointment with our SEO experts today and we will deliver an SEO strategy that will see your site rankings rise steadily over time.

Based out of Edmonton, Alberta Lean Marketing was founded to take small business’ marketing budget further.  At Lean Marketing, we proudly serve business partners in the surrounding Edmonton area.  No matter if your small business is based out of Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan, St. Albert, Stony Plain, Spruce Grove or the greater Edmonton area, our experts are here to help!