ECOMMERCE SEO STRATEGY
The Essential First Step
Without a strategy, SEO is just a series of actions, without much purpose or drive. Some may prove effective in the short-term, but are unlikely to generate lasting results over time.
When working with clients, I always start by identifying a strategy. It provides a handy blueprint, detailing what SEO tasks are most likely to contribute to the goal, how to monitor results, and how the ecommerce site needs to evolve its optimisation over time to gain achievable results in the short term, plus more dynamic results in the long term.
Why you need a strategic approach
There are many reasons why having a strategy works. These include:
All stakeholders will know what’s achievable and the stages required to deliver on predefined goals
You’ll have a plan for the future, as well as some actions for the present
Every SEO decision will be part of a bigger plan, rather than an action in isolation
You’ll generate properly targeted traffic, clearly focused on an agreed set of aims, which will translate to a higher rate of conversion - achieved earlier than if working without a strategy
Creating a strategy
Every ecommerce business wants to increase sales. But with SEO it's not as simple as saying let’s grow!
Every ecommerce business is at a particular stage of growth within its marketplace. However, the site's search visibility may or may not match this position (it often doesn’t). While you might want to target sales for a particular set of products, your search engine rankings for the keyphrases which target those customers might be a long way from generating the traffic you need.
To devise a strategy, I always start by asking the following questions:
What are the goals of the business?
What products sell well already and through which channels?
For the products that sell well through search, what are the factors influencing that?
What products do you want to increase sales on and why? E.g. is it because of the better margin or the emergence of particular trend?
What search activity matches those products?
What’s your search visibility for those phrases?
How does your search visibility look for different sets of phrases?
How can we segment these into targets?
Which businesses have greater search visibility, or in old marketing terms, ‘share of voice’ for those targets?
What SEO attributes do those competitors have which your site does not?
What’s the competitive challenge in improving your search visibility?
Which of your SEO attributes can we improve to help you compete?
Do we need to have a phased plan of targets to grow the search visibility over time?
Once we know all of this we’ll have the skeleton of a strategy. This gives a good idea of the challenges ahead, a set of targets to optimise for, an idea of the timeline to see an ROI, whether growth towards visibility on the most valuable keyphrases will happen in phases or not, and where the optimisation needs to focus.
You need a strategy to guide and build towards gaining the visibility that will allow you to sell those products through search.
Putting results before actions
Every good SEO strategy uses data to both define the strategy and monitor it. Now that we have the strategy sketched out (and before we plan specific actions), we determine the KPIs and goals we both want to monitor, then set up the tracking required to allow us to collect that data.
The kinds of things we monitor on regular basis are:
Your site’s position in the SERPS for target keyphrases
Changes in ranking pages
Changes in traffic levels
Changes in traffic engagement
Changes in conversion rates, number of transactions, and revenue
Changes in page performance
Changes in inbound link volume, quality, and value
Measuring these elements alongside the KPIs and consistent goals like Cost Per Acquisition gives us a robust framework for both measuring performance, and analysing where things can be improved. This enables us to craft the strategy further.
Get better ROI from your SEO
An SEO strategy means that every task is tailored to deliver very specific objectives.
To find out more about developing an SEO strategy for your ecommerce business, get in touch with me today.