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Why Do Companies and Individual Ecommerce Businesses Need SEO?

SEM Geek

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Search engine optimization (SEO) has become an indispensable part of doing business online. Both large companies and individual ecommerce store owners need to implement SEO strategies if they want their sites to be visible and drive traffic. But why exactly is SEO so important for ecommerce businesses?

Driving Targeted Traffic to Boost Sales​

The main goal of any ecommerce business is to sell products and make money. One of the most effective ways to generate sales is by getting your site in front of people who are already looking for what you offer. This is exactly what SEO aims to do - drive targeted, high-intent traffic to your online store.

By optimizing your site and content for relevant keywords and search queries, you can greatly improve your chances of ranking on the first page of Google and other search engines. The higher you rank for product terms and category keywords, the more visibility you gain with searchers who are actively looking to make a purchase. This ultimately leads to increased site traffic and higher conversion rates.

For example, an online shoe store that ranks on the first page for the query "buy running shoes online" will capture the attention of users who have buying intent. If that same store had poor SEO and low rankings, they would miss out on connecting with those potential customers and making sales.

Gaining a Competitive Edge​

In the world of ecommerce, SEO is necessary not just for growth but also to keep up with the competition. Your major retail competitors like Amazon and Walmart invest heavily in SEO, which enables them to dominate product listings and sergeant millions of visitors per month.

As an independent ecommerce business, flawless on-page optimization and effective link building are even more vital for you to gain an edge over the giants. By carving out a presence on page one of search engines, you level the playing field and have a chance of converting shoppers before they default to the mega online retailers.

Populating your site pages with relevant keywords while earning backlinks from authority websites signals to Google that your business offers expertise and value worthy of ranking well. Doing SEO properly puts you in contention with competitors that aim to swallow your potential traffic.

Lowering Customer Acquisition Costs​

Paid ads on platforms like Facebook and Google are commonly used for ecommerce customer acquisition. However, ads can eat heavily into profit margins due to continuously increasing costs per click (CPC). This makes acquiring each new customer through paid channels highly expensive.

With SEO, not only is driving traffic essentially free once your site is optimized, but visitors also convert at a much better rate since they have buying intent right from their search query (eg. "buy acne skin care products"). SEO traffic has conversion rates of over 14.6% compared to paid advertising's 2 - 3%.

So the same amount of sales volume from SEO traffic would cost a fraction of what you would spend on paid ads. This difference of over 80% in customer acquisition costs can determine whether your ecommerce business is profitable or not.

Increased Brand Visibility and Trust​

An invaluable benefit of ranking high in search engines is the branding and credibility boost your ecommerce business receives. When the average consumer searching for a product comes across your website on page one alongside the likes of Amazon and big box names, it immediately triggers a sense of legitimacy and authority about your company.

Having a strong SEO presence causes shoppers to perceive your store as an established brand that must offer good products and service if Google places you ahead of the rest. This leads to higher user trust and more conversions compared to an unfamiliar site they come across. Over time, you build mindshare just through consistent visibility in search engine results.

In essence, being on the first page turns SEO into free advertising that amplifies your brand visibility and equity. And branding drives sales.

Structured Data for Rich Snippets​

A vital but often overlooked component of modern SEO is utilizing schema markup (structured data) on product pages and other ecommerce content. When you include schema tags like Product schema, Review schema etc, search engines can understand and index specific details about your pages better.

This gives you a chance of getting "Rich Snippet" listings in Google that showcase images, ratings, price and other engaging elements from your site within the search results themselves. Rich snippets catch the user's attention better and lead to more clicks and traffic. Especially for product listings, they boost conversion rates exponentially.

Overall, SEO and structured data help unlock the benefits of both organic and paid search for your ecommerce business without inflating advertising costs. In the world of online retail, brands need an integrated digital marketing strategy with SEO and paid ads playing key roles. An optimized site generating high-value traffic allows you to scale profitably.

By demonstrating expertise in your niche to Google and continuously providing a user-friendly experience, ecommerce businesses can gain sustainable visibility and sales through leveraging SEO best practices. The end reward is a cost-efficient stream of shoppers and revenue.
 
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