Amazon, eBay, and other marketplaces have been around for quite some time now, but they’re not the only giants in “the game” anymore. In fact, ecommerce has blown up in the last ten years.There used to be a couple companies that would offer a given product at the right price, but now, you’re fighting against thousands of companies (including overseas, cheap companies like Ali Baba) who offer similar products to yours.

If you want to corner a market, you need the right ecommerce SEO. When somebody searches for the product you’re offering, you want your website to pop up in the first page of Google’s results.This SEO guide will explain five of the best ways to boost your ecommerce strategy.

E-commerce SEO Strategies

Our top strategy for improving your site’s ecommerce traffic will probably come as little surprise to long-time readers: it’s optimising your site for search engines. This tried and true method is still the best way to attract potential customers to your business.

Keyword Research Local + Global

For the beginner, SEO is largely a matter of knowing what keywords people are going to use to find your website online, then optimising your site and content around those keywords.

SEO can work on a local and a global levellet’s examine the local level first:

Let’s say you were selling shoes in Sydney. Your customers would largely be using search terms like “shoes in Sydney” or “footwear around Sydney,” or even a long-tail keyword like “the best shoes in Sydney NSW.”

Now, to the global level:

If you’re looking to attract an international ecommerce crowd, pay special attention to dialects and idioms that may not be part of another culture’s vocabulary (even if they speak the same language).

An international buyer interested in your companyespecially one not familiar with your various citiesmight search for something along the lines of “Australian shoe company.”

If you haven’t done keyword research to determine how your customers will find you, how much competition you face for your desired keyword, and where you currently place in those rankings, you can safely stop reading this article now. Check out one of our other handy guides on SEO Basics and SEO Keywordswe promise that this ecommerce SEO guide will still be here when you get back!

Online Reviews

A vast majority (85%, as far as surveys say) of people trust the product and company reviews they find online. Here’s the impressive thing: they trust these reviews as much or more than their friends.

An even higher percentage of those online customers use those reviews to make informed decisions on what they want to buy.

If you run an ecommerce business and you don’t feature reviews on your site, you’re risking a lot. People will likely ask at least one of the following questions:

  • Are they afraid of allowing people to say what they think of this product?
  • How am I supposed to know if this product is any good?
  • Where can I find a product review for this item?

Chances are, if they get all the way to the last question on that list, they’ll navigate to that site and likely buy the product from them. Sorryyou lost the sale, as well as the potential repeat sales that your emails, social media posts, and more could have attracted them to make after the initial sale.

Not sure how to start offering this feature? Don’t worry! Even if you’re using a simple template-based site from WordPress, there are plugins that can help your customers provide product reviews, boosting your site’s mobile seo presence, as well as SERPs viewed through computers/laptops.

We’re serious: if you don’t offer product reviews, bookmark this site, stop reading this, and add that functionality to all of the products on your site. Just like the above SEO section, we promise that we’ll still be here when you get back.

Content Marketing Strategies

You’ve likely heard the term “content marketing” bandied about with some regularity in the last four or five years. Perhaps you’ve ignored it, writing it off as another silly trendnot unlike Justin Beiber or fidget spinners. However, unlike the previous two items, content marketing actually deserves your attention.

Here’s the very least you need to know: content marketing is essentially a fancy word for blogging. However, it’s more than that, it’s also about creating content that relates to the product you’re selling, but not directly.

Wherefore Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a natural evolution of the prevailing advertising trends over recent years.

Advertising and public relations are terms that have always gone hand-in-hand; this is a fact that the originator of the term “public relations”, Edward Bernays, admitted proudly. He also had another word for it: propaganda.

That doesn’t mean that you need to view your advertising campaign as some sort of sinister “lie” you’re telling potential customers. It’s just a sign that you need to create a powerful message for them to respond.

People are jaded, and it’s harder than ever to keep and hold their attention.

Let’s face it: the more adverts people see in a day, the more cynical they’ll become. More than ever, they need a believable, compelling story for why your brand properly represents them.

Great Content Marketing

Let’s get something out of the way before we begin: don’t write blogs about the new products you’re offering. Do not. Ever.

That’s not content marketingthat’s advertising. While advertising still has its place, it’s not on your blog.

Okay, now let’s look at what you should do…

Let’s say you sell boats and boating equipment. Instead of writing a piece along the lines of “Why You Should Buy the New 2018 Yacht,” it would be a much better idea to write an article about “10 Things You Should Look for in a New Boat.”

You want to create a variety of articles with different, interesting formats. Here are some ideas to get you started, using the boat company as an idea (you have our permission to replace the word “boat” with your own product):

  • Amazing Benefits of Having a Boat
  • Things to Avoid When You Buy a New Boat
  • Places You Should Take Your Boat
  • Questions Every New Boat Owner Should Ask
  • The Best Websites for Boat Enthusiasts
  • The Biggest 2018 Trends in Boats

The list could go on and on, but you (hopefully) get the idea.

What’s best, content marketing is a low-cost (or even free) marketing method if you can do it by yourself or find someone to write it relatively inexpensively.

Email Marketing

Email marketing might seem like a dead-end if you’ve working with a weak strategy. If, however, you know how to use it right, it can help you make conversions and improve your site’s return on investment.

Email is the new cornerstone of ecommerce marketing. The right visuals and copywriting allows you to deliver targeted suggestions to previous customers, prospective customers, and repeat customers.

If you’re not utilizing your email list and soliciting people to join it, you need to start doing that. We’re not going to suggest that you stop reading and go do it nowwe’ve done that enough already. Suffice it to say that this list is a potential goldmine.

Email Personalization

You might (or more likely, might not) be familiar with the classic sci-fi television series “The Prisoner.” In the show, every one on “the island” is assigned a number, but the main character objects fiercely.

“I am not a number,” the star, Patrick McGoohan, cries, “I am a man!”

Form letters and even vaguely personalized emails turn people off immediately. They don’t want to feel like a number.

Thankfully, it’s easy to personalize these emails by adding users’ names in the message title and salutation. This, along with custom content and recommendations, gives the impression that your company is sending customized emails that are clearly designed for a specific customer.

Social Media Marketing

There were a few years, early on, when social media seemed like it was primarily a place for teenagers to seek approval, share music, and bully each other. While that’s all still going on, the whole world hasnot so quietlyjoined in the social media fray.

Nearly every viable business these days has at least a Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram account. Some have expanded as far as Snapchat, LinkedIn, and countless other platforms that spring up like toadstools under a shady, rainy tree.

Simply put: if you want to create a successful ecommerce business, you can’t ignore the importance of social media marketing. But, how should you engage with customers, friends, and followers on social media?

Under the “Influence”

Society has always had its tastemakers; they used to be politicians, movie stars, and socialites. These days, they can simply be an “Average Joe” with a lot of social media followers.

Do some research on the popular people in your industry. If, to continue one of our previous examples, you sold footwear in Melbourne, you’d likely want to find somebody very fashionable. Reach out to them and see if they’d be interested (for the right price, of course) in making a sponsored post that contained a reference to your shoes.

If you sold boats, to continue our other example, you’d want to find a local nautical expert with plenty of followers. Maybe you’d rent him your boat for a day and encourage him to make videos, take pictures, and post to social media about how much he enjoyed the boatcourtesy of “Your Boat Company”.

Instagram and Snapchat

People have shorter attention spans than ever. They’re also more visual than they’ve ever been; it’s only understandable, given how much information and stimuli they’re bombarded with on a daily basis.

Instagram allows you to present your brand directly to your audiencewhether through paid advertising or actual followers you’ve earned (the free, and in our opinion, better option). You can use photos and videos to advertise your content and continue the dialogue about your brand.

Did you know that you can even turn your company’s Instagram into a virtual marketplace?

You can even make shop-able postsessentially virtual advertisements that show people where they can find the items being shown in the picture (or video). Apps like Shopify and Have2HaveIt can help you accomplish this quickly and painlessly.

Outsourcing SMM

By no means should you outsource your social media marketing to a cheap companyespecially one located overseas. The content they provide will not be engaging; it will likely be borderline unreadable and unrecognizable as English.

Even worse: it will drive up your bounce-rateshow quickly users navigate away from your site, regarding it as spam or decidedly “not for them.”

Bottom line: if you look like you provide spam instead of quality content, you lose.

Finding the Right SEO Services

We realize that we’ve thrown a lot of information at you in this pieceperhaps like Keanu Reeves in the Matrix, you’re reeling from the information you’ve just received by “taking the red pill.”

There’s a good chance that you don’t feel well-equipped to make all of these changes to your site. There are a variety of companies who offer SEO services, but we’re proud to be the best in the Melbourne area.

Long-Term SEO Management

If you’re interested in expanding into each of the five topics listed above, you might be interested in developing a long-term relationship with an SEO company. They can walk you through your goals, provide analytics about success rates over time, and help you continue to adapt with changes.

Project-Based SEO

If you feel, on the other hand, that your email marketing strategy is actually pretty good, but your social media could use work, you might wish to find SEO service offered on a per-project basis.

Important Takeaway

Just to illustrate the gravity of your situation: every day brings you new competitors in your specific ecommerce field.

Granted, that competitor may be located around the world from your company, but if they’re offering great prices, shipping rates, and have an easy-to-navigate website, you’re in danger of being overtaken.

The methods we’ve illustrated here are just a few of the ways you can boost your site’s ecommerce strategy, but we think that they’re the five that you should focus on before any others.

You can build a more successful ecommerce business simply by focusing on:

  • Search Engine Optimization (Specifically Google)
  • Product Reviews
  • Content Marketing and Creative Blog Posts
  • Inbound, Customized Email Marketing
  • Social Media and Influencer Marketing

If you want to stand out against the hundreds of thousands of online marketplaces offering similar products, you owe it to your business to improve these elements of your ecommerce business strategy.

We wish you the best of luck creating quality content and online marketing. Remember: we’re here to help with any of your SEO needs, whether through our services, handy guides, or simply by providing actionable answers to questions you might have.