When it comes to insisting why SEO is important for eCommerce, it boils down to the question “SEO Vs Paid Marketing – Which one does eCommerce retailers value the most?” Here’s why. In the era where paid marketing tactics are paying instant dividends, SEO seems to have been put on the back burner by eCommerce brands.

eCommerce brands are being influenced by their consumers’ instant gratification attitude and hence hesitate to focus on search engine optimization, which is comparatively a long-term waiting game. Though quick results matter, SEO is still vital for eCommerce retailers for many reasons. Here are top 5 reasons that insist on why eCommerce brands should consider SEO as their frontline strategy in the year 2021.

Top 5 areas in which SEO can help eCommerce

  1. Familiarize your brand in the customers’ buying journey
  2. SERPs results in traffic and, in turn, sales
  3. SEO wins paid marketing efforts hands down in terms of cost
  4. eCommerce SEO paves the way for a 360-degree perfection
  5. SEO lasts long and augments other marketing efforts

Let’s discuss these points in detail. Read on.

Reason #1 : Organic visibility is the best way to reach customers in their buying journey

The fact is pretty simple and straightforward. Google and other search engines drive online traffic. If Google doesn’t know you, your target customers won’t either. Google’s first page results capture 71% online search traffic, and it is reported to be as high as 92% in recent years – Forbes.

According to a study, the first organic result in Google Search has an average click-through rate of 28.5%, while the second and third positions have a 15% and 11% click-through rate, respectively.

Adding to this, the advent of “Featured Snippets” and other features like “People also ask for,” “Near Me,” “Close By,” organic search engine ranking positions have made SEO all the more important. Google is aggressively pushing the Featured Snippets as an attempt to serve users with quick and instant answers.

12.29% of search queries have featured snippets in their search results, according to a study from Ahref. The Featured Snippets are far more effective than the #1 ranking position in Google search. A natural #1 ranking page grabs a share of 26% clicks, but when there is a featured snippet that’s positioned above the #1 results, the share reduces to 19.6%.

So, failing to earn top spots in SERPs means your brand will miss a lot of traffic and won’t be visible to customers at the very first phase of their buying journey.

Reason #2 : SERPs results in traffic and, in turn, sales

It’s an undeniable fact that search is an integral part of the decision making process. 81% of people perform some online research before making a large purchase, and 47% of consumers view 3-5 pieces of content created by a company before talking to a salesperson from that company. Now, that’s something hard to miss out on.

So, what if your customers don’t find your brand in such a highly-valued space that drives their purchase decision? Apart from the fact that you’ll be missing the online visibility in a consumer’s decision-making process, your brand will:

  • Be known only to a handful of customers
  • Sell less and the growth slows down
  • Let your competition win without even competing
  • Customers won’t trust you easily as even if they get in touch through your paid campaigns

In short, SEO contributes to visibility and sales growth as well. Your organic visibility translates to clicks, which, in turn, result in sales.

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Reason #3 : SEO wins paid marketing efforts hands down in terms of cost

Unlike paid search campaigns, traffic gained through SEO strategies demand zero cost for traffic, clicks, impressions, or conversions. Though there is a cost involved in maintaining an SEO team or hiring SEO professionals to create and implement strategies, you don’t have to directly pay huge amounts.

In the case of paid campaigns like influencer marketing and PPC, the effect lasts only till the campaign is active. Paid campaigns keep yielding results only if you are ready to keep spending. If your company is on a stringent marketing budget, paid campaigns are immediately taken out of the scene. During such scenarios, a well-organized SEO campaign can keep the mill running with no added cost.

Maintaining a strong SEO presence is an ongoing task mainly due to the updates that Google comes up with repeatedly. With every update that Google rolls out with an aim to enhance the relevance of search results and user experience, marketers end up with new challenges. Google’s BERT update, EAT principle, Featured Snippets, and so on demand every eCommerce brand to keep working on improving their SEO strength to stay on top of their SEO game. In short, the right approach to SEO is to view it as an ongoing process.

Though the optimization process for gaining or retaining organic strength is never-ending, the results are clearly better than paid marketing efforts making SEO still the most cost-effective medium.

Reason #4 : SEO paves the way for a 360-degree perfection

Preparing for organic rankings means preparing your website from all angles. Thanks to Google’s algorithms (that have evolved over the years) as it has included multiple criteria for ranking eCommerce websites.

On the technical front, Google’s indexing priority for mobile experiences over desktop demands every eCommerce store to spruce up their mobile experience. Page loading speed and security implementations are also ranking factors. These factors demand stores to follow security best practices and optimize servers for faster responses.

In the case of content, factors like authenticity, meta contents, keywords in the right places, rich snippets etc demand marketing and content teams go through immense research to deliver relevant content for users.

All these factors collectively ensure that a positive user experience is delivered, which helps your brand provide a memorable customer experience and earn trust.

Reason #5 : SEO lasts long and augments other marketing efforts

Compared to paid campaigns, organic traffic generated by SEO efforts benefits for a more extended period. The more time you are holding onto the top spot, the more your clicks and conversions will be.

In the case of paid campaigns, the statistics immediately roll back to where they were before starting the campaign once you pull out the money.

Though SEO is an ongoing process that needs continuous monitoring and improvements, the efforts keep adding to your existing organic positionings. Like paid campaigns, you need not start from zero every single time.

SEO also contributes by augmenting other marketing campaigns. Visitors earned through organic traffic might leave your site without purchasing due to many reasons. Paid retargeting campaigns on social platforms, online journals, and other websites can bring back those potential customers.

Brands can create more effective retargeting ads and marketing messages as they’ll be equipped with insights on what customers want as they have already visited their store. Such first-hand information, if obtained through SEO efforts, will result in devising highly successful retargeting campaigns.

Final Words

Search engines drive people’s decision-making process. Be it a search for information, finding a shop nearby, getting expert advice, or finding a product or service, everything starts with search engines. Every action that users try to perform online is connected with search engines.

Without a well thought out SEO strategy in place, your brand will be missing out on the opportunity to grow. However, remember that SEO is a waiting game that needs proper planning and patience to witness the best results. A half-hearted attempt is as good as not attempting at all.

If you think an expert by your side can help in devising SEO strategies that work, Ziffity can help. You can explore our eCommerce SEO and digital marketing services for more information or connect with our experts for a free consultation.

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