Learn Why It’s Important to Optimize Ecommerce Websites for SEO
Building a beautiful, user friendly ecommerce store is the first step; the second step is to optimize your ecommerce store to increase the number of qualified leads and resulting conversions.
One of the primary ways to increase qualified online leads is through search engine optimization (SEO). Countless statistics highlight the importance of ranking well in search engines such as Google to help drive more leads to your website to increase sales.
- 89% of consumers begin their buying process with a search engine (Fleishman-Hillard).
- 52% of B2B marketers say SEO has the biggest impact on lead generation (NewsCred).
- 73% of in-house marketers and 76% of US agencies said SEO provided excellent or good return on investment (ROI) (eMarketer).
Next, let’s take a look at how a higher ranking position makes a difference.
Higher Ranking Leads to Higher Conversion Rates
Undoubtedly, ranking position increases click-through rate (CTR). And higher click-through rate leads to more website conversions. More website conversions leads to more sales.
If a keyword ranks #1 in Google, it’s estimated to have a click-through rate of about 33%. If it drops to position #2, the click-through rate is approximately 18%. Further, if it drops to position #10, the click-through rate goes down to about 2% (Chitika).
So, let’s apply some hypothetical numbers and look at how search engine position impacts sales.
Average Order Value = $50.00
Conversion Rate = 3.00%
Rank #1 CTR = 33%
Rank #2 CTR = 18%
Rank #10 CTR = 2%
If there are 100,000 Google searches for “Keyword X” per month, then:
Rank #1 = 33,000 * 3% * $50 = $49,500
Rank #2 = 18,000 * 3% * $50 = $27,000
Rank #10 = 2,000 * 3% * $50 = $3,000
As you can see, the search engine result position can greatly impact product sales.
How to Know if Your Ecommerce Website is SEO-Friendly
While there are many factors that play into whether a website is strong from an SEO perspective, here’s a few of the important questions to ask.
1. Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?
Consumers are increasingly purchasing products using smartphones and tablets. In May 2015, the number of Google searches on mobile devices surpassed the number of searches on desktop computers. For that reason, it’s very important to ensure the buying experience is smooth on both desktop and mobile devices. In addition, in April 2015, Google announced websites that are responsive (or mobile-friendly) will have stronger ranking signals than a website that is not mobile-friendly, another very important consideration. (Google).
Not sure if your website is mobile friendly? Test it with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
Unique, quality content is a positive signal for search engine crawlers. When product descriptions are thin or duplicated, it doesn’t lend any favors to the SEO health. Common pitfalls include:
- Product description shared among several products on the website.
- Product descriptions taken from a manufacturer website.
- Product descriptions re-published on external retailer websites.
Unsolicited product recommendations from real people are incredibly valuable to a brand’s success. In fact, 91% of ecommerce retailers saw a lift in their SEO rank thanks to social referrals (Gigya.com). To encourage social sharing it’s important to make your products friendly to share (social sharing buttons, Open Graph tags, etc.) and also have an active social media presence, crafting posts that promote engagement and sharing.
4. Does Your Website Use HTTPS?
Ecommerce websites naturally collect personal information, which makes it important to ensure the website is secure. In August 2014, Google announced a slight ranking advantage to websites running under HTTPS (Google). This means if your website and a competitor’s website were exactly the same from an SEO perspective, except yours was running under HTTPS, your website would likely receive a higher ranking.
5. Does Your Website Use Structured Data?
Structured Data is “machine friendly” data that is added to the background code of your site to help Google and other search engine crawlers more easily read portions of your page such as phone numbers, addresses, reviews, events, and more. One of the most important types of structured data types for ecommerce websites is the Schema.org product review star ratings.
Adding relevant Structured Data is a great way to improve your search engine result snippet and has been known to improve click-through rates. As previously mentioned, increasing click-through rates has a real impact on your bottom line.
To recap, these are only a few SEO factors that brush the surface in determining the SEO health of an ecommerce website. SEO is a multi-faceted process that encompasses many pieces of on-page and off-page elements, all crucial components to your businesses’ online success.
If you’re interested in a full SEO audit on your ecommerce website, reach out to the SEO team at Americaneagle.com for a free consultation. We’d love to help!