In this technically evolved world we live in, there have been many improvements that make our lives a whole lot easier and the rise of eCommerce is definitely one of the biggest time, energy and money savers that we are grateful for. Because there are fewer costs involved than with traditional stores and the market is incredibly large and diverse, it has become much easier for aspiring entrepreneurs to start a business of their own. However, many new entrepreneurs don’t realize what it takes to be successful in the online market and they often underestimate the problems that lie ahead.
You need to secure a domain name and get a good hosting provider, put up some serious money to fund web developers and SEO experts, in order to get someone to run your social media profiles, and perhaps some more for PPC, if you decide to go down that road. At the very least, you need an aesthetically pleasing and functional website that is adequately optimized to rank better in searches. Here are a few reasons why good SEO is a necessity when it comes to eCommerce websites.
It doesn’t matter how good your prices are if no one ever stops by
You may have plenty of high-end merchandise, products that are really good and in high demand, with all the various top brands represented, and all at incredibly low prices – yet, you can still have difficulty breaking even because very few people know about the website. You need to realize that, unless you’re eBay or Amazon, most people will reach your store through a quick online search consisting of several common words related to your niche. If your website isn’t properly optimized, you won’t appear on the first or even on the second page of the search results, and no one will bother looking beyond that.
You need to know how to target your audience
There are some commonly used keywords for any niche market, and some that you may think are important may be used very rarely by people when searching for what they need. A common mistake made by eCommerce stores – well, the ones that cut corners and don’t hire SEO experts – is that they use random designations for their image descriptions, don’t use alt tags and that they don’t provide the right keywords in their product description (a short product description is also a problem, but more on that later). All these things and other common mistakes can cost you a lot of views and prevent you from growing your business. This is why it is important to get some professional help and make sure you are doing everything you can to target your audience and drive more traffic to your website.
You don’t just need random visitors, you need paying customers
Even if you can attract a certain amount of visitors every month, either by using Pay Per Click or through organic search, this doesn’t mean that those people are actually buying things from your website. Poorly organized landing pages will kill your conversion rate, and even if people stumble upon your online store through a search, they may be put off by the inefficient design or they may simply be there out of curiosity. You can improve your conversion rate by knowing what keywords to focus on to reach out to paying customers and avoid random visitors that are just browsing the web for general information, providing plenty of useful content and having a website design that allows for good conversion rates – with calls to action, related products, a good shopping cart, logical categorization, etc. SEO takes all these things into consideration.
Customers expect good information, and plenty of it
There is a frightening lack of good content on a lot of online stores, which is really a shame. It’s easy for shoppers to become frustrated by the lack of large images, informative product descriptions that reveal all the little details that you can’t see in the pictures, videos showing the product in use, product reviews and just a general lack of necessary information that would help the shopper make the right decision. Any SEO experts worth their salt should be able to provide you with good content that is optimized in a natural way, based on the latest search engine algorithm updates. With good SEO, you can effectively deal with the needs of both the average online shopper and the search engine crawlers. This means providing all the right content, avoiding duplicate pages, having the right keywords appearing naturally within the content and having a website structure that is user friendly.
How vast the online market is and how tough the competition is
The first thing every new web store owner needs to realize is just how vast the online market is and how tough the competition is. You’ve got new web stores popping up left and right all the time, people selling their goods on Facebook or on their blogs, and there are a number of well-established industry giants for every niche, not to mention giants like Amazon. Add to this the fact that a lot of people are not necessarily familiar with the type of product that they are looking to buy, and that they will try to do some online research before deciding what they want, and you can see why it is important to offer something a bit different and stand out. You need to strive to educate the consumer on the general topic, inform them about different options, give them plenty of insight into every particular product and understand how people search the web for different products. Only if you can provide a good shopping experience along with reasonably-priced products can you attract more customers, and you need to invest in SEO to achieve this.
Building a successful eCommerce website can’t be done overnight and you need to cover several different aspects. While good design is incredibly important for good conversion rates, attracting customers and giving them what they want is just as important. Realize that you’ll need to invest in SEO and work hard if you want to make it in the online market.