We specialize in developing and executing the strategy for short-term and long-term digital marketing growth. Working closely with companies to grow key business metrics and ongoing analysis of analytics based on high quality inbound leads.
SEO remains the dominant way in which eCommerce companies drive traffic to their websites. For those that aren’t sure that an investment in an SEO is worth it, or don’t know specifically what that investment entails, the broader definition of SEO is a multi-faceted approach for developing strategies that drive traffic to your website. Without SEO your eCommerce website can end up ranking lower than it should, and it’s still true that no one looks past the first page of Google.
Consider the fact that smartphones have taken the place of phone books in the modern consciousness. When individuals or businesses want to seek out a service, the first place they go is Google, Yahoo, or Bing. They’re not waiting for an ad to come on the radio, waiting for the perfect ad to pop up in magazines or newspapers, or waiting for the right commercial to come on at the exact right time.
We live in a world where instant gratification is possible, and by typing in a few words, and clicking a few buttons we have an entire world of goods and services at our fingertips.
This has positioned companies like Google at the forefront of the marketing industry and for better or worse, that isn’t going to change anytime soon. The situation has put eCommerce entrepreneurs in a bit of a pickle and opened up a whole new form of marketing: SEO (search engine optimization).
You probably have a general notion of what that is. What you want to know is how it works. Allow us to explain.
The first part of the process is determining which keywords your ideal customer is likely to enter into Google in order to find eCommerce stores like yours. By the time they’ve done this, they’re already interested in buying something, or at the very least they’re interested in pricing out their options. We call this the top of the sales funnel, and it’s important to consider the process that a consumer goes through when they’re deciding to make a purchase.
When determining the best keywords for your site, SEO companies want the search keys to be in the Goldilocks zone between the general and the specific. Consider that if your site specializes in something like collectible toys that adults collect as memorabilia, a keyword such as “toys” is likely going to be too generic.
Here, the fact that it’s too generic is going to cost you more money and lead to a lower conversion rate due to the fact that the majority (if not all) of the individuals that are visiting your site, won’t be finding the specific merchandise they’re looking for.
Consider also the fact that there’s going to be far more competition for a broader keyword than there would be for something like “collectible memorabilia comics figures.” A good SEO company is going to target something in that Goldilocks zone that isn’t too specific and isn’t too generic.
Have you ever wondered why a furniture store would need a blog page? The reason is SEO. They can further target keywords by creating engaging web copy that draws in consumers in a variety of interesting ways.
First, blog posts can be shared over social media, which has become increasingly important for eCommerce stores and commercial enterprises in general.
Second, blog posts can target long tail keyword searches. What are long tail keyword searches?
Analytics programs have proven that broad search keys like “toys” comprise only 30% of web traffic. That’s because most consumers are savvy enough to know what it is that they’re specifically looking for. Consider all the different ways that an individual consumer might seek out something like collectible memorabilia. For instance:
collectible memorabilia action figures
collectible memorabilia comic book heroes
collectible memorabilia toys
These are just a few examples.
What you want to be able to do is target all the different variations in your blog posts. There's an art and science to doing this properly. Keyword stuffing and over saturating a post with keywords no longer works at all. Google penalizes pages that produce low-quality content. SEO specialists are focused on creating quality content for humans, not just search engines.
Keywords are the cornerstone of any SEO strategy, and SEO companies have a variety of tools that they to get your eCommerce company at the top of the list. First and foremost, that means targeting the right keywords and ensuring they’re in the right position on your website.
For instance, it may be apparent to you that your site’s name should somehow reflect your service, but there are many other places to put keywords that will help with your ranking. Those include:
The page’s title
Headers and sub headers
Image alt text
And of course, paragraph copy
On top of that, there are a few other avenues that SEO companies use in order to build trust in your website.
One piece of information that seems to fly under the radar is that search engines are allowing consumers to do their ranking for them. It’s no longer possible simply to stuff as many instances of a keyword as possible into a text and have that rank you at the top of search engines. If anything this will get your site penalized.
Google records how long consumers are spending on your page, if they’re clicking links, and whether they’re making purchases. In the event that they’re spending a long time browsing your page or making a purchase, your site is likely to garner more credibility with a specified search keyword. That will improve its ranking.
Cheap SEO companies underestimate the value of effective web copy. They pay pennies for blog posts and stuff as many of them as they can on a site’s page. This may help with a site’s ranking in the short term but over a long enough time scale, it’s going to backfire. Suddenly, sites will lose up to 80% of their organic web traffic, and they won’t have any idea what happened. What happened was their pitiful content destroyed their ranking.
Suffice it to say, SEO determines the what and how of your page and it's needed in terms of search engine ranking. Content marketing fulfills them. Exceptional content marketing can also save you money elsewhere, so it’s an important part of the process of generating organic leads and traffic to your website.
How does it do that? There are a number of ways.
Firstly, the importance of backlinks. Other sites linking to your page for organic and natural reasons is the Holy Grail of SEO, especially when the site is considered very reputable.
Secondly, content marketing can be shared over social media, which gives your company another way of targeting consumers.
Thirdly, content marketing engages your customers with information that they’re already interested in and allows them to explore that information in more depth.
SEO asks a question. It’s content marketing that answers it.
SEO isn't just be about targeting the right keywords. It must also be about developing a website that appeals to your customers. That requires UX (user experience) specialists that are knowledgeable about the design and structure of your page.
This is what keeps your visitors engaged, clicking, browsing, and buying. Not one of the aforementioned strategies will prove effective if your users aren’t having a positive experience on your site. Pages that are clunky to work with, load slowly, or are difficult to navigate don’t have customers sticking around, and that will lower your SEO ranking.
The top SEO companies all employ skilled web designers that understand UX and site structure to make the process of browsing products on your eCommerce store as intuitive, simple, and enjoyable as possible.
Email marketing may sound on the surface to be a minor annoyance to interested customers, but the fact is, if they’re interested in your product, then they’re going to want to hear about the specials you’re running or the new products that you’ve just gotten in stock.
Email marketing is, in fact, more powerful than it's ever been before and SEO companies are employing writers that are skilled at leveraging the medium through ongoing campaigns, and web designers that can optimize your emails for both desktop computers and mobile devices.
Email marketing is still an important part of SEO.
Retargeting has become a very hot topic over the last couple of years. Effectively, it targets customers that have already made purchases or have some experience with your eCommerce business. It means spending money, but it also means spending money on those who you know have had a (hopefully positive) experience with your eCommerce business.
Instead of wasting your precious marketing budget by casting too wide of a net, you can hone in on those individuals that you know are going to be interested in your brand and what it has to offer.
How is Retargeting Accomplished?
Without getting too technical, retargeting is accomplished with cookies. When a potential customer comes to your site, their interaction with the site is remembered. This includes the amount of time spent on the site, the number of links they’ve clicked, and whether or not they’ve made a purchase.
When your former or potential customer goes to a site that makes its money from ads, it’s your ad that will be shown. This keeps your brand fresh in their memory and ensures that if they’re in the market for something you provide, it’ll always be a click away.
Retargeting is a hot topic right now particularly because it’s been proven to be a very successful way to drive traffic to your eCommerce business. It’s not considered an “organic” method of driving traffic to your site and does require some investment on your part, but it also has the advantage of keeping your brand in the hearts and minds of your customers.
Social media marketing seeks to develop a rapport between you and your customers. Its job is to link in with your content marketing and allow your eCommerce business to keep their brand fresh in your customer’s memories. Site page likes are a great place to offer specials, talk about industry trends, brands you carry, and new products that are just hitting the market.
It also gives your customers the sense that they’re not just dealing with a company that provides a service, but people too. That’s incredibly important for building your brand and fostering trust and loyalty with your customers.
PPC advertising is an excellent way for eCommerce companies that are just starting out to boost their ranking and their stature in the customer’s mind. While it won’t work for everyone, and for some it will be an unnecessary expenditure, PPC advertising is effective for a number of eCommerce companies, and it has the advantage of delivering instant traffic to your website.
How does it work?
At the top of Google there will be paid ads that you will see for certain keywords. You make a bid on these keywords and pay each time a customer clicks on the link and goes to your site, hence the name.
It’s a great way for new eCommerce companies to establish their brand and facilitate their already existing SEO strategies.
Between Google and Facebook, these two sites hold the largest share of all digital marketing ad revenue over the past few years. Google sets the standards for SEO, while Facebook sets the standards for social media marketing. Search engine optimization still dominates the growth of online businesses and eCommerce companies can not afford to ignore this fact.
That being said, there are still SEO companies out there using black hat or outdated methods in order to generate traffic for their client’s pages. They can do this because these methods may produce short-term results, but over the long term will hurt more than help your eCommerce business.
Google and other search engines make use of web crawlers in order to determine your page’s rank. A well-structured site not only shows these crawlers which keywords you’re looking to rank for but can likewise establish you as an authority on a given topic.
It used to be that a business could simply create any old content or saturate a given text with keywords in order to rank on Google. Nowadays, Google is weighing the customer’s experience of your site far higher than these cheap tricks.
Old hat and black hat techniques, therefore, are no longer effective. Google’s automated ranking system is becoming much more effective at weeding out those types of tactics.
Nonetheless, there are plenty of companies that are willing to take your money and attempt to manipulate the mechanical aspect of SEO for instantaneous, albeit unsustainable results.
One of the pitfalls of SEO is that the standards for ranking on popular search engines can change instantly and without warning. That means that your eCommerce company is going to need an agency that keeps up with the changes, and can adapt to new standards.
As stated earlier, there are several SEO companies that have fallen behind on today's best practices and their clients are suffering as a result.
An incredible 44% of all paying customers begin the process with a search engine. These are new customers that haven’t formed any relationship with an established eCommerce business. Hence, SEO dominates growth.
Any eCommerce business that is looking to improve its sales and form new relationships with customers will need to understand a little bit about SEO and hire a company that can effectively leverage it for their benefit.
Targeted SEO efforts can increase traffic to your eCommerce page by over 100%. Excellent content, an easy to navigate landing page, and positive customer interaction is what is going to have your customers coming back, and improving your chances with new customers.
21st Renaissance dedicates itself to the continuous research necessary to make your eCommerce business successful. The best practices of today are not the best practices of yesterday and likely won’t be the best practices of tomorrow.
Our history of success employing these strategies for our own business has allowed us to grow as a company. Now it’s our job to help other companies grow as well. In a highly competitive industry like Digital Marketing, that’s no easy task. It requires constant vigilance and focused diligence. That's why we specialize in SEO for eCommerce.
E-commerce companies that are just starting out or simply looking to boost sales need an SEO company that won’t use bad or outdated practices. They need a strategy that will not only deliver results tomorrow but in the foreseeable future as well. Contact us below for a consultation, and we’ll develop a strategy that is personalized to your individual business’s needs.