How to Make Your Ecommerce Investment Grow in 2017 with Strategic SEO

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SEO is a great way to make more out of your ecommerce business. In 2017, invest time and money into your SEO strategy in order to see your business grow and thrive. Start with these 23 SEO tips first, and then adopt the strategies below to really start off your marketing year with a bang. Here’s to a healthy and profitable 2017…!

Why SEO?

Good SEO will help you futureproof your business.

Advertising, paid traffic, and social media are all great ways to launch new products and find new customers – but organic web traffic should always remain a core focus.

  • SEO brings in pre-qualified customers who are likely to convert, and following SEO best practices will help you improve user-experience and brand perception.
  • SEO is a long-term marketing tactic – lay the groundwork in order for your investment to bear fruit.

Audit your site

Knowledge is power – invest in an in-depth SEO audit to help you plan out your priorities for the upcoming year.

No ecommerce site has perfect SEO, and yours is no exception. Frequent analysis and testing of your site is crucial to ensuring that it continues to provide a great user-experience. Here are some SEO auditing tools you should consider.

  • Any SEO issues that affect customer experience like speed and broken links should be immediately addressed – these need to be your priorities. Don’t feel like you have to implement all the audit’s recommendations in one go – give yourself time to do the data due diligence.
  • Investigate any poorly performing pages or product categories yourself. Analyze product pricing, site design, and copy value propositions. Make adjustments and tweaks where necessary.
  • SEO is about constantly reacting to user behavior and data in order to provide a better experience. Learn how to incorporate web analytics and sales data into your marketing plans. Good SEO strategy relies on a comprehensive understanding of data.

Rank your expertise

You need to know your niche back to front and inside out. By becoming the ‘go to expert’, you will be able to leverage your knowledge and reputation for better SEO results. Engage with your niche in order to increase your chances of ranking with exceptional content.

  • Thematic keyword research should lie at the heart of your editorial calendar. Match up your content with your SEO goals to help both perform better. See your content as the next stage of the user’s search journey.
  • Do people often search for how your product can be modified? Do people like to know more about its pros and cons? What benefits are people most excited (or sceptical) about? Give people what they are searching for in informative landing pages and articles – don’t be afraid to fully explore your topic, and even address stuff that may seem ‘controversial’.
  • Answering questions with in-depth tutorials and video guides is a great way to use your expertise to give people what they need. Try to capture your (and your team’s) knowledge in interesting content formats, don’t always reach for the keyboard.

Match it all up

Make sure that your SEO plans are integrated with the rest of your business strategy. You need adequate budget and resources to push your SEO campaigns through to completion.

  • Extend any marketing plans to your SEO efforts as well. By integrating your SEO with marketing, you will be able to run more holistic campaigns. Company press release? Use it as a basis for a link-building campaign. New product manuals being published? Upload them to your site as part of a product data center.
  • Make sure that internal resources are available to you throughout the year. You need access to experts in order to create expert content.

Focus on categories and landing pages

Think strategically about what parts of the store you want to rank and why. Target your SEO efforts where they will have the biggest impact.

  • Squeeze as much copy as you can on to product pages to keep them ultra-relevant, but don’t put shoppers off with unwielding walls of text. Good formatting and segmentation will help you focus your product pages.
  • Think carefully about where the line between informational and commercial content is being drawn and why. You don’t want customers (or search engines) to be confused about what’s going on – make sure a consumer’s journey for information and the purchase journey aren’t fighting for attention.
  • Product categories can make or break your navigation. Make sure that your categories are easy to handle for busy shoppers.
  • Product filtering creating loads of unique URLs with minimal changes to page copy? Search engines mistrust duplicate copy – point all URLs back to one core page. Here is how to use canonical URLs to achieve this.

Get good backlinks

Increase your domain authority with quality backlinks. By investing in good content and outreach, you can collaborate with influencers and bloggers on digital PR campaigns.

  • The obvious ways to work with bloggers and vloggers are product reviews, gift guides, and the like. But by setting up a viable content asset of your own (a blog), you can leverage your subject knowledge and reach out to sites for features.
  • The best type of content is actionable and jam-packed with real-life advice. Don’t try to write about something you have no interest in – focus on what makes you good at what you do, and hire writers to help you scale.
  • Think of outside-the-box ways to market your website. Adopting slightly guerrilla marketing tactics might pay off – great SEO results often come from slightly risky campaigns.

Invest in video

Video is a great way to increase engagement metrics on your site, and it’s also a super user-friendly way to share product insights and tutorials. The video sharing community is thriving, and brands are increasingly turning to live video for marketing.

  • Learn the basics of video SEO to help your videos rank. You will need to do video-led keyword research, and include video transcripts to help search engines make sense of your content.
  • Keep your videos on brand, but recognize the importance of being down-to-earth too. Videos are fun and immediate – not stuffy. On the other hand, videos are also a totally legitimate way to help customers get the most out of your products.
  • Work with influential vloggers to growth hack your channel followers. Create videos that aren’t wholly commercial. Try to engage with topics that are close to your customers’ hearts.
  • Don’t slow your site down with loads of irrelevant videos – keep most of them on your channel.

Be more switched on

Do you actually know what your SEO providers do all day? You’ll be able to contribute more if you have a better idea of where your SEO investment is going.

  • The best SEO is collaborative – get involved in order to fast track your ranking results. Discuss results and tactics with your SEO team and ask for frequent reports. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t know what’s going on.
  • Arm yourself with knowledge in order to maximize your investment – started reading up on SEO (there are a ton of great SEO blogs out there).

Investing in SEO is about investing in your store’s future. Don’t lose sight of the importance of SEO growth. What other growth strategies are you exploring in 2017?