Relying on organic search traffic is risky for small ecommerce businesses in my experience. Other marketing channels, such as Facebook, could generate a better return on investment. Traditional methods of advertising such as radio and newspaper may also play a part. It is never a good idea to use a single marketing stream. And it is too easy to overspend on search engine optimization at the expense of other options.
Good for shoppers?
I am not suggesting that merchants ignore SEO completely. It should be a part of your website layout and design. Your site should be easy to navigate and clearly identify what you are selling. Your products should have clear images with well-written alt text. Your product descriptions should be informative and sufficiently detailed. Spend time and money on good content.
All of these factors will help shoppers. Importantly, they will also help Google and other search engines understand your site and index and rank your pages.
…they will also help Google and other search engines … rank your pages.
Still, you are unlikely to achieve higher organic search rankings than high-volume box shifters. But you can deliver better service and expertise. You can bring knowledge and passion for your products. Make sure that both are reflected in your site.
Marketing is all about obtaining new customers and reminding existing ones to come back. So give them a reason with a site that’s easy to find what they want and choose what they need.
Content is king. Spend time and money on that content instead of SEO — attempting to move, say, from page four to page three of search results.
But don’t take my word for it. Rely on metrics. Know where your customers are coming from and which marketing campaign produced results. Monitor bounce rates. Review the navigation paths of visitors. Calculate if the money spent on SEO is worth it. Would the same money for a social media advert generate a better return?