If you want your brain to start spinning, conduct a little research on the number of ecommerce sites that are up and running right now. Whether you search for only U.S.-based ecommerce companies or you try to find a figure that addresses ecommerce websites throughout the world, you’re bound to run into shockingly high figures: 100,000… 500,000… This doesn’t even touch the tip of the iceberg, either. Mindboggling, indeed.
Are all these ecommerce sites competing with one another? Yes and yes. Yes, in the sense that consumers have limited dollars to spend. Yes again because every ecommerce site has to woo buyers using all the tools and techniques at its command. Unfortunately, most ecommerce companies are woefully inadequate in a singular department: their search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO isn’t just nice to have for ecommerce organizations of all sizes. It’s a needed element. In fact, it can make the difference between a banner year and one that’s spent ever-tightening each team members’ belt. Interestingly, relatively small or seemingly-insignificant SEO tweaks can have enormous payoffs.
Below are three examples of ecommerce sites that saw the light and began using SEO to their profit. If you have an ecommerce site that’s already live or you’re just in the beginning stages of constructing your ecommerce behemoth, take some notes. You can skip months of fret and worry by immediately shifting gears.
Case Study #1: White Hat Holsters
Quick quiz: What is White Hat Holsters, and what does the business sell? If you’re familiar with firearms, you might get it right on the first try. But what is a BaseMax? Or a MaxTuck? You’re probably scratching your head, which is what was occurring among potential White Hat Holsters customers.
BaseMax and MaxTuck were two of the branded names for White Hat Holsters products, and their site was peppered with these monikers. The problem was that no one was searching for holsters under those names. Consumers were instead putting phrases like “best gun holsters” and “best gun holster for concealed carry” into their search engines. In other words, the SEO of White Hat Holsters’ ecommerce site was geared for internal use, but not for their target population.
As you might guess, revitalizing the ecommerce site’s SEO with more generic keywords did the trick. Throughout the site, less specific terms were used to supplement or replace branded ones whenever applicable. This was done on-page as well as off-page (e.g., meta tags, page titles). In the end, the ecommerce site’s numbers were staggering after these SEO changes. The site’s traffic increased 400%, and its annual revenue improved by 100%.
Case Study #2: SurThrival
Sometimes, it’s what you don’t see that’s causing a big issue in your ecommerce site traffic. That’s what SurThrival discovered.
Their focus is on attracting people who want to purchase survival gear, food supplements, and related supplies. The content of the ecommerce site itself wasn’t horrible. Instead, the technical SEO was the big stumbling block.
Technical SEO is often overlooked by companies of all kinds, and it can be downright hazardous for ecommerce websites. Examples of technical SEO traps include pages that contain broken links, poor site architecture, and duplicate content. After rectifying the SurThrival ecommerce site and improving navigation for both human users and bots/crawlers, the company saw more than 200% improvement in organic traffic from Google within a few years.
If you haven’t had a thorough check of your ecommerce site’s technical SEO, it may be worth a call to a web development and marketing firm. Your technical SEO could be hampering your progress in unexpected, but ultimately improvable, ways.
Case Study #3: Toy Universe
When you have a name like “Toy Universe,” you’re starting off on the right foot from an SEO perspective. However, you’re in a tight space competition-wise, which means you have to engage in thoughtful SEO on every page.
How did Toy Universe, an Australian ecommerce site, boost their search results by more than 100% in four months? Among other techniques, they began to actively optimize the category pages and title tags. This helped search engines like Google understand the products on each page. Additionally, Toy Universe started to systematically add more content to each product page. Search engine crawlers love content, and the longer the descriptions, the better. At the same time, all content was created with human eyes and needs in mind.
One final switcheroo was to optimize all the product images with applicable ALT tags for an extra SEO nudge.
What You Can Learn From Ecommerce SEO Experiences
You might not have an ecommerce site like Amazon with a ridiculous amount of pages, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t losing tons of traffic — and sales — due to poor SEO practices. Take some time to evaluate your ecommerce company’s pages, architecture, meta tags, meta descriptions, and other on-page/off-page optimization elements. Surprising opportunities to improve your overall site rankings might be closer than you think.