Is it worth investing in SEO for e-commerce?

Posted by  Gavin Davidson  |  November 17, 2020

Most definitely! 

But often, I still come across this scenario...

Website traffic vs marketing budget

This chart compares budget allocations for digital marketing channels compared with the amount of traffic each channel brings to websites.

Yet the majority of the time, search engines like Google still bring in most of the traffic to websites. 

Now I’m not saying Instagram or Facebook should be bringing in as much traffic, or you shouldn’t be spending money on those channels.

In fact I think you should be making use of as many of them as you can. 

But often when I do competitive research for a client, I find organic search opportunities and after presenting it to them, there is still no investment into this rich source of potential customers. 

I think there are a few reasons for this, but what I’ve found boils down mainly to a lack of understanding rather than a lack of commitment by those in charge of marketing budgets. 

Of course there is also the “paid trap”. 

Once a business is receiving traffic and leads from advertising, it’s very difficult to convince them of SEO. 

But organic traffic is still a main player when it comes to e-commerce. 

So if you haven’t been paying attention to your SEO, then you should make a start. 

This is why e-commerce websites should focus on their organic traffic or SEO. 

Almost half of all online shoppers worldwide will go to a search engine like Google first to type, or voice record a search query before they make an actual purchase.

This is essentially why your business needs SEO.  

Good SEO is related to your understanding of how your audience thinks, discusses and searches for your content, products or services online.  

To a large extent, your understanding will decide your position in the search results. 

And your position will determine if people discover you and transact with your business, or not at all.

As you may already know, most people don't even bother looking beyond the first page of Google, so it's important that your brand is visible here, otherwise it'll be very difficult for people to find your business.

Organic search or SEO, still has one of the best e-commerce conversion rates - almost x2.5 higher than social media!

This is a chart showing that SEO, or organic search still has one of the best e-commerce conversion rates compared with other channels.

Source: Episerver

Organic search also has the lowest bounce rate for e-commerce websites.

Organic and paid search also have the lowest bounce rates. 

For those unacquainted with the term, bounce rates are the amount of people who clicked through to a page on your website, then left your site from that page without interacting with it.

This is a chart comparing bounce rates across different channels. Organic and paid search have the lowest bounce rates, meaning they will be your best channels for high intent purchases.

Source: Episerver

When conversion and bounce rates are viewed together, we can see that search is still a main contender when it comes to checking out online. 

This is why organic channels attract more quality traffic than most others.

Search engines such as Google and Bing are tools used by people who are seeking information to fulfil a desired outcome. 

People search for an incredibly broad range of queries. They may search for: the cheapest flights from Sydney to New York; local weather; sports highlights from the weekend or expert reviews on the latest mirrorless camera. 

Typing a query into a search engine is fundamentally different from other ways people arrive at websites like: clicking on a link; entering a website address directly or clicking on a bookmark. 

Searches are performed with intent. A person wants to find information that is very specific rather than land on a page by chance. 

Because of this, search traffic is generally considered to be of more value because the potential to convert someone into your customer is often higher compared with other digital channels.

Here are some other benefits you will receive if you invest in a search strategy. 

  • Brand credibility and trust;
  • More clicks to your website, and;
  • FREE traffic!

The benefits of SEO services. 

It’s extremely difficult and time-consuming to do all the SEO yourself when you are running your own business, especially in the beginning stages as you grapple with the concept.

This is why it’s vital to find a strategic partner offering SEO services

A good SEO practitioner will motivate you and your team so that you are always thinking about SEO and implementing it all the time so that your business can achieve some amazing results.

Conclusion

So if you want to succeed with your e-commerce, then you need to be investing in a search strategy. 

If you don’t have enough budget to invest in both paid and organic search, then I recommend investing in SEO - obviously! 

If you would like to learn more about the best performing digital channels for e-commerce, be sure to read Episerver’s excellent research on percentages and conversion rates for B2C e-commerce websites by traffic source.

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