Historically, SEO has lived in a little black box as a weird tactic that gets you more traffic. And, if you’re lucky, you get some more sales out of it. At least, that’s what many people think.
However, with the dawn of Google moving more and more towards creating a search EXPERIENCE as opposed to a simple transaction, this creates an opportunity for ecommerce businesses to consider how people search instead of what they search for.
In this blog post, I’ll be digging into the overall search journey and how each step of the way adds to potential for more conversions instead of just more traffic.
Let’s dig in.
Tactic One: Content Optimization
Everyone that has been through the SEO process knows that creating content is important. But, where most people stop is in the idea of “SEO Content.” Meaning, content that was written to “target” a “keyword”. As we begin to understand our customers more, we know that this is only step one in your customers’ journey.
Every search begins with a trigger event.
In other words, there’s a reason for every single visitor to be on your website. When you are optimizing your content for a specific keyword, you create a subconscious impression that you are there on their screen because you want them there because they searched for that keyword.
Instead, the impression should be that you exist as a brand to solve their problems and make their lives better. Whether you are selling a t-shirt or a widget, there is an emotional response that needs to happen in order for the person to resonate with your brand and potentially take action.
What can you do with this information?
Instead of researching which keyword to target, research the motivation of the search itself. You probably already know what your customer is thinking about and the questions they’re asking for one reason or another. Use that knowledge to create better content on your website.
Answer those questions.
People will develop a positive impression of you (the company, not the product) when they feel heard and appreciated.
Use the words they use.
Jargon is a curse among the marketing world. Your customer does not care about the things you think are selling points. They want to feel appreciated.
Tactic Two: Link Building
Ah yes, the old conversation around “he who has the best links wins”.
While having authoritative websites linking to you does indeed improve your rankings, there’s an opportunity that often gets overlooked.
Part of your customer’s buying journey is looking for social validation. This means they are looking to resources beyond your website to confirm that your brand is legit and worth buying from.
Sure, getting a bunch of 5 star reviews is a great start. But, what if when someone searches for “‘brand’ reviews” a number of blog posts pop up that showcase your products. This holds a lot of authority with Google, sure… but it also builds up the impression with your potential customers that your website is worth buying from.
Tactic Three: Website Performance Optimization
Yes, Google loves clean code. Clean code not only makes your website easier to crawl for Google, but it also helps your load time. While Google may claim that website load time is only a small piece of the rankings pie, it’s important to note that load time is an important consideration in your customers’ buying decision for two reasons:
First: The subconscious factor
If your website loads slow, it creates the impression that your website is not technically sound. This creates hesitation around what else could be wrong with your website. This could create internal tension with questions like “Is my credit card information safe here?” And when someone asks themselves a question like that, the sale is all but lost.
Second: The quick decision factor
It’s 2022 and people are on the move. Take a look at the shelves near the register at any department store and you will see items abandoned because people do not want to wait any longer than they have to. They will literally leave behind what they came into that store for because of the fact that they don’t want to wait.
And, for what it’s worth… Despite what Google says about how much page speed may or may not be a ranking factor, faster sites just rank better.
Now, I also realize that this section has mainly been about page speed…
It’s also important to consider the mobile performance of your website.
Google is running the “mobile first” version of their algorithm now. This is because across the board, more than 50% of all interactions between brands and their users happen on mobile devices.
There could be a whole other blog post about mobile performance, but I’ll share this for the purposes of this post, consider checking out Google’s mobile friendly scan. This tool gives some great insights on mobile website performance.
Overall, I hope it’s coming across that when you take care of your customers while they’re on your website through their buying journey, Google takes care of you.
And when you take care of your customers, you’re more likely to get that sale and gain a customer for life.
If you want me to take a peek “under the hood” and see if there may be some potential opportunities to improve your SEO and Conversion Rate right away, grab some time and we can chat. I’ve opened up my calendar and I’d love to see you win.
Hope this was helpful! If you have any questions, please let me know below!
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