It has been assumed that search engine optimization is something we should all be pursuing in our e-commerce endeavors. With the proliferation of SEO services over the past several years, however, it has become harder to get a good search engine position. There may be times when it makes sense to learn or pay for good SEO work on your e-commerce store and times that it doesn’t.
It Can Take More Time Than You Would Like to Get to a Good Search Engine Ranking
This could be seen as a reason not to invest in SEO for your e-commerce store, or perhaps it should be seen as a reason for SEO to not be the only thing you do to promote it. It can take anywhere from three months to a year or longer for Google and other search engines to eventually get you onto that coveted first page of results after you’ve done all this work of optimizing your website to accomplish that task. What’s more, this is assuming you ever get there. Your competition won’t be sitting still during this time, and you rising above them also entails them falling below you, but they are no doubt hiring SEO experts who are promising them a first page ranking too.
Nothing Builds Your Brand Like a High Rank in Search Results
Long-term success on the internet is about building a brand, and this is where a high search engine ranking can help. Effort put into SEO now may cost time and money, but the delayed rewards can be substantial. When someone does a search and you appear on the first page of listings, that is very impressive to this potential customer. Additionally, if you are not on the first page of results, they probably will not see your search listing at all. Less than 10 percent of people ever go past the first page of Google results. Of course, you may sell a product that has a fairly large market, so perhaps you would get some benefit from being in front of this single-digit percentage who click through to that second page. Always strive to get on the first page of Google, but don’t give up when getting there takes a while.
If You Are in a Small Niche Market, Then You Don’t Have to Compete With the Big Boys at SEO
When it comes to selling online, if you are doing it right, you won’t be competing with Walmart, Amazon, Overstock.com or other big players. If you are selling what they sell, then, of course, they will be able to hire endless numbers of experts to beat you in organic search results under those keywords that reflect the products they sell. This is why small sellers with an e-commerce store should be selling in niche markets. The more targeted the niche the fewer competitors. Of course, today, with the proliferation of SEO services on the internet even a lot of the smaller sellers have their sites optimized and ranking highly in the search engines.
Constantly Changing What You Sell Won’t Lend Itself to SEO
This follows from the part at the beginning of this article about SEO efforts taking time to bear fruit. If you are, however, selling cell phone cases this month and diet pills three months from now, then a longer term approach may not make sense for you. Perhaps you should stick to an established online marketplace such as eBay or Amazon in this instance and then have your e-commerce store as a place for existing customers to come to place reorders. This plan might work better in a situation where you have bought a bunch of stock of a given product at an incredible price, but perhaps the merchandise has nothing to do with what you normally sell. A “selling of this months product of opportunity” approach is too fleeting for the long term results obtained from the pursuit of a high search engine ranking.
A Unique SEO Strategy and a Final Cost Benefit Analysis for SEO
One possible way to make SEO work for you might be by going around your competition. For American business, SEO seems to be synonymous with Google.com. However, Google.com is not the only search engine especially internationally. If you market a product that can sell internationally, then it may be worth trying to optimize your website either for Google country-specific addresses or other search engines that might actually be bigger in those countries.
Spending time and money on anything in business requires a cost/benefit analysis. SEO is no exception to this. If you have a good product niche that you are committed to selling in the long-term, then SEO will enable you to build your brand and grow sales. On the other hand, online selling that is not brand or even product specific beyond the short-term may require different strategies for boosting sales.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who has worked in eCommerce for the last five years. She currently writes for Rakuten Super Logistics and recommends them for all your online order fulfillment needs to further your success.