Learn the tools and technologies needed to meet the challenges of tomorrow with a Professional Diploma in Search Marketing. Download a brochure today!
The survival of every business depends on sales, and in the modern climate, increasing sales requires having a strong digital presence. In 2017, E-commerce accounted for $2.3 trillion in global sales, and that number is expected to increase to $4.88 trillion by 2021. If you want your business to get a piece of those sales, then it’s critical to have a strong search engine optimization (SEO) strategy in place.
It goes without saying that the world of E-commerce is cutthroat, and learning and implementing cutting-edge SEO techniques can give you the leg up you need to get noticed online, convert more prospects into loyal customers, and ultimately boost sales. But SEO is constantly evolving, and best practices change over time, so it can be difficult to know if you're doing everything you can to increase sales with SEO.
If this has you feeling overwhelmed, then don’t fret: there are plenty of time-honoured techniques you can implement, and today you'll learn some great tips about the best ways to use SEO to increase sales.
1. Be Keyword Clever
Keywords in SEO aren't used the way they once were, but they're still a crucial part of the equation. Without keywords, prospects might never find you when they go looking, and this is why keywords are the cornerstone of your SEO strategy.
Let’s say, for instance, that your business sells handmade fly-fishing lures. An obvious keyword phrase that you're going to want to rank for is, well, handmade fly-fishing lures. However, there are other keywords and phrases that customers are surely using to locate products just like yours, and it’s up to you to determine what they are and to start implementing them in your:
- Web pages
- Image descriptions
- Page titles
Google AdWords is a great place to start with keyword research, but there are plenty of other keyword planning tools out there you can use. Don’t forget about longtail keywords as well, because half of all search queries are four-plus words in length, there's less competition for these phrases, and they have higher conversion rates. When you have the right keywords in your toolbox, they’ll help connect you with prospects who are looking to buy what you're selling.
2. Create Stellar Content
Keywords, however, are nothing without great content: instead, they're nothing but a word salad. But content is more than just a vehicle for keywords, and instead it is a tool you can use to convert prospects, is something valuable you can offer customers, and is a shareable resource you can use to reach new audiences.
Here's how content can work to increase sales: when prospects search the internet for information about a product or service similar to what you offer, they'll come across social media posts, blogs, web pages, and other content that was designed to answer their questions, provide information, and otherwise facilitate a purchasing decision. When you work to have the best, most relevant, most engaging, and most authoritative content on the internet, prospects will find your brand before all others, and this gives you an opportunity to build relationships and convert leads into customers.
Great content comes in many forms, and your goal should be cultivating and creating content in a variety of them, including:
- Video (which can boost organic search results by 50 times more than text-based content)
- User-generated content
- Guest blogs
- Ebooks and whitepapers
- How-to guides
- Product reviews
Content is at the centre of inbound marketing, and when you have a robust inbound strategy in place and great content to drive it, then you'll have customers knocking down your E-commerce door. However, it's important to remember to optimize all your content with relevant keywords, and to ensure the keywords you use are pertinent to the piece and type of content you're presenting.
3. Use Social to Grow Your Audience and Reach
Social media is one of the fastest growing elements of a comprehensive and modern SEO strategy, and this is because an increasing number of consumers are turning to these platforms to engage with brands. Nearly 80 percent of people turn to Facebook when they want to find interesting content, and this means there's a huge opportunity there for you to reach new audiences, attract more prospects, and develop lasting relationships with customers.
Beyond that, social media is also a great way to show a more human side of your organization, it can be used as a direct marketing tool thanks to resources like Facebook Ads, and you can even use social sites to bolster your customer service efforts.
4. Go Local and Go Mobile
Two of the most significant changes to SEO best practices that have arisen in recent years are the emphasis on mobile and local content, and the two go hand in hand. Local SEO is becoming increasingly important as more consumers use mobile devices to search for businesses because 30% of all mobile searches performed today have a local intent. Moreover, over 70% of people will visit a nearby business after conducting a local search, so if you want to drive business to your physical or E-commerce store, then you must focus on local content (including local keywords and landing pages), and you have to make sure your digital footprint is entirely mobile-friendly.
5. On-Page SEO
There are many reasons why on-page SEO is crucial to your success, so if you want to boost sales, then you must pay attention to on-page techniques. Here are a few of the reasons, briefly: on-page SEO makes your site more user-friendly, makes it easier for search engines to index your pages, will increase your search ranking, and will help you focus on optimizing essential elements like visuals. If you're not familiar with on-page SEO, here are some of the most critical steps involved:
- Creating unique and descriptive title tags
- Increasing your page load speed to reduce bounce rates
- Writing descriptive and keyword-optimized alternative text for the images on your site
- Optimizing headings with keywords and relevant descriptions
- Linking site content with internal links to improve navigation and indexing
- Using sensible and easy-to-read URLs
- Writing meta descriptions to improve visibility on a search engine results page and improve relevance
6. Manage Your Reputation Carefully
Reputation management isn't always something people talk about when they discuss SEO, but it’s an important element that shouldn’t be ignored. Reputation management is all about controlling what people see when they look for your business online. For instance, say you were a restaurant that received several bad Yelp reviews in a row and got into an immature spat with a customer on Facebook. After that, any potential customer who uses the internet to decide whether or not to dine at your establishment is going to encounter the bad reviews and the social media argument before anything else, and that’s the reputation your restaurant will have from then on.
Reputation management, therefore, is all about making sure you put your best foot forward online when customers go looking for you, and you can do this by:
- Always being professional when engaging with customers online
- Regularly reviewing online reviews
- Responding to negative reviews quickly, calmly, and professionally
- Encouraging positive reviews and testimonials from satisfied customers
7. Develop an Integrated Strategy to Keep You on Track
When you want SEO to work for you, it can't be something you do part-time or with minimal effort. To boost sales with SEO, you have to be intelligent with and dedicated to your efforts, and that means having a solid strategy that integrates all the components discussed here today. To accomplish this, you'll need a team in place that's familiar with SEO best practices and who can examine your company goals to create and implement a long-term strategy that will help you achieve them.
Key Takeaways to Remember
SEO is key to the success of any modern business, not only because it can increase your visibility and reach online, but also because it can help you boost sales by driving more traffic to your site, providing you with more opportunities to convert leads into customers, and giving you the tools you need to increase conversion rates. But SEO is a multifaceted creature, and the main points to focus on if you want to boost sales include:
- Researching, selecting, and implementing relevant keywords
- Using keywords strategically everywhere you can
- Creating engaging and exciting content that will delight and inform
- Making use of social media to grow your audience and develop relationships
- Focusing on local SEO
- Making sure your digital strategy is mobile-optimized
- Working hard at on-page SEO that will make sure you have a site that will attract and retain prospects
- Keeping your online reputation squeaky clean
Finally, remember that creating and maintaining a comprehensive strategy that prioritizes all of these elements is just as important as the elements themselves because that's the best way to ensure you build a well-oiled SEO machine that will help you boost sales.