The eCommerce universe came into existence not so much with a big bang, but with the simple purchase of a Sting album in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in August 1994. Since then, it has blossomed into the complex retail environment that it is today. As the market grows the question of how to stand out from your competitors becomes increasingly important. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is an effective tool for giving your business an edge in the online marketplace. Here are four reasons why SEO is a boon to your business:
1. Generating a Better User Experience
Your company could be the absolute best in your field, but at the end of the day, if the user experience offered by your webpage is not pleasant, customers will not stick around to make a purchase. Good SEO enhances the user experience by making your webpage easier to navigate for search bots and users alike. SEO strategists do this by implementing keywords and breaking up information with relevant headings and subheadings. Additionally, load time plays a vital role in the user experience. Most users will leave your page for a competitor if it is just 250 milliseconds slower, less than the blink of an eye. In the United States, the average load time for a webpage is 3.5 seconds. Having a professionally optimized page will decrease your load time and increase customer retention.
2. Creating Credibility
The importance of a good user experience is that it builds credibility with your potential customers, and establishes digital leadership. The content and keywords your SEO strategy employs should match the tone of your business. For example, if you were searching for a doctor online, you’d probably opt for a sleek-looking webpage using professional language over a glittery webpage with content that was cutesy. Additionally, the more relevant your keywords are, the higher you are likely to appear on a search results page. This is absolutely vital to the success of your online business since 95% of users never go to the second page of search results.
3. Driving Website Traffic
As the world becomes increasingly digital, more consumers are going online. Google is the number one visited website both worldwide and in the United States, and handles over 3.5 billion searches a day. Considering that almost half of all Google searches are for products, the potential customer base here is undeniable. The numbers certainly do not lie, organic search is still a powerhouse when it comes to attracting customers. In fact, a recent study reports that organic search accounted for more than 50% of all website traffic. This squashes all forms of non-organic search combined. Implementing a good SEO strategy and relevant keywords can tap your online business into this market and grow sales exponentially.
4. Building a Community
Believe it or not, SEO can help to establish brand awareness in your local community. Currently, a whopping 97% of customers conduct an online search when looking to purchase in their local area. Of those consumers over half of them will visit your store within 24 hours of searching. Now let’s say that a customer goes and recommends you to their friend, that friend is 84% more likely to trust your brand based on word-of-mouth alone because it came from someone they trust. If you can get your local community talking about your brand, you become part of that community yourself. Creating this type of brand loyalty directly increases revenue, according to Forbes most consumers will spend more money with brands they feel loyal to. In other words, loose lips might sink ships but they make businesses rise.
Navigating eCommerce without good SEO is like driving somewhere new without a map, your webpage is just going to get lost. SEO is the GPS that takes you where you need to go. With proper strategy and relevant content, SEO will drive traffic for years to come.