Want to know how to do SEO for e-commerce?
Looking for expert insight on ecommerce SEO?
Not sure how to make your online store more successful?
From acknowledging that the traditional customer journey is dead, to spinning fast due to Google’s constant updates, to reassessing benchmarks after the digital boom of the pandemic and subsequent crash, the award-winning agency’s experts assess what comes next in ecommerce SEO.
We wanted to get past the uncertainty, so we interviewed 15 digital growth and SEO experts for their insights, tips, and lessons as part of our Ecommerce SEO deep dive.
The ecommerce experts in this article talk about browsing behavior, live clients, forecasts to align with current trends, and more.
Let’s see what they have to say.
Implement Multi-Touchpoint Customer Journeys As Search Behaviors Change
James Finlayson, Head of SEO at the7stars: “Google search volume isn’t just stagnant – in many cases, it’s dwindling. Nonetheless, consumers are doing more research before buying than ever before – on Amazon and other ‘super-retailers’, on TikTok, a large publisher with a loyal audience, Pinterest, YouTube and Reddit. We recently looked at one market where, we estimate, less than 10% of search activity is actually happening on Google.” Read Finlayson about digital and in-store buying, pushing for bigger budgets, and their Sophology success story.
Sara Povoas, Content Manager and SEO at iProspect Portugal: “We are observing a big increase in spending, not only for the younger audience but also for the older audience, which is something new. I think users are getting more demanding and more informed — if you have a lot to offer you need to make smart decisions. So people are looking for more. Reviews, opinions, video demonstrations and price comparisons are gaining popularity as people perform these decision-making quests to make purchases.” Read Povoas about stock fluctuations, health and cosmetics trends, and client communications.
Luke Carthy, SEO & CRO Consultant: “What I see across my consumer based clients is that the Average Order Value is going up, but the number of transactions may be the same or decreasing. What I mean by that is they spend more per transaction. Rather than a person going to a clothing retailer, perhaps once a month or once every two weeks, depending on their past shopping habits, they will shop less frequently. And when they shop, they will spend more money. I think it happened for a number of reasons: One was to reduce shipping costs and, second, to try and reach the threshold for claiming a prize, whatever that may be.” Read Carthy about buy-in, shifting, and B2B client strategies.
Jen Cornwell, Senior Director of Digital Strategy at Ignite Visibility: “The way people shop has changed, because they’ve gone online and now they’re back to this hybrid style again. I think it’s all about setting expectations: Can we get back to those traffic rates or conversion rates online again? What are some creative ways we can act if we think this way? User behavior has undergone major changes.
For example, we have an electronics client that sells computers, both online and offline. We started to see a change in early 2022 as they got more foot traffic to their stores – which made them happy, but they’re not seeing as many online purchases anymore. Even in cases where there are no brick-and-mortar components or the product is only available online, the opportunity for someone to go and buy it in person just draws them from coming to the Internet as much as it used to. .” Read Cornwell on video content, white goods, and creative page optimization.
Get Creative With Product Reviews, Long-Tail Keywords & Specificity, As Google Algorithm Updates Intensify
James Euinton, Account Director at The SEO Works: “Over the years, as Google has improved its handling of language, it’s become more important to focus on more specific, longer phrases. Sometimes this means fulfilling certain questions and keywords that fall outside the standard product and category pages. It’s important for us to tailor additional content to this to target customers at different points in the journey or funnel.” Read Euinton about moving the needle fast, Core Web Data and the business context.
Radu Marcusu, CEO at Upswing: “The biggest challenge this year was for marketing managers to explain market downturns and how to overcome them. That’s why I think it’s more about us being proactive in communicating these changes to our clients. They need support in understanding overall market trends and that are changes in demand in general – and, of course, in adapting to them. It also means new tactics or a focus on certain actions. For example, if Google now recommends an enhanced search, we make sure our client has a filter or category that targets that search. We also focus on having the right content to answer those searches. Or keep optimizing their Google My Business profile. In short, we are proactive in adapting strategy, budget, as well as specific actions that Google changes imply.” Read Marcusu about differentiating through pitching, video search, and developing internal tools.
Eli Schwartz, SEO Strategic Consultant and Growth Advisor: “Google and other search engines use deep learning to continuously improve search results for their users. This past year, I’ve noticed that local results are triggered more frequently when Google detects local intent. At the same time, on results where there should be no local intent, I have seen local results disappear.”
Forecasts, SEO ROI & Data-Led Decisions Should Be At The Forefront For Ecommerce Businesses
Marc Swann, Director of Search at Glass Digital: “There’s no doubt that retailers are feeling the pinch as consumers tighten their belts, and this poses a risk to most marketing agencies in assessing the value of their services. SEO is often the riskier channel when times are tough, and marketing budgets are scrutinized. SEO performance can ultimately be maintained in the short and even medium term without the recurring expenditure associated with it, unlike paid search where once the ad spend stops, the performance disappears. So of course, justifying the spending in SEO is something we’re seeing more demand for and don’t see as a luxury in difficult times. In the end, those who are able to fulfill their SEO strategy through the tough times will be in a much stronger position when the economy finally turns positive.” Read Swan on multilingual websites, sports retailers and “luxury” channels.
Steve Walker, Technical Director at Next Journey: “Measuring ROI has always been important, but it’s no longer a pleasure to have. Measuring ROI is very important. This is why a performance monitoring tool like SEOmonitor is essential for your agency. The number of in-house teams has also increased dramatically over the last few months. This is great stuff for the SEO industry and a testament to the importance of SEO in digital marketing – but it fundamentally changes how agencies should operate. We are no longer just an add-on resource doing basic SEO activities. We need to act in a manner similar to a business consultant and provide strategic level support.” Read Walker about new user journeys, measuring impact, and funnel optimization.
View Rank Tracker Strategy on SEOmonitor.com, December 2022
Ben Austin, Founder & CEO at Absolute Digital Media: “We use forecasting for pitching and upselling our ecommerce clients to demonstrate our understanding of the industry they are competing in and the business. By doing so, we can more effectively dictate what it takes to drive sustainable business growth while highlighting the ongoing value provided by our innovative SEO strategy. As well as providing a basic estimate of a brand’s current market position, we provide further insight into broader business benefits such as returning customers, revenue and ROI.” Read Austin on business strategy, running verticals in ecommerce, and dynamic URLs.
Charlie Norledge, Head of SEO Performance at Impression: “Pitch is much more competitive now because there are probably less clients going to market as things are starting to slow down a bit. We have to make sure that we include innovative tactics in there. Like talking about how to organically leverage social media trends when we talk about tech SEO, not just laying out a list of fixes, making sure that we have the priority behind things and giving them as much detail as possible.
Forecasting is another important part. When we go out into the competitive field, forecasting, I think, is necessary. If we don’t, we can fall behind. We competed with other agencies, and because we had a forecast, we ended up winning the job. Read Norledge about GPT-3 client efficiency, reporting, and expectations.
Kevin Gibbons, Founder and CEO at Re:signal: “For us, it’s important to have strong communication with our clients about where the priorities are and make sure we know not only where search demand is, but also supply. Knowing what the client is focused on – both in terms of seasonality and where priorities can and do shift because of those issues – helps us retune to what we do.
I think everyone is probably a little more price conscious and careful nowadays in what they do. So, again, that’s why ecommerce is such a strong sector for us. Because you can track organic revenue performance. Everyone wants to make sure they are maximizing their ROI.” Read Gibbons about their internationalization and ASICS success story.
SEO Forecast by SEOmonitor, December 2022
Leverage Integrated Campaigns To Build More Growth Opportunities
It’s not just about one channel or one tactic, but ecommerce digital experts are increasingly looking for ways to fully optimize the user experience, coordinate PR and SEO efforts, and understand the overall industry landscape and where the opportunities lie:
Petar Jovetic, Organic Director at Impression: “Everything we do has to show value and be targeted. We are increasingly incorporating innovation into our proposition. It’s really exciting to leverage AI to handle higher workloads and then do it more efficiently. One other thing I’d like to explore is using our CRO department, particularly at the bottom of the funnel where every user counts, to strategically grow acquisitions with more A/B testing, multivariate testing, etc. We’re looking into how CRO and SEO can better complement each other. I think that’s very attractive in the current economic climate. So we’re not just delivering additional users, but nurturing them through the funnel towards conversion.” Read Jovetic about the SEO maturity framework and State of Retail.
Charlie Clark, Director of Accounts & Minty Digital Founder: “I see more clients looking to build their brand through digital PR, and we are building their brand name instead of just focusing on sales. Some of the larger companies we work with used to allocate separate budgets for SEO, and that used to be all of them. Now they allocate separate budgets within their department, one for SEO and one for PR. They’ll have their traditional PR, the standard press release, but then they’ll also tie the digital aspect to it, which is something that’s quite interesting to know. Read Clark about entering new markets and campaigning for KPIs.
Heemesh Vara, Head of SEO at Semetrical: “Our keyword research process focuses on exploring the entire industry. It’s something different from other agencies. Where they might take a category-by-category approach and do it month to month, we do it the other way around. It’s a lot of work for us at the start, but it gives both the client and us a complete picture of their entire industry. For example, we work with antique furniture clients with a wide range of products and categories, from sofas, benches, chairs, side tables, etc. So we had to research the entire industry at once. And it’s one of our unique selling propositions that we always incorporate into the proposal as well.” Read Vara about SEO data analysis and baselines, stakeholder management, and budget safeguards.
Ultimately, as our 15 interviews show, the clientele and ecommerce market are constantly changing, so it’s important to demonstrate sustainable results.
With all these challenges facing SEO experts, we are continuously developing SEOmonitor so that it helps you:
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the sponsor.