Several SEO myths and misconceptions are killing business and retail e-commerce. This article will explore some of them to show how business SEO is unique, and not quite the same as traditional search engine optimization.
To be effective, your company’s e-commerce SEO should be strategy oriented. And yet it is rare to find it. Why?
What follows are business-critical issues and missed opportunities I’ve come across while consulting on SEO strategy with some of the biggest brands and companies in the world.
Enterprise ecommerce SEO: Let’s face facts
Reality is often harsh and sobering. Nevertheless, it is important to deal with the facts in order to fix problems and increase SEO effectiveness.
The litany of sorrows is long – and painful.
But these are not the biggest obstacles. They lie elsewhere – in strategy and process problems.
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Chaotic SEO strategy
E-commerce SEO strategy for businesses is essentially a “business strategy.”
Enterprise SEO is not about Google. It does not work in a silo. And it is not obsessed with tasks and deliverables.
On the contrary, a good SEO strategy for e-commerce companies and omnichannel retailers focuses on:
Poor process and workflow
Business processes are often in pretty bad shape.
No one fully expects the business strategy to work. Every department falls short in revenue generation and productivity. Sales and marketing plans are poorly implemented.
A Google-oriented SEO strategy misses business goals and financial KPIs while overlooking lucrative opportunities to dominate the ecosystem.
When processes and workflows support analysis and decision making, an SEO strategist can identify ways to collect millions in additional revenue. However, due to poor processes, these opportunities are largely overlooked.
All the while, management behaves like a bus driver in an old American action comedy speeding madly along the highway, confidently announcing, “Trust me! I know what I’m doing.”
Unfortunately, this is not a movie. The threat is real.
Addressing these issues should be a top priority for business leaders. Brushing things under the rug with a cosmetic re-design or technological makeover only exacerbates financial damage.
Enterprise ecommerce SEO: The challenges are real
Next, let’s look at the key challenges unique to enterprise organizations – and see how intelligent SEO can help with them.
Lack of quality data is deadly
To put it bluntly, with many e-commerce businesses, data often cannot be trusted at all! Using weak data to determine future plans and strategies is doomed to failure.
The train has derailed… even before it leaves the station!
When SEO consultants suggest changes based on only limited data, their suggestions are seen as an additional “cost” – rather than as brilliant opportunities to grow your business.
Today’s business strategy requires access to granular data that can be mined to a large extent.
Smart data analysis is rare
Superficial keyword research limited to gathering phrases with high search volume, thanks to a limited, inflexible budget, is a recipe for disaster.
A deep analysis of search data broken down by ecommerce category and subcategory can uncover hidden opportunities and untapped assets.
The future belongs to a company armed with:
The data can intelligently guide content producers to include critical and unique information for each product category and subcategory.
However, time and resource constraints mean that only a few companies get it done. Opportunities and strategic intelligence often become invisible. What you don’t measure, you can’t manage.
Missing data is a vexing problem
When the data is incomplete, you can only get an inaccurate picture of reality.
Either the data is not rich in detail, or:
All these problems make data less reliable. You can’t use bad data to make good decisions.
Growth stops and slows down, both in the short and long term. This leads to financial damage for the company, together with its external owners and shareholders.
There are also three other major issues plaguing SEO for e-commerce businesses:
People, teams and collaboration
Cross-functional teams are only rarely aligned with their goals, objectives and projects.
The problem begins with bad data and bad decisions based on it. The lack of analysis affects the implementation. In turn, this weakens business goals and financial KPIs.
But when information is locked in silos:
To change this, you should improve your business processes. But unfortunately there are often problems there too.
Business and sales process
Business processes are often based on technology, systems, functions and IT… rather than business requirements.
To do this effectively, you need:
You will easily uncover gaps that can be fixed quickly if the SEO strategy for your business ensures that all the necessary data is:
Enterprise SEO is not centered on Google, but on business performance and financial results.
If you only track search volume and rankings, but ignore how it translates into sales and profits, you can’t quantify the cost of making changes. But armed with the right data, you can build a strong business model for a higher budget to make profitable adjustments.
When they receive such information, a board or management that does not act on it will be liable for dereliction of duty. Managers who fail to exercise their judgment, discretion, knowledge and expertise to leverage data risk damaging their reputations. And maybe even incur fines and penalties for behaving irresponsibly.
When guided by incomplete data or inaccurate data sets, an SEO strategy will not be maximally productive. So the organization will underperform on its financial KPIs.
Enterprise ecommerce SEO: Solutions, tips and strategies
Now that we’ve discussed the mistakes and problems with SEO for businesses, we’ll address potential solutions.
Let me begin by stating an overarching principle. Many companies try to solve poor business processes with technology, digital transformation or re-platforming. I can’t say this loud and clear enough:
You can’t fix a bad process with technology!
When business management is weak, or when sales plummet because marketing is out of sync with customers and markets, a technology overhaul alone will not solve the problem.
Businesses that hire SEO agencies and consultants to perform SEO-oriented tasks are no longer enjoying the results they had back in 2005. That version of Google no longer exists!
Enterprise SEO and traditional SEO services may be similar, but they are not identical. If you measure them by the same yardstick, without a focus on business strategy, process and workflow, the impact may seem small.
This post is already quite long. So let’s briefly highlight solutions and opportunities to get a good head start with SEO for business ecommerce.
In a future article, we will dive deep into specific elements and discuss case studies of client companies that developed remarkable transformations after simple tweaks to a broken process.
Action steps for ecommerce SEO
Technology and digital transformation alone cannot fix the root of the problem: a poor process.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily those of Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.
Trond Lyngbø is the founder of Search Planet and a senior SEO consultant. He has over 20 years of experience in SEO, e-commerce, content strategy and digital analysis. His clients include multinational Fortune 500 companies and large Norwegian companies. Trond has helped grow businesses through more effective search marketing and SEO strategies. He is most passionate about working with e-commerce companies and online stores to develop and expand their omni-channel marketing efforts.
What should FAQ contain?
An FAQ page (short for Frequently Asked Question page) is a part of your website that provides answers to common questions, alleviates concerns, and overcomes objections. It’s a place where customers can delve into the finer details of your product or service, away from sales-focused landing pages and homepages.
How do you create an effective FAQ? 10 Tips for Creating a Killer FAQ Page
- Use them as a last resort. The first rule for FAQ pages is to avoid them as much as possible. …
- Keep them well organized. …
- Make sure they are actually asked often. …
- Write them using the customers’ language. …
- Think and share visually. …
- Schedule for scanning. …
- Allow search. …
- Do not exaggerate.
How many questions should be on a FAQ?
There is no right or wrong answer here, as this will vary widely depending on the nature of your business and the intelligence of your customers. That said, you’ll find a nice middle ground. Fewer than five questions may indicate that you haven’t done your research…or that you didn’t need an FAQ to begin with.
How long should FAQ answers be?
A good rule of thumb is to write short answers to each question – two to three paragraphs would be a good answer. If you go any further, the page will be too long and messy.
Should FAQs be numbered?
Should FAQs be numbered? Yes, you should number them. Numbering FAQs make it easy for readers to say which FAQs they want to make a point about. If there are multiple FAQ sections in a document (eg a customer FAQ and an internal FAQ), ensure that the numbering is continuous across all sections.
What kind of information would be displayed on the FAQ page?
FAQ pages include keywords for questions and a direct answer, making it very easy for search engines to retrieve content or display a featured excerpt.
What is the purpose of an FAQ page?
An FAQ page improves the user experience. By collecting answers to common questions about every possible topic related to your business, an FAQ page gives visitors a central place to find the answers they need.
What are the two types of FAQs present on the platform?
Answers. Use “FAQ” or “Frequently Asked Questions” as the page title. Write questions from the customer’s point of view. Write the FAQ sheet in an actual question-and-answer format.
Does word count Really Matter for SEO?
Google’s John Mueller has confirmed that word count is not a ranking factor for the search algorithm. Specifically, he states that “just blindly adding text to a page does not make it better.” Instead of looking at the number of words on a page, Google’s algorithms look for relevant, original, high-quality content.
Should I have FAQ on my website?
An FAQ page establishes trust and can overcome obstacles to conversions. Having an FAQ page on your website shows your customers that you’re invested in helping them find solutions and will go a long way in building a sense of trust in your brand.
Where should website FAQs be? Where do I place the FAQ on a website? The most common place is in the main navigation. Because the navigation label consists of only three letters, it does not take up much space. Here are the places your visitors will look for their answer, in order.
Is FAQ good for SEO?
Are FAQ pages good for SEO? Yes. When optimized for relevant keywords, well designed for optimal user experience (UX), and properly marked up with structured data, FAQ pages are valuable for organic performance.
Do people use FAQ pages?
And secondly, an FAQ page is so common, maybe it’s reasonable to have one if that’s what your specific audience will be looking for? Yes, have the information on your website in a more sensible place.
How effective are FAQ pages?
Since FAQ pages can bring in new visitors to your site via organic search and direct them to related pages – usually deeper blog pages and service pages that are closely related to the questions being addressed. The FAQ page is one of the best ways to help people who visit your site.
Are FAQs a good idea?
FAQs, or frequently asked questions as they are called, are a great way to improve your customer’s experience of your website. It allows you to answer the most frequently asked questions about your product or service. At the same time, there are also many other benefits of having FAQs on your website.
How long should FAQ answers be for SEO?
Answers should be CCF (Clear, Concise and To the Point) (I just made this acronym up, but it does a good job of getting my point across.) A good rule of thumb is to write short answers to each question – two to three paragraphs would be a good answer.
Should I have an FAQ page on my website?
An FAQ page can help users navigate your site. Not only does an FAQ with links to related content give your user a deeper experience of your site, it also increases your internal link building, which is an important search ranking factor.
What are the benefits of a FAQ page?
A FAQ, or frequently asked questions, page allows visitors to find answers to all their questions in one place. Not only does it make life easier for your website visitors, it can save your business time and resources because you won’t have as many customers contacting you for answers.
Where do I put FAQ on my website?
For customers who go straight to your website for answers, put the link to your FAQ or support page in a prominent place – preferably in the top navigation bar. This will encourage customers to read through the FAQ before contacting a support representative or opening a ticket.
How do I create a FAQ page in HTML and CSS?