Richard has just started a Shopify store and hopes to get as many customers as possible. This, he believes, would put his Shopify store on the path to becoming a global business. He has thus invested heavily in a number of things such as paid advertisement, social media marketing as well as increasing the content on his blog.
But sadly, these huge investments have not translated into a corresponding increase in customer growth after a while. Richard seems stuck and confused because sales is not forthcoming whilst expenditure is swelling up.
This is the real situation that many Shopify store merchants find themselves in, perhaps including you. Admittedly, publishing content on a blog is a good thing but simply doing it and increasing ads budget do not necessarily mean that people will find your Shopify store easily and become customers.
Rather, the golden rule is to improve your Search Engine Optimization(SEO) which will make your store easily discoverable in search engines, the place everybody goes to search for anything.
This write-up seeks to explain the reasons why every Shopify store merchant needs to improve their site’s SEO to help increase traffic to the store and grow sales.
1. SEO is a form of free advertisement
The expansion of the internet space has made consumers more sophisticated. Even ads are beginning to have minimal influence in swaying consumers. Before making any purchase decision, most consumers these days are most likely, to first of all, do a quick search on the internet or ask other people for information about the product. According to a study, 92 percent of consumers are more likely to trust their peers over advertising when it comes to purchasing decisions.
SEO provides an easy and cost-effective means for your would-be customers and customers alike to find you easily on search engines result pages. This will ensure your product reaches a large audience, thus, offering you free advertisement and shoring up customer growth.
According to data from Internet live stats, on the average, Google alone processes over 40,000 search queries every second globally. This is equivalent to over 3.5 billion searches per day which translates to 1.2 trillion searches per year.
So, instead of dedicating huge portions of your annual budget to ads, perhaps you should also focus on improving your SEO.
2. SEO helps position your brand as industry thought leader
How many times have you done a quick search on the internet to compare the prices, check quality or even the reputation of a product before making a purchase decision? I guess your answer will definitely be “countless times.” Well, today’s consumers are just like you.
According to a Local Search Association (LSA), 72 percent of consumers turn to digital channels when they are ready to make a purchase decision whilst 28 percent turn to offline or traditional channels like newspapers or family/friends etc.
Whilst it is true that more people are turning to digital channels to make purchase decisions, it goes without saying that consumers are becoming so impatient when it comes to scrolling through web pages. Moz indicates that the first page of Google enjoys 71 percent of search traffic clicks or organic traffic and could even go as high as 92 percent whilst the second-page gets, rather shockingly, as low as 6 percent!
Having your brand appear on the first page therefore means that people who see your website in the search result will associate some credibility to your brand. To them, your business must be having some clout as compared to others in order to have enabled you to rank in the first pages.
3. Increase sales
When there is an increased traffic to your site as a result of the free advertisement and positive brand exposure you get from SEO , you are on your way to boosting customer growth and sales. The ultimate goal of every eCommerce business is to maximise profit. It goes without saying that you cannot maximise profit when sales are on a downward trend. But the trick is, getting your SEO right means providing an opportunity for more people to see your product, hence, boosting sales.
4. Increase customer reviews
Closely linked to increased sales is increased customer reviews. When we talk about boosting customer reviews, the first thought that comes to the minds of many people is using reviews tools out there. For instance, many store owners use the popular Kudobuzz Reviews app for Shopify, which is a cool idea but the apps alone can’t do all.
The driver of more customer reviews is more sales. If you’re getting many orders a month and providing an amazing customer experience, you’re likely to naturally receive positive reviews. The same cannot however be said when you get no orders in a month.
5. Customer reviews are very important in enhancing your brand credibility.
According to Local Consumer Review Study, 91 percent of consumers read online reviews when searching for local businesses while 84 percent of consumers regard online reviews as much as personal recommendations. This has been corroborated by Reevoo which also reveals that a product with an average of 50 or more reviews can increase its conversion by 4.6 percent.
So, with increased sales, comes increased reviews which goes further to fuel the cycle of getting more sales.
Some Quick SEO Tips
Before concluding, here are some few tips that can get you going on your SEO journey.
To get your site optimised for search engines, first make sure your site is indexed. Search engines have automated robots also called "crawlers" or "spiders," which crawl the World Wide Web (WWW) and scan documents based on two factors: relevance of the content and popularity of a site.
To achieve this, you need to ensure your site has the appropriate keywords. Areas you can add keywords to improve SEO include: page titles, meta descriptions, ALT tags and a page’s body content.
According to Moz, many meta descriptions are being cut off around the 155-160 character mark. Therefore, try to include your target keywords and strongest copy at the starting point of your meta description. Also, try to avoid going over 155 characters.
But hey, getting ranked for specific keywords often takes months. Google usually finds a site by its own and this contributes some delay in getting ranked. However, you can ensure your site is indexed by submitting your site manually.
It is also important for you to make use of geo-targeting. This will help you focus more on local search optimizationand will ensure that people within your locality can easily find you on search result pages.
Another critical point to note is that it can also happen that you have unintentionally blocked Google from accessing your site. It is mostly as a result of an error in your robots.txt file. This especially happens when you move your site from one domain to the other or after launching a new site. To check this, go to robots.txt file. If you see something like what’s below, then it means Google has been blocked from crawling your site:
You can resolve this situation by removing this code from the file. Fortunately, there are other tools like SEO doctor which can help you fix this challenge in the blink of an eye.
So go ahead and integrate SEO for your Shopify store today and reap the benefits in a great way!
All in all, getting your SEO right is very important for the success of your Shopify store. SEO offers you an unlimited opportunity to reach millions of audience at almost no cost; enabling your potential customers to find your store easily on search results.
As more people frequently find your brand on search results, it will set you out as an industry thought leader. This will naturally increase sales, because more people are likely to buy from you. When sales goes up and you complement that effort with a good customer experience, it would lead to growth of your customer reviews which will fuel more brand trust and increase in sales.
So don’t be left out, develop a conscious and a well thought-through SEO strategy now and set your business on the path of massive growth.