5 extra juicy benefits of ecommerce SEO you (and your manager) need to understand

17 September, 2014

These Seo Benefits Will Answer Your Manager's QuestionsWe all know that SEO helps you improve your Google rankings, which helps you get more website visitors, which helps you sell more stuff.

You’ve heard that all before. I’m not here to tell you the same old SEO story.

Instead, I want to open your eyes to some other benefits of investing in SEO for your ecommerce store that you might not automatically consider.

You can keep this list up your sleeve to answer that question you’re dreading every time you see your line manager pause in thought and look your way.

You know the one:

“So why are we doing this again?”

You know you can’t just yammer on about increased pageviews.

Your boss doesn’t care about ‘engagement metrics’. Your boss cares about sales.

Revenue. Profit. Cost Cutting. ROI.

So here’s 5 big picture benefits of ecommerce SEO for to help you fire straight back, in your manager’s language.

Now you can fight for your budget with confidence instead of sweat-riddled pits.

Ecommerce Seo And Content Reduces Ad Spend

The first benefit is a big one.

We’ve been through this in a whole stack of glorious detail. If you haven’t seen my earlier rant on the long term cost effectiveness of SEO, have a quick read of it now.

Long story/argument short:

Investment in SEO keeps on giving. Advertising needs a regularly re-filled pocket.

Every dollar spent on SEO can directly increase sales every day of every year in the future.

That’s a benefit your boss can relate to.

Lay this wisdom down on your boss and you’ll be the new best friend. We won’t guarantee it, but chances are you’ll be looking a little like this…

Flickr Image Courtesy Afge

If you can reduce your advertising spend and increase the ROI from your marketing, your boss will jump right on board the content marketing bandwagon – to infinity and beyond.

Everyone wants a manager just like Buzz Lightyear.

Apart from allowing you to build an audience without battering your budget’s advertising line item, a quality SEO and content strategy allows you to pinpoint your niche. Which leads us into benefit #2…

Cost Effective Hyper Targeting

Okay I know. This sounds like the business version of an infomercial slogan. If your boss is a jargon geek, you’ll have things handled when you drop this mouthful.

If your manager doesn’t speak in marketing textbook direct quotes, better to go with something like this:

We can spend much less to directly target a small, specific group of potential customers at any stage of the buying process.

So less cost, more sales. That’s the theory anyway.

Sounds too good to be true right? Cue common sceptical manager reaction…

Flickr Image Courtesy David Goehring

Unfortunately this one isn’t quite so self-explanatory. You might have to work a little harder for the lightbulb moment.

If you understand your customer’s buying process/decision trajectory/purchase journey/the way customers go from knowing nothing about you to buying your stuff, you can develop content to match each step the customer takes. This specific content can be optimised with SEO to guide your prospects along the path to purchase.

Content marketing fits into your argument right here. Helpful content can ease your potential customer’s pain points.

By proving your authority in your industry, your content can earn your prospect’s trust.

If all of your customer’s questions are answered through every stage of the journey, you get the sale.

With some quality SEO investment, you can make sure your content is front and centre when your prospect types their question into a Google search.

If you want more in depth specifics, here’s the tactics required:

By creating and optimising website pages you can target customer web searches at each stage of the buying process.

The graph below from UK digital marketing agency Elevate illustrates how a customer’s Google searches change as they move closer to a purchase decision. On the right hand side the search terms are “long tail”, or more detailed, denoting more purchase or ‘end-of-the-funnel’ intent.

Content tailored for long tail searches tends to convert directly to sales more than the short, generic terms on the left hand side.

How Long Tail Seo Helps Develop Ecommerce Content

To communicate with your potential customers throughout their journey to purchase, you need to develop and promote content that helps to address your buyer’s concerns (and keywords) at each stage. Webpages or blog posts crammed full of keywords won’t work.

Search engines give you the opportunity to find and help an exact group of potential customers. No need to continue paying streams of dollars to fight through the noise and communicate with a few prospects amongst a mass audience.

Flickr Image Courtesy Allie_Caulfield

You can provide genuine value for a hyper targeted selection of interested consumers at a fraction of the cost of a normal media buy.

Entertain them, inform them, help them, educate them.

Your rankings, and your sales figures, will thank you for it.

Oh, and your content keeps on giving. No need to create a costly new campaign 3 months after your last. There’s every chance the same piece of content you created in one day can help answer the same question a prospect is researching 3 years later. Hold that thought and let’s segue into point three.

Create Evergreen Ecommerce Seo Content Assets

Us Gorillas love gifts that keep on giving. I’m sure you do too.

Marketing Manager’s love investments that keep on giving. I’m sure you do too.

Content marketing creates assets that provide continual value. Using SEO and other tactics to promote your content allows you to generate ROI on your initial investment for years to come.

That blog post you published today doesn’t disappear next month. It stays on your website. If the content is still helpful to your targets, it will continue to bring you more traffic and leads indefinitely.

Let’s pretend that for 12 months, you write one blog post each month. On average each blog post you publish attracts 10 visitors per month. You can see from the graph below, after 12 months you are receiving over 120 visitors per month for your 12 different posts.

Your line manager will be more excited by talk of 12 ‘lead-generating-marketing-assets’ than 12 blog posts.

Why Ecommerce Content Marketing Helps Seo

This is a very simple example of the impact that new pages on your website can have. Of course some posts will be more popular and some may not receive much traffic at all!

But, you can maximise the traffic that each post receives by optimising your page titles, headings, text and images for search engines. Promoting your content helps as well (this is where advertising, social media and email marketing fit in just fine).

Over time your website traffic compounds. If your content is valuable enough to your newfound audience, your email subscription list will grow and you get the chance to share even more great content on a consistent basis.

Suddenly, you have a chance to build a relationship with your audience and establish trust over time. If you structure your content to bring your audience on a journey to purchase, you’ll find yourself with loyal, repeat customers.

The positive impact of this type of content generation isn’t just limited to increasing leads and traffic from search engines. With helpful and entertaining content comes social sharing, referral traffic and backlinks to your website. This means improved rankings for your site, and more chances for conversions.

When a quality content and SEO strategy is executed well, the results will be more than the sum of its parts.

If you haven’t indulged in our glorious snowball analogy, involve yourself.

It involves a cartoon, a naughty child and the lesson that one SEO effort can build unstoppable momentum, with less effort than you might think. And that brings us to ecommerce SEO benefit #4…

Maximise Existing Ecommerce Seo Resources

An SEO and content strategy helps you make the most of investments you have already made in the past.

Rather than repeatedly spending dollars to rent an audience with advertising, you can squeeze more ROI juice from your existing marketing content.

For example, you’ve probably already developed a whole bunch of the following content shopping list:

  • product guides or manuals
  • brochures
  • FAQ’s
  • advertising and promotion copy
  • distributor guidelines
  • product, service or industry research
  • customer surveys
  • catalogue/archive of customer service requests
  • internal induction/training/product education docs
  • any other type of marketing material

Each of these is enough to make a content marketing pro salivate (or breathe a sigh of relief). No need to spend the time and money to create new content if you haven’t made the most of your best existing stuff.

These content assets could be helping you attract more traffic and convert customers. How?

The secret is in knowing how to ‘repurpose’ this information to help your potential customers during their online browsing and research.

  • The beauty for you – less writing, briefing, editing, designing, creating
  • The beauty for your manager – less money spent out of your budget

You’ve already paid to have this content created. You just need a fraction of extra effort, time and (sometimes) money to repurpose your content for a different platform or channel.

Maximising your existing offline content assets is a simple way to help you boost rankings and increase your email list. As soon as you repurpose this content on your website or blog, search engines can help new potential customers find your best work.

Ecommerce Seo Builds Your Audience On Owned Land

Like any other marketing folk, us content pro’s love a little (maybe unnecessary?) jargon. A good example – how we describe the three types of media for any brand:

#1. Owned

#2. Earned

#3. Paid

I won’t stumble my way through an explanation. The table below from Forrester has done all of the work for me, summarising the difference between the three.

Paid Owned And Earned Ecommerce Content Explained

Your website (and your blog and email marketing) fall underneath owned media. Your website is your hub. It is the easiest place to convert your visitors into customers.

You can use paid promotion, social media, advertising and media mentions to grow your brand and build confidence with prospects.

But, these places cannot be the desired end destination for your customers.

If you have a huge Facebook following, you can’t control when or if your fans see your updates. If you pay for a half page spread in a trade magazine, you can’t contact this audience again without paying a fee to the publisher.

To control your audience, and avoid paying a rental fee to a publisher, you need to entice that audience back to your blog and sign them up for email updates. This way, you can share valuable content with your audience whenever you like, for free.

The longer and more often you can keep visitors on your owned land, the more chances to develop a relationship and the more opportunities to convert.

When you invest in SEO and content marketing, you are building your own audience foundations. You can drive your visitors towards other content, email subscription or your product offering.

When customers land on your site, you have the power to shape their experience.

I’m not trying to convince you that paid and earned aren’t important. I’ve already stuck my hand right up into that hornet’s nest with this post debating SEO or PPC for ecommerce companies. Advertising and PR are great ways to introduce your brand to new potential customers. But you need a quality SEO and content strategy to make sure you can capture this new audience and entice them back to your owned media channels (blog/email list/website).

Put simply, owned media seals the deal.

As the slide below from Rich Kirk and ZenithOptimedia shows, to make the most of your spend on paid and earned, you need to have a strong owned media strategy sorted first.

Why Ecommerce Owned Media Content Should Get Priority

I could go on for days, but we’ve both got work to do.

These 5 extra benefits of ecommerce SEO give you some good justification ammunition.

So the next time your boss asks you why you’re spending precious resources on SEO and content, you can fire straight back with 5 big picture reasons why your budget will boost the bottom line.

Remember, investing in an SEO and content strategy for your online store will help you:

#1. Reduce your advertising spend

#2. Increase the cost effectiveness of your marketing with hyper targeting

#3. Create evergreen content assets that continually deliver new leads

#4. Maximise the value of your existing marketing resources

#5. Build your audience on your own land to help you communicate to customers regularly, at next to no cost

It’s not just about improving your Google rankings.

If you want to learn more about improving your content marketing, download yourself our free guide to building an ecommerce audience you can bank on.

We let you in on the details of developing a profit generating ecommerce content marketing strategy and show you how you can turn your blog into online sales.

No point in schooling your with these extra benefits if you can’t deliver on your expectations.

In the meantime, good luck online, and don’t let the big bad boss get the better of your budget.

By Scott Evans
As co-founder and Director of Gorilla 360, Scott has spent the last 12 years helping businesses grow through smart digital marketing.
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