E-commerce SEO services cover a greater breadth and depth of activity than what applies to lead generation websites. E-commerce websites often have very large product catalogs, thousands of Web pages to optimize, complex duplicate content issues (particularly with regard to product pages), a lack of unique content across the entire site, poor URL structure, and a flawed product category strategy.
This adds up to a need for an e-commerce SEO agency capable of identifying and optimizing these and other critical issues.
What to Look for in an E-commerce SEO Company
An e-commerce SEO agency must be adept at strategic planning, have a deep staff with expertise in a number of SEO and SEO-related Internet marketing disciplines, and possess extremely strong campaign management skills. The need for these attributes becomes clear after reviewing a few important elements of an e-commerce SEO campaign.
- Product categorization is a crucial factor in e-commerce SEO, and may need adjustments — anything from a few tweaks here and there to a complete overhaul. A sound product categorization strategy must properly prioritize pages for Google, so that the search engine can distinguish more important from less important pages, and yet also must make complete sense to human users of the website.
- Keyword research is an extensive and never-ending aspect of e-commerce SEO services, an enormous project in and of itself. Since e-commerce companies depend on organic traffic for a significant percentage of their sales, they must capture traffic from not just a handful of high-volume strategic keywords, but also from the hundreds or thousands of related keyword terms whose combined volume is substantial.
- On-site content production is also a major, ongoing job for an e-commerce SEO agency. Existing content at the product page level, category page level, and company blog must be optimized and regularly updated, and additional pages must be created to support the numerous keywords for which the site must be optimized. In addition to the on-page content itself, title tags must be optimized and written continually, adding a significant amount of time to this segment of SEO activity.
In addition to these highlighted activities, the scope of an e-commerce campaign includes complex on-site technical SEO functions such as eliminating duplicate content and optimizing the website’s internal linking structure, and pursuing an aggressive off-site SEO campaign to optimize the link profile. Off-site activities are typically a combination of extensive off-site content publishing, and securing strategic directory listings and sponsorships.
Usability is another key element of a successful SEO campaign. Factors such as page-loading speed, intuitive navigation and mobile-friendly page layouts improve the user experience, and as a result, conversions. They are also factors that affect or correlate to higher organic search engine visibility.
For your e-commerce SEO services to pay off, the agency must have a team of strategists, keyword researchers, copywriters, editors, SEO analysts and technicians, and front-end and back-end developers (for instance, to implement on-site content updates and additions). And with this considerable amount of day-to-day activity, a strong campaign manager must be in place to both organize the work and serve as a focal point for client and internal communication. Without strong product management, even the most skilled SEO team could slip into chaos when attempting to handle a complex e-commerce campaign.
Before hiring an e-commerce SEO company, take a hard look at its past performance on behalf of clients having an e-commerce website of comparable size. Was the SEO company able to increase traffic and conversions? Can it document those increases, and demonstrate an ability to sustain improvement over many months or years? Performance data is an extremely accurate measure of expertise — investigate thoroughly, and you are far more likely to partner with the right agency.