Ecommerce Search Success: 5 Metrics You Must Measure
SEO Common Sense
Search engine optimization may seem like a black box that we have no way to see inside. To an extent this may be true. However, it is important to remember why search engines exist and what they are trying to accomplish.
Let’s get back to the basics. Search engines purpose and goal is to provide users with the most relevant results to their search queries as quickly as possible. In the past there may have been black hat tricks and techniques to fool search engines, but not today. The truth is that search engines are smart these days…and they are always getting smarter.
So how do you win in the long run with SEO? It’s simple…you just need to be the most relevant result for a given query. Oh…and to make sure that your site is optimized for search engines to be able to read it and that your site speed is above par site speed and optimized for mobile.
We said it was simple…not easy.
In fact, SEO is the opposite of easy. It takes hard work and a lot of time. It is a long run game…and it’s not for everyone.
How to Get Fit For SEO
Look at a company’s marketing activities are like a personalized nutrition plan. There may be some general rules that apply to everyone. For example, no nutritionist would tell you to eat a supersized big mac and fries every day.
But there is no one size fits all. It depends on your body, your fitness level, and your goals.
The same is true for a business. Every business has a different product, different customers, and different end goals. And as such, each business needs to look at its marketing activities a bit differently. Each business needs a personalized plan to achieve their specific goals.
Depending on your business, SEO may be the top of your priority list and demand high levels of investment. Or it may fall so low that you never seem to get to it. And that’s OK. For most businesses, however, SEO will play some part in their marketing investment.
So here are 5 metrics to focus on and track to ensure your SEO strategy is in shape.
1. Product and Category Page Attributes
This one is focused on ecommerce stores. If you are an ecommerce store, having your product pages (and category pages) rank in search engines is huge. So you want to make sure that you are not only providing quality content on your product pages, but also that your product pages are structured correctly so that they are easily readable of search engines.
This means including titles, quality body content, videos, resources, and reviews for social proof. For SEO purposes it is also good to include links to other sites, but be careful about this one in terms of placement and priority. You certainly don’t want to direct people out of your sales funnel.
Don’t believe that SEO on your product pages is so important?
One of our clients is Dr. Axe. If you google “collagen protein,” his product page is the number 1 search result in google (as of when this blog was written, of course).
Just imagine if your product page showed up first in google…
2. Keyword Rankings
If you are focused on SEO, you should have certain keywords that you want to show up for in search engines…so naturally you want to track how you rank for these keywords and where. Keep in mind that for any keyword strategy, you need to make sure to tailor your content and your site around these keywords.
A word of warning: it is VERY difficult to become the first search result in Google. But being first isn’t the important thing. Focus on being on the front page. This is also very difficult. But there are huge benefits to being on the front page. Most users do scroll through the first page of results and often click through on several results, but very few click through to the second page of results. The front page results get 92% of the traffic.
This may seem old school, but it is still incredibly important in SEO today. Remember common sense and what the search engines are aiming to do…they want to get the right content to the right people as quickly as possible. Having a backlink from a reputable source carries a lot of weight. It means another trusted site believes in the value of your site. This carries a lot of credibility in the search engine world.
4. Organic Search Traffic
Perhaps this seems to be a no brainer. But it is important to mention. This is your barometer. Keep track in percentage terms compared to other sources of traffic. The ideal split between organic and paid search traffic and other traffic sources will depend on your particular business, but tracking this split over time will give you an indication of how your SEO efforts are fairing.
The second phase of this metric is to track what the traffic from each source is doing on your site. This will answer the question of whether or not more organic traffic is good for you or not. Are they converting? Organic traffic is great, but if the traffic lands on your site and ultimately does not look around or convert, then it’s not worth investing in. You are looking for quality traffic, not just traffic of any kind. So make sure to pay attention not only to where your site visitors come from, but what they are doing to help you focus your marketing efforts.
5. Site Speed
Site speed is very important for search engines. You could be the most relevant result for a given query, but if your site lags, search engines will ding you significantly. Again, back to common sense. Search engines want to give a good experience to their users, just like you do, so if your site takes a long time to load, you won’t get top ranking.
Wondering how your site speed is? Check out pingdom tools.
A few final tips:
* Make sure your site is optimized for mobile. If it isn’t, you will not show up in mobile results.
* Make sure you have Google Analytics and Google Search Console enabled on your site. This allows you to communicate with Google and make sure your site is being crawled properly, as well as track results.
* Make sure you have a valid sitemap that is updated dynamically. This comes standard in most content management systems, or there is likely a plugin available. This is really important. It allows you to tell search engines where your content is and how it should be indexed rather than leaving the search engines to crawl around in the dark.