GURUGRAM: Industry reports state that 44 per cent of people start their online shopping journey with a Google search and 23.6 per cent of e-commerce orders are directly tied to organic traffic on the brand’s website (Business Insider). This itself determines the importance of search engine optimisation (SEO) for better sales ROI, especially for brands who have their own e-commerce platforms. In fact, even for brands that don’t have their own e-commerce platforms, SEO plays an important role indirectly in sales by guiding the traffic to the respective marketplaces from the brand’s website, helping consumers make the right purchase decision. Another report by SEM Rush states that 37.5 per cent of all traffic to e-commerce sites comes from search engines.
Owing to the current pandemic, e-commerce has witnessed a 17 per cent growth and a whopping 65 per cent growth in brands that are establishing their own website. Consumers who were initially sceptical about buying products online are now accustomed to the growing world of e-commerce. Consumer behaviour has also undergone a radical shift with more people buying directly from brand websites.
In my view, there are three key things brands need to follow to drive maximum benefit from e-commerce SEO:
a) Keyword planning – The importance of keywords in SEO is known to all. For e-commerce brands, targeting keywords which are category- and product-centric is extremely important, rather than just informational keywords. Amazon would be a good place to look for product-oriented keywords which closely depict the buying intent of the consumer.
So what one needs to do is enter a keyword related to the product on Amazon – for example “instant geyser.” Amazon can throw multiple suggestions around the product which would closely depict what the consumer is searching for. For example: “six litre instant geyser”, “instant water heater”, “instant geyser to save electricity”, etc. Some of the keywords could be long tail, and it’s good to pick those up as well to finally result in a healthy mix of long tail and short tail keywords, for a better conversion.
b) Category and sub-category insights – Amazon is also a good place for finding out keywords related to your category and sub-categories. Further, you can also take a look at competitor keywords for category insights. A good tool to refer to is SEM rush. It does not give keyword suggestions based on inputs made, but shows you keywords that your competitor already ranks for. A deeper analysis can be done on those keywords to find more variety as per consumer intent and your product categories.
c) Plan campaign ROI over a longer term – SEO can work wonders for a brand over a sustained period of time and can genuinely improve sales in a cost-effective manner. According to Kantar’s Getting Media Right 2018 report, 81 per cent of marketers in the Asia Pacific region acknowledged that the most important measure of ROI is a combination of short and longer-term metrics.
However, most marketers in India tend to focus on the short-term ROI of a campaign, trying to account for every penny spent immediately. Only around three per cent of digital marketers measure ROI over a six-month period or longer in India. It is one of the lowest amongst all regions, lower than the global average of four per cent. Conversely, about 78 per cent of Indian marketers measure ROI within the first 30 days of the campaign itself. This is too soon, especially considering that sales cycles are usually 60-90 days or longer.
With the enormous rate at which e-commerce is growing, it is well on its way to completely redefine the way we do business. This year especially has seen an explosion in the digital space like never before and it’s only going to get bigger from here on. In a world that is populated with all types of content, SEO is the elixir that every business needs to incorporate when executing their brand strategy.
(The author is founder of Bottle Openers Digital Solutions. Indiantelevision.com may not subscribe to his views.)