The argument in favor of SEO is a compelling one when you consider the simple equation that you need customers to be able to find your business if you want to enjoy strong sales growth and big profits.
There are numerous ways to ensure that your eCommerce platform is both successful and profitable, such as considering the idea of outsourcing using someone like Red Stag Fulfillment, and SEO is definitely a key aspect that will help to drive your business forward.
You can’t ignore the numbers
If you are contemplating the reason why SEO is so integral to the success of your eCommerce venture, a cursory glance at a survey like one carried out by IPSOS in 2012, should convince you of its importance.
That particular IPSOS survey found that 44% of online purchases are dependent on an initial search engine request, which then led the prospective purchaser to the site that took their eye and was returned within the first few search engine results.
You simply can’t afford to risk the prospect of over 40% of prospective online consumers not even giving you a chance to pitch for their custom, which is the likely scenario if you don’t have a proactive SEO policy in place.
Love or hate the power it yields, it is hard to argue with the observation that a search engine behemoth like Google, has the ability to make or break your online business. When it comes to unlocking the key to having a successful eCommerce store, you simply can afford to ignore the power of SEO and the importance of being highly visible on the web.
Getting the right Ecommerce platform
There are a number of prominent eCommerce platforms around to choose from and getting the right one for your business is going to help with your SEO and visibility as well as giving your customers the right shopping experience.
Here is a look at some of the players in this market, without recommending either in particular, as you will have to form your own opinion regarding which platform would be right for your business needs.
This platform has built up a lofty reputation in a fairly short space of time, having been founded in 2010.
One of its key selling points is the fact that it offers a freemium model which allows you to get started for free and then pick and choose the various upgrades that you consider are useful to you and give you what you need, such as extra storage solutions.
There are over ten attractive themes to get you started with your eCommerce store that make the most of navigation and searchability options, plus hundreds of other templates to give your site the look and feel that you are trying to achieve.
This company has been around a while longer and has been providing eCommerce platforms for more than 15 years, boasting the fact that well over 40,000 stores are currently using their platform.
Price comparisons can be misleading and as with many things, it does not always pay to be solely influenced by the headline monthly pricing plan. Volusion is a case in point, as it can often work out that their entry plan compares favorably with rival platforms, but you might not get the add-ons and features that you want.
Once you have added everything you need from your platform, you should be able to find that Volusion compete well in terms of performance and price when you add everything up. It also copes with an inventory of up to 10,000 products without any problems, so like a number of eCommerce platforms, it should certainly be fit for purpose.
The right SEO capabilities
Choosing the right eCommerce platform is not just a matter of getting the window dressing and functionality spot on, it is also important to ensure that your chosen platform offers the right SEO capabilities.
The sort of feature that you want a platform to score highly on when it comes to SEO, is independent control of navigation.
You will find that some platforms tend to automatically generate a navigation link in your menu, but for greater SEO visibility, you want to have editing control, so that you can give each product a less cumbersome link.
The same line of thinking applies to independent page titles. The ability to create independent page titles will give the creative license to create a page title that more closely reflects the type of search a customer might be entering in a Google search.
If you can get the eCommerce platform features right and in sync with your SEO ambitions, you are well on your way to creating a shopping destination that should prove popular, and profitable.
About the author
Jake Rheude is the Director of Business Development for Red Stag Fulfillment, an e-commerce fulfillment company focused on delivering the highest total value for e-commerce businesses and their customers. Find out how by following Red Stag on LinkedIn and keep up with the latest tweets on Twitter.