Benefits of SEO for Ecommerce: Make Sales While You Sleep

If all your customers come from paid, it’s time to build a fully owned traffic source – with the benefits of SEO for ecommerce.

Why?

It’s risky to be overly dependent on a single channel, which has prompted many of our ecommerce clients to reach out. 

I’m not surprised if it’s keeping you up at night too.

Now here you are at 3 am, full of questions about what SEO can do for your business.

The simple answer is: revenue-driving organic traffic

But it’s more broadly impactful than that. 

So don’t go back to sleep just yet – this article will walk you through how SEO for ecommerce delivers benefits like traffic, conversions, and visibility.

Sell more products with less effort.

If you want a steady flow of engaged customers primed to buy, we’ve got a proven process for driving organic traffic and converting it into sales.

What Is SEO for Ecommerce?

The goal of SEO for ecommerce is the same as any other type of business – to bring targeted traffic to a website, through organic search. The same processes are used to help your site rank for valuable keywords and draw in potential customers. 

SEO projects involve a number of actions aimed at improving a website’s search rankings and traffic, depending on the goals and challenges presented:

  • Keyword research
  • Competitive analysis 
  • On-page optimization 
  • Off-page promotion to build links 
  • Addressing technical issues
  • Content creation and distribution

Ecommerce SEO differs mostly in terms of complexity. With hundreds or thousands of products, variations, and collections, sites get messy – and the number of pages makes it critical to organize and optimize.

If your site architecture is disorganized, search engines won’t be able to find all your product pages (and users won’t either). If product pages are not optimized, they might as well be invisible to search.

So the principles and processes are the same in ecommerce and any type of site, whether it’s for an accountant, a software company, or an online retailer. But the project plan will look much different when the site is less complex.

9 Benefits of Ecommerce SEO

I’m not suggesting that SEO will replace all your other marketing. But if you haven’t been taking it seriously, you can bet your competitors have. 

It’s an essential component of a resilient customer acquisition strategy, with many verifiable benefits.

1. Cost-Efficient Customer Acquisition

Organic traffic remains more cost-effective than paid channels. It’s an investment in future growth, whether you hire an agency or do the work in-house.

And the investment lasts, continuing to bring targeted traffic to your site once you’ve laid a solid foundation. This is a stark contrast to paid traffic – when you turn off ad spend, you turn off traffic.

On-page optimization for product pages is one of the ways you’ll gain this benefit, targeting search terms with commercial and transactional intent. 

This is the most highly targeted traffic you can get – people ready to buy. When you start ranking product and category pages for these terms, it directly drives sales.

A client recently told us they’ve had their highest revenue year ever (in over a decade of D2C ecommerce). 

What changed? Organic traffic growth, directly related to optimized product listings.

GA Page performance

2. Consistent Traffic and Forecasting

Organic traffic is one of the most steady acquisition channels you can invest in. It’s not always predictable – but it tends to be consistent when you consistently work at it.

Organic traffic also tends to build over time. That’s why established brands own so much traffic – years of investing in SEO and content marketing.

But this is an opportunity for you, too. You can access the same tools and data your competitors use to learn about their organic traffic strategy. 

By interpreting data like search volumes, competitor traffic, and market patterns, you can prioritize opportunities based on potential. Then you can forecast and build based on your SEO successes. 

3. Reduces Paid Traffic Channel Dependency

Paid traffic is a mainstay of ecommerce marketing. When the ROI makes sense, it’s immediately beneficial. Still, it’s undeniably limiting to focus only on one platform or strategy.

Once SEO starts paying off, your overall customer acquisition costs go down. It’s a way to leverage paid search, as you reach new customers without increasing ad spend. 

Most online shopping experiences begin with a search query. If you’re not showing up in organic search, you’re nowhere near your potential reach!

Top Five ROI-driving Channels
According to Hubspot’s 2024 State of Marketing & Trends Report, SEO and Content Marketing are high ROI investments

4. Increases Conversions

The vast majority of online shopping sessions begin with a search engine query. Unlike passive browsing, these shoppers are ready to buy. Increasing this type of traffic will naturally improve conversion rates. 

But there’s a less obvious, and no less impactful connection between SEO and ecommerce conversions. 

The factors that help search engines “understand” which pages to display also improve UX:

  • Optimized product page titles, detailed descriptions, and interlinked pages help customers choose the right product. 
  • Correct site architecture helps shoppers discover more products and related content. 
  • Technical SEO factors like page speed and mobile-friendliness can reduce bounce rate and cart abandonment.
SERP Analysis

5. Increases Brand Awareness

Once you start ranking organically, your volume of branded searches increases because any impressions and clicks add to your overall visibility. 

Your brand simply has more opportunities to create a memorable impression when you’re showing up in more SERPs. 

Though you’d prefer every click to lead directly to a sale – every introduction to your brand increases awareness. When it’s time to make a purchase, you’ll be top of mind. (If you don’t rank in top positions for your branded search terms, that’s yet another reason to invest in SEO.)

Supergoop search

Brand awareness is why complete SEO strategies include content targeting different stages of the buyer’s journey – which brings us to the next benefit. 

6. Generating Leads at the Top of the Marketing Funnel

One of the strengths of SEO as a marketing channel is that it can help you reach potential customers at every stage of the buying journey. 

You want site visitors at the bottom of your marketing funnel – ready to buy. But you’ll see long-term benefits from building traffic at the top of the funnel, too. A robust ecommerce content marketing strategy targets both (and doesn’t neglect the middle!).

To build top-of-funnel traffic, ecommerce sites create blog content targeting long-tail, informational search queries. 

7. Expands Remarketing Possibilities

A big percentage of organic visitors don’t convert, just like a percentage of walk-in shoppers to a brick-and-mortar don’t buy. But online, you can reach more of these visitors after they leave your store. 

Lead capture strategies entice visitors with coupon offers like discounts, samples, or free shipping. These leads feed directly into email marketing efforts.

So, any traffic enhances your overall performance marketing strategy. As you grow your email list, you build an audience of people already primed to buy.

Discount Coupon CTA

8. User Engagement Data

SEO offers a treasure trove of data. The more you know about your customer’s online behavior (both on and off your site), the more effectively you can market to them. 

  • Keyword research helps you understand what your audience needs and wants.
  • Competitive analysis can tell you what type of content is irresistible to your potential customers.
  • More organic traffic to your site helps you map a clear path to purchase.

What type of content helps people decide to buy? What product features are most important? Which pages of your site are visitors spending the most time on?

SEO data, more organic traffic, and proper tracking can answer these questions. More user data helps you test and improve engagement and conversions. The same data can inform your strategy both on and off your site, integrated with paid ad strategy and social media. 

Heatmap

9. Improves Share of Voice

SEO is a zero-sum game. If you rank higher for the terms that convert, your competitors rank lower.

This benefit is twofold. Your visibility and brand exposure increase with every impression and click. As your share of impressions and clicks increases, your competition’s share decreases.

Ultimately, dominating SEO in your space increases conversions, as more consumers see your brand as the primary option.

Get the Benefits of SEO Working for Your Business

It takes time and expertise to get all of these benefits working for your site, but you don’t have to do it alone.

Our clients want an end-to-end SEO partner, from content creation to technical SEO. We partner with fewer clients, and go all-in to deliver results.

To find out what we can do for you, we need to talk.

Get in touch with us today to learn more!

Johanna Nastor Avatar

Get more leads with less effort.

If you want a steady flow of targeted leads, we’ve got a proven process for driving organic traffic and converting it into qualified leads.