SEO Case: The Significance of Search Engine Visibility in eCommerce
Search engine visibility has a huge effect in the amount of visitors both in online stores and on websites. Recent research has shown that, even in the B2B sector, the purchase process often has gone very far before the first actual contact with the service provider takes place. Before this, search engines are used for finding information and looking for service providers on the market.
Different kinds of methods can be used for improving search engine visibility. Some methods are very technical but it is possible to achieve good results with hard work and basic knowledge. However, in highly competitive ecommerce sectors it is advisable to rely on experts. We at Liana Technologies link the improvements with the evolution of the online store; the search engine visibility is developed hand in hand with the advance of the store. In the following case, we describe the search engine optimization process of Megalon Sport, an online store built on the LianaCommerce platform.
Case Megalon: Getting started
Megalon Sport was founded in 2011 and it is an online store selling sports equipment. For them, online visibility is crucial since they have no brick and mortar stores. They have noticed that search engine visibility is both efficient and quite an affordable way to get coverage in the online environment. More and more frequently, search engines are the first place where consumers look for products - even before visiting a brick and mortar store.
Search engine optimization projects usually start from the contents of the online store and website. This was done also in the case of Megalon where a list of all sites in the online store was printed out and the sites grouped according to their type. A huge number of sites was further sifted with the help of the most common errors and by analyzing the necessary changes. This requires a lot of hard work because one single analysis and improvements resulted from it are not enough to carry out optimizing. Instead, new reports are printed out on a weekly basis, which makes it easier to find the places that need optimization, making the whole process more efficient and faster.
Internal and external link optimization
In the case of Megalon the optimization of internal links was found a major point of improvement. Megalon is a typical online store in the sense that there are a lot of products and categories, which often makes navigation on the site quite challenging. Even though search engines are robots, they struggle with the same issues as people in search of the sites. The better a site is found internally, the better it succeeds also in external search result listings. In the case of Megalon, the clarification of the site structure had a positive effect also on the conversion of the site, which means the number visitors who end up making a purchase.
From the point of view of search engine visibility, also the link visibility of the online store is important. Link visibility can be analyzed by conducting a link analysis both for your own store as well as your competitors’ stores. For Megalon, the target of analysis were the external links leading to the site, some of which did not accumulate search engine visibility at all and some of which could be optimized for example by requesting re-linking. Generally, when working with link visibility, it is important to take into consideration that it is a time consuming and constant project. Therefore, it is not wise to strive for short term results for example by hoarding link farms.
Since 2013 also sharing in social media has affected search engine visibility. Therefore it is smart to spare a thought also to the sharing options of the products in the online store. In Megalon's case, the sharing of the products was notably simplified based on analysis.
What about the results?
As a result of systematic work, Megalon has during the past year tripled their profit and the number of visitors coming in through search engines. This case is an excellent example of how concentrating on certain matters and working patiently can lead to great results.
Search engine optimization in general is not something you invest in once and then it's done. Instead the development of search engine visibility should be monitored constantly by weekly reports, for example. By doing this, the company always has up-to-date information on which are the most productive key words, what is the relation to competitors based on certain search phrases and where there still is unused potential.
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