The rise of e-commerce has created a new era in the way we buy and sell products. For many small businesses, this shift has left them scrambling to keep up with changes in marketing strategy. The internet is a powerful tool for making connections, but it can also feel like an overwhelming place to navigate without the right help.
If you’re looking to claim your digital space and stand out from the rest, then you’ll want to consider investing in the right SEO consulting services – but first, you’ll need to freshen up your knowledge on SEO and its benefits.
What is SEO?
SEO, short for search engine optimization, is the process of improving your content’s rank on Google and other major search engines to drive more visitors to your website. SEO can be accomplished with several different tactics to drive organic traffic to your website through a variety of channels, including:
- Social media
- Content creation (written, images, and video)
The Importance of SEO for Your E-Commerce Business
SEO is an easy and powerful way to make connections with potential customers in your industry, both local and globally (depending on your brand’s intended audience and reach). Retail is no longer restricted to brick-and-mortar shops. In fact, studies show that in 2021, approximately 2.14 billion people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services online.
So, how can you hope to stand out from the other 7.9 million online retailers vying for customer’s attention? Through proper implementation of SEO practices.
What are the Benefits of SEO?
Again, the primary goal of search engine optimization is to attract your audience to your website – preferably organically. Yes, while paid advertisements do have their time and place, research shows that approximately 67.6% of Google clicks belong to the first five organic results.
When implemented correctly, the benefits of SEO are numerous and can include:
- Increased website traffic and conversion rates
- Improved user experience on the site
- Enhanced rank in search engine results pages (SERPS)
- Building brand awareness
- Increased site credibility
- Improved search engine rankings
The list can go on for quite some time. However, one of the biggest benefits is the fact that once SEO has been properly implemented into a webpage, blog, or other form of content, it will work for you almost indefinitely! Why? Because SEO is designed to help customers find exactly what they need when they need it.
So, as long as you’re taking the time to update your content when needed (such as updating statistics or changes in specific products/services), your content will be considered valuable to your target audience – something that Google will reward you for.
Can SEO Be Done In-House? Or Should You Invest in an SEO Consulting Agency?
The good news? Once you have a solid understanding of SEO and SEO best practices, you can utilize it in-house to help increase brand awareness and website traffic. However, many small businesses simply don’t have the staff or funds available to stay on top of the ever-changing stratosphere that is search engine optimization.
That’s when you want to invest in an SEO consulting agency. Outsourcing your SEO duties can be extremely cost-effective and allow you dedicate your current staff to other necessary projects.
When Should You Consider Hiring an SEO Agency?
You may want to reach out to an SEO consulting company when:
- You have a limited budget and can’t commit to an in-house SEO consultant
- You’re not ranking high enough on local searches
- Visitors aren’t converting into customers after coming from organic rankings (this means they found their product via a link rather than saw it at the top of a search)
- You’re frustrated with SEO and want to focus on other aspects of your business
- Your business has been around for over five years with little change in keywords or social media strategy
Whether you’re just in need of a helping hand, or someone to completely take over the SEO processes entirely, a verified SEO consulting agency can help you reach your retail goals by ensuring that your ideal audience is seeing your pages, posts, and content.
What Exactly is an SEO Consulting Agency?
An SEO consulting agency is a company that specializes in optimizing the performance of business’ websites and pages. They do this by analyzing page statistics, keyword volume, competitor research, and other data to determine what needs improvement and how it can be done to enhance your brand awareness and overall conversion rates.
They create an action plan for how your site can rank higher on search engines, including updating or creating new content with keywords found through their analysis.
A reliable SEO consultant should be knowledgeable in various SEO practices and have a proven track record in delivering results. Ideally, they will also be up-to-date with the latest updates from Google, so that their solutions are always relevant to your needs. Finally, they need to be well-versed in current and evolving digital marketing trends in content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and more.
How Can an SEO Consultant Help Your Online Retail Business?
An SEO consultant can help any business that is looking to increase its online presence. While most businesses focus their attention on building a strong content portfolio to help them stand out as a thought leader in their given industry/niche, online retailers don’t often consider the need for regular content creation.
Of course, content creation should be considered a necessity for e-commerce sites. However, there are several other ways an SEO consultant can help your online retail business grow.
Performing Keyword Research
One of the first tasks an SEO consultant will likely set out to do is perform keyword research for your website. Using search query data, Google Trends, and the power of their own expertise, they can find the best keywords that are related to your niche.
They’ll also be able to identify potential pitfalls, such as hard-to-rank terms or those with lots of competition. While these terms could have a lot of SEO potential, they are dangerous to pursue.
Additionally, your consultant will be able to identify which keywords might yield long-term results, and those that need more short-term thinking to grow your site’s traffic.
Once the research is complete, you’ll receive an analysis with information on which of your needs can best be met by implementing some or all of their recommendations for keyword optimization.
Develop a Detailed Content Strategy
Even if your retail brand isn’t considering conducting and publishing research reports or regular blogs to attract new potential leads (which you should seriously reconsider), you’ll still need help building a detailed content strategy.
Depending on the nature of your e-commerce store, you’re going to need separate landing pages for each product and/or service you are offering. On each of these pages, you’ll have to consider what you are putting on the page. Typically, a product or service page will include the following content:
- Product Name and Image
- Brief Description of What You’re Selling
- Benefits or Uses for Your Product/Service (Why Would Someone Purchase This?)
- How Much It Costs And Where To Buy It Online (If Applicable)
- Customer Reviews/Testimonials
Each of these bits of information is valuable content that needs to be optimized properly to draw in the right audience.
Building a Strong Site Architecture
When building your website, site architecture is crucial. You have to ensure that your website makes it easy for users to find what they need.
You want the pages across your site organized in a way that makes sense, and you also want them grouped together so people can easily navigate through your website. You don’t just want one page of products or services with no context, as there’s little chance an interested customer will explore further without some direction from you.
This means building all relevant information on each product/service page into individual articles with their own URL and title tags, which should be properly keyword optimized. This will help keep things neat and organized while giving visitors a clear path throughout the rest of your site.
An SEO consultant can help you set up and organize your website to meet and exceed your customer’s expectations. They will also be able to optimize it for search engines and provide insights on how to make the site more user-friendly, which is vital considering that 66% of consumers state that a poor experience on a website will hurt their overall opinion of the brand.
Implement Effective Link Building
An SEO consultant can provide you with advice on how to build links for your site. Link building is a strategy by which sites are able to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). It’s not an easy task, but it will help increase the number of people visiting and buying from your website – if done correctly.
When it comes to link building for retail sites, there are a few things to keep in mind.
One is that you should never build links the same way twice, as Google and other search engines can easily detect this pattern. You’ll want to create new content every time you’re looking for ways to build links back to your site, so it doesn’t look like there’s any kind of automated process going on – which would result in penalties or de-indexing from SERPs altogether.
The best way to go about link building for e-commerce sites is by creating informative articles related to what they offer, embedding tutorial videos or product demonstration videos into informative articles or on product/service pages themselves, and posting reviews or testimonials from happy customers who have purchased items from them before. So, don’t be surprised when your SEO consultant recommends amping up your content marketing strategy, as it plays a vital role in a healthy link-building strategy.
Boost Your Local SEO (For Stores with a Physical Location)
Finally, if your brand has both a website and a physical, brick-and-mortar storefront, then an SEO consultant can help you improve your local SEO, which will help you boost brand awareness in your local community and encourage foot traffic to your store.
SEO consultants can help you create a powerful SEO strategy that integrates well with both online and offline components, so that your efforts don’t go unnoticed by those who are most likely to buy from you – which is great news when you’re trying to grow your business!
11 SEO Consulting Services Worth Investigating
Now, when it comes time to start researching SEO consulting services, it’s essential to understand that there are a wide variety of services offered. It’s up to you to understand what each one is and whether or not it will suit your business needs and end goals.
1. SEO Audits
This is usually the first step of any SEO consulting service, and it’s essentially a walk through your website to identify potential issues in navigation or content. This can be as simple as looking at page titles for spelling errors or checking metadata tags, but it also may mean more intensive work like identifying low-quality links pointing back to your site that need to be removed (or getting those pages crawled by Google again).
During this stage, an SEO consultant will help you diagnose what needs fixing, so you know how best to proceed from there.
2. Competitor Research
This service is for both small and larger retail businesses that want to see how they stack up against their competition. Competitor research entails finding out what keywords their competitors are ranking for on search engines, assessing which ones they’re doing better or worse than you on, and identifying any gaps that need filling.
It’s also useful if there’s a competitor who’s taking away more of your market share. By identifying where this company dominates with SEO, you can work toward fixing any issues in an effort to regain ground.
The end goal here is generally content optimization – as we know from step one (audits), sometimes it just takes tweaking web pages, rather than getting rid of things altogether.
3. Keyword Research
One common service that many SEO consulting agencies will offer you is keyword research. If you don’t know which keywords to target, they’ll find them for you and provide a list of ones that are most relevant based on the goals set during your earlier audits.
This can be done through various methods:
- Looking at trends in search engine queries
- Researching social media trends/mentions
- Analyzing click-through rates from Google Adwords Keyword Tool or Bing Ads Intelligence Tool
- Reviewing what’s working best for competitors
- Utilizing tools such as SEMrush and Keyword Finder
4. Marketing Channel Research
One of the most overlooked aspects that many SEO consulting agencies will help you with is marketing channel research.
They’ll explore your target customer’s journey and figure out which channels they use to purchase, how their attention span changes throughout the online process, and what type of content resonates best at each stage to capture leads for future sales.
This can be done through various methods:
- Analysis of web traffic sources and conversion rates
- Researching social media posts/trends
- Reviewing competitor landing pages and ads/links on search engine result pages
5. Backlink Audits
Backlink audits will help you identify what kind of links exist on your site (e.g., do you need more editorial or sponsored links?), how trustworthy those link sources are based on their domain authority (DA), and whether there is any negative activity coming through them with penalties by looking at your overall domain authority.
Your DA tells consumers and search engines how trustworthy your site is and will affect the likelihood of ranking well.
6. On-Page SEO
On-page SEO is all about what you have on your web page, from the words that are written to how they’re coded and laid out in relation to one another. This service aims to ensure that your site’s content can be well indexed by search engines for better rankings and increased traffic.
This SEO service usually includes:
Keyword research/analysis – Developing a keyword strategy for your business or website, based on the type of industry you work in and what keywords are most relevant for ranking well with search engines.
- On-page content optimization – Ensuring that the text written on your site is readable by both humans and search engines. It also ensures that your meta information is optimized, including your meta title/page title and meta description.
- On-page link building – Creating links between your site and other sites in a way that builds up authority for both you and the websites you’re linking to.
7. Off-Page SEO
Off-page SEO refers to any optimization effort that’s not on your website and includes:
- Social media marketing – Establishing a presence with social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+. This is important for getting found in the SERPs. It also allows you to create links to content from other websites, which can provide SEO benefits.
- Pay-per-click advertising – These ads are placed on a search engine results page, and you only pay when the ad is clicked.
- Conversion optimization – This includes A/B testing and conversion rate optimization (CRO), which essentially means optimizing your site so that it’s easier to convert visitors into loyal customers.
8. Technical SEO
Technical SEO involves making sure that your site is coded properly, as well as optimized to improve things like:
- Minimizing page load time – Reducing the size of images on your website and choosing appropriate file names for each image;
- Implementing clean URLs – Cleaning up duplicate content and ensuring that all pages are reachable from at least one static URL.
9. Local SEO
Local SEO includes optimizing your website content to rank well when someone searches for “Restaurant near me,” as well as ensuring that you are represented in all local search directories and showing up at least once for every local query relevant to your product/service type. While this doesn’t necessarily help boost website traffic, it does help increase brand awareness and local foot traffic to your brick-and-mortar storefront.
10. Voice SEO
Voice search has become an integral part of the way people interact with their devices. In fact, research shows that approximately 50% of consumers are now researching products using voice search, and nearly 74% of people have admitted to using voice search within the last month.
An SEO consultant skilled in voice search and knowledgeable in voice search trends can help you optimize your website for voice search by implementing descriptive content to answer the questions that users ask as they speak into their device (e.g., “shoe store near me?”), as well as other commonly searched phrases.
11. Reputation Management
The internet is a vast and open space that can be both ally and enemy to your business. For this reason, it’s essential to have someone who knows how the web works to help manage your company’s online reputation.
An SEO consultant will work closely with you to not only identify uncomplimentary comments and testimonials, but also help you address and or correct them. The goal here isn’t to erase uncomplimentary reviews if a customer genuinely had a problem that wasn’t addressed. Instead, you want to go out of your way to address the situation, to show them (and others) that you want to improve their experience – which will then help boost your reputation and level of trustworthiness.
CadenceSEO: Your Go-To SEO Consulting Agency
We all know that the search engine industry is constantly changing. When you hire an SEO consulting service, there are many benefits beyond just getting your site ranked higher on Google and other major search engines.
A good consultant should be able to tell you where your website stands in terms of its rankings and what needs to be done for improvement, so that your business can grow. Here at CadenceSEO, we offer a wide variety of SEO consulting services to help you reach your business goals.
Ready to get started? Then contact our team today!