Search Engine Optimization
Without traffic, your web store won’t generate revenue. Therefore, it is essential to identify and analyse the different sources of visitors (also referred to as traffic). Most web stores receive traffic from the following channels: search engines (mostly Google), partners (e.g. affiliated), direct traffic and through inbound links.
On this page we zoom in on the visitor source traffic from Google. For Google traffic, we distinguish between unpaid (SEO) traffic and paid traffic (Google AdWords). The first is discussed here:
What is SEO?
In Google you will find 2 types of search results: on top of the page you’ll find the paid results, coming from Google Adwords. These results are positioned around the “real” search results, also called organic search results. With all the ads in Google nowadays, you would almost forget it, but the search engine actually job is this: Showing the websites and web stores that best match your search.
Google evaluates your website in many ways to determine for which search results your website rank high or low Here. Many articles and how-to’s are written about this subject, but ultimately, no-one knows exactly how Google’s search engine technology algorithm works. However, many best practices have been developed and confirmed by Google. Applying this knowledge to your web store is called search engine optimisation, also called SEO.
Or, as SEO specialist Edwords.nl defines: “Search engine optimisation (SEO) is actively optimising a (mobile) website by improving internal and external factors (technology, content, authority) to increase the traffic to the website on relevant keywords. “
Basic knowledge of SEO
Simplified, we can say that SEO in the base revolves around 3 elements:
A. Technique: Improve technical factor to better rank by search engine algorytms.
B. Onpage Optimization: Improve content and symantics.
C. Offpage / Link building: Obtaining relevant links to your web store.
The best way to attract “free” visitors through search engines is by creating valuable content (blogs, articles, videos, infographics, podcasts, etc.) based on pre-selected keywords. (when you sell dog food, such a keyword might be “Royal Canin”). The better you interact with your content on the wishes and needs of potential customers, the more popular the web store and the higher it will appear in search results.
The basics of SEO can be learned in a few days, but in order to get your web store in the top 3 on keywords with a lot of competition is a big challenge. There are many (self-appointed) SEO specialists whom you can turn to for this, but vet these specialists before hiring them. In all cases, it seems smart when you start reviewing Google’s own guidelines with rules and tips to increase your web store in search results.
Why is SEO important
The optimisation of your web store for search engines is important for two reasons: First of all, when visitors come in via the normal search results, you don’t need to pay. So from free visitors you’ll earn more. Another reason is that the majority of people in Google do not like to click on ads, but only on search results!
Two facts that support this:
- Google research shows that 70% of users do not look beyond the first 4 search results for a particular search query.
- In addition, from the same survey, about 20% of Google users clicked on Adwords ads above search results, 10% on ads in the right-hand column, and 70% on fair, unpaid search results.
Why is SEO important when I buy / sell a web store?
The valuation of a web store depends largely on the profit that is being made. The profit depends on the sales that the web store generates and those sales depend on the visitor numbers and the quality of their visits.
Visitors can enter your shop through various channels. Many of them are paid, but searchers who enter your shop on relevant keywords (i.e., “Royal Canin” search when you sell dog food) from the search results are free.
A point of attention
There is a lot of “experimenting” with SEO by website owners. Google does not appreciate all the ways used to improve search results. Some are even named as blackhat techniques. (buying links to your site to manipulate search results for example) If Google finds that a web store is using these techniques then you can expect a punishment. Worst case, Google removes the entire web store from search results and the process to be relisted is long and complex.
When buying a web store, please verify that the previous owner did not attempt to pump the value by using unauthorised SEO techniques. In general, we recommend buying only web stores with a solid and continuous history. Not only in terms of revenue development, but also in SEO performance.