Written by: Richard Fong
Published on July 15, 2020
Published on July 15, 2020
Your ecommerce SEO ROI can be a tricky thing, and if you’re new to the ecomm game, there is a ton of essential information from the experts that you need to keep close, so you don’t get sidetracked by false promises and mediocre results.
If you’re a seasoned ecommerce website owner and you’re looking to grow your ecommerce ROI, stick around because we have a thing or two that can prove invaluable for your SEO efforts and your online store in general.
In this article, we will talk about SEO ROI in ecommerce, when is the best time to perform SEO for your store, why you shouldn’t always focus on web organic search traffic, the on-page optimization essentials you must not miss, how to develop a landing page that achieves maximum ROI, and how long it will take before you can harvest the fruits of your SEO labor.
So, let’s get started.
Ecommerce SEO ROI is basically the measurement of your search engine optimization return on investment as you use the data from Google Analytics and other relevant tools.
Yes, there is a formula that will help you calculate ROI for ecommerce; it is:
(Profit - Investment) / Investment x 100
Let’s say, for example, that you had a whopping $50,000 profit from your SEO investment of $10,000. The computation of your ROI from SEO would be the following:
($50,000 - $10,000) / $10,000 x 100 = 400%
That would be terrific, right?
But how much is the typical SEO pricing should I decide to invest in search engine optimization? I’m glad you asked.
You see, SEO is such an exhaustive task, and it branches out to several other areas, such as on-page SEO, off-page SEO, technical SEO, and local SEO (if you also have a physical store other than your ecommerce store).
So, depending on the amount of work that you want done to get your website ranking on top of your competitors on the search engine result pages (SERPs)...
...so that you will get more clicks and organic traffic to your site, more sales, and basically make even more money while you sleep, the package price for SEO services varies from less than $500 to $10,000 per month.
I understand that most people only think of putting up an ecommerce store because they have good stuff to sell, which will help them make money online. That said, not many website owners think about digital marketing strategies, such as search engine optimization.
So, more often than not, business owners only realize the importance of SEO when they can’t see their website ranking anywhere near the first page of Google, especially for the search terms that are highly valuable in their niche. There is no shame in this, though. After all, you’re a business owner and not a digital marketer (unless you’re both, so good on you).
The truth is, the best time to do SEO on your ecommerce store, or the right time to consult an expert is before you launch your site. This way, your SEO team can audit your website and determine if you have everything set up properly, such as the following:
However, if you have launched your online store already without the watchful eyes of a seasoned SEO team, don’t fret. Search engine optimization in itself is a continuous process, mainly because search engines, such as Google, keep on changing the rules of the game, a.k.a their algorithms, so that website owners also keep expanding and improving their site.
Landing on Google’s rank zero or acquiring its most coveted featured snippet is not the real measurement of your SEO for ecommerce success.
That said, getting more traffic to your site does not guarantee more sales or an increase in your conversion rate. I know it’s a bit daunting (not to mention also a bit disappointing), but it’s one way to get you ranking on top of the SERPs, it’s another way to get people to click on your online store, and it’s also a different story to convince your visitors to make a purchase.
Although these are directly and indirectly influenced by your SEO efforts, you have to remember that there could be a lot going on when a visitor navigates your site. After all, when you walk into a department store, you don’t always buy something from the store, right?
The same logic applies to your online store—your visitors do not always turn into customers. This is because not all visitors are your ideal consumers. Just like how some physical business locations attract window shoppers, some search terms that you target on your web page content also attract online window shoppers.
So, it’s best to not only focus on organic search traffic but also on your conversion optimization. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) and SEO work hand in hand to bring you the best results for your business, especially when it comes to your ROI in digital marketing.
And if you’re looking to hire an SEO company for your ecommerce store, make sure they can also do CRO.
Now, one of the most effective ways to maximize your ROI in SEO is to find new profitable keywords to target—search terms that have high SEO value in terms of specificity in your niche, usage by your quality target audience, and less overall competition.
Then, follow these on-page optimization techniques to improve your revenue even better:
Always remember that genuine ROI on SEO is more than just getting as much organic traffic as possible—it’s how you convert the traffic and how much revenue you get that really matters.
On-page optimization is one of the easiest tasks you can achieve among all other search engine optimization efforts. Also, your conversions and sales happen on your web page. So, it’s only fitting that you ensure each page on your ecommerce store is highly-optimized.
Here are the eight on-page essentials that you must not miss in order to drive the ROI of SEO to your online store:
These should be descriptive, keyword-focused, and promise value to your target audience.
Encourage your target audience to click on your result in the SERPs by adding action words like “enter,” “learn more,” or “click here” in your meta description.
Gone are the days of keyword stuffing. In fact, you may get poor optimization results if you include target or primary keywords excessively. A free tool that can help you check your keywords density is Word Counter.
To avoid keywords stuffing, using relevant or complementary keywords is a huge help to convey your message to your target audience naturally while still getting Google’s attention to index your page and rank you.
So, when you do keyword research, list the search terms that are related to your primary target keyword.
Your web page’s content should have at least 800 words so that Google and other search engines will know that you have something of value to offer. If you are trying to rank for such a highly-competitive keyword, aim to write over 2,000 words.
Written texts are not the only element that turns your visitors into buyers. You need to include enticing product images, demo videos, and other engaging visual assets, too, such as infographics.
Post tags, image alternative texts/tags, and categories are descriptive words about your page’s content—these are several other areas in your page that you can optimize for keyword-driven terms.
Linking to a different yet relevant page on your ecommerce site can boost your SEO in the process.
For example, you are selling different kinds of mattresses; you have a general category or landing page for beds, but you also have other pages dedicated to hard, medium, and soft cushions. It’s important to link them to each other so that your customer will know that you have far greater options, thereby boosting your chances of selling more.
Since all of your sales and conversion happen on-page, it’s only fitting that we also talk about how you can develop a highly-optimized landing page to generate higher ROI for your online store.
Follow this list of on-page SEO strategy so that you can gain as much revenue as possible:
So, if you do not want to bore, or worse, scare your customers away from your landing page due to the dull or daunting blocks of text, take advantage of the dropdown content design.
Adding recurring calls-to-action on your text-studded landing page paves a way to an easy conversion or sale. This is ultra-useful if your page is trying to rank for a competitive keyword, and you need to include around 3,000+ words to help it rank, but it might bore your customer away. So, employing recurring CTA buttons can save the day.
Google Adwords’ Quality Score tool will determine how useful your landing page’s content is, and maintaining a useful, high-quality content is an SEO strategy that you should bank on to boost your organic search traffic as well as return on investment.
Enter your target keywords into the tool, and if you scored at least 8 over 10, that means you have a good landing page. However, if you score below 7, consider making substantial changes to your content.
The short answer is within six (6) months to several years.
Unlike display advertising and pay-per-click promotions that reach large target markets speedily depending on how much you are willing to pay, search engine optimization can offer a far greater ROI despite its longer wait time when it comes to seeing your return on investment.
That’s why marketing experts say that SEO is more like a marathon than a sprint.
So, don’t panic if you see little to no progress within the first 6 months. You can rest assured that your money will not go to waste.
In fact, there are three (3) common stages of SEO success, and each stage typically has its own time frame when it comes to ROI:
Long-tail keywords are search terms that have three or more words in it—these keywords typically don’t have high search volume, but they are easier to target and rank for. You may see significant progress within six months.
Major search keywords are usually one to two industry terms that have hundreds of thousands of search volumes in a month. Reaching the first page of the SERPs can be extra challenging, and ranking on the second page, at least, may take within six months to two years.
High-value keywords are search keywords that don’t only bring in tons of visitors but also people who are ready to buy from your ecommerce store. If you target high-value keywords, you will need to invest in a highly capable SEO agency and practice lots of patience because it can take years to rank on these search terms.
Having a well-rounded SEO strategy is vital to achieving not only ideal organic search traffic but also a desirable ROI for your ecommerce store. And if you have started your online store without the guidance of an optimization expert, don't fret because there is always a way to catch up and rank better on the SERPs.
And always remember that your optimization efforts should not only focus on ranking well and getting organic search traffic but also gaining massive ROI for your ecommerce site.
Follow the actionable on-page optimization steps outlined in this article and wait for your well-deserved ROI. It may take months and even years, but it's all worth it.
Lastly, don't hesitate to get in touch with digital marketing experts to do the nitty-gritty work for you.