Have questions about SEO? Like what is SEO anyway? You’ve come to the right place. We’ll try to answer all your questions, even some you might not have considered. After reading this, you should have a better idea of how to drive more organic search traffic — that is, customers searching online for what you offer — to your Volusion store. We also invite you to search for "SEO" in our blog for lots of helpful strategic information on the topic.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is a multifaceted strategy aimed at improving your site’s ranking in search engine results. 🔍 If a shopper searches for “red silk dresses” on Google, and you happen to sell red silk dresses, there are a number of ways that you can help your store appear in the search engine results. 💃
Like with real estate, SEO is all about location, location, location. The first page of search results receive over 90% of clicks from customers, so it’s important to take measures to boost your ranking. A strong SEO strategy can ultimately drive increased numbers of in-market shoppers to your store (AKA “traffic”) and lead to more sales.
What is organic traffic?
Organic traffic refers to people who find your site by entering a query on a search engine like Google, Bing, Yahoo or even YouTube or Google Images. For example, if a shopper searches for "red dresses" on Google, sees your store in the search results and clicks to visit it, boom — organic traffic!
To make the most of your organic search efforts, you will want to determine what your shoppers are searching for, and then optimize your site's content to contain those keywords.
What’s the difference between on-page and off-page SEO?
SEO strategy can be generally categorized into two components: on-page and off-page optimization, each of which is critical to search engine success.
On-page optimizations are like road signs on your ecommerce site that help search engines rank and drive relevant traffic to your site. 🚧 These signals range from content on your site, including popular keywords, to the code that makes your site function. If your site isn’t structured in a way that’s easy for a search engine to navigate, how are they going to point potential customers to your site?
Off-page optimization refers to what other sites think of you. 💭 OK, that’s a little oversimplified. But here’s the thing: If other websites, particularly high-ranking ones, host links that point back to your site, well, search engines consider that like a recommendation.
Let’s say you post a blog on your site and another site links to it in their own blog post. That’s a thumbs up to a search engine that you are legit. 👍 The more legit a search engine thinks your ecommerce site is, the higher it will rank it. And the higher your site ranks, the more potential it has to attract organic traffic.
What’s the difference between SEO, PPC and CSE?
SEO is a way to drive organic (unpaid) traffic to your site through search engine visibility. This is a long-term marketing activity, and results take both expertise and time to achieve. 🕘
Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing utilizes paid advertisements on search engines and sites to attract qualified clicks to a website. Advertisers pay for each click generated through PPC campaigns, with the cost per click determined by a competitive bidding system. 💵 PPC allows you to target specific keywords and have your advertisement appear when those keywords are entered into a search query by users.
Another type of paid advertising similar to PPC is comparison shopping engines (CSEs) like Google Shopping. These shopping feeds enable customers to search for products and compare prices among the results. CSEs use a bid system and display your products based on product name and description (similar to SEO), rather that designated keywords, as with PPC.
How can I determine if my website is optimized for search engines?
Get it checked out by an expert. We offer a comprehensive and affordable audit that contains both SEO analyses and specific recommendations designed to help you take the next step — whether it be performing SEO yourself or enlisting our SEO services. Learn more about Volusion SEO services here!
What can I expect from Volusion's Starter SEO package?
Volusion's Starter SEO Package is a great option for businesses looking for a quality on-page SEO solution at a low monthly cost. It’s also a cost-efficient way to optimize a large quantity of pages over time when optimizing all pages at once is not economically feasible.
Volusion’s Starter SEO package includes on-page optimization for 4 pages each month. This will help establish a critical foundation for SEO success.
The Starter SEO package does not include off-page optimization, another important component of search engine optimization.
What can I expect from Volusion's Advanced SEO package?
Volusion's Advanced SEO Package is a flexible, smaller-scale alternative to Custom SEO. This includes:
- Technical optimization
- Full website audit
- 5 pages of on-page optimization
- Formal strategy document
- Optional Google Shopping Feed
After the first month, the campaign shifts to a customized strategy that can include on-page and/or off-page SEO tactics.
The Advanced SEO package does not include social media marketing.
What are the advantages of a Premium SEO strategy?
With Volusion’s Premium SEO Package you will receive a dedicated SEO Specialist who will develop and implement a wholly customized SEO strategy to meet your company’s goals.
Our SEO experts will ensure the code and content of your top pages are optimized for the right keywords, as well as perform link and content building throughout the engagement.
In addition, the Premium SEO Package can include complementary social media marketing, conversion optimization strategies and an optimized Google Shopping Feed.
All Premium accounts come with a dedicated team comprising a Marketing Consultant, a Social Media Manager and a Shopping Feed Specialist, in addition to the SEO Specialist. Go team!
How many keywords do you implement?
A general rule for SEO is to optimize each page for about 3-5 primary keyword phrases. While there's no concrete rule, our team follows this guideline in performing keyword research for each page. The total number of keywords depends on the number of pages being optimized.
Why do you only optimize a few pages when my site has hundreds of other pages?
We’re focussed on what’s best for you, and that includes what’s most cost effective.
Web pages are ranked individually, so having each page optimized for keywords relevant to its content would be ideal. But doing so would get extremely costly.
That’s why we begin by focussing on your most important landing pages. It’s the most cost-efficient way for you to achieve SEO success.
Our Starter SEO Package, which include on-page optimization of a set number of pages each month, allow you to continuously build optimized pages for a low monthly fee.
How much involvement is needed from me?
Aside from a few items that require client approval, you can be as involved or hands-off as you would like.
Some of our clients choose to be highly involved and enjoy providing content ideas and suggestions. Others prefer to concentrate on their day-to-day business and leave all SEO efforts to our team.
Regardless of your involvement level, our SEO team will always provide consistent reporting to ensure that you're informed on current developments.
Can't I do SEO myself?
Yes, with lots of time, expertise and patience. Learning the ins and outs of SEO, developing a strategy, and implementing/monitoring progress is a time-consuming feat that many business owners aren't interested in tackling. 🕘
Our SEO services are offered for clients who want to spend time on other aspects of their businesses while letting experts handle their SEO campaigns.
How long does it take to achieve results from SEO?
It depends. With proper on-page optimization, a noticeable increase in visibility for the target keywords often takes place fairly quickly. But this alone isn’t necessarily enough to realize an increase in traffic in most industries, especially ones where the keywords are fairly common.
When a site appearing on the 10th page of a search result is optimized correctly for its target keywords, it may move up to the third page of the results in searches for those keywords.
While a significant improvement has taken place, most users are not going to click through to the third page of results, so traffic will not likely improve without further work, such as link-building over a period of months.
Can you guarantee results?
We have a proven track record of success, but it would be unethical for any SEO service provider to guarantee specific results. 📈 Any company that offers such a promise demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of the uncontrollable and ever-changing exercise that is SEO.
What else would you suggest I do to increase sales and traffic to my site?
An effective SEO campaign can significantly increase organic traffic to your site, but it doesn't guarantee sales conversions. There are a number of external variables affecting conversions that are simply outside the control of your SEO expert, including demand, pricing and other market forces.
That said, there are a few complementary practices that the SEO team recommends to all ecommerce clients: design and marketing.
The most optimized site in the world cannot improve a shopper's reaction to a poorly designed website. The shopper should immediately "feel" your online store is legitimate and trustworthy. If they don't trust your site, they won't purchase a product, nor will they return.
Likewise, SEO on its own does not make up a complete marketing strategy. A fully-baked online marketing strategy should also include social media, PPC advertising and shopping feeds. There's no exact recipe for success, but it's rare to find a successful company that doesn't actively market itself through multiple online channels.
SEO is a complex and valuable strategy for driving organic traffic to your store. Hopefully our explanations have made it easier for you to take some actionable steps toward SEO success. However, if you would rather leave the heavy lifting to our team of experts, we’re here and happy to help. 🏋️