Trust me, I get it. Until recently I only sorta kinda paid attention to my website SEO. There were certain things that I tried to always remember to do but it wasn’t until I took a look at my own analytics that I realized just how powerful SEO can truly be.
The truth of the matter is that if you have a website and more importantly if you're selling something online whether it's handmade bags, dresses, jewelry, monogrammed underwear, whatever, SEO should defintely be apart of your strategy.
Search engines like Google and Yahoo have one goal, and that is to help people find the most relevant and up-to-date information they’re looking for, as quickly as possible. According to a statistic, Google processes over 40,000 search queries per second which translates to 3.5 billion searches per day! In order to make sure that they’re sharing the most relevant information with their users, Google has come up with an algorithm that allows users to find exactly what they're looking for (most of the time) as quickly as possible. SEO helps Google search through your website to determine if your site is a match for what is being searched.
To keep it simple, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is essentially strategies and techniques used to increase the amount of organic traffic your website gets by obtaining a high-ranking spot on the search results pages of search engines like Google. Basically, it just means how easily people can find your website when they search Google. So if for example you do sell monogrammed underwear and someone searches for "monogrammed underwear made in Portland", SEO will determine if your business pops up on the first page of the search results or the 50th.
Think about it. There are millions of handmade jewelry designers in the world, billions of independent fashion designers, and a bajillion women-owned/operated boutiques and retailers. If someone searches the net, how will they find your business and your website out of the millions/bajillions that are online?
Even if we narrow down the playing field to your physical location. Portland, for example, is a relatively small city but even still there are probably thousands of designers, makers and hundreds of retailers all within the Portland metro area. When someone searches for "Portland independent designers" or "boutiques in Portland" does your business come up? Is it on the first or second page of the search results or the 20th? (remember, the search result page that your website appears on is determined by SEO.)
Alright, so SEO helps "rank" my website and determines which page it will appear on when people search the internet. Cool, but does that really matter? How does that affect my business and is it going to get me more sales? #TheMostImportantQuestion
In short yes, and here’s why.
75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results. They’ll look at a few of the results on the first page and if they don’t find what they’re looking for they’ll search for something else. The higher your website ranks on search engines like Google, the more likely people will organically visit your website and statistically, the more people you can get visiting your website the more likely you are to make a sale plus the more people will know about your business. Hello, brand visibility.
I wrote a blog post last January about creating a cohesive aesthetic for your Instagram feed as a fashion brand. Although I wrote this post over a year ago, to this day that one blog post consistently brings in a huge portion of organic traffic to my web traffic DAILY without me doing a thing.
Without any marketing, posting on social media, sending the link out in my email list, nothing, this one blog post continues to drive people to my website a year later simply because I took 10 extra minutes to add some SEO to the post.
Why it matters: If you are someone who struggles with self-promotion SEO is great because it helps do the promoting for you. Additionally, if you struggle to find the time or ways to promote your business, SEO is there to cover the void. Your website is your best employee and salesman. It's the only employee that works 24 hours a day, 365 days a year doesn't take a break for holidays or go on vacation. While you're filling orders, managing the store, sewing at the sewing machine, designing a new collection, whatever, your website paired with the right SEO can be driving people to your e-commerce site and making you money.
Another reason why SEO is worth paying attention to and this is my favorite is that it is a free digital marketing tool that does the hard work for you.
Why it matters: The ROI (return on investment) for spending an extra few minutes adding SEO to your website is a no-brainer considering it's a free to low-cost digital marketing strategy with the potential to bring new customers without you doing a thing.
You don't have to be a webmaster or SEO guru in order to make SEO work for you. All you need is a basic understanding and a checklist for what to do, it gets a whole lot easier. Head over to the next blog post and discover 10 Simple SEO Tips for Fashion Designers and Retailers to optimize your e-commerce website and drive organic traffic.