Blanket solutions rarely produce effective results in digital marketing, especially when it comes to competing for better positioning on search engines. To really see an improvement in your organic metrics, you need to take a fully customized approach that accounts for such factors as industry, location, and current domain authority.
Developing a custom eCommerce SEO strategy requires a greater degree of understanding when it comes to the nuances between different industries, the search intent behind certain keywords, and technical SEO knowledge as well.
Understanding the key differences between each kind of online store and what individual clients are looking for in terms of business goals is what will truly separate a mediocre campaign from a successful one. The following case study outlines some of the techniques our team utilizes during the course of a campaign in order to achieve such impressive results.
Approaching a Unique eCommerce Industry
Legend Auto Sales, a thriving used car dealership hailing from the Seattle area, needed a smart, flexible, and localized SEO strategy for their website that would help them grow their business. This was a perfect case of a unique eCommerce situation that required a fully custom approach based on the needs of the client and the format of their business.
The used car industry is an outlier in the eCommerce world. When you think about the typical online store, most products can be bought over and over again without any issue. This provides a certain degree of consistency when it comes to keywords to target and the angle you can take when developing an SEO campaign.
However, even a reputable used vehicle dealership with a huge selection like Legend Auto Sales doesn’t have an unlimited number of the same vehicle on hand. When they sell an item from their online store, it is the only one of its kind and will inevitably become unavailable once it is purchased. This makes developing a sound strategy somewhat different.
As a dealership, they also offer an array of services as well, such as oil changes and tire services. These are not traditional eCommerce products and as such, need to be handled differently when considering the scope of an entire digital marketing campaign.
Wanting to push more organic traffic to their website, improve their domain authority, and increase their brand presence across the Web in general, the team at Legend Auto Sales knew they needed to partner with a marketing agency possessing a strong grasp of eCommerce fundamentals as well as a wide depth of knowledge in the automobile industry specifically. Based on our reputation, they sought out 1Digital® and before long, we were able to build them a fully customized SEO campaign based on their unique needs.
Developing an Automotive SEO Strategy
With any eCommerce SEO campaign, there are several factors that need to be considered in order to generate success.
- Proper keyword research that identifies untapped ranking opportunities.
- Technical adjustments that address issues such as duplicate content, overall site structure, and crawling errors.
- A comprehensive content strategy designed to improve brand authority and enhance the user experience, while providing critical SEO value.
- Paying close attention to meta titles and other important ranking factors and making adjustments to these areas as needed.
- Thoughtful backlinking and internal linking.
While these factors are common to most SEO plans, creating a strategy for a business in the automotive industry requires additional techniques and foresight.
For instance, there is a greater emphasis on local listings. This was a pain point for Legend Auto Sales, as they wanted to appear more often in the local map listings, which can be a powerful way to drive tons of traffic if implemented correctly.
The only way to accomplish this, however, is to prove to Google that you are not only an authority in your niche but that your content is relevant to people in that one specific area. This means adjusting the campaign at the keyword level before anything else.
To really lay the foundation for better domain authority, however, we needed to aggressively target very specific long-tail keywords as well. The automotive industry is incredibly competitive, so targeting generic high-level keywords just doesn’t work in most cases. We researched popular vehicle models in their region and coupled them with high-volume dealership-related key phrases to come up with a variety of gems that would ensure we would gain some traction at the onset of the campaign.
This specialized approach, industry-specific long-tail keywords targeting the proper region, would allow us to develop a powerful content strategy that would result in better positioning in the search results over time.
What Are Users Looking For?
One of the ways in which we go about developing the right eCommerce SEO strategy for clients is by asking, “what are the users looking for?” This can help answer a lot of questions in terms of the direction we want to go with for a campaign.
Good SEO means performing optimizations that directly benefit the user. This includes the implementation of informative meta titles and descriptions, copy enhancements that help give context to various landing pages and products, page speed optimizations, and smart internal linking that can help guide users to the information they need or to the proper product.
For a used car dealership wanting to increase organic conversions, the goal is to help users easily navigate through the website in order to find a vehicle that suits them or to take action by calling the dealership directly. In this industry specifically, users are looking for reliable information on certain vehicles, the perks of buying a used vehicle over a new model, and the qualities to look for in a dependable dealership. In other words, they want to be informed and reassured.
Performance is another issue that needed to be taken into consideration as well. Underperforming web pages negatively impact bounce rate and can hinder conversion rates. During the first phase of our automotive SEO campaign for Legend Auto Sales, we combed through the website to ensure it was in working order and that users would have an optimal experience. Issues with navigation, contacting, and checkout could severely limit the success of any kind of marketing campaign, so handling these issues is a vital step in our process.
The Importance of Optimized Content
At this point, it’s a well-known fact that content drives most SEO campaigns. Without carefully crafted content such as category descriptions and blog posts, the search engines are not going to recognize your site as an authority. Google looks at the value that content provides its users, and how well that content answers their questions, guides them toward the right purchases, and improves their experience on the Web in general.
Professionally written search engine optimized content is a large part of what makes our SEO strategies so effective. Even for eCommerce businesses niches such as the automotive industry that don’t typically leverage the power of blogs and other forms of content, we know that this is what users and the search engines are looking for. Rich, long-form content, contextual linking, answers to questions that users might have regarding a certain topic or vehicle, all of this is taken into account when we are mapping out our strategy.
It’s not enough to simply write content for the sake of it, however. We make sure that each piece of content is meticulously optimized so that it provides maximum SEO value. In a saturated industry such as used car dealerships, a professionally written blog is one of the only ways to truly stand out, especially for local area users looking for information relevant to their region.
Delivering the Results
Within a relatively short time, our thorough efforts started paying off for Legend Auto Sales. While it’s not uncommon to see results only after a campaign has reached the 6th-month mark, it only took half that time for us to see drastic improvements in key areas after we implemented our eCommerce SEO strategy.
Ushered along by our smart content strategy and user-centric approach, we noticed an uptick in organic traffic and time spent on site. We also noticed that several new keywords were coming into ranking, along with a higher search volume for a wide array of local keywords.
Overall, organic search numbers were up across the board from the previous period. It’s important to note that much of this success can be attributed to the use of very precise long-tail keywords. While the individual volume of some of these kinds of keywords is rather low, the effects of targeting these keywords compound within the scope of a larger SEO campaign. In other words, simply writing a few pieces of content that may include a couple of long-tail keywords may not have much of an impact on your rankings or organic traffic, but implementing a strategy that uses these keywords will generate much better results.
While gaining new users and increasing sessions are always great metrics to look at, one of the highlights we tend to focus on to gauge the health of a website is time spent on site.
It was clear that our SEO strategy was paying off not only in terms of improving organic traffic but in actually keeping users on the site longer. This is done through careful keyword selection and content creation.
Simply targeting any keyword applicable to your niche won’t often generate worthwhile results. This is due to the fact that certain keywords are connected to a certain search intent. If you target inappropriate keywords that don’t lead users to the right content, they will immediately bounce, which will negatively impact your website. Our approach is far more effective, as the data illustrates. We were able to drastically improve the time spent on-site in just about every category, just about doubling the figure in some categories. Only a carefully devised strategy that uses the right keywords can produce these kinds of results.
With a marked improvement in organic traffic and a modest increase in an array of other important metrics, our eCommerce SEO strategy was already paying off for our client in a relatively short period of time.
Why Are Custom SEO Strategies So Effective?
While the basics of SEO remain the same no matter what kind of website you are operating, you still have to adapt your strategy according to each individual niche and kind of website, otherwise, the results aren’t going to be as effective.
Our team of SEO experts understands that everything has to be aligned in order to climb the SERPs in competitive industries. From the user search intent behind certain keywords to the kind of content that is being produced, each part of the campaign needs to be customized accordingly. A lack of custom solutions or an over-reliance on cookie-cutter plans will doom a digital marketing campaign before it even has a chance to get off the ground.
We knew going in based on the kind of business that Legend Auto Sales was, and the industry they were operating in, meant that we were going to have to create an eCommerce SEO strategy that was built specifically for their business. This is how we are able to generate results for clients time and time again, with a personal approach to eCommerce marketing that goes beyond the same cut-and-paste tactics.
For eCommerce store owners who are interested in seeing real growth, a custom strategy is always the way to go. Every eCommerce business is different so it only makes sense that unique plans would need to be developed for every client based on their business goals and the kind of business they are operating.
Here at 1Digital®, each of our marketing campaigns is constructed differently based on the needs of our clients. With an extensive background in all things eCommerce, we are able to develop comprehensive solutions that deliver more than just better rankings. We are interested in promoting growth, brand awareness, and higher revenue for our clients, and through our proven system, we know exactly how to chart a course in order to reach these goals over time.
If you are in need of a specialized SEO strategy that will help you compete at the local level, even in a competitive industry, get in touch with our team of digital marketing experts by calling 888-982-8269.
- Matt Lovett
- June 4, 2021