Powering a Niche Business through eCommerce SEO
Local Battery has a simple but effective proposal. They sell special batteries, particularly for hearing aids and other hearing devices like cochlear implants. These batteries are often expensive and can be hard to find, but to the people that use them, they’re vital to everyday life.
This is only one small portion of their proposal. They set out to be a low-cost leader with a comprehensive selection that offered fast, secure shipping. While they were at it they figured providing excellent customer service in their industry would help business along. It did, and they have built a loyal customer base.
One might think that in this industry, the products would sell themselves, especially if those who used the products were a captive audience. After all, those who rely on hearing aids don’t just simply go without.
On some level, this is true, but as the online marketplace floods with more and more shoppers and traditional retail avenues fall in preference to eCommerce, competition scales. Even in niche markets, sellers are competing for limited real estate at the top of the search engine results pages.
Local Battery, like any business, had goals of growth; growth in higher sales and bringing in new customers organically. Their corner of the market, however, was not without its challenges.
Despite the fact that Local Battery sells a fleet of unique, highly specialized products, their industry is not without competition. They may sell hard-to-find batteries and hearing aid
accessories, but they are not the only player in their sphere.
Even accounting for the exclusivity of some of their products, large online retailers like Amazon and Wal-Mart still constitute pretty heavy competition. Players like these are big competitors in a lot of industries and the industry for niche batteries is no exception.
Even if it were not for the larger players that naturally will eat up a large portion of potential market share, smaller competitors selling the same products are also vying for Google’s hottest real estate. There’s only one space at the top of the search engine results page for a given search term; if another competitor takes it and a user clicks, the chances diminish that that user will investigate the competition thoroughly. Websites that rank at the top of the SERPs often enjoy higher clicks and conversion rates. What does it matter to Local Battery if they offer superior service and prices if customers aren’t discovering their site?
This brings up a separate issue; businesses can effectively “buy” search results at the top of Google’s pages through paid search campaigns like Google Ads. The issue here is that many other competitors have much larger budgets; that makes it cost-ineffective for some smaller businesses to compete.
The solution, then, for a player like Local Battery facing these unique industry challenges, was to leverage the power of eCommerce SEO to steadily improve its organic keyword rankings to generate higher organic website traffic and subsequently, sales. It still involved an investment, but there’s no better strategy for developing long-term organic growth than a well-planned eCommerce SEO campaign.
A Unique Selling Proposition Meets Its Best Ally
Local Battery’s team was aware of these constraints, and they knew that eCommerce SEO was also not without its challenges. Search engine optimization results don’t produce themselves. To be effective, the campaign must be predicated on the right mix of keywords and the process must take into account website optimization, content publication, linking strategy and more. Local Battery knew that for this marketing strategy to succeed, the help of the right eCommerce digital marketing agency was vital. Specifically, they needed an SEO agency with a proven history of success.
The relationship between Local Battery and 1DigitalⓇ Agency was a perfect match. Local Battery was an eCommerce retailer in a niche industry and 1DigitalⓇ Agency was an SEO company that had propelled a variety of customers in niche industries to success before.
It is the SEO process that an eCommerce agency follows that directs its progress and generates results. 1DigitalⓇ Agency’s team of SEO specialists met with Local Battery’s owner, Osamu Manabe, to uncover some of the challenges facing his industry in general and his business in specific.
Taking that information back to the drawing board, the account’s project manager performed thorough keyword research, analyzing competitor’s standings, the comparative competitive viability of keywords and search terms, and the volume associated with each of them. This was crucial groundwork for a few very specific reasons.
For one, targeting solely high-volume, high-competition keywords, especially in an industry rife with competition, is not always a good practice at the outset of an SEO campaign. In order to generate higher organic traffic, an SEO strategy must account for the competition, volume and search intent of keywords in order to generate a mix that will reliably improve rankings. Going for nothing but high-volume, high-competition keywords can preclude opportunities for growth.
1DigitalⓇ Agency’s analyst and project managers knew this and they performed a careful competitive analysis to identify the best combination of short and long-tail keywords that were most lucrative to pursue. This would enable a stronger foundation for Local Battery’s project, from which they could more effectively pursue more difficult keywords and search terms in the future.
Armed with a list of expertly-selected keywords, 1DigitalⓇ Agency’s technical team began systematically improving Local Battery’s website structure for ideal optimization. The comprehensive audit and subsequent reforms conducted are too comprehensive to succinctly list, but included an audit to identify (and if necessary, remove) duplicate content, the optimization of headers, meta titles, and efforts to optimize on-page content (like product descriptions and category page content).
1DigitalⓇ Agency also audited LocalBattery.com to verify the SEO-friendliness of URL structure and to ensure that Google’s crawlers would experience no issues when attempting to index the website’s pages. The technical team also engaged in initial and ongoing efforts to uncover and remove toxic backlinks and any other bad links associated with the site.
Any digital agency’s SEO services that keep the long-term in focus also engage in optimized content production and publication. In addition to the optimization of the website’s on-page content, 1DigitalⓇ Agency’s creative team produced a variety of informative, internal-link suffused, keyword-optimized blog posts to further boost the success of the eCommerce business’s SEO project.
1DigitalⓇ Agency’s full-service SEO process also provides for a robust, comprehensive link building strategy that provides not only a healthy network of internal links but also provides a system of backlinks through the timely publication of offsite content that indicated Local Battery as the authority on target keywords.
All in all, 1DigitalⓇ Agency’s process, though well established, was flexible enough to provide thorough, industry-specific accommodations for Local Battery’s unique needs and competition. The data is proof of that.
Generally, SEO projects take some time to generate appreciable results for eCommerce websites. This is something we make very apparent to our clients as it boosts our relationship and promotes trust in the SEO process. However, in Local Battery’s case, it didn’t take long to see improvements.
Within only a few weeks of beginning the campaign, results started to materialize. One of the first metrics that can be analyzed to determine the effect of ongoing optimization efforts is the growth in organic traffic.
Looking at the period between March 1st and April 6th, 2021, when compared to the previous period (January 23rd to February 28th, 2021) that movement in organic traffic is apparent.
Much of Local Battery’s traffic comes from direct search, which in turn accounts for some of the growth in all users. However, Organic traffic for this period as compared to the previous period rose by over 50% (including users and new users). Sessions and pages per session were also significantly up during this period, both for organic traffic and all users.
Pageviews also tell a part of the story, as this metric gives a collective indication of how users interact with a website. Positive pageview figures are a good sign because they tend to indicate that traffic is reaching the website, but interacting favorably with it. Higher page views tend to suggest that traffic flowing into the pages on a website is better targeted.
During the same period, page views and unique pageviews for organic traffic and all users rose significantly, with the highest gains in organic traffic. This would suggest that the users ending up on Local Battery’s website organically were better aligned with their target market and thus more likely to convert. A look at conversions, transactions and revenue will complete the picture.
Again, for the same period, the data is compelling. Transactions rose significantly, both among all users and organic traffic, with nearly a 40% increase among organic users. The overall eCommerce conversion rate was positive for all users and the slight drop in conversion rate among organic users is not alarming considering the fact that transaction and revenue were both positive. It’s inevitable that some users will not convert, especially among first-time organic visitors.
The bottom line is revenue, which rose over 30% among all users and almost 26% among organic users when comparing the two periods. This figure is one of the most significant that can be displayed; traffic and organic traffic both rose, along with transactions and pageviews, suggesting positive user behavior. At the end of the day, money talks, and Local Battery’s sales profited – both organically and overall.
These are the kinds of results that careful targeting and thorough analysis, coupled with a proven, validated SEO process can deliver. We’ve generated similar results for clients in diverse industries, both big and small. One of the secrets to our formula is attention to the details that make the client’s space within the industry unique. Experience and attention produce results like these; sometimes in as short a span as that seen by Local Battery.
If you’re looking for creative ways to generate better brand awareness and reach new customers online, eCommerce SEO can be one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal. That is if you work with a provider that can develop a comprehensive strategy for your website.
Start today with a free eCommerce SEO audit or contact a representative directly at email@example.com or at 888-982-8269. We’ll show you where you and your competitors stand, and show you opportunities for unprecedented growth.