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SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a digital marketing strategy that uses backlinks and carefully crafted content to help Google recognize businesses as authorities in their fields. By targeting certain keywords in SEO content, businesses are able to increase their search engine rankings for those keywords and increase their organic search traffic. SEO is one of the most cost-effective forms of digital marketing, but it does take time to implement. As long as content and backlinks are continually produced, businesses can expect to climb the search engine results and continually increase their organic traffic and conversions.

PPC or Pay Per Click marketing is a paid marketing system where businesses are able to bid for certain keywords. When these keywords are searched, an ad for a business that has big on that keyword will appear at the top of the search engine results. If a user clicks on this ad, the business will be charged their bid price for that traffic. This is a very direct style of marketing that can produce results faster than SEO, but typically at a higher overall cost in the long term.

Many eCommerce businesses will participate in both of these practices in order to maximize their conversions but some businesses are not able to participate in PPC marketing. PPC platforms like Google Ads place restrictions on the types of businesses that can use their services.

There are a few types of businesses that are affected by these search engine ad restrictions:

  • Counterfeit Products – A pretty reasonable restriction, Google will not help businesses known to sell counterfeit products
  • Enabling Dishonest Behavior – This covers businesses that are trying to sell things like hacking software, fake documents, resources to cheat in academic fields and businesses that offer services to artificially inflate web traffic.
  • Inappropriate Content – This category covers a wide range of content from hateful to graphic content. It also restricts businesses from using profane language in their ads.
  • Dangerous Products or Services – This is a slightly more nebulous category of businesses covering everything from psychoactive substances and materials to make them to fireworks, firearms, and other weapons.

While the first three categories are almost universally businesses that are engaged in negative behavior, the final category excludes many legitimate businesses from using Google’s PPC services. A shop that sells pocket knives or a company selling CBD oil to adults would not be able to use PPC marketing because they have been labeled as having a “dangerous” product. This puts these businesses at a disadvantage, but at least it is a mutual disadvantage for all competitors in one of these categories.

For businesses that fall under this “dangerous product” category, SEO goes from being a marketing option to being THE marketing option. Luckily businesses that are unable to use PPC marketing can still produce incredible results using SEO. This is because, unlike PPC, SEO campaigns are not controlled by search engines per se. Rather, an SEO campaign looks at how search engines operate and find ways for your business to fit the criteria these search engines are already looking for so your business can rank higher.

One important factor to consider is the timetable of an SEO campaign. Unlike PPC, SEO is not a turnkey operation. Instead of just paying to rank for keywords, you need to spend time producing content that is easy for Google’s algorithms to digest and backlink that content to your website from other websites with high domain authority. When search engines see that sites it already trusts are linking to your website, they will start to place you higher on their rankings.

SEO also relies on your site structure. Search engine algorithms will be looking at factors like your site speed and tags to determine if your site is a good match for its users. Having informative blog content will also help your site climb the rankings. The higher your search engine ranking, the more organic traffic your site will receive, and the more potential for conversions.

The basic concept of SEO is simple, show a search engine that you know your stuff, and they will rank you higher. Despite how simple SEO looks on the surface, actually achieving big goals like first page rankings takes some serious work. Luckily, with an eCommerce marketing agency like 1Digital® in your corner, you can expect great results for your business no matter what category you fall under.

To get an idea of just how impactful a good SEO campaign can be, let’s look at a case study of one of our PPC restricted clients, White Mountain Knives. Unable to attract pain traffic and struggling with email marketing, the team at White Mountain Knives turned to us to see what SEO could do for their business.

Google search engine results

Before hiring our team to manage their SEO campaign, White Mountain Knives was trailing behind its competitors and struggling to rank for valuable keywords. After a few months of working with 1Digital®, their rankings shot up and they began to appear above some of their biggest competitors. As the campaign continues, we are excited to see their rankings continue to grow until they finally reach the top positions for their targeted keywords.

White Mountain Knives is just one of our many SEO success stories. Over the years our digital marketing agency has helped eCommerce businesses that sell firearms, knives, cannabis, CBD, tobacco, and vape products climb the search rankings and even reach the coveted 1st position rankings for certain keywords. If your business can’t use Google Ads or other PPC services, our world-class SEO campaigns get your eCommerce business on track to start outranking the competition and bring in more traffic. To learn more about our SEO services, feel free to give us a call at 866-219-1801, and talk to one of our eCommerce experts.


Logan D

Logan is a content creator at 1Digital® Agency who specializes in SEO marketing. When he's not delving into the world of eCommerce, he enjoys exploring the great outdoors,  working in his woodshop, and curling up with a good book.

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