Common eCommerce Mistakes | No Competitor Research – Part #7


The more successful your ecommerce website becomes, the more competition you create. That is a basic fact of business. Your recourse is to out think them, out market them and outwork them. You must know your competitors marketing strategy as well as your own. Your organic search rankings can be improved by having such knowledge which in turn will enhance the performance of your ecommerce website.

Most business owners have an SEO strategy. The common mistake ecommerce businesses make is not understanding their competitors SEO strategy. 

Search Engine Optimization most effective component is to produce great content that your viewers want to share, and other sites that are relevant to your viewer want to link to, this is SEO 101 and yields in better rankings. The problem with that practice is that better quality content is harder and harder to create as millions of websites follow the same belief.

Where many ecommerce websites fail is with competitive research, they only consider themselves.

Here are some insider tips for you to use to give your ecommerce website an organic boost over your competition.

ecommerce website an organic boost

Researching a competitor is at the hub of Search Engine Optimization. 

All of us have keywords and keyphrases that we include in our landing pages and editorial content. What is less common is for an ecommerce business to research the keywords and keyphrases used by competition. We believe that what elevates a website in ranking is how this is structured not only within linked sites but also the structure of a page within your site.

Competitor research is important for several reasons. It helps you establish benchmark metrics by which you can measure your performance and then determine which performance metrics can be improved economically. Your competitive advantage and disadvantage will become self evident and help you define realistic SEO targets.

One of our favorite tools for this is SEMrush. This tool will enable you to see competitor's best keywords, discover new competitors, uncover competitors' ad strategies and budgets and observe domain changes….to name just a few.

Staying on top of your ranking and your competitors ranking can give you a competitive advantage.

Understanding Crawl Limitations

An SEO technical skill that is often neglected is is putting noindex/nofollow tags on pages that do not need to or should not appear in a search engine. Examples of those are thank you pages, checkout pages and those for internal use. If you have lots of pages on your site, Google will not crawl all of them everyday. This is a very simple tactic but requires your marketing team to coordinate with your webmaster. Staying on top of the crawl budget will give you a competitive advantage.

Crawl Limitations

Be smart with content.

Every landing page, every sales page and every blog article should have a defined purpose. Your content must appeal to your audience and you should stay on top of such items as content social sharing and time on page as a way of measuring the engagement level of your content. Your bounce rate needs to be less than your competitors comparable content. Your time on page average needs to be better than your competitors.

Your smart content will help your rankings more than anything. Your goal should be to 10x the hits and shares your content receives. To do this you need to speak to your audience's pain points, focus on just one of those pain points per article and narrow your discussion, research your competition with regard to similar points as noted above, deliberately differentiate your content, include opposing points of view, expand your understanding of the topic by researching how influencers handled the subject, plan your content layout and bullet points carefully and then seek the advice of others to help you polish your smart content.

In addition, when you cover a topic, cover it in-depth. Surface fluff articles, just so that you have articles are not valuable. Go deep!

Engaging content will give you a competitive advantage and fuel your rankings.

HTTPS your entire site, not just your ecommerce pages

Google has changed how non-https sites are viewed in Chrome. Switching your entire site to https will avoid security warnings when you audience views your pages.

Do not over optimize for keywords

The tactic of producing content for your blog or saturating your ecommerce website with keywords you want to rank for is now an ancient tactic and is highly frowned upon. However, you do want to focus on those long-tail or mid-tail keyphrases that research has shown there to be little competition for. This is because search relevancy has become a bigger factor to search ranking than ever. The ultimate goal is for your target to find your specific landing page that appeals to their need without using your website hamburger menu. That requires understanding the keyphrases that your target uses to find someone like you.

Our point here is that it can easily be overdone and you can easily spend too much time and money optimizing for it.

We need to keep reminding ourselves how incredibly important search marketing is. We all must invest in the right resources, techniques and processes to compete. If we don’t, then there will always be more SEO-savvy competitors who are investing to take us out. Unfortunately in this game of competitive SEO research the best tactician can often win over the best product or service for the prospective search customer.  To ensure you deliver the best results from the search engines, be smart with you content, research your competition and go deep!

In our next article on the most common ecommerce mistakes we will discuss retargeting to bring visitors back to your site.

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Filed Under: E-Commerce & Sales