Table of Contents
- Part I: What is E-commerce SEO?
- Part II: What Happens in E-Commerce SEO?
- Part III: In-House vs SEO Agency: Who Should Do the Job?
Singapore is regarded to be one of the fastest to adopt online shopping. Its e-commerce industry is projected to reach US$2.7 billion this year and exceed US$100 billion by 2025. With these figures, it’s safe to say that the country will stay as one of the most attractive e-commerce markets in Asia and businesses that engage in digital marketing will get the most out of it.
What Makes Singapore an E-Commerce Hub
Shopping—online shopping, in particular—is a favourite pastime among Singaporeans. A 2014 study by Visa indicated that 26% of Singaporeans shop online at least once a week, the highest in Southeast Asia. There’s no gender bias between online shoppers: men and women engage in e-commerce equally except for those aged 45-54 where there are 50% more female buyers than male.
Below are some other key findings about e-commerce in Singapore.
• Singaporeans are 3x more likely to purchase via desktop than mobile
Singaporeans are three times more inclined to complete their purchases on desktops than on mobile. While it’s the case, the number of smartphone users continues to grow at a rapid pace, contributing to the further increase in e-commerce transactions.
• Singaporeans shop more after work hours
Singapore is the only Southeast Asian country where consumers shop more after working hours—others tend to shop during working hours. The number of orders placed increases gradually from 4 pm and peaks at 10 pm.
• Credit card is the most offered payment in Singapore
All merchants in Singapore offer credit cards as a payment method. Given the high emphasis placed on cashless payment, it’s not surprising that bank transfers as a payment method falls far behind at second spot, being offered only by 38% of merchants.
These findings further prove that the e-commerce industry in Singapore offers a large base of potential customers to market to online and it’s up to you to tap into this potential.
Establishing an online presence for your small business may seem challenging as you may face hurdles like limited resources, time, and experience. It’s why third-party digital marketing agencies in Singapore have been valuable to business successes as partnering with them have addressed concerns like security of payments, gathering of customer data, web design development and maintenance, among many others.
If you’re setting up an e-commerce shop in Singapore, this in-depth guide can help you get started.
Part I: What is E-commerce SEO?
An e-commerce website allows you to expand your reach online. As shoppers prefer convenient and time-saving shopping, your customers will appreciate having the ability to browse your site 24/7 and their purchases delivered to their doorstep.
However, maintaining an online presence can be quite challenging. After launching an e-commerce site, you have to work to make sure that it is visible to your target audience and that primarily entails optimizing your site for search, constantly introducing new products and creating new promotions to give your customers reasons to visit regularly.
All these take time and resources and this is where an SEO agency in Singapore takes over. An SEO vendor will help you from the creation of your online store to marketing and management so you can focus on your core business.
Why Should You SEO Your E-commerce Site?
If you want to drive more traffic and sales to your e-commerce website, then SEO is a critical part of your digital marketing strategy.
By definition, e-commerce SEO is the process of optimizing your site for search engines to boost your opportunities to rise in organic rankings and drive more traffic to your site. When people search for products/services related to your brand, you want to rank as high as possible in the search engine results pages (SERPs)
Sure, there are plenty of ways to drive customers to your site other than SEO: pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, email marketing, word-of-mouth, and social media to name a few. However, there’s nothing quite like SEO in terms of delivering more valuable results.
A study found that organic results are 8.5 times more likely to be clicked than paid ads. It is supported by another research which shows that 70-80% of all searchers ignore paid ads and instead click on organic results.
4 Reasons Your E-commerce Site Needs SEO
✓ SEO will help your customers find you
Consumers turn to the Internet to search for products and services as well as look for options, reviews, and other information to help them make informed decisions. Optimizing your site for search can get you in front of these qualified audiences and thus increase your chances of driving them to your site.
✓ SEO builds trust and credibility
When your site appears on top of the SERPS, it sends the signal to users that search engines find your site credible and trustworthy. This translates to users trusting your site as well and having more confidence to engage your brand.
✓ SEO is a cost-effective way to improve your bottom line
You can get traffic from paid search, but SEO costs way less. What’s more, while PPC ads are a great starting point, it can be expensive and competitive to maintain in the long-term. Therefore, you’ll want to optimize for search regardless.
✓ The SEO benefits are sustainable and long-lasting
Unlike paid advertising where the traffic stops the minute you stop paying, local SEO delivers results that are targeted, cost-effective, measurable, and long-lasting. Your SEO efforts just build upon itself over time.
With the fierce competition in the e-commerce industry, one way to get ahead of the game is to work your way up through local SEO. While it will take time to reach the top spot, a robust e-commerce SEO strategy can eventually build your rankings until you’re the first option users see in their searches.
Part II: What Happens in E-Commerce SEO?
E-commerce SEO involves a range of practises whose objective is to boost your rankings in the search results. But, as a start, it should involve optimizing your headlines, product descriptions, meta data, and link and navigational structure to guarantee quality search and user experience.
Each product you have should have a dedicated page designed to drive traffic from search engines. Additionally, there should also be static, non-product-oriented pages on your site including the following.
What’s great about e-commerce SEO is that it allows you to keep track of your audience’s behaviour and use these insights to customise your offers in a manner that accommodates their needs. In return, it can help you build long-lasting relationships and improve customer retention.
There are several aspects involved in e-commerce SEO and the easiest route is to engage an SEO agency in Singapore that will oversee your site from the very beginning. Below are some SEO best practises that can boost your organic rankings.
How to SEO an E-Commerce Website
The coding of your page and the factors involved in it can affect your site’s rankings. For instance, inserting valuable keywords into your product descriptions, URLs, title and image alt tags can optimize your page for searches and thus increase the chances of search bots finding your page and showing them in the search results.
Google values the proper order and arrangement of factors on your pages including titles, headers, content, footers, etc.—the faster and easier they are to scan, the higher the possibilities are to boost your position and sales. Make sure to place valuable keywords in these places to make it easier for search engines to recognise your page.
Quality content is essential in e-commerce sites as much as it is in any other types of websites. It can set your site apart from the competition by providing valuable information to your consumers. Your standard in-page content should include product photos, product descriptions, blogs, and newsletters to name a few.
A compelling product description that seamlessly integrates keywords offers benefits beyond just SEO. It provides customers with details about the product’s features, problems it solves and other benefits, which can help you generate a sale. Make sure to optimize everything on the product from the titles to the descriptions.
Traditional blog posts can also attract more visitors to your site. These can discuss topics related to your products, giving insights into how they can add value to their lives and how they can solve their problems. Just make sure that these articles will direct them to your specific products/services.
Links are also a great addition to your ecommerce site. Internal links, for instance, indicate relevance between pages which provides more context to your consumers and directs them to the proper pages they’re searching for. Likewise, getting external backlinks from other sites can further establish your authority.
Today’s digital-savvy consumers don’t just shop for products in exchange for cash. They look for brands who can provide them with seamless and personalised experiences. It doesn’t matter if you’re a bootstrapped startup or an international firm—you need SEO to maximise your e-commerce site’s profitability.
What happens when users visit your site? Will they easily find the information they are looking for? Does the site load fast? Is it accessible from any device? Your site can be many things but the most crucial is that it’s easy to navigate and user-friendly to ensure longer visits and hopefully, more sales.
5 Mistakes to Avoid in E-Commerce SEO
Is SEO difficult? Not necessarily.
However, it can be easy for you to make costly mistakes that can negatively affect your search engines. This is further emphasised when you don’t work with an SEO agency in Singapore that can help identify these errors and rectify, if not avoid them.
Below are some common SEO mistakes in an-ecommerce website.
How fast does it take for your site pages to load? If it takes more than 2-5 seconds, then you risk visitors abandoning your site. A Google study shows that each second beyond 2 seconds results in a higher bounce rate as today’s internet users demand near-instant page load times.
By now, you should start making adjustments to meet these demands and the first thing you have to do is identify what is slowing your website. There are three possible culprits:
Large-Sized Images – While images make your site look visually appealing, using large-sized images can hurt your website speed. Resize your images to between 600 and 800 pixels.
Redirect Chains – Multiple redirects can not only result in slow-loading pages but can annoy your visitors as well. Enhance your user experience by reducing the use of redirects.
Ecommerce Platform – There are many e-commerce platforms, with Shopify and WordPress arguably being the most popular. But, when choosing one, make sure it supports fast site loading.
Read More: Which E-Commerce Platforms to Choose?
There are many factors that are categorised as low-quality content:
- Product descriptions copied from other e-commerce sites
- Category pages without descriptions
- Meta descriptions that are not optimized
Your content matters not only for SEO but to your users as well. If you have poorly written content on your site, users may not be as keen to interact with your site. When that happens, your traffic will plummet. Therefore, creating original, fully-optimized content should be a top priority.
Duplicate content happens when you have different URLs with the same content on your site. It can happen when you have plenty of product variations and search engines can flag these as duplicate content.
While it may not affect your overall website, what Google will most likely do is index only one of these links and de-index the rest. To rectify this, your SEO agency will select a single page that you want the search engine to rank and make it your canonical URL.
Mobile traffic increases every year. In 2019, mobile devices accounted for 52.6% of global website traffic and as Google favours mobile-friendly sites in organic rankings, it’s imperative to optimise your site for mobile searches.
Some characteristics of a mobile-friendly site includes responsiveness. It involves the ability of your page to be structured properly regardless of the screen size on which it is displayed. You can use the Google mobile-friendly test to measure the mobile-friendliness of your site.
No Product Reviews
About 63% of consumers are likely to purchase from a site with product reviews. What’s a good number of reviews? Studies show that having at least 50 reviews can increase conversion rates by 46% and search engines love them too.
E-commerce websites with more reviews can rank better because they are perceived as more trustworthy. A search on Google will reveal product pages with star ratings and reviews—when you have these, you’ll be able to stand out from other sites selling the same product.
There are many other factors that can affect your search engine rankings. Your SEO specialists can help you avoid these mistakes to make your online store a success.
Part III: In-House vs SEO Agency: Who Should Do the Job?
There are several SEO agencies in Singapore that have earned a reputation for providing quality service and delivering long-term results.
But, exactly why should you hire an SEO agency for your e-commerce site?
While you may know the basics of SEO or have been self-learning the topic for quite some time, you may not have enough experience in putting the theories into practise. This practical part is where it makes a difference. Remember, the success of your business shouldn’t be based on trial and error and hiring an e-commerce SEO company is often the most advantageous idea to maximise your investment.
What an SEO Agency Can Do For You
At OOm, we help our clients boost their search engine rankings, increase traffic, and improve conversions while lowering your digital marketing expenses. Here’s how we can do it for you:
• Lower your ad spend
As ad costs continue to rise, investing in SEO can lower your paid advertising budget by helping you rank organically for the keywords you target.
• Rank for difficult keywords
There are keywords that are just difficult to rank for due to the competition and they take more effort and skills to accomplish top rankings in the SERPs. In this case, you should further consider hiring an SEO vendor.
• Access to professional staff and SEO expertise
SEO companies in Singapore have the knowledge and experience necessary to make smart decisions for your site and which are something you probably don’t have.
Working with an SEO vendor is a smart decision as you not only let someone with the right expertise to handle your rankings but you also afford yourself the time to focus on your core activities.
This is particularly essential in today’s COVID-19 situation when more and more people are turning to online shopping as a safer alternative to going to malls and grocery stores. Maintaining an online presence can get you in front of these consumers.
Ready to get started with your e-commerce SEO? Get in touch with one of our SEO specialists today!