If you have an e-commerce site, you will understand more than most that to get ahead, you need to be up top. You may have built the most stunning WordPress website, replete with beautiful photography and artful moving imagery. You may have handpicked an online catalogue style that not only pleases the eye but draws in the reader to click, click and click again, urging them to scour through all your products and services until they simply can’t click no more. You may have music, lights and fireworks on your proud homepage; not just a drop-down menu, but a menu that makes readers gasp at its majesty; an About section that brings visitors to fall to their knees and weep at the sheer beauty of its prose and the poignant truths contained within your story of stoicism and triumph; and a series of meaningful, enigmatic stares into the half-distance within the portraiture that cost you a ton for the Who We Are bit. But it don’t mean a thing if your rankings don’t got swing. No matter the pyrotechnics of your website if it’s not getting picked up by those Google bots – you need SEO, and you need it now. The trouble is: where, who, how?
And sadly, that’s not the only trouble in the world of slick e-commerce marketing. There are nefarious intentions out there. Entities that lack the scruples to tell you how it really is, and whose sole motivation is a buck and a fast one at that. If you are the owner of an e-commerce business and are upon the very cusp of entering the SEO sphere, here are the three things that you will be told and even led to believe by online content marketers who only have their interests at heart. Beware, be forewarned, be in the know.
1. “We know Google and understand its algorithms”
No they don’t. What the best SEO companies work with is a team of experienced technical people and writers, and some sophisticated software to help them track, analyse and manage data. What they don’t work with is a pot of gold and some magic potions. Google’s methods for crawling the internet and providing their famous search engine service is incredibly technical and, for some strange reason, wrapped up in something about business interests and long-term planning: they like to keep it a secret. So rather than bestow upon complete strangers a whopping great slice of all-knowledge, they leave them to make careful observations and then steadily build and structure a successful SEO campaign.
2. “We’ll get your rankings shooting up to page one in no time”
Run for the hills. If by some strange quirk of reality you end up on page one “in no time”, don’t expect to stay there. Your SEO company has probably been paying for a shed load of horrific content on horrific sites and you’re about to be struck down with a Goggle penalty that could see your website populating the farthest reaches of its ‘result’ pages for months if not years to come. Your e-commerce business just got sent to the Google Gulags.
3. “Trust us, we know what we’re doing”
Trust me, they don’t. Or at least not in the way you think they do. Because it’s technical, because it’s complex, because it’s bound up in algorithms that no one properly understands, there’s a lot of bravado in e-commerce marketing and SEO – but there shouldn’t be. Expect dialogue. Expect transparency. Expect realistic targets. And when those targets aren’t hit, expect some information that will help you understand why, and what’s being done about it. Just like any business or campaign, expect to gradually build your success.