Search engine optimization is a critical tactic for a D2C brand. Search engines originate a big chunk of online sales. You may ask, how big? 65% of all eCommerce sessions are generated through search traffic and 33% through organic search. Mason’s Director of SEO, Jenna Vaccaro, shares her search engine optimization tips for emerging D2C brands.
First, let’s drill down to the meaning of SEO, what is it and how does it work? “Simply put, search engine optimization is the process of driving more organic traffic to your website from search engines. Skillful SEO professionals focus on both, the quantity and quality of that traffic”, Jenna explains, “It’s a healthy mix of delivering content that potential customers are looking for now, ensuring the site is free of critical technical errors (hello page speed!), and implementing ongoing offsite strategies (including local SEO for eCommerce with physical locations). All the elements must work together in order to improve the most valuable KPIs. More traffic doesn’t always equal more sales.”
Step #1: Begin with Keyword Research
Any successful SEO journey starts with in-depth keyword research. Think of what your customers type into Google to find your product, or any kind of product in the same space. If you’re in a highly saturated direct-to-consumer market, it’s crucial to think of the entire competitive landscape. Thoughtful curation of content, from a user and from a search engine stand point, is the key. This applies across the website from the ‘About Us’ page to Product pages and everywhere in between.
Jenna recommends direct-to-consumer brands to focus on how the product is described. “The way you talk about your product doesn’t necessarily match what users are searching for. You may describe your product as X, but the masses search for Y”, Jenna said.
Don’t Over-Optimize With Too Many Keywords
Now, what makes a good product description? From an user standpoint a good product description is descriptive, gives enough information about the product, and clearly describes why your product sets itself apart from competitors’ products. From a search standpoint, a good product description is written in a way that someone who is searching for keywords would be able to find your product. Jenna reminds D2C brands to maintain a good balance between SEO and brand identity. “Keep your brand in mind and avoid tarnishing the content with too many SEO keywords”, she recommends.
In addition, make sure all your website elements like structured data, reviews, rich snippets, and stock availability, are searchable and in Google’s preferred language (JSON-LD). Search engines might not be able to find you if the backend is not optimized for search.
SEO is a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Jenna reminds eCommerce business owners and marketers that SEO is an ongoing effort, “it’s a common myth to think that SEO is a “one and done” strategy. But if you don’t maintain your SEO, you’ll lose your position on search results. Stay on top of Google’s algorithms that change several times each year. On top of that, direct-to-consumer brands can’t forget about seasonality changes and keeping up with competitors.”
Regular SEO audits are a must in your toolbox to identify possible errors and bugs. Let’s imagine a couple of scenarios of such errors for D2C brands:
- You received a lot of good PR that links back to your site (Google likes, yay!). Since, you have made changes to your website and those links are now broken. As a result, all that press becomes worthless for SEO purposes.
- The required fields are mislabeled in your organic shopping feed and Google won’t find your products. As a result, you risk losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in conversions.
Doing your SEO right will have a positive impact on your holistic D2C marketing strategy. “Always focus on omnichannel success. SEO gives you tons of findings to use for cross-channel marketing. Align the strategies and identify keywords that work best on all channels”, Jenna adds.