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Why do ecommerce businesses do well in search?

Google loves ecommerce businesses.

This is because handing over money online is the ultimate marker of trust in a business, and credibility. And we know Google prioritizes credibility and trust.

The more cynical among us might also say that ecommerce businesses are the ones most likely to spend money on paid ads for their products.

And there’s probably some truth in that.

But that’s why organic search is so powerful for ecommerce businesses.

If you run an ecommerce business, you already have an edge because Google likes trustworthy businesses (which yours is, if people are transacting on your site).

And there are lots of opportunities for ecommerce businesses to be found online, because there’s so much data associated with each product:

💸 Product pages (make each pages discoverable)

💸 Hundreds of different collections of different types of products (group by color, size, theme, activity – the only limit is how organized you can keep your site navigation!)

💸 Google Shopping

💸 As well as buying guides, care guides, FAQs.

The great thing about organic search for ecommerce is that your customer acquisition cost is often much lower than other forms of advertising – there’s no paying for ads, or partnerships, or any middle-man. The traffic is yours to own and convert.

This is really important for ecommerce businesses, because the overheads in a product-based business are typically much higher than they are in a service-based business. And therefore, budget for ad spend is typically a huge outlay at a very early stage of a company. And we all know that Facebook and Instagram ads only scale well to a certain point…

However, although conversion rate for paid ads is often slightly higher (around 3% higher) than organic traffic, the eventual cost per customer acquisition usually pans out about twice as expensive for paid ads.

So if you’re on a tight budget, those consistent, reliable leads from organic search are mighty important. (Talking from personal experience – I ran an ecommerce company for 6 years which generated millions in sales from both search and ads.)

The catch here, equally, is that SEO can take longer to generate results.

So if you’re a high-growth startup, while SEO will certainly need to be a part of your long-term strategy, it’s probably wise to consider a multi-channel approach even from early on.


My name's Claire and I’m an SEO and content strategy expert. I help startups and ambitious businesses improve their content, so that customers can find your website in search, and so that when they do, they convert.


I’m a former startup CEO, and I’ve worked for some of the world’s biggest publishers (Penguin Random House, Oxford University Press), as well as training with Google's in-house SEO team. I even built a website to attract 45k in organic search visitors/month. Drop me a line if you need help of any kind with SEO and content.


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