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Business & Reporting

What E-Commerce CMOs Need To Know About SEO

 min read
July 8, 2021
The Botify Team

A CMO's work is rarely (if ever) easy in the e-commerce space. You're responsible for overseeing and driving marketing activities that achieve actual, measurable results. And that costs money. Lots of money.

That's why ROI is at the heart of everything CMOs do, and 44% of marketers agree that a top priority for 2021 is to "better measure the ROI of [their] demand generation initiatives."

After all, competition is fierce, and all marketing activities must be strategically executed to achieve maximum return on investment.

Building brand awareness, winning new business, and helping to generate sustainable revenue -- there's plenty to strive for in any campaign.

While paid ads have been a staple of digital marketing for years now, SEO should never be underestimated: it's a core element of a successful performance marketing program that achieves real ROI.

Let's find out how!

How SEO Can Improve And Deliver On ROI

Here's how SEO can impact your e-commerce business's marketing activities:

Deliver A Better Experience For All Users (Humans And Crawlers)

How do you satisfy your customers and keep them coming back?

It's all about providing an excellent user experience. Almost 90% of online consumers won't return to a website after a bad user experience.

But your site's design, structure, and optimization all affect how human users and search engine crawlers view it. Here are a few reasons:

  • Slow load times frustrate users and affect bots' ability to index your entire site, which may impact your ranking.
  • Optimizing JavaScript ensures users and crawlers can access all content on a page -- missing content will be omitted from your index and (worse) invisible to users.
  • Checking internal links direct to the relevant pages and don't return 404 status codes, to help users and bots navigate your site smoothly. Prevent problems on e-commerce websites can be dautining in and of itself!

Identify Your Most Important Landing Pages

Analyzing e-commerce SEO data helps you spot and optimize your highest-performing landing pages to increase conversions.

And you can study your lowest-performing pages to understand why they fail to engage users.

SEO Is A Major Source Of Traffic

More traffic is generated by organic search than referral and social media traffic, so it's the channel with the most significant potential to drive revenue.

One of the main ROI-related advantages of SEO is that it can keep driving traffic and generating results consistently once set up (with ongoing maintenance). But once you stop paying for PPC ads to appear on SERPs, they vanish.

These are just some of the reasons why many marketers are shifting from paid media and increasing their SEO budgets.

How To Structure And Run An Efficient E-Commerce SEO Strategy

Putting together an effective SEO strategy takes time -- you can't rush in and expect to boost your ROI within a matter of days.

CMOs need to work with the right people with the right skills to put a plan into action. Essential SEO skills include:

  • An ability to think critically and delve deep into data to identify patterns
  • Training and experience in programming
  • An understanding of valuable KPIs in the e-commerce space
  • Strong communication skills to articulate technical issues in a simple way
  • A sense of how technical SEO impacts the overall discoverability of a website

Members of your team may already have these skills and be prepared to put them to good use, or you might need to bring one or more new employees on board. In either case, CMOs should work with SEO specialists carefully to monitor activities and results.

What activities? There are two main parts of an SEO strategy:

On-page SEO

On-page optimization is fundamental to e-commerce SEO. On-page refers to everything visible to users and search engines on your e-commerce site, from content to HTML code.

On-page SEO can offer real value to the user and can:

  • Build trust
  • Establish your e-commerce brand as an authority on specific subjects via thought leadership content
  • Generate backlinks
  • Create a frequent, consistent influx of keyword-rich text onto your site

It's no surprise that more than 90% of marketers use content marketing to reach customers, and 92% report that it's a valuable asset.

This can include videos, blog posts, press releases, FAQs, and more.

On-page SEO also includes:

  • Titles
  • Headings
  • URLs
  • Meta descriptions
  • Keywords
  • Images

In the case of images, they should be compressed to a more manageable size: if they're too big, they'll slow your load times down.

Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO refers to activities outside your site that improve your visibility, rankings, authority, and trustworthiness. This includes:

  • Building backlinks
  • Publishing guest blog posts
  • Using social media marketing to reach new prospects and cultivate a loyal following
  • Working with influencers

CMOs may initially find overseeing and refining such a wide range of activities daunting -- it may seem as if there are just too many plates to keep spinning.

But that's why it's so crucial for CMOs to work with SEO experts and leverage the latest technologies that can automate that long list of tasks!

What Are The Most Important Metrics For Measuring E-Commerce SEO?

Use the following metrics to measure the success of your SEO strategy and recognize when you need to make changes:

Organic Traffic

This metric reveals how many visitors reach your site via organic search results. The more visitors you receive, the better your SEO must be.


Measuring conversions (sales and/or leads) is a simple way to identify how successfully your site encourages users to take the desired action.

Revenue From Organic/Average Cart Value

Both of these metrics let you know how much organic traffic is driving your business's bottom line.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate refers to the number of users who leave your site without taking action. This could be due to poor design, weak navigation, terrible content, or a lack of appealing products (or a combination).


Backlinks are one of Google's top SEO ranking factors. They tell search engines that your site is valuable -- so you need lots of them!

Measuring These Metrics Offers Insights Into Your SEO Performance, But How Do You Know What Actions To Take?

It's no secret that e-commerce websites are beasts--faceted navigation, constantly-changing inventory, and JavaScript-loaded elements like product reviews, and much more.

These challenges have made e-commerce SEOs some of the sharpest of the bunch, but the job still isn't easy. That's why we created Botify. Request a demo today to learn how Botify can help unlock the power of your e-commerce website! You can also download our E-Commerce SEO Playbook for additional assistance!

Want to learn more? Connect with our team for a Botify demo!
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