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Does SEO Still Matter for Retailers in 2020?

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By Published On: November 5, 20200 Comments

Search Engine Optimisation, better known as SEO, has been one of the key tools for eTailers who wish to increase their organic growth online. In this unprecedented online boom across the last 12 months, the need for a robust and scalable online platform is critical. But what about SEO? We asked a series of e-commerce and SEO specialists about the future of SEO and how to make it work for your business in 2020 and beyond. 

Matt Antonino, Head of Traffic at Easy Weddings: “According to a popular recent survey, 68 percent of all online experiences begin with a search engine and 53 percent of all website traffic comes from organic search. When you consider that SEO drives more than 10 times the traffic of social media, it’s clear that SEO is still here and still here to stay for a long while.

“SEO for 2021 will look much different than it currently does and SEO professionals are preparing for the changes. Google introduced a new set of metrics related to site speed, responsiveness and stability called Core Web Vitals. These metrics are not currently part of the search algorithm but are expected to play a big role in the coming years. Google intended to roll out these changes in 2020 but after COVID struck, decided to let website owners focus on their more important response to the crisis and pushed back Core Web Vitals and algorithm changes to 2021.”

Matt Bassos, SEO Lead at Vuly Play: “SEO is still and will continue to be an integral part of digital marketing now and in the future. The prevalence of search and securing vital organic traffic from the web is crucial for small and large businesses alike.

“In many ways, SEO has expanded and fused with other elements of marketing. From brand reputation and content strategy to audience analysis and building business relationships – all these factors drive SEO to achieve organic visibility in search results. This makes SEO important as it can effectively drive the first touchpoint a potential customer with high commercial intent based on what they search for.

“Moving forward into 2021, Google and similar search engines will continue with AI learning to establish business entities. These entities will be rewarded based on their authority within a particular industry, as well as their recognized trustworthiness. Search engines want to put the best results in front of a user, so future SEO will continue in brand development. This includes leveraging reviews, developing a social media presence, and formulation a content strategy that satisfies search intent of a businesses’ core audience.”

Daniel Caughill, The Dog Tale: “SEO is still very relevant in 2020, it just looks a little different than it did five years ago. The old tactics are still important: keywords, backlinks, page speed—all of it. But each of those factors plays second fiddle to producing excellent content that really understands the searcher’s intent. Search engines have become incredibly adept at understanding exactly what searchers are looking for, so you need to produce more thorough and tightly focused content to do well in moving forward.”

Peter Thaleikis, Software Engineer and Maker at Bring Your Own Ideas: “Social media is getting less and less effective and businesses are focusing more on their websites again. Google is facing an ever-increasing amount of websites, blogs, and other forms of content. All this content needs to be crawled, indexed, and validated against the ranking algorithm. This is an often underestimated task that takes massive resources and explains Google’s constantly increasing requirements for websites.

“With every algorithm change, marketers worry about their sites dropping out of the results. The fundamentals of search engine marketing: Build good websites with great content and you will rank remains true though. And this is exactly what is to recommend to rank in 2021 and beyond: invest in one amazing blog post per month instead of four average posts each week.

“Pay attention to the keywords your website is already ranking for using Google Search Console or a suitable tool and focus on one keyword while creating a unique new piece of content. Original content almost always out-ranks topics covered widely already.”

Oliver Andrews, Owner at OA Design Services: “SEO is more important than ever! It remains one of the most powerful digital marketing strategies that generate long-term results. You need the correct techniques. It’s important to understand where your audience is interacting with content like yours and to make sure you’re ranking on those discovery engines. This means that creating high-quality, deep, and meaningful content has never been more important to users, but you also need to think about the structure of the information.”

Like this story? Click here to find out more about Power Retail E-Commerce Intelligence or here to sign-up for the free weekly Pulse Newsletter for more essential online retail content.

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