How to Start an Ecommerce Business in Australia in 2024

Ecommerce has exploded in growth over the past year, and competition to rank high in search results has become fierce among ecommerce store owners. So, it’s of utmost importance to utilise both SEM and SEO strategies for your ecommerce business to rank better and increase sales.

But before digging into how SEM and SEO could help grow your online business, let’s first get an understanding of their differences.

What is SEM and SEO?

To understand SEM and SEO is to first understand Google. The world’s leading search engine divides its search results into two major categories: paid search (SEM) and organic search (SEO). They are two sides of the same coin offering different results.

Search Engine Marketing incorporates a paid strategy to rank results higher whereas Search Engine Optimisation is the use of keywords for organic traffic.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) uses paid tactics to gain visibility and bring paid and organic traffic to your online store. It incorporates SEO and various types of paid search advertising, such as targeted paid ad campaigns to increase visibility and get traffic from search engines. A paid SEM strategy incorporates setting up and optimising the ads, ensuring appropriate keyword placement and usage in copy, and setting an ideal budget for the placement of ads.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a crucial part of your digital marketing strategy that helps bring organic traffic to your website. It’s an unpaid strategy where search engines crawl content to see its effectiveness and ability to drive traffic. It assesses the use of keywords in copy, titles, meta descriptions, and tags in a website to increase the chances of conversions and sales. You can also get your ecommerce store in the paid search results section with Pay Per Click (PPC).

SEO assesses the use of keywords in copy, titles, meta descriptions, and tags in a website to increase the chances of conversions and sales.

Both SEM and SEO are crucial for the success of your ecommerce business. While some people believe that SEM and SEO should be used independently, in reality, they’re best when in action together.

How to grow your ecommerce business with SEM and SEO

Now that we have an understanding of the differences between SEM and SEO, let’s dive into how you can work them to the advantage of your ecommerce business.

Keyword research

Keyword research is the backbone of SEO. It can be a deciding factor in the fate of your ecommerce business, so you must choose the right keywords. Optimising for the most relevant keywords will enable search engines to surface your online store when someone performs a relevant search.

You could do keyword research with the help of various SEO tools, such as SEMrush and Ubersuggest, to make an educated guess. A pro tip is to target keywords with above-average search traffic and weak competition. Since it's harder to rank for competitive keywords, you could use long-tail keywords for better results. For instance, if you sell customised keychains, you could use the phrase ‘customised keychains in Melbourne’ to localise your content, and this keyword might have less competition. You could further benefit if the design of your keychains appeal specifically to Melbournians. By using this keyword or search term, you might also gain better visibility and traffic.

Ubersuggest is a popular SEO tool to track and improve your rankings with daily status updates.

Use keywords in strategic locations

Once you’ve done keyword research, it’s time you put it to work. In a 2021 survey carried out by Statista polling search engine professionals worldwide, 32.8 per cent of respondents mentioned that on-page elements, such as meta descriptions and titles, impact search rankings. You could use your selected keywords strategically in various places, including:

  • Meta title and meta description
  • Product descriptions
  • Alt tags
  • Page URLs
  • Headings and subheadings
  • CTAs
  • Page title

Use keywords in meta descriptions, alt tags and page URLs to further help your SEO.

Improve your UX design

Another essential factor is ensuring that your website is user-friendly and visually appealing. An ecommerce store that is easy to use enables customers to navigate your website and browse and buy your products effortlessly. Here are some of the ways that you can improve your website’s UX design:

  • Make your website mobile-friendly
  • Minimise interference of ads with content
  • Keep your website clutter-free
  • Make your website easy to navigate
  • Include call-to-actions (CTAs) to guide customers towards next steps
  • Keep the styling consistent
  • Improve your website’s speed

Build quality links

Link building is a proven way of growing an online business as it helps develop trust and build authority. It’s one of the most common SEO practices. As important ranking factors in Google's algorithm for SEO, both external and internal links play a role in growing your traffic. Additionally, they improve your website’s ranking, which ultimately helps you sell more products. Every time you earn a quality link, Google will mark your ecommerce website as more authoritative and reputable, so it’s beneficial to get creative when link building.

Pick a relevant search engine marketing platform

Choosing a relevant search engine marketing platform is crucial. The two most popular platforms are Google Adwords and Bing Ads. It's important to ensure the platform can help you reach your goals, which will often come down to keyword competitiveness and your level of spend. Also, you will want to check out the platform features, campaign management tools, and level of customer service. You can opt to run ads across several platforms or hone into one in particular. Pro tip: Use a trial version first to work out if the platform is suitable for your marketing activities.

Define your goals

Setting goals and putting efforts towards them is vital for business owners. Goals can act as a compass, helping you steer your business back on track if it's headed off course, enabling you to gain back control. Creating goals for your business will help you design a strategy to scale your business. Ensure you develop SMART business goals, which are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Almost all successful businesses are goal-oriented.

Retarget your potential audience

According to the State of Ecommerce report released by Episerver, 92 per cent of customers who visit your online store for the first time will not purchase but might still be interested in your offerings. This is where retargeting comes into play. Retargeting your potential customers with relevant content may encourage them to take the desired action. Tools such as Google Analytics and Adroll can help you keep track of your online store visitors. Pro tip: Tailor your retargeting based on your campaign goals, with options including retargeting visitors who have either clicked your ad, added your products to their cart, or even taken a highly specified action on your website, such as signing up to your newsletter in the last 60 days.

According to the State of Ecommerce, 92% of customers who visit an online store for the first time will not purchase but might be interested in purchasing in the future.

Match visitor search intent

Whether you’re focused on converting visitors or nurturing leads, every ad should direct to a landing page targeted at a defined market. In an ideal world, you should create personas before developing landing pages. Always cross-check against customer value propositions (CVPs), and if there isn’t a relevant CVP, rethink the offer. The more relevant and accurate your marketing content, the longer your audience will stick around your online store, which should translate into stronger sales and better search rankings. There is nothing more frustrating than clicking an ad that asks you to take a different action on a landing page.

Track your performance

It's highly recommended that you track your performance as part of your marketing strategy. When you collect data and track your marketing performance, you get noteworthy insights that could help you plan better and improve your digital marketing plan. Below are some of the goals you should track:

  • Budget and spend
  • Website traffic and conversion rates
  • Cost per click (CPC)
  • Return on investment

Some goals you should be tracking include your budget and spend, website conversion, CPC and return on investment.

Optimise your paid search campaigns

Optimisation is key to scaling your ecommerce business. With continuous optimisation, you can take your business from good to great, feeding through the insights you receive from tracking. Understanding your core marketing goal is key to optimising your paid search campaign, and it may vary each time. For example, some campaigns are focused on converting visitors, while others are focused on nurturing leads. Dedicate your time and efforts to optimising your paid campaigns to see better results. The following are some of the areas for optimisation:

  • Keyword optimisation
  • Landing page optimisation
  • Paid marketing ad optimisation

SEM and SEO for dropshipping businesses

If you’re using dropshipping as an order fulfilment method for your ecommerce business, SEO and SEM can become a real source of competitive advantage. As a small online retailer, it can be hard to compete on products, whereas SEO and SEM can provide an opportunity to compete on marketing. Learning to use SEO and SEM for your dropshipping business can give you an upper hand over your competitors. And with effective use of SEO and SEM strategies, your ecommerce business may rank higher on search engines and gain visibility, ultimately resulting in more conversions.

SEO and SEM are complementary. When implemented effectively, they can help your brand appear higher in search results and drive more traffic to your ecommerce business, increasing your likelihood of gaining more customers. However, both require continual testing, monitoring, and optimisation to improve performance.

If you have any questions about sourcing products from Dropshipzone and using SEM and SEO to scale your ecommerce business, get in touch with us today. Our Dropshipzone team will respond to your query within 1-2 business days.

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