The importance of SEO for the Grocery Industry
24 February, 2022.
Getting to the top of Google is hard; competition is fierce in all industries but none more so than within the grocery sector. Organic clicks are concentrated in the top three positions in the search results, with an estimated 65% to 70% of all organic clicks occurring on these positions. If you consider that only 0.78% of Google searchers even click on results on the second page, you can quickly begin to understand the importance of gaining those coveted top three positions.
The importance of ranking well organically is further compounded by the sheer number of searches made on purchase intent keywords relevant to the grocery industry. Thousands of products are available to buy from online retailers, which correlates to many thousands of keyword rankings. Each keyword could be searched for over a hundred, thousand or even a million times per month by users ready and willing to part with their hard-earned cash for products available online. Not having a presence in this important and highly lucrative space means retailers are potentially missing out on hundreds of thousands of shoppers per month. Online brand visibility is ultimately the goal here, PDPs are seen by more shoppers, and this increases the chances of more sales.
How can a better organic presence be achieved by grocery brands, then?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is used to improve a website’s presence online, helping sites gain these top three ranking positions. The process involves improving the relevancy of the site through the publication of useful and unique content and optimizing for a seamless user experience. SEO activity is often split into three main groups, though these can overlap at times. These are:
- Content or On-site SEO – This refers loosely to the practise of optimising web pages for shoppers. This may include optimising the page titles, copy, internal links and other on-site elements.
- Technical SEO – This refers to all the technical necessities that help users enjoy a seamless experience of the site. Good technical SEO can help the search engines crawl the site more effectively. Users are rewarded by faster loading pages and better site architecture to enable them to find their way around more easily.
- Off-page SEO – This involves all the actions that occur off the site, and mainly refers to gaining links from other website through sustainable and legitimate means. This is commonly referred to as ‘link-building’ but may also be called ‘Digital PR’.
For true success that outlasts algorithm updates, all three elements must be in place for sites to gain those top positions, and to maintain them. This article concentrates on the content element for the grocery industry.
Content is one of your most important and valuable assets, and this is true for all industries, including the grocery sector. The first step is to truly understand who your audience is. Armed with this knowledge and insight, brands can create content and adapt the PDPs to help their audience convert from a casual browser into a loyal customer. This is obviously a win-win scenario for all parties; the shopper lands on pages that are useful to them, and the retailers have pages that are more likely to convert their users into customers, at any time of the day – or night. Pages that provide value to users are generally more likely to rise to the top of a Google search. Why? Because that is Google’s goal too!
The starting point should be thorough keyword research. This ensures the content can be optimised for the keywords that shoppers actually search for to find the products they wish to purchase. Think of keywords as the bridge between the shoppers, the retailers and the brands. Keyword intent is an important consideration – is the person searching for this keyword trying to research a product? Are they ready to buy a product? The intent can help shape the content to deliver pages relevant to the user at each stage of their purchase journey.
Fountain’s top 3 tips to improve your content
- Include your keywords in the copy, page titles and meta descriptions.
- Consider content to be more than just words – content includes imagery and videos as well as the words on the page.
- Internal linking between relevant or related products or pages on the site helps users navigate the site more effectively and can increase the values of their shopping basket.
With copy, it is very important not to ‘over-do’ things, and a word of warning about keyword stuffing should be mentioned at this point. Consider the first of the top three tips above: including your keywords on the page is vitally important, but including them in unnecessary or unnatural ways can have a negative impact on Google rankings. Always write for the consumer first – after all, a Google robot will not be getting their credit card out to make a purchase. A human visitor will though, so put them front and centre. Ask yourself: “Is this copy useful to the shopper?”. If it is, then the chances are that the search engines will recognise this and reward you accordingly with good, strong rankings.
SEO remains a very cost-effective investment for online retailers. It is a measurable tactic used to increase organic visibility and sales for brands and retailers online. When done well, it can transform the digital footprint of online retailers, helping to build brand loyalty in a world where digital distractions are increasing every day.
If you want to gain those coveted top rankings and maximise your online opportunities, please get in touch with the Fountain team here.
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