By Abi Crosbie, SEO Manager at Reckless

Is SEO worth it for ecommerce?

Yes. Now we’ve got the obvious out of the way, let’s get to the much more interesting why of it all. The easy answer is that good implementation of SEO can save you money – in the long-term

Search Engine Optimisation for ecommerce websites has specific challenges for content, off-page and technical. We’re gonna deep-dive into these and give you some reassurance that you’re not unhinged for wanting to improve your SEO.

Why SEO might not be right for you

We genuinely believe that the majority of ecommerce businesses would benefit from SEO, but here’s a few reasons why it might not be the right time:

So what exactly are the benefits of good ecom SEO?

Here’s your TL;DR bit. But keep reading, it’s dead good.

It can save you money in the long-term
💰Reduce paid spend
🪴Optimised content can be evergreen, with minimal updates it can rank for months or years
🛍️Reduce reliance on marketplaces that charge fees

It can increase your organic traffic
⚡Expand your marketing funnel in the right places
🔍Target the right audience

It can improve your website visibility
🌏International selling challenges

ecommerce SEO can save you money in the long-term

It always comes down to money, which is why it’s our first point. We’re also eager to point out the “long-term” aspect of SEO here too. Initial spend on SEO can match or sometimes exceed paid media, which is often why it gets pushed aside for the instant results paid offers (so any agency that promises instant results from SEO is sus, in our opinion). What you really want is a combined approach where paid and SEO cover the weakness of the other.

SEO takes time to work, sometimes it can take months to see results, so paid is excellent at bringing in those sales in the meantime. But paid will always cost you money, whereas well implemented SEO techniques require minimal attention once in place and can last months or even years, bringing in free traffic the whole time. 

I’ve convinced you? Already?! Brilliant. I can’t and won’t stop there though – here’s some specific moneysaving knowledge coming your way.

SEO content can perform well for years

We tend to call content created specifically for the long haul “evergreen content”. It’s clever, see? Like an evergreen tree, it’s there all year, looking great and making that sweet sweet chlorophyll. Or in your case, bringing in traffic and getting people to buy your products.

The creation of this content can be where the initial cost of SEO happens. Great optimised content needs keyword research, supporting/secondary content, backlinks and good internal linking. BUT, after that, all you may need to do is tweak it once or twice a year, update images and add or remove an internal link. That’s extremely low maintenance and thus very beneficial for your purse.

Now imagine that across multiple pages, for multiple products – that’s what a good SEO content strategy looks like.

How SEO can reduce your paid ad spend

We already covered the whole “done well, around for ages, free traffic” benefit of SEO, but there’s also a huge benefit in owning the organic SERPs and then being able to reduce or stop bids. 

For example, if you can create content that ranks you highly for your top transactional term [diamante dog collar], then you might want to ease off bidding so you appear in the ads at the bottom of the page instead. Or experiment with removing the bid entirely. 

You could reduce reliance on online marketplaces and third-party platforms

While there are big advantages to selling on eBay, Amazon, Etsy and all the other online marketplaces out there, the fees can take a big chunk out of your profits. It seems obvious that ranking well with your own website (where you don’t have to fund Jeff Bezos’ attempts to go to space) will be a moneysaver, but the ease of selling and showing in the SERPs using those big platforms can be hard to move away from.

The best approach initially is to launch your SEO strategy and then see which products are performing well via organic search so you can ease off selling them via marketplaces. Over time you can grow your organic channel without taking a big hit by leaving a platform entirely.

Ecommerce SEO can increase your website traffic

We know, it’s obvious. But hear us out, there are specific ways to do this, because targeting anything and everything isn’t the best approach. You need to be targeting the right people at the right point in their buying journey to make an increase in traffic work properly for you.

If you’re familiar with the marketing consideration funnel this should make you feel all tingly. SEO is best used for TOFU expansion but also works really well for MOFU and BOFU.

Increase top of funnel traffic

TOFU search queries tend to be broad and informational, with potential customers searching for ways to solve a problem. These are usually [how to] searches and at this point, you’re not creating content to push your brand or product, you’re showing your knowledge and expertise. 

For example, for one client we worked with them to create content for the query [how much coffee in a cafetiere?], because they sell coffee and it meant they could show off their extensive knowledge of their products and industry. Then boom, top of the SERPs and an excellent increase in traffic. Here’s some more of our work if you’d like a sneak peek.

Increase middle of funnel traffic

Then comes the next stage – MOFU. Middle of funnel queries focus on a different type of informational content. Here we see comparisons and help making the right choice, so queries like [arabica vs robusta] would be seen at this stage. Again, you’re able to show knowledge and expertise on the topic while being closely involved in the potential customer’s process.

Increase bottom of funnel traffic

Leading us to BOFU (bottom of funnel), where the transactional queries come in and potential customers make their decision. Here we’re looking at queries like [buy coffee beans] and similar terms that are high competition.

We’re calling out where and how SEO works at each level of the marketing consideration funnel because your business goals will influence where effort is best focused. If your website just launched, you need to start at the top, but if you’re an established business looking to reduce reliance on paid ads, then BOFU is where you’d aim.

Ecommerce SEO can improve your website visibility

Now we get into the juicy technical bits. Ecommerce has some unique complications when it comes to technical SEO. We’re not going to blow your mind with a ton of technical jargon, but we will explain the benefits of making sure you include technical SEO in your plans

Ecommerce SEO can improve website crawlability

Ecommerce websites often have the unique problem of too many pages. That seems counterintuitive – don’t you want loads of pages so search engines can rank you for loads of keywords? Yes, but in most cases the pages are duplicates (products in multiple categories) or have thin content (category pages created by someone using the filters), which means they aren’t a benefit to you. Search engines flipping love useful and unique content, so you can see how a website that duplicates content or makes poor content isn’t very pleasing to them.

So how does this link into crawlability? Search engines will get tired of seeing the same things or will simply crawl your website for a certain amount of time before going “there’s so much of this, I’m bored” and stopping. We use our little technical SEO toolkit to make sure search engines only see the content that matters, meaning they crawl where we want and ignore what we want – and that, my friend, improves crawlability (in part but it’s a big topic and we promised we’d keep it simple).

SEO can help international performance

Selling across multiple countries or languages has a lot of business challenges, but it also has technical SEO complications. Yes, more technical complications – we’re buzzkills but we’re also good at offering solutions.

Technical SEO solutions here include advising on subdomains, subfolders and general website structure, hreflang and keyword targeting. These are essential so you show up in the search results for the right countries and languages – you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget or get it wrong without someone looking at the overall picture. And to completely brag about it, we’re good at that.

International SEO is best looked at before you even start building your international websites, but if you’ve already done it and want to know how to optimise your website(s), we can advise on how to move forward.


If yore not convinced SEO is worth it for ecommerce by this point, maybe it’s not, but we reckon those are some compelling points. If you’d like to chat about what we can do for your SEO and growing your organic search, get in touch.

Let’s talk

    By Matt Tilling, Head of Marketing and Performance at Reckless
    3-4 minute read

    3 signs it’s time to update your website content and how to fix them

    High bounce rates

    In 2023 eCommerce websites are expected to account for 22.3% of all retail sales, so your online shop must be performing well to keep up and succeed. If visitors are leaving after viewing just one page (high bounce rates), they’re not engaged enough to stick around. Content and design matters, so update your website to look visually pleasing, modern and relevant. Add interactive elements and ensure it’s responsive and intuitive on all devices. Remember high bounce rates negatively impact SEO, so do everything you can to keep users on site for longer.

    Slow page load times

    The highest eCommerce conversion rates happen on pages that load in 0-2 seconds. Compare your site speed using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights and if it’s slow, identify the causes so you can make improvements. 

    Start with your hosting provider and decide whether they’ve actually got the capacity to manage your site and performance effectively. If they haven’t, it’s time to look elsewhere. If you manage your website yourself, optimise and compress images, reduce redirects and cache your pages. This will make your website faster so users enjoy the experience, rather than getting annoyed and leaving because it’s slow. Every second counts! 

    Low conversion rates

    Driving traffic is important, but converting users into loyal customers is what matters. Use analytics and heat mapping software to identify where users are dropping-off and why shopping baskets are being abandoned. Then, you can update website content accordingly, whether that’s streamlining your checkout process so it doesn’t take as long or improving the navigation and call to actions so customers don’t get lost. 

    Review your actual product or service offering as well – are price points too high? Do you offer discounts or new customer offers? Can users search, filter and customise what they’re buying? By personalising their experience, and giving them a reason to stay, there’s a higher chance they’ll buy from you.

    These are just a few initial warnings signs that it might be time to update your website. If you’d like to find out if your website’s performing and how to improve it please get in touch. We’re an eCommerce digital agency based in Liverpool and Chester, here to help and answer any questions you have. website performance metrics

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      By Matt Tilling, Head of Marketing and Performance at Reckless
      3-4 minute read

      3 website tips to increase eCommerce sales.

      Create an effective customer journey map

      In 2023, Hubspot found that 88% of customers are less likely to return to a website after a poor experience. Everything from UX and design, to navigation and trust impacts how your audience feels so delivering a flawless journey will make them more likely to buy from you and come back.

      Outline the entire experience potential customers have with your brand, from awareness right through to purchase and retention. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and consider all the different touch points they have with your brand before, during and after they visit your website. You’ll identify challenges, wants and needs, so you can make the right improvements to your website based on real user data. 

      TIP – Ask a friend, family or team member who has never been on your website to buy something. If it’s hard to find what they’re looking for, improve your navigation menu so users can easily find product pages, services and blog posts or content. Remove unnecessary steps that make the user experience clunky or build in new advanced features that add value to the customer. Guide users with clear call to call to actions (CTAs) too, so they’re always heading in the right direction to that all important conversion.

      Personalise the shopping experience

      Analyse your data and analytics to understand your customers’ preferences, and suggest personalised, relevant  product or service recommendations based on their browsing and purchase history. Considering 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company providing a tailored experience, it’s worth investing in!

      Improve your content and SEO

      From persuasive product descriptions and high-quality images to useful blogs and engaging videos, give your audience the content they need to trust and buy from you.   

      Make sure everything is effectively optimised for search engines too. On-page SEO (think product and blog content), off-page SEO (digital PR and backlinks) and technical SEO ( site speed, crawling and indexing) all play a big part here. This might seem overwhelming but when it’s done right, you’ll reach loads of new customers by appearing high up in Google search results when they need you. 

      Remember that continuously testing and gathering user feedback is vital to optimise your eCommerce website for conversions. Your business is unique, so it’s important to experiment, analyse and iterate based on your audience.

      If you’re wondering how to increase eCommerce sales, get in touch. We’re a digital marketing agency based in Liverpool and Chester but regardless of where you are, we’d love to help and answer any questions you may have.

      Let’s talk