This section is a detailed guide on how to evaluate eCommerce companies based on numerous factors to identify the best amongst them.
You can also use this guide to define your eCommerce goals in SEO terms and ask your company what deliverables they can provide.
Below are the following aspects or things we used to evaluate eCommerce agencies
- Reviews and Ratings of the eCommerce SEO agencies
- Case Studies published by them
- Portfolio Analysis of the subject companies
- Terms of Service published on their websites
- Interviews and Reports
Reviews & Ratings
Building an impressive website with WordPress is an easy task, and there are more than enough SEO guides for rookie SEOs to show themselves off as experts in the field.
The result is thousands of SEO companies popping up every year!
To add to the pain, there are no certification authorities to help you choose the best eCommerce SEO company.
But reviews and ratings in such a wild, open market can help you eliminate a big chunk of the companies that don’t specialize in eCommerce. This is the first thing we did in our evaluation of eCommerce agencies.
Where did we find such reviews and ratings?
- Our review pages;
- Yelp, Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, UpCity, Clutch, and other forums;
- Googling “Company name” + “SEO horror Stories.”
Apart from filtering, reviews also helped us figure out
- How genuine the agency efforts are;
- Success rate (in-the-wild research);
- Strategies and specializations of the subject agency;
- Level of the company’s communication.
If you’re doing the research yourself, you can probably exclude this step since it’s a long, boring, and cumbersome process. Instead, you can directly choose the best eCommerce SEO company for your business from our table (rest assured that all of them have positive eCommerce-related reviews and ratings on the internet).
After filtering out the baseless, wannabe SEO companies, the next step of our analysis was reading reports and evaluating case studies and the previous work of the shortlisted companies.
Ecommerce SEO campaigns are complex and include a large number of products and services. Analyzing the case studies helped us evaluate agencies for the factors discussed in the following sections.
The technical expertise of eCommerce marketing company in your chosen eCommerce platform is a must. Especially considering the growing emphasis of on-page SEO factors such as,
- CTR optimization,
- Site architecture, and
- Avoidance of duplicate content.
- Optimizing the crawl budget
We gather such information from interviews and reviews around the web to compile a list of eCommerce SEO companies with experience in different eCommerce platforms.
Here is a list of popular, easy-to-use eCommerce platforms, starting with the easiest ones to customize,
- WordPress + WooCommerce
- Custom Coded is out of the BOX
Even with the easiest on the list (WordPress), customizing a web store and optimizing all the on-page factors requires a great deal of proficiency and experience with those platforms.
Make sure the company of your choice has enough experience in the platform of your choice.
Link-Building and Content-Marketing Techniques
The next step of our evaluation is analyzing the approaches eCommerce SEO companies have adopted to build relevant backlinks.
You need backlinks. They’re the most important factor in helping your website reach the first or second search engine ranking page.
Only then can other crucial factors like on-page optimization, content optimization with keywords, conversion optimization can become relevant.
This is the reality of most of the 2019 SEO projects, irrespective of the niche.
And we do not hesitate to tell this hard truth,
Getting organic or natural backlinks is probably the hardest step for most SEO companies.
Most of them either buy links or build links with cheap strategies that contradict Google and other top search engine guidelines.
So, when choosing the eCommerce SEO agency for your business, it’s essential that you determine which strategies the agency typically uses to build links and what kinds of links they are promising.
Here’s how we evaluate these companies’ link-acquisition capabilities:
- We ask companies what strategies they use.
- We check the link profiles of portfolio sites.
Back in the day, it was all about buying links or building links with PBN or other public networks.
This has changed.
In these modern times, the strategies revolve around acquiring links with proper content marketing.
We’ve been in the industry for almost ten years now, which means we have tried almost every link acquisition strategy described online by pros like Brian Dean, and we are aware of all the latest strategies.
By using our experience in the field, we filtered the best eCommerce SEO companies that use strategies complying with search engine guidelines.
Here are the key things we looked out for:
- Link building with power pages, infographics, or other forms of content;
- Development of creative linkable content;
- Using discounts and coupons to get backlinks; and
- Unique, natural ways to get links to product pages.
Keyword Research for the Homepage and Product Pages
Besides links, another key factor a good SEO company excels at is targeting and optimizing content with the right keywords.
With search engines working hard to understand the context and semantics of the words, the keyword research is much more than using Google Keyword Planner or other tools to discover a bunch of high- or low-volume keywords.
SEO statistics show that LSI keywords and long tail keywords with buying intent are some of the dimensions crucial for present-day keyword research.
To evaluate the listed companies in the area of keyword research, we analyzed the following things from interviews and previous reports:
- How skilled is the eCommerce SEO company at using buying-intent keywords?
- How are they optimizing the content with keywords blended in naturally (while respecting context and writing content both for search engines and users)?
- What measures do they take to avoid keyword cannibalization?
- How capable are they at using long tail and LSI keywords?
Make sure the company you plan to hire has experimented enough with finding the right keywords.