Setting up ecommerce websites is all the craze now as more and more consumers turn to online shopping to buy anything from essential goods to branded clothes and items. Traditional brick and mortar stores are jumping on this bandwagon, in the hopes of capitalising on the rising ecommerce trend and reaping profits. However, what most ecommerce businesses do not realise is that setting up the store is only part of the equation.

Another essential part is attracting the right targeted traffic, leads and customers to your ecommerce site. There are many ways to do this, but one of the most effective ways is search engine optimisation (SEO). SEO basically involves the optimisation of your website to rank high on search engines like Google, for certain target keywords. You can choose to do the whole SEO process yourself, or engage a reputable SEO agency like to do it for you instead. Before most good SEO agencies actually offer their ecommerce SEO services, they will do some strategic planning to find more about your business, goals, budget and more. Let’s look at some aspects of an effective strategic plan.

Goals for the Business
One of the first few things in a strategic plan is to know more about the business or site. This includes determining what the business or site is about and selling, the target audience, the goals for the site or business, and how soon the business owner(s) intend to start earning profit from your site. This can be expanded to include the business’ intended revenue goals in a span of one year, three years and/or five years. Based on the goals and projected profits, a suitable timeline can be drawn up to establish how long and how much SEO activities need to be carried to attain these goals.

Monthly SEO Budget
The next most common aspect of a strategic plan is to find out about the monthly budget that the business is willing to comfortably set aside for SEO work. This has to be a realistic number and cannot be too low, as there are many activities to be carried out by the SEO agency. On top of that, the SEO agency must find out if the business owners are willing to commit at least one year or more of continuous SEO for the website to see substantial increase in rankings. At this juncture, most SEO agencies will only inquire if the potential client has done any prior SEO work before. If the answer is yes, they will need to know how much SEO has been done, how long the previous vendor worked on the site, and which keywords they targeted.

Target Keywords to Rank
One of the most important components in a strategic SEO plan is to determine the target keywords to rank for the site. This can begin with a simple research on the total search volume of the keywords and their keyword difficulties. Keywords search volume will help to determine how many average searches are performed per month, and whether there is a viable and profitable market to tap on. On the other hand, keyword difficulty will give a clearer picture on how easy or difficult it is to rank the keywords on the first page of search engines. This also helps to determine the competitiveness of the keyword, and the niche as a whole. Apart from determining the keywords to rank, the SEO agency will also find out if the website has a system to monitor its keyword rankings and top performing keywords, utilising tools like Google Search Console, Nightwatch, and Google Analytics.