chapter 5

Lesson 1: The State of Search: SEO And Content Marketing

Video transcript

Hi there, Ezra here from SmartMarketer.com, back with you for another video in this series for Shopify Ecommerce University. Now we're talking about ecommerce SEO, as I mentioned in the last video. Now, it's important to understand the state of search, where we are in query-based advertising and query-based retailing; and what query-based retailing is basically when someone goes to a search engine, or a buyer engine like Amazon or EBay or Etsy. The difference between a search engine and a buyer engine is a buyer engine is a place that displays only products, right? Amazon only displays physical products or other types of products; they do information products, but it's a sales-driven engine. People aren't querying for information, they're querying for things to buy; same thing with EBay, and Etsy, and product listing ads, Google Shopping, and some of these different comparison shopping engines.

And search engines, you can query for things to buy, but you can also query for information. So as I mentioned in the last video, a search engine result page is just a collection of channels. And I wanted to show you a visual representation of this, because it's a lot easier to grasp when you can actually look at it. So I'm going to show you a couple search results in a second here, but I want you to understand this concept of channels, right? As a physical product retailer, we have channels that we can plug into, that we can generate visibility for our products or services by using, right? Because remember, you need to generate visibility for your product, and you need to get people to buy it, and then you need to provide a good enough experience and do good enough follow-up marketing that they come back and buy from you again, or do business with you again, in whatever way that you request from them; and so I want you to understand the different channels that you have access to.

So organic, right? That's like search engine optimization showing up on Google when people query for different things. There's paid advertising, like Google Ad Words and Facebook ads; there's comparison shopping engines and product listing ads, that's like Price Grabber and Defined and Google Shopping; there's your own email list.; and then there's social, Social networking, like Pinterest and Twitter and Google+ and LinkedIn and Facebook; and so this course covers all those. And it's just good to understand what we're trying to do with our marketing, which is occupy different channels that are available to us; and one of the ways that you can do that is by creating and marketing content and doing advertising, which is what I'm teaching you in this course.

This is really just to give you an idea and understanding of search engine optimization; so when we look at a product-specific query, right? A query where people have buyer intent like snorkel mask, for example. What we're going to see on a Google search engine result page is Google AdWords listings; that's Google's paid advertising platform. Google product listing ads, or PLAs; that's another part of Google's paid advertising platform; it allows you to show images of your product. You're going to see channels in comparison shopping engines, ranking for any given product-specific query, like Amazon and EBay and Price Grabber. You're going to see niche-specific websites, which'd be like your ecommerce website, or review websites, or coupon websites, or blogs. You'll also see images ranking, like Pinterest images, and there'll be a list of images with the products. You'll see videos ranking, right? Different videos; which is why I highly recommend creating videos for each one of your products, which I'll talk about in the conversion module later; but you'll also see social profiles and things like that ranking. So it's just good to understand the different types of channels, the different media formats that are most common for a product- specific query.

So here's an example, like I said with "snorkel mask." This is above the fold; so above the fold for this query, we've got Google Ad Words, right, which is surrounded in the green box. Then we've got some organic results, which happen to be two channel listings, Amazon, right? And then over to the right of that, we've got the Google product listing ads. Now, this is on my Mac Book Air, this is what's above the fold. Now, down below the fold, we've got some image results; we've got a social result in Wikipedia; we've got another niche URL in Dick's Sporting Goods and Swim Outlet, and we've got some more ads down on the right-hand side.

Now, if you have a look at this query here, this is "red bar stools." And what we can see is we've got an Ad Words ad up at the top, we've got product listing ads to the right, or right below that, and then we've got an organic listing, we've got a video listing, and some image listing. What you'll notice is that Overstock has an Ad Words ad, Overstock also has a product listing ad, right? If you look at the orange arrow, Overstock has a ranking; if you look right below, the purple arrow, there's a ranking for Overstock, and Overstock also has a video and an image.

So this is what I mean by understanding these different media formats you can take over, and for any given query, you can rank multiple different media formats. You can have Google pay-per-click ad, you can have a Google product listing ad, you can have your website ranked, you can have video ranked, you can have your image ranked, you can have your social profiles ranked. And if you follow the process that I'm teaching you in this course for how to create and syndicate your content, you do that for each one of your product pages as well; you will end up with this sort of a search result page for any one of your queries.

And we also see here that this is just another example of a query where we've got, you know, a text ad, an image ad, a channel result, and some ads in the right-hand side. And it's important to know that you can run advertising, right? You can have a product listing ad and a text ad if you look here, Zippos has both a text ad and a product listing ad.

Now, this isn't specifically focused on advertising. I'm not teaching you Google Advertising in this course. I'm teaching you how to actually build your business without advertising, if you don't want to do advertising. But I am going to teach you Facebook advertising, because I believe that that is the biggest and most powerful advertising platform on the planet, and it's only growing, and it works super well for physical product brands. So I'm going to be teaching that, but I do want you to have an understanding of the different channels that you have access to as a physical product retailer.

And the other thing is, look, you can thrive without query-based traffic; when I started in Ecommerce, there was only query-based traffic; we only had Google Search we didn't even have Google Shopping at the time; we didn't have Amazon ads. Like, we didn't have... we only had query-based traffic. And now, we have contextual traffic, and social traffic, and comparison shopping engines, like, we have the ability to generate visibility for our businesses without ever having to worry about people searching for them. We can generate visibility for our businesses by creating content that is relevant to the topics and conversations and lives of our community, and syndicating that content across all the social networks, and marketing that content on the social networks can generate visibility for our brands without query-based traffic.

So don't worry if you're freaked out by query-based traffic and search engine optimization. Using the process in this course, you will learn all that stuff, but you'll also learn that you don't actually need it.

So Boob is a great example of that. Our company, we spent our first two years without ever doing query-based traffic without ever doing traditional search marketing. We've now integrated that a little bit down the road in our business, but we started with traditional press, and traditional content creation, and syndication, and social media. We didn't start with query-based traffic.

So you're in for a treat. Let's move on to the next video, this is Ezra Firestone from Smart Marketer for Shopify Ecommerce University, and let's dig into the plan.

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