In early 2015, it's clear where many entrepreneurs are putting their efforts. Ecommerce websites are bringing lucrative returns for many professionals and everyone wants a piece of the action. However, jumping into the crowded landscape of ecommerce startups can be confusing without the right knowledge and understanding of how the business model truly works. In particular, entrepreneurs are learning that attention must be given to SEO.

Why SEO Matters for Ecommerce Sites

SEO is an important component of any organization's internet marketing strategy. It sits directly next to content marketing and web design as one of three crucial parts of internet success. When you look at ecommerce websites in particular, the value grows even more.

Primarily, ecommerce sites need SEO for the sake of visibility. Imagine for a moment that your site received no traffic from Google, Yahoo, or Bing. Where would that leave you? In most cases, that would reduce traffic by as much as 50 to 90 percent. Could you survive without that? Perhaps, but probably not.

Ecommerce sites need SEO because search engines are a trusted source of traffic and the primary means of visibility on the internet. Without the search engines, ecommerce sites are forced to thrive on referral and direct traffic--both of which account for only a fraction of an average site's traffic numbers.

According to a 2014 survey on online buyer behaviors, "46 percent of buyers used search engines to begin researching a potential purchase." That means ecommerce sites that don't invest in SEO are at a disadvantage from the very start. In other words, nearly half of your target market is being exposed to your competitors--not you.

As you can see, SEO is the backbone of ecommerce success. Without it, all the work you put in to designing an intuitive site and filling it with high quality content will be wasted. You can't convert shoppers without first getting them on site.

SEO Tips for Ecommerce Sites

For entrepreneurs first launching an ecommerce site, SEO can seem like a long, dark tunnel with a faint light at the end. While it can be tempting to focus on the darkness is the forefront, it's the small glowing light that you need to hone in on. That's because SEO is a journey and it takes time to harvest the results. However, over time, SEO results will compound and the time and resources you spent will be returned multiple times over.

Don't invest in a temporary foundation.
Keyword research is a must.
Avoid duplicate content.
Become 'crawl-able.'
Optimize product images.
Reduce load times.
Fix broken links.
Spent time with analytics.

Invest in SEO Today

SEO is an incredibly important component of any ecommerce website. Whether your site has been established for years or you're just getting started, it's always the right time to start paying attention to these tips and tricks. By investing in SEO, you're building a strong foundation for the future of your business. By failing to grasp the true value of SEO, you're setting yourself up for potential failure. Do the right thing and invest in SEO today.