E-Commerce is booming. According to Statista in 2022, around 1/3 of shopped online monthly or more frequently alone – and the trend is rising. In comparison, only 1/5 of respondents said they never shop online. Whenever possible, it is therefore worthwhile for companies to offer products or services in shop systems.
This trend towards online shopping also has a disadvantage for shop operators: The competitive situation is becoming increasingly difficult. Newcomers in particular often have problems getting their e-commerce business noticed. A possible answer to this problem is provided by SEO for online shops.
SEO?! Yes, you read it right! Because this online marketing measure is also of great importance in e-commerce. We will be happy to explain why this is the case and what you should pay attention to.
What is SEO for online shops anyway?
SEO is the abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization, i.e. Search Engine Optimization. It is a sub-discipline of search engine marketing. Basically, it is about optimizing your own website in such a way that it is optimally read by search engines and rated as well as possible.
The aim of all SEO measures is to increase visibility in organic search results and thus increase traffic on the website. With regard to online shops, it is therefore important that your products are placed as prominently as possible so that potential customers end up on your website and ultimately make a purchase.
The different forms of search engine optimization
There are different sub-disciplines of search engine optimization that we have to distinguish between:
OffPage-SEO: This involves all measures that take place outside of your webshop (e.g. backlinks, cross-references, Mentions).
OnPage -SEO: This involves all measures that are implemented in your online shop itself (e.g. technical optimization, content).
Here, a distinction is often made between technical SEO and editorial SEO in order to differentiate content more clearly from technical topics.
So if you want to tackle SEO for online shops as a measure, you have to both editorially and technically set up accordingly.
5 goals you can achieve with SEO for online stores
1. Increase reach & visibility
This is basically the core business of search engine optimization. Because all measures ultimately have the goal of increasing the presence of your webshop in the search results. Ideally, your pages (e.g. products, categories, or guides) rank on the first page of the search results so that they are noticed quickly.
Thus effectively increasing the reach and visibility of your shop. After all, you probably know this from your own search behavior: If it doesn’t appear on the first page of Google, it won’t even be noticed. So, with a good SEO strategy, you can make your e-commerce businesses more visible in a meaningful way.
2. Increase traffic to online shop
More traffic is the logical consequence of increasing visibility. In any case, it should be the logical consequence. Because if your online shop is displayed prominently in the search results, it will be clicked on more frequently if the Google snippet is optimized accordingly. In short: With SEO you increase the organic traffic on your website.
3. Delivering Sales Propositions
To create content that Google rates as good and trustworthy, it needs to be detailed and diverse. At the same time, this has an advantage: It offers all website visitors additional assistance with the purchase decision.
Because one of the maxims of SEO is: first the target group, then the search engine. This means that you first create content that convinces your target audience. You automatically benefit from this, because detailed category content and product descriptions provide helpful purchase incentives and can thus increase the conversion rate. If you implement SEO as a shop measure, you will also benefit from a greater density of sales arguments thanks to detailed content.
4. Build brand
If you optimize your webshop with SEO measures in terms of reach and visibility, your brand will always benefit. Because more visibility also means greater brand awareness.
So you will be perceived stronger and also more positively. Because a page that offers strong content is automatically classified as trustworthy by the target group. So you establish your brand through SEO in terms of awareness and expert status.
5. Increase shop sales
This result follows from the previous points. The math is simple: more visibility + more traffic + better selling points + higher brand awareness = more sales. All in all, you also benefit from appropriate SEO measures in the core business of your online shop.
What SEO cannot do in e-commerce
SEO is not a panacea. It is a long-term process, a strategy that takes time until it really works. So if you want to increase your sales figures in the short term, SEO is not the right measure. Advertisements (e.g. SEA) are much better suited here.
In general, SEO does not promise short-term success, but rather organic growth. This also means that it is an investment that will probably only pay off later. And that can take several months.
Online shop operators in particular always have to carefully weigh up the costs and benefits, often with a view to individual weeks or months. Of course, it can happen here that the costs of SEO initially outweigh the costs.
This means for you: SEO should never be considered the only marketing measure. Instead, you should consider search engine optimization as a building block in the marketing of your online shop. You may have other measures that promise short-term sales increases, which in turn free up the budget for further SEO measures that will pay off in the long term.
What we want to clarify: SEO is not a quick way for online shops to make money. Instead, it’s a long-term journey that never ends but definitely pays off overall.
This long-term nature is the reason why many e-commerce operators shy away from it and prefer to ignore the topic. However, therein lies a mistake if you really want to permanently establish and assert yourself on the market. Because that only works if you exhaust all possibilities and SEO is one of the best.
5 tips for SEO measures in online shops
SEO for online shops is a complex topic that includes multi-layered measures. In order to give you a few incentives and ideas on your way, we have clustered the possible areas of action and provided you with a few tips and starting points for your SEO strategy:
First, you need to lay the right foundation for SEO. This includes factors such as page speed, performance overall, and smooth usability. But also a meaningful URL structure (e.g. mustershop.de/example category/product name) is important for an SEO-friendly infrastructure to accomplish. Overall, there are a variety of technical factors to consider. Here it is worthwhile to prioritize a corresponding catalog of measures.
The product pages are the landing pages of your online store. Here, site visitors are to be converted into paying customers. So offer here detailed and unique information. These can be designed in a variety of ways with text, images, and videos. However, the material should meet certain quality criteria. Make sure to provide as comprehensive and complete information as possible. Think of the product page as a kind of sales pitch, a conversation where you give a person the Clarify of the benefits of the product and want to answer all questions.
The category pages offer the opportunity to make your core topics more comprehensive. In online shops, it is often the case that the product listing follows an introductory text. Further SEO material is then inserted underneath, i.e. more detailed explanations about the category and further information. Here, too, it is worth integrating various media, provided they are relevant and of high quality.
If you want to implement SEO at the highest level, you cannot avoid a special content area in your webshop. In a guide or magazine, you can play out expert articles on topics related to your core business. Many hardware stores operate z. B. now magazines in which they give DIY tips and provide instructions for construction projects. Accordingly, you can offer helpful tips and tricks around your product world.
To make sense as an online shop links comparison tests and reviews are particularly suitable. So make sure that you send your products to the appropriate product experts for testing. However, make sure that they are really experts in this subject area and not just testers of everything. This gives you valuable links, you benefit from the additional reach and ideally, you receive positive feedback.
Conclusion: When do you optimize your webshop?
Since SEO for online -Shops is a long-term project, it makes sense to start it as early as possible. An ideal time to create an SEO strategy is when the shop is relaunched. In the course of this, you can prepare and optimize content. But it also makes sense to revise your online shop accordingly during the ongoing process. So: When do you start?