Search engine optimisation (SEO) for your shop

Search Engine Optimisation (also called SEO) is one of the most important marketing activities for your shop. Through SEO you can improve your search engine rankings for certain search terms (keywords). For example, if you sell basketball jerseys, your shop should have a good ranking whenever someone searches for the keyword "basketball jersey".

In general, we differentiate between "on-page SEO" and "off-page SEO". All SEO activities that take place directly in your shop are "on-page" - for example the optimisation of texts in your shop. Off-page measures include links to your shop from other websites.

Why is SEO important?

The vast majority of Internet users only view the first few search results when using search engines like Google or Bing. Therefore, you'll gain much visibility if you can position your online shop within the first results – preferably as one of the top results. A good ranking is important to attract more visitors and customers via search engines.

How do search engines rank the results?

The ranking of search engines is a very complex process that makes sure that only the most relevant results are ranked highly.

Google uses powerful software – so-called crawlers – to scan all the data on the web. Web pages are then indexed by Google’s database. Crawlers use links to navigate from page to page. They scan every page for keywords and synonyms. They also assess the quality of content. For example, they quantify the number of links that point to that page and the relevance of links – among many other factors.

How to write search engine optimised content

When writing the texts for your online shop – like product descriptions or FAQ pages – you should keep some of the following guidelines in mind:

  1. Offer quality content
    Even though SEO is a useful technique to promote your online shop, you should keep in mind that you are writing your content not for Google, but for your shop visitors. Your texts should have a high level of quality and authenticity. When writing texts for your shop, ask yourself if the content is really relevant and helpful for your customers. It is also good for your ranking when users spend time in your shop: in its indexing algorithm, Google might also take into account the bounce rate and time spent on each page.
  2. Unique and original content
    To rank highly on Google, you should always use unique content that is not available anywhere else on the web.
  3. Formatting text
    When you write a text for your shop, there are some technical rules to follow regarding the HTML layout of your content. You can do so by using titles, headings, bulleted lists and keywords in bold to structure and format your texts. You don't need any knowledge in HTML to do that; you can simply use the formatting options for text. For further information, refer to Learn more about formatting options for text.

Links to your online shop

As mentioned earlier, search engine crawlers search the web for links from one website to another. To improve your ranking, it is very important that other websites link to your shop.

Here are some tips on how to get more links:

  1. Content is king
    As mentioned, you should always strive to deliver quality content. If your content is interesting and unique, you'll have a better chance that internet users, bloggers and others will share your content via links.
  2. Sharing on Social Media
    In order to have links pointing to your shop, you can begin by sharing your own content on your Social Media pages, such as Facebook, X (Twitter), Pinterest, etc. But be careful not to spam the web with too many links to your shop. Google punishes spam and your ranking could be damaged. Your communication on Social Media should be authentic and tailored to your target group.
  3. Internal links
    You can create links between the pages of your shop. If these links are relevant and justified, it can add value to your site. Your visitors can navigate more easily and Google also regards this as positive.

Keywords and phrases

When web pages are crawled by search engines, every word is taken in consideration to determine the top keywords of this page. Thus, it is recommended to think about keywords related to your industry. Make a list of relevant keywords and look for synonyms. Consider also the principle of the long tail: You can use many different niche keywords.

What is a good keyword?

Most people use common words when searching the web. Your keywords should therefore be adapted to your target group. If you are targeting teenagers, you might need to use different keywords than for an older target group.

A good keyword should generate traffic to your site, be highly competitive and relevant to bring you qualified visitors that are likely to buy something. You can also use keyword phrases with a combination of 3 or 4 words for which there is little competition.

Info

For further information about finding the right keywords, refer to SEA: Search Engine Advertising with Google & Co.

Image file names

Google does not index text within images. However, you can also use images to improve your ranking. You can give them meaningful and keyword-rich file names. So instead of using file names like “IMG2415.jpg”, you can use file names like “chicago-bulls-basketball-jersey.jpg”.

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