SEO for online shops: How search engine optimisation pays off

Google has become an indispensable part of our everyday lives. The search engine is often the first point of contact for potential customers. Those who pay attention to search engine optimisation (SEO) help their company websites or online shops to achieve a good ranking on the Google search results.

Since the 1990s, search engines have been conquering the digital world. From the very beginning it was clear: The top positions in the search results have a positive effect on business - this applies to the paper, office and stationery industry as well. It is not without reason that Google generates billions of dollars in advertising every year. Because companies can use it to reach the top positions more easily. But even with good SEO, companies can make it to the first page of search results. This allows them to secure the first places after the ads and thus the most coveted organic places in Google search.

To the top positions without advertising

For your own online shop, it definitely makes sense to invest in search engine optimisation instead of expensive advertisements. This is because there is a lot of potential for gaining customers in the organic search results. To build up more organic reach on Google, the content of the online shop must be SEO-optimised.

OnPage and OffPage SEO

Search engine optimisation is divided into two different categories: OnPage and OffPage SEO.

As the name suggests, OnPage SEO is all about what happens on your own website. Here the focus is on content, technology and structure of the website. This includes aspects such as optimising the mobile view of the website as well as the website speed. These two aspects are particularly important as Google has been following the mobile-first indexing approach for websites since April 2018. So no mobile view or too long loading times negatively influence the ranking in Google search results.

OffPage SEO refers to search engine optimisation outside of one's own website. If other websites link with backlinks to content of the online shop, such as guide texts, infographics or explanatory videos, the content supports organic link building.

SEO keywords as major indicator

Search engine optimisation of an existing online shop can become a time-consuming business. Therefore, it is advisable to deal with search engine optimisation even before opening a shop and to conduct an appropriate keyword search. After that, decisions can be made about the structure or the shop system.

Die Suchmaschinenoptimierung eines bestehenden Online-Shops kann zu einer zeitaufwändigen Angelegenheit werden. Deshalb ist es ratsam, sich bereits vor der Shop-Eröffnung mit der Suchmaschinenoptimierung auseinanderzusetzen und eine entsprechende Keyword-Suche durchzuführen. Denn danach können Entscheidungen für die Struktur des Shops oder das Shopsystem getroffen werden. Es geht um die Frage, mit welchen Suchbegriffen – also Keywords – der eigene Shop in den Ergebnissen der Suchmaschine aufgefunden werden soll. It is about the question with which search terms - keywords - the shop will be found in the results of the search engine.

Keyword research should therefore always come first in SEO considerations - even if there is already an existing online shop. After all, adjustments to the page structure are still possible. It may be useful to keep an eye on the competition. Which keywords do the shops rank particularly highly for? Which keywords give online shops with comparable offers a lot of organic reach?

A good structure is half the battle

In addition to keywords, there are other factors that are rewarded. These include, among other things, tidy URLs. URLs should not be unnecessarily long and should have a clear hierarchical structure. It is also important to note that Google values flat page structures.

The headline structure also needs to be taken into account. H1 is the most important headline in which central keywords should definitely appear. This also applies to the smaller headings H2 and H3 - but they should not be exaggerated.

Tips for SEO optimisation of the online shop


  • Do not underestimate SEO: Search engine optimisation helps your online shop to appear higher up in Google's and other search results. This creates more organic reach and consequently more traffic.
  • Find the right keywords: Keywords are the search terms with which the online shop is found on Google - the keyword research should be done before setting up the shop, as it also has an influence on the website layout.
  • A tendency to tidiness: Google likes it neat. Therefore, the structure of the website should be organised, as well as the shop URLs and the use of keywords in the hierarchically high headings.

About the author:

BASIC thinking is an online magazine and is one of the widest reaching tech platforms in German-speaking countries. The magazine reports about social media, marketing, and business topics daily. This article was written by Christina Widner from BASIC thinking GmbH.

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