What is SEO and why is it important?

Targeting of new customers has changed completely. These days, when faced with problems and challenges, potential customers go looking for the solutions themselves. They have a very good idea of the stationery or arts & crafts products they wish to buy, they research online and they search the web for the right suppliers.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) helps businesses to sustainably increase the positioning of their website in the relevant search results. They can then be found by potential customers, raise their profile and generate leads.

An essential key to success is the website’s position in the search results (SEO ranking). Over 60% of Google users click on one of the top three search results that appear on the search engine result page (SERP).

The most important phases for achieving optimum SEO, generating leads and increasing sales are as follows:

1.    Strategic SEO


The objective of this phase is to define the topics and keywords of relevance to your target market, create a content strategy and review existing content for relevance (content audit). Stationery manufacturers and retailers can achieve this by taking the following action:

1.1 Define a strategy

Working closely with your sales department, product management team and executive management, develop medium- and long-term marketing strategies that are tailored to the unique selling points of your company. Use these as the basis for a detailed marketing plan containing very specific objectives, actions, time frames and success and risk factors.

1.2 Keyword research

Thorough keyword research is essential to any SEO strategy. This involves identifying which keywords your target customers use to look for new products and solutions. Only when you know these topics and keywords can you improve your content and your website as a whole to take account of them.

The objective of keyword research is to rank as highly as possible for the relevant keywords and keyword combinations on the search results page and drive traffic to your website. You’ll find more on this in the Advanced SEO post.

1.3 Content strategy

A solid content strategy helps in the decision-making process when people may be still figuring out what their most important requirements are or are already using your stationery items in order to satisfy those. Your content reinforces the products and solutions that you offer and turns your customers into competent users of your stationery items.

2.    Technical SEO


You should carry out content, structural and technical adjustments in order to ensure high-quality on-page optimisation of your website. You can improve off-page optimisation through backlinks to relevant portals and through social signals.

2.1 On-page optimisation

Only websites that conform with their keywords to search engine requirements in terms of technology and content can hold their own (against competitors) on the SERPs. As most websites today are professionally optimised for search engines, on-page optimisation is of paramount importance.

2.1.1 Technical website quality

Even the most visually appealing website is worth nothing in SEO terms if it is slow and buggy. In order to achieve good rankings, websites have to be "technically good", fast and optimised for Google crawlers.

2.1.2 Fast websites/site speed

Let’s say you’ve put a great deal of effort into ensuring that your website works well, has a great layout and features relevant content. But that’s not the initial experience a potential customer has with your website. They first have to get it to load. If this takes a "long" time, the bounce rate will increase significantly.

2.1.3 Structured data

Structured data is metadata that you can add to your sites and posts to make it easier for search engines to understand them. For this to work, search engines need a "vocabulary". The vocabulary used by the major search engines is called schema.org.

2.2 Off-page optimisation

Off-page optimisation involves building a website’s external reputation. Unlike on-page optimisation, this is less about making changes to the website itself. Instead, a site’s reputation is mainly established through backlinks and social signals.

These are links elsewhere that reference your website. Such link popularity very likely has a major impact on ranking in search engines such as Google. It has been known since December 2010 already that social signals, i.e. mentions of a website on social networks and in blogs (social media), also have an effect on rankings.

3.    SEA with Google Ads


By using targeted advertising, you can display topic-related ads in Google search results. You only pay if users click on your ad (CPC – cost per click) and are directed to your website (landing page).

It is very important for businesses to be able to present their own brand and products to the relevant target market. This is where search engine advertising (SEA) comes in. In the digital age, search engines are useful for this purpose because people already use them to search for specific terms. Businesses can use these inputs to precisely understand user interests.

SEO – summary and outlook

SEO and SEA have become increasingly relevant, and not solely on account of the coronavirus crisis. No business can permanently afford to neglect these areas. Rather, companies have to get their range in front of customers wherever they are looking, and that is largely online.

The mix of strategy, keywords, website technology and content that is relevant to the target market poses major challenges for many companies. This is where experienced agencies come in, providing the necessary support and flexible payment models.

About the Author:

Before founding his own business, Jochen Maier was responsible for many years for global marketing at the company where he worked. He founded summ-it on the basis of this experience: summ-it helps countless companies worldwide to devise the right strategies and create high-quality content for publication on websites with a modern design. https://summ-it.net/ 

What retailers and exhibitors should do now:

  • Create a marketing strategy and align all marketing activities with this.
  • Define the keywords by which you want to be found. Identify the keywords by which people are currently finding you.
  • Create high-quality expert content that addresses the missing keywords.
  • SEO & SEA are complex and may have potential pitfalls. Experts know what to look out for and can provide you with specific and measurable support.

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