Is SEO Different for a Webshop?

(Last Updated On: 12/08/2018)

The success of your online store depends on a few factors like how you rank on SERPs. According to an annual e-commerce study conducted by SEMrush, search traffic accounts for 40.1 percent of all traffic on e-commerce websites while direct traffic accounts for 42.18 percent of the traffic. This means that search engines are the second biggest drivers of traffic on webshops.3 Google suggests that the first interaction for an online purchase is mostly through searches. You can increase search engine traffic for your webshop through proper SEO. Is SEO for a webshop the same as SEO for other websites? Let’s find out.

Content quality

For webshop ranking, search engines look at:

  • Main Content: this includes product descriptions and other parts of the content such as images and reviews that are unique to each URL, and are not site-wide elements. Hence, every product URL on webshops needs to have unique content, great reviews, and excellent descriptions for your webshop to rank high. As a result, long-standing businesses that have more content and excellent reviews have an “unfair advantage”1. They are indexed as authoritative and trustworthy, and they are likely to rank highest.
  • Supplementary content: since main content can be similar in webshops which sell the products, Google’s quality raters also look at supplementary content such as product options and navigation. Webshops with lots of product options and layered navigation tend to rank higher than those with none.


Content intent

Google uses “query intent” to rank websites. SEO for regular websites like blogs helps those with unique, relevant, useful, and highly informative content to rank first on SERPs. The intent for their content is to provide information for readers. SEO for webshops is quite different. The goal is to make sales; hence the content must display “shopping intent.” Do you never rank high no matter how hard you try? The problem could be the intent. When writing SEO descriptions for your products, ensure that the keywords you use have a clear shopping intent that can be interpreted by search engines. For example, instead of “best sports shoes” use “best sports shoes on sale online” to show shopping intent.

Keyword Usage

Keywords are another ranking factor that search engines use. Most sites rank high through the use of information based keywords 2 such as “how to increase sales.” Webshops, on the other hand, rank high through the use of commercial keywords such as “sports shoes for teenage girls.” Information keyword searches are indexed as looking for information. Thus, the results are from blogs and content-heavy sites. Keywords for webshops, on the other hand, should show buying intent.

User experience

Webshops with a friendly user experience that helps shoppers find products easily rank higher. You should ensure that your site is simple and that everything is as close to the homepage as is possible. Make sure that people do not rely on the “back” button to get around your site. Also, have a high link authority to rank well2. The more clicks away a product is from your homepage, the less your link authority and the lower you will rank.

While the basics of SEO are the same, webshops have unique technical SEO issues that other websites lack. These issues make SEO for webshops different, and when mastered well, it translates to free, constant, high-quality traffic and conversions. Who wouldn’t want to sign up for that?


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