16 SEO Tips to Improve Your Ranking

seo tips for online shops

We've created a list of SEO tips that can improve your Google ranking, increase traffic, and generate more potential customers.

Before you get started with our tips (and we've got plenty of them), make sure you download our complete SEO guide (+ checklist) so you can refer back to it whenever you need to:

Improve Your Ranking: SEO for Online Shops  Climb up the search engine rankings! Download whitepaper + checklist

1. Use short and descriptive URLs

Make sure that URLs are short and concise. They look better and search engines prefer them that way.

The URL structure used by many websites and online shops is totally chaotic. This confuses not only website visitors, but also search engine crawlers.

That’s why a URL should be short and impactful, while still including the product name or the keyword used to locate it.

Example of a bad URL:

www.exampleshop.de/klasse-fr4/s/183571hnj4

Here’s an example of a good URL:

www.sampleshop.co.uk/women/shoes/air-max-thea-prm-sneaker-low

Therefore, you should make sure your online shop URLs are all structured in a logical way.

2. Unique content wins

Use unique words and images on your website. That means writing your product descriptions yourself instead of using the manufacturers’ words (like your competitors do).

Write the way your audience speaks, so knowing your target audience well is very important.

3. Update your content

Use the new Google Search Console to check the ranking of individual sub-pages and how many clicks they are getting.

If the number of impressions is high, but the ranking is lower than 3, this means you are missing a lot of valuable clicks. Sub-pages that are close to having a good ranking should be optimised without delay!

The Freshness Factor also plays a role in getting a good ranking in the search results because up-to-date information is always preferred.

Trusted Shops SEO benefits one-pager download

4. Analyse your competitors

Analyse your competitors. See what keywords they use to generate visitors (e.g. with SEO tools like Sistrix) and develop a content strategy to capture these traffic sources for yourself.

5. Improve your website speed

A fast website should be right at the top of your priority list. Users have less patience than ever and don’t like long waits.

pingdom speedtest results

Therefore, you need to optimise the images throughout your website. You may also need to upgrade your hosting services, and, if necessary, invest in a cloud delivery network.

You can test your website speed with Pingdom or go directly to Google and test it.

6. Responsive design is a must

More and more users surf on their smartphones or tablets.

Chart: Most common online shopping devices (UK, 2023)

Source: Statista

Google knows that mobile devices are much more popular and favours websites that look good on all screen sizes and are easy to navigate.

Your visitors will thank you.

14 Common Mistakes in the Design of Your Online Shop Download whitepaper

7. Maintain your metadata

Metadata is information in a website’s source code which is transmitted to search engines.

It is recommended to set a unique meta title and meta description for each page. This makes clicking on your link from the search results more attractive.

Test some different meta titles that are more exciting or appealing to drive more traffic to your site.

Likewise, the meta description also appears in the search results and gives users more information (and inspiration) to click on your page.

meta-description

8. Structured data

It’s not only metadata that gives you a competitive edge, structured data is another way to supply more info (hours of operation, address details, navigation paths and/or customer reviews) for search engines and the people searching.

This additional information can be displayed in the search results and often generates higher click rates.

organic stars in search resultsThese little orange stars appear by collecting reviews and using structured data so Google can find them and display them in the search results.

Structured data for online shops  Display more company info directly in the search results Download whitepaper

9. Connect social media

If a website or product impresses its audience, it will be shared on social media. It’s often an indicator that a website should be ranked right at the top of the search results, so encourage co-workers and others to share your posts.

likes and shares for a social media post

Make it easy for your site visitors to share your content.
(Shutterstock/Rawpixel.com)

10. Make sure your website structure is clear

Each subpage should be reachable with a few clicks and getting there should be straightforward. For example:

https://www.page.co.uk/maincategory/subcategory/product

Not only does this help Google make sense of your website, but it offers a better user experience as well. Shoppers can orientate themselves a bit easier when looking at the URL.

11. Better safe than sorry: SSL encryption

With SSL certificates, your domain address starts with "https" instead of "http".

But what's more important is that SSL encryption protects your users’ personal data (such as names, addresses, telephone numbers, and credit card information).

SSL encryption is now a standard because it builds trust in your website. Many popular browsers (including Google Chrome) will even inform users of an insecure connection if SSL encryption is missing.

locks on a keyboard

Shutterstock/wk1003mike

12. Use autocomplete for keyword research

Anyone who googles something from time to time has most certainly noticed that Google tries to complete search queries as you enter them (unless you’ve disabled this feature).

It’s practical and helpful. This is also true for keyword research because the autocomplete suggestions are often based on search queries from other users.

google-autocomplete

You can also use a search suggestion feature, (e.g. on Amazon or YouTube), as a source for other ideas without the help of any keyword tools.

keywords for SEO & SEA

13. Focus hard on the first few seconds

Experienced advertising copywriters know that a headline can make or break the success of an ad. It’s pretty much the same with your website.

Much like the page speed, you only have a few seconds to make a great first impression. If you can’t capture and hold the attention of your visitors, they will leave your website and possibly never come back.

Try to get the attention of your visitors immediately with strong images and captivating headlines.

people smiling at their devices

Shutterstock/Antonio Guillem

14. Focus on search intent

All tips, even entire SEO strategies, can be boiled down to the following tip:

Quality and relevance beat quantity.

Since Google is interested in providing the best possible search result, you should focus on giving searchers (& Google) the best possible search result. Sometimes, the answer is going to be short and sometimes it's going to be long.

When you search for "What will the weather be like tomorrow?" a short answer is sought. However, a search term like "SEO tips" will probably require longer texts.

15. Check (and fix) 404 errors

A 404 error means that a page can no longer be found. There could be several reasons for this message. Whatever the reason, this error should be prevented.

Tools such as SEO Quake can help you find and repair these dead links.

16. Optimise your internal links

toy laptop with lighbulb above screen

Shutterstock/warat42

Internal links help you distribute your SEO power evenly across all the pages of your site. Wikipedia is the classic example for effective internal links.

Every wiki page is littered with links that take the reader to a different article on the website. In this way, they help visitors navigate the website and also ensure that the information quality is evenly distributed across the website.

This means that creating internal links benefits both the SEO process and the user experience.

There are 4 types of internal links. Each link type has a separate rating:

  • Content links: These are the internal links in the main written content sections, such as in your blog posts for example. These backlinks are the most powerful links.

  • Sidebar links: These are all the backlinks located in the sidebar of a website. These links usually connect to the latest blog entries, opt-ins or information pages.

  • Links in the navigation/menu bar: These are the links located in the website navigation/menu bar. In most cases, they redirect website visitors to the homepage, the blog, the About Us page, and the Contact Us page.

  • Footer links: These are all the backlinks located in the footer section of a website.

Conclusion: SEO is a long-term strategy so keep at it

It takes time to optimise your SEO in a way that delivers long-term success and keeps delivering new customers. Therefore, you must be patient and keep working at it. Often, it may take 6 to 9 months to see results from your efforts. Overall, it's important to remember that it takes time and constant optimisation to find SEO success. Keep on developing content and keep on optimising.

Trusted Shops SEO benefits one-pager download

05/06/24
Dan Heller

Dan Heller

Dan Heller is an SEO specialist that studied Communication & Design. He is a passionate content creator with experience in many industries, including e-commerce, real estate, and fashion.

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