Consultants and SEOs know this situation very well: An online shop operator wants to win more customers and has found that Google is a wonderful channel for attracting Internet users’ attention.

Consultants and SEOs know this situation very well: An online shop operator wants to win more customers and has found that Google is a wonderful channel for attracting Internet users’ attention.

All old camels?

SEO has gotten significantly more complex in recent years. The quality a website needs today to be found in search engines has increased. This applies to both the possibilities and the dangers that SEOs need to keep an eye on. Perhaps that is precisely why it often fails because of the supposed basics that online shops have to consider in order to be successful in search engines.

This is our top 6 basic SEO optimizations that should be implemented in every online shop. If you haven’t considered any of the following: do it now!

1. Optimize images

The optimization of image resources (product images, category images, logos, etc.) is often the most obvious and greatest benefit for an online shop. In most shops, the number of images exceeds that of the HTML pages many times over. Here it is enough if each image is a few KB smaller in order to save an impressive amount of data volume across the entire website. The result:

  • The loading times are reduced, which leads to better user satisfaction and lower bounce rates.
  • The general rating of the website by Google increases and with it the search engine rankings increase.

From practice

This example illustrates the potential in good image optimization: The products that one of our customers sells in his online shop are very visual – his shop is correspondingly image-heavy. Unfortunately the pictures were not optimized in any way. To fully display the start page alone, 9.5 MB had to be loaded, almost 9 MB of which were for image files. We performed a full image optimization, which resulted in just under 1.9 MB of 9.5 MB left.


  • Make sure that all images are saved on the server in exactly the length x width in which they can be seen by the user in your online shop.
  • Select the appropriate file format to ensure the best possible compression:
    • Animated graphics: GIF format
    • Photos and intricate graphics with transparency: PNG format
    • Simple graphics with or without transparency: SVG format
    • All other photos and graphics: JPG format
    • Small symbols (telephone symbols, e-mail symbols) can be integrated as a font instead of as an image file. This saves data volume and server inquiries.
  • Save image files optimized for the web.
  • Reduce the quality of the images to the value that cannot be seen with the naked eye.
  • You can also use modern compression methods such as lossless compression to save additional data volume.

2. Basic page speed optimization through browser cache and compression

Check if the server of your online shop is an Apache web server. (Thanks to the quasi-standard, this applies to almost all web servers. In an emergency, ask your web host.) You can then create the .htaccess file in the shop’s root directory. There you can define the settings for compression during data delivery and for the browser cache.

3. Keep an eye on indexation management

Indexing management is the art of only including exactly those URLs in the search engine index that you really want there. Frequent problems are shop software, blog software, IT, product management or content editing, which generate additional and mostly (at least from an SEO point of view) useless URLs, which then end up in the search engine index. Why is that so important? If many URLs of a website are filed in the Google index, there are various dangers:

  1. Google rates a website with a certain value (PageRank), which is then distributed to the individual sub-pages via the internal links on the website. Many URLs increase the possibility that PageRank will spread to pages that are not SEO-relevant and therefore lost.
  2. More URLs also mean that duplicates of SEO-relevant URLs can exist. This can result in a mutual cannibalization of search engine rankings, so that both URLs rank worse than one URL would do on its own.
  3. The Google bot only has a certain amount of time for a website. If SEO-relevant pages are not recorded up to this limit, it means “bad luck” and they do not make it into the index. This is of considerable importance for online shops that often offer a few thousand, ten thousand or one hundred thousand products.

From practice

A new customer came to us with a website that was clear at first glance: a small shop with several hundred products and a content area that mainly consisted of news and user-generated content. But when we looked at the indexing status of the website, we found 16,700 URLs in the index. It should only have been one or two thousand.


  1. Make sure the technical administration is clean. Your shop should only be accessible via a web protocol (http or https). The other version should redirect to the selected version via 301 redirect. The same applies to the web server designation (www. Or without www.): Decide on a version and forward the other via 301 to it.
  2. Provide non-SEO-relevant pages in the head area with the noindex tag: <meta name = “robots” content = “noindex” />
  3. Give category pages a pagination and add the noindex tag on the category pages after the first page.

4. Create unique product texts of quality

Despite all the optimizations and technical finesse: In the end, Google is and remains a text search engine. Therefore, at the beginning of every search engine optimization in 2016 there is again high-quality, easily legible text that contains a lot of relevant and valuable information for the user. Where there is no text, there are no keywords to rank on.


  • Start with your top-selling products and define a fixed number of products that you want to process.
  • Create individual product texts that go beyond the manufacturer’s information in terms of length, quality and information value.
  • Enrich the products with high-quality product images.
  • Of course you optimize your texts for the search engine and use them
    • exactly one H1 heading with keywords
    • H2 headings with keywords every two to three paragraphs
    • Lists to loosen up
    • optimized images and graphics that have populated alt and title attributes

From practice

In mid-2015, we created a content strategy for a customer in the consumer goods sector. The result so far:

5. Optimize the click probability

Just because your online shop is shown in the search results does not mean that searchers click on your search result. That’s why every shop operator should keep an eye on the click rate (CTR) of their rankings. There are two basic options for optimizing the CTR of your own rankings:

Meta tags

Meta tags consist of the meta title and the meta description, from which search engines compose their search results. In this way, the search engines enable you to directly influence the display of the search results. This is an opportunity to be seized.


To display your search results, Google offers you a length of 512 pixels for the meta title and approx. 920 pixels for the meta description. Translated into characters, this means that you have about 55 characters for the meta title and about 139 characters for the meta description. Avoid exceeding this information. Because then they can be automatically cut off, which has a direct negative effect on the CTR.

What do you write in the meta tags? A tried and tested method is to design the content according to the AIDA model: Use the meta title to draw the searcher’s attention to your search result. Then use the meta description to increase interest and desire to learn more and close with a call to action.

The solution

  • Secure the URL structure of your online shop in good time before a relaunch. Tools such as Screaming Frog are available for this purpose   for this.
  • Find out which URLs were used to bring visitors to your website from organic search. You can find this data in the search analysis of the Google Search Console.
  • Compare every URL that has brought you organic traffic to date with a suitable URL for the new online shop after the relaunch.
  • Create redirects in the .htaccess file or in the backend of your online shop from the old to the new URL.

From practice

A customer entrusted us with the relaunch of their online shops with a total of over one hundred thousand products. At the same time, two previously separate shops were to be merged on two domains and combined in the new shop.

Thanks to the above procedure, we were able to get all the links and combine the visibility of both shops. As you can see in the graphic, we were able to lay the foundation for a strong increase in search engine rankings.


A holistic view is necessary to successfully market your online shop on the Internet. But always keep the technical basics of your shop in mind. This is where you will find the greatest and most direct levers for attracting new customers.

In addition, on-page optimizations offer great potential for synergy effects: They not only have a positive effect on search engine optimization, but also on the user satisfaction of all online marketing channels. If you reduce the loading speed of your online shop, for example, the conversion rate of all other traffic channels also increases and leads to a general increase in sales.
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