avoidE-commerce executives have a clear expectation of search engine optimization (SEO): The goal is to get the highest ranking possible for their web shop and the products shown in organic search getting maximum click rates. Many online marketers do not know, however, that the SEO job consists of more than just the fight for the best position in the ranking lists. An up-to-date search engine optimization is based on understandable information, appropriate content, careful and timely planning, as well as good usability of the web shop, hence, the persons in charge of SEO should try to avoid the following mistakes:

Mistake # 1: Siloed SEO

SEO, SEA, social and display advertising are often still handled by different marketing departments and contact persons, so that a comprehensive coordination is lacking. Generally, the larger the companies, the worse the cooperation among the departments. But SEO cannot be siloed, but must be addressed in close collaboration with content, usability, social media, design and even offline marketing. A holistic approach is the foundation for successful digital transformation.

Mistake # 2: Providing dull advertising text instead of good content

Dull advertising texts with excessive use of adjectives, like ‘innovative, highly functional, unique, extraordinary", are omnipresent in web shops and on company pages, but the competition knows how to use superlatives, too. That’s why good SEO means focusing on the needs of the users rather than simply satisfying the algorithm. For the best results in search engines, content counts that responds to customer requirements, answers questions and offers a real added value. Sales texts alone won’t bring top rankings.

Mistake # 3: Using intra-corporate gobbledygook

Unfortunately, a lot of formulations used in-house can still be found on websites, which laymen and sometimes even users with professional knowledge can’t do anything with. If the customers' language is not reflected on a website, users cannot find what they are looking for. In a nutshell, the wording of the target groups is essential for successful search engine optimization.

Mistake # 4: Having top-ranking as supreme SEO goal

Companies normally want to reach top positions in the search results of Google, Baidu & Co. But ranking positions are merely a means to an end. For example, if Adidas is heading for the term "shoes," it does not automatically mean that Adidas is in the end really selling more of its shoes. For specific terms such as "sports shoes" or "men's running shoes size 44", a top placement has a very different meaning for sales success. Therefore, determine first what you want to achieve with your website and what SEO could contribute to it. While the goal of an online shop is reaching the highest possible turnover, a company website without a shop function needs to define what the desired conversion should be. Only with clearly defined goals is it possible to evaluate later whether SEO measures have been successful or not.

Mistake # 5: Starting with SEO only after the relaunch

For many e-commerce executives, after the relaunch means before the relaunch, simply because within the framework of digital transformation, websites are constantly changing. If a major relaunch of a website is carried out, this means for most companies handling many different interests and positions, different requirements and narrow limits for resources, budgets and timelines. In practice, SEO is rarely the most important priority and therefore often only used after the relaunch. But especially the "optimization after" causes in most cases unnecessary additional expenditure by the target definition and appropriate site adjustments.

Constant search engine optimization is an integral part of digital transformation. With the increasing demands from the search engines’ side and a tougher competition in e-commerce, no short-term tricks and manipulations will work today. SEO is hard work and must be in line with other disciplines, besides steadily improving the website experience and generally satisfy user needs.

By Daniela La Marca