Everything You Need to Know About SEO and Why It's so important for your business

Tricks & Tips
June 6, 2023

1. What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation.

You always hear ‘SEO’  but what does it mean? It refers to the process of optimising a website’s content relevance, links, and configurations to ensure pages are able to be found quickly and easily when users search queries in search engines.

If you’ve ever wondered why someone else’s site appears at the top of these search results and yours is nowhere to be found, read on to learn how you can fix that.

SERPs (Search engine results pages) put the most relevant and highly ranked pages at the top of search results, which means they get higher click rates through to their websites.

Consistently managing and improving your website’s SEO is important for many reasons - it helps with:

Improving search rankings: If you show up first on popular search engines then more traffic will come to your site. This will make you more likely to make conversions and leave a good and lasting impression of your brand.

Cost savings: Consistent SEO maintenance will provide you long-term benefits at much lower costs than other advertising channels. Once your SEO rank is high, you will continue getting traffic to your site without paying ongoing advertising costs.

Brand awareness: Just appearing higher in search results will help with building brand awareness, even if people don’t click through.

2. How does SEO differ from SEM?

SEO and SEM pop up all over the internet but what’s the difference between the two?

One of the main ways that people discover and research new content and businesses is through search. In many search engines such as Google, results sitting at the top of the page are featured paid ads, followed by other search results that are organic

To distinguish the two: 

SEM is paid search or PPC pay per click

SEO is organic search traffic that is unpaid

Research shows that the top search results receive 40-60% of the total traffic, with each subsequent result receiving significantly less at about 2-3% of searchers clicking through the first result.

3. How does SEO actually work? 

Google and other search engines use predetermined algorithms and rules to rank websites with thousands of factors that come into consideration when ranking their SERPs. However, there are some key metrics never change: 

Links: Search engines use links to gauge the popularity and credibility of a website. The more high-quality links a website has pointing to it, the more likely it is to rank higher in the SERPs. Although remember that not all links are created equal. Links from high-authority websites in your industry or niche are more valuable than links from low-quality or irrelevant websites.

Content: Algorithms analyse the content on a website and determine its relevance to a user's search query. Websites with high-quality, relevant, and unique content are more likely to rank higher in the SERPs. It's essential to ensure that your website's content is optimised for your target keywords and provides value to your users.

Page structure: The page structure of a website will affect its relevance and authority. Websites with a clear and organised page structure are more likely to rank higher in the SERPs. It's important to ensure that your website's pages are organised in a logical and intuitive way with clear and concise headings, subheadings, and internal linking.

4. Optimising SEO

4.1 Evaluate the existing SEO performance

To evaluate the existing SEO performance of your website, there are several key metrics that you should analyse. These include:

Traffic: Look at the amount and source of traffic coming to your website. Analyse which channels are driving the most traffic, such as organic search, social media, or referral traffic.

Rankings: Analyse your website's rankings for your target keywords. Use tools like Google Search Console or SEMrush to track your rankings over time and identify opportunities for improvement.

On-page optimisation: Evaluate your website's on-page optimisation, including title tags, meta descriptions, and keyword usage. Make sure your website is optimised for your target keywords and that your content is high-quality and relevant.

Backlinks: Analyse your website's backlink profile to see which websites are linking to your site. Look for opportunities to acquire high-quality backlinks from relevant websites.

Technical optimisation: Evaluate your website's technical optimisation, including site speed, mobile optimisation, and crawl errors. Make sure your website is optimised for both users and search engines.

By analysing these metrics, you can identify areas where your website's SEO performance can be improved. Use this information to develop a comprehensive SEO strategy that will help you achieve your goals and stay competitive in your market.

4.2  On-page optimisation

4.2.1 Keyword research and optimisation

Keyword research and optimisation is an important part of SEO. Only by doing this well can the site be shown to the target audience at the right time. The specific process is as follows:

Identify your target audience: Understand your target audience, including their interests, needs, and search habits.

List relevant topics and keywords: List topics and keywords that are relevant to your website according to your target audience and business. For example, if you are a cosmetics seller and want to sell cosmetics online, ”cosmetics”, “skincare”, and “beauty products” may be keywords on the website.

Conduct keyword research: Use Keyword research tools such as Google AdWords Keyword Planner and SEMrush to determine search volume and keyword difficulty for each keyword and to identify new relevant keywords.

Analyse your competitors' keyword strategy: It is also important to recognise the keyword strategy of your competitors. Firstly, you should start by identifying who your main competitors are in your industry or niche. Once you have a list of your competitors, you can use tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs to analyse their keyword rankings and traffic sources. Look for the keywords that your competitors are ranking for, as well as the ones that are driving the most traffic to their websites. 

Use keywords on your website: Include your target keywords in the ALT text of your website's title, meta description, and image to help search engines understand your website content and topic.

4.2.2 Improve content quality

Search engines like Google always want to rank the most reliable and useful web results. Quality of content is vital. Specifically, there are ways to improve it:

Use short sentences and paragraphs: This is a web page, not a long-winded research paper.

Link to useful resources when appropriate: Don't hoard links. The goal is to make your content as valuable as possible to visitors.

Add all kinds of multimedia information: Add more images, videos, etc. to your text to make your content more interesting, and attractive.

Keep content fresh: Update your site regularly with new information and news. This can help you attract more visitors and improve search engine rankings.

4.3  Optimising BackLinks

Backlinks are links from other sites to your website and are of great value in SEO. Search engines will often rank sites with high-quality backlinks higher, as this is considered a sign of a reputable site. Backlinks are also known as inbound links or incoming links.

Find link opportunities: Look for other sites related to your site's content and try to connect with them for backlinks. This may include participating in forums, blog comments, social media, and interviews with industry leaders.

Use internal links: Using internal links in your website can help search engines understand the structure of your website, which can improve your website's ranking in search results. Internal links can also increase the number of page views to your site, which improves the user experience.

Avoid low-quality links: Make sure you don’t use link farms, spam links and sites with poor quality web links. These links may harm your website and may even result in your SEO rankings being affected.

4.4 Technical optimisation

4.4.1 Improve the website loading speed

When a web page loads slowly, sales are lost and customers abandon carts or bounce off; 47% of customers expect web pages to load in 2 seconds or less. In addition, every 100ms reduction in page load increases conversion by 1%! Increasing speed is critical and can be impacted by SEO. 

Optimise images: Use appropriately sized and formatted images, and use image compression tools to minimise the file size.

Minimising HTTP requests: Reducing the number of HTTP requests required to load web pages can be done by reducing file sizes, merging files, and using CSS Sprite charts.

Compress files: Use Gzip to compress web files to reduce file size and speed up loading.

Optimise your code: Use effective HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code to reduce file size and improve the responsiveness of your site.

Reduce redirects: Reduce the number of redirects to reduce load time and improve website speed.

4.4.2 Mobile-friendliness

According to Statista, by the end of 2022, the number of mobile device users in the world had reached 7.1 billion, close to 90% of the global population. This shows that mobile devices have become an integral part of people's daily life, and for e-commerce and marketing, mobile devices have become an essential channel and tool.

Search engines such as Google, for example, have implemented mobile-first indexing, which means that search engines will consider website content and rankings on mobile devices first, rather than on desktop devices.

To make your website more mobile-friendly, adopt the following strategies:

Use Responsive design: Use responsive design to ensure that your website can adapt to different screen sizes and device types.

Improve user experience: Optimise navigation, content layout, and presentation on mobile devices to ensure users can easily access and use your website.

Improve clickability : Make sure your website links and buttons are easy to click on on mobile devices to improve user experience.

Ensure usability and accessibility: Test the usability and accessibility of your website on different mobile devices and browsers, and make sure they run smoothly on different mobile devices.

4.4.3 Site architecture

Optimising the architecture of your website is an important part of improving your website's search engine rankings and user experience. Here are some tips on how to optimise the architecture of your website:


Use a clear and intuitive navigation structure: Your website's navigation should be easy to use and understand. Use clear and concise labels for your menu items and make sure your navigation is consistent across all pages of your website.

Create a logical hierarchy: Organize your website's pages into a logical hierarchy that makes sense for your users. Use headings and subheadings to break up your content into easily digestible sections.

Optimise your URLs: Use clear and descriptive URLs that include your target keywords. Avoid using generic or vague URLs that don't provide any context for your users or search engines.

Use internal linking: Use internal linking to connect related pages on your website. This not only helps users navigate your website more easily, but it also helps search engines understand the structure and hierarchy of your website.

Use breadcrumbs: Breadcrumbs are a type of navigation aid that show users the path they took to get to a particular page on your website. This can help users navigate your website more easily and improve the user experience.

Use a site map: A site map is a page on your website that provides a hierarchical overview of all the pages on your site. This can help users and search engines navigate your website more easily.

4.4.4 Crawl errors

Use Google Search Console to identify any crawl errors on your website. Fix any broken links, 404 errors, or other crawl errors that may negatively impact your website's SEO performance.

5. SEO tools recommendation

5.1 Keyword Tools

Keywords Everywhere (Free)

Data for Keywords Everywhere comes from Google Keywords Planner. When added to the browser, you can see the index of keywords, CPC bid, Competition and so on in the SERP page.

At the same time, it provides related keywords and keyword suggestions on the right side of the SERPs page. These words can be used as LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords.

5.2 Website speed measurement tool

GTmetrix (Free)

GTmetrix is a widely used tool for measuring website speed. Its detection capabilities are extensive, and the comparative analysis results can help optimise the website's loading speed comprehensively.

5.3 Website Traffic Ranking Analysis Tool

Similarweb (Free available)

Similarweb has website ranking, geographic analysis, traffic sources and segmentation, and other functions. It is a website ranking data interface used by TechCrunch and there are free plugins available.

5.4 SEO Comprehensive Tools


EasyRank SEO is a built-in plugin for SHOPLINE e-commerce that provides a full range of functions, including keyword research, SEO detection (URL, meta title, meta description, broken links), automated structured data, and GPT access. With the aid of AI, you need not concern yourself with any form of copywriting when you are operating an online store.

Semrush (paid)

For $119.95 per month, Semrush provides a suite of tools, including keyword ranking tracking, keyword and long-tail word research, external link analysis, PPC advertising research, traffic analysis, industry trend tracking, and more.

6. Conclusion

In short, SEO is a technique used to improve a website's ranking in search engine results pages by optimising factors such as its structure, content, and links. This is crucial as it can help your website attract more organic traffic, boost brand awareness, enhance user experience, and save costs.

SEO is an essential digital marketing strategy for any e-commerce merchant that every website owner should prioritise and consider as a long-term strategy.

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