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Susie Hood

The last decade’s top five organic ranking factors for online retailers

Hit Search have been providing search marketing services to retail clients for over a decade and the industry has evolved an enormous amount in that time. When it comes to organic search optimisation however, whilst some tools and methods change over time, the fundamental principles of making your website as easy as possible for both users and search engines to understand and navigate around are still valid. We’ve compiled our top five organic ranking factors for retail brands, based on our experience over the last 11+ years:

fashion seo

Page Titles

An often-overlooked task, making sure that your category and product page titles are optimised for the right keywords or search terms is still a vital part of helping them to be more visible in SERPs. Carrying out detailed keyword research initially is essential. You need to know what people are searching for to find products like yours. Choose your keywords wisely. Opting only for the keywords with the biggest monthly search volumes may mean that you get lost in the noise. Finding a balance between keywords that are the most popular and ones that are less competitive can be key to bringing in the right kind of traffic that is more likely to convert.

Structured Data

Using structured data to mark-up your web pages can make a huge difference to how search engines understand them and, as a result, your visibility and click-through-rate in the SERPs. There are multiple benefits when Google chooses to display your brand’s rich results, with everything from strong trust signals to users, such as organic star ratings, to appearing in Google position 0 for a highly relevant query and claiming up to 30% more clicks than even position 1 does.

Internal Site Structure

Making sure that your website is straightforward to navigate doesn’t just benefit human users, it also helps search engines too. Making sure that you use canonical tags, paginate large categories according to the latest recommendations and set up site search correctly can make a huge difference to how easily Google can assess your site. Using internal linking to direct search engines to certain areas of the site is a great way to show their importance.


Retail and content don’t always have a trouble-free relationship. Many retailers want it to be all about the visuals and keep text content to a minimum. Unfortunately, whilst it might look great, it isn’t what search engines necessarily want.

SEOs may have been banging on about content for much longer than a decade, but it’s as true as ever that unique and high-quality content is what can set you apart in the eyes of search engines. By making your content different and better than anything else out there for the same products or category, you are stacking the deck in your favour when it comes to the SERPs. Don’t neglect product descriptions. A great product description, full of the information that your target audience will want to know, can tip the balance for someone researching to make them into a buyer. Look at what your competitors are doing and make your content, across the board, better than theirs. Better doesn’t necessarily mean longer, or more detailed. It might be saying something more succinctly than others do, or using a handy table instead of a list.

External Links

Something that has long been a major ranking factor for search engines is the number of relevant, high-quality websites linking to yours; it’s a trust signal. However, the link landscape has changed somewhat over the last decade. In place of spammy link building strategies of yesteryear that were essentially employed to game the system, best practice now is about earning links by producing great content and implementing strong online PR and influencer marketing campaigns. Using influencers that have a close match to your brand affinity-wise, and with followers that are your target market, can be a gift that keeps on giving.

For more information about key organic ranking factors or any of our SEO services, feel free to get in touch today on, 0800 011 9715 or visit Fashion Digital Marketing.

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If you have a business in the financial sector and would like to up your marketing game or receive some expert information about digital marketing for financial services, then get in touch with a member of our team!

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