[intro]‘SEO’ is a term you may have seen bandied about online or as a service proffered to you as an EKM online shop owner. If you’ve not heard of it before, or don’t understand entirely what it means, this Guide will teach you about the history, the good and the bad practices, and what is currently recommended to help your EKM online shop be the best it can possibly be. [/intro]

What is SEO?

It stands for Search Engine Optimisation - in short, the ‘art’ of making your online shop or website appealing to search engines to garner positive results- optimising it to make it easier for search engines to discover and thus make it more likely to appear in search engine results. It consists of lots of methods you need to employ to ensure that your online shop is as search-engine-friendly as it can possibly be.

It’s all about relevance!

The primary function of search engines is to return the most relevant results when a user types a word or phrase into the search bar. If you run a search for ‘PS4’ on a search engine, you expect the highest results - those on the first page - to be all about the PlayStation 4. If you retail this console, your aim is to try and get your Product Page listed within those search results and repeat this process for all of the different Products that you sell.

Where SEO comes from

Back in the mid to late nineties during the infancy of the internet, SEO was born and consisted of different practices which could help websites rank highly within search engine results.

The problem was that back then, some of the biggest search engines themselves were still in their infancy, so in that sense, it was very easy to ‘game’ them and ensure that a website ranked highly, regardless of the quality of its content and the relevance of the search terms entered.

SEO was then, from a website owner’s point of view, a bit of a risky business; SEO ‘professionals’ were popping up all over the place and charging the earth for some practices which could be deemed less than moral. This kind of SEO was known as ‘black hat’, as although it was effective in terms of achieving those first page results, it was inconvenient at best and downright frustrating at worst for the internet users who were unlucky enough to be clicking the search results.

As search engine companies developed algorithms behind their platforms to improve the experience of their users, black hat SEO tactics were being quickly identified, isolated and in many cases penalised. Around this time, there was the emergence of ‘white hat’ SEO methods - where the practices were both effective in terms of getting websites ranked highly and not using questionable tactics (such as stuffing keywords everywhere) that were providing a bad user experience.

Nowadays, search engine algorithms are highly developed and their inner workings and the formulas behind them are kept secret to ensure that their main purpose is to display the most relevant website for the user who searched in the first place.

Although some of the white hat SEO methods still stand true today, there’s a lot more emphasis on strong, high-quality content on ecommerce shops, blogs and websites which also needs to be considered. SEO is still an unregulated industry, so it's in your best interests to research realistically what can be done to promote your platform, and what steps you can take to improve your visibility within search engine results. 



[contact] If you need our help with your EKM online shop, contact your Account Manager or Customer Support, who will be able to point you in the right direction. We're open from 8am-6pm weekdays and 9am-5.30pm on the weekends. If you'd like to suggest a feature or an upgrade on any of the EKM platforms, please let us know on the EKM Suggestions board. If you have a non-account specific question ask the EKM Team, join us in EKM Community.  [/contact]