The erotic industry is one of the online trade branches that are developing extremely rapidly. This is an ideal field for e-commerce activities as many customers are too shy to visit traditional stores with erotic accessories and the mere mention of them causes blushing on their face.
The online erotic industry
For online stores with erotic accessories, anonymity is the most important factor. Privacy and no logos on the packages help to avoid awkward situations with couriers and this is something customers care about. Therefore, the stores should give it to them. Nowadays, we could probably say that there aren’t more taboo topics. However, it turns out that the erotic industry still remains one of the most challenging fields for SEO specialists. These “topics” are still not directly discussed, even online, and practically nobody confesses openly to visiting erotic sites.
At the same time, according to the Gemius research, as many as 40% of Poles, meaning more than 11 million people (7.2 million men and 3.8 million women) visit erotic websites. They’re the most popular among people aged 25-34 and 35-44. Adults with higher and secondary education are the most active users of erotic websites.
Eroticism – there’s more to it…
Stores with erotic accessories popularly called sex shops to enjoy great popularity in the online world. Obviously, everything is done in secret. Unfortunately, recommendations, reviews, or comments concerning erotic stores are still confusing and persons talking about them openly frequently feel uncomfortable. Consequently, doing SEO for sex shops is a very demanding task. At the same time, this industry doesn’t differ much from the remaining ones, companies simply fight for every customer and want to stand out from the crowd.
According to Ceneo reports, as many as 42% of people visiting erotic stores live in informal relationships. Lubricants, underwear, condoms, and vibrators are the most popular gadgets bought online. The latter ones are also the most willingly commented products.
Selling erotic accessories is only a part of the industry. Besides sex shops, the xxx network is full of:
These websites are popular in every country. They discuss intriguing lifestyles and taboo subjects. On such blogs, you can find entries written by singles, couples, doctors, sexologists, or psychologists.
Chats lives, and sex phones
Webcams are becoming more and more popular. This can be observed when looking at the constant increase in the popularity of Google queries containing this phrase.
They’re very challenging in terms of SEO and require a special, subtle approach.
Adult film websites
There are thousands of popular and big websites (and probably even less known ones). This means that this demanding niche is quite competitive.
Effective management of such a service requires focusing on users’ needs, being familiar with all technological novelties, having never-ending workloads and budgets. First and foremost, dating services should inspire trust, otherwise, they probably won’t succeed.
Doing SEO for adult websites is a challenging process that requires a lot of knowledge, experience, and creativity to devise an appropriate strategy and conduct SEO activities. Thanks to it, you’ll be able to achieve satisfactory results, improve your brand recognition, and increase your positions in the search results. Performing these activities incompetently may result in your page being penalized or removed from the Google index.
Selection of appropriate keywords
Appropriate selection of keywords can significantly improve website visibility in the search results. When making the choice, benefit from solutions like Ahrefs or Senuto.
Apart from characteristic industry phrases redirecting to your website, pay attention to local keywords that will also assign the page to a given location. Local SEO is particularly important in the case of sex shops that have also traditional stores. According to Google Trends, when looking for a specific sex shop, Internet users frequently add the place/city name to the general phrase:
Content optimization for selected phrases
Before starting any activities on your website, optimize it. Check whether the names on the home page, subpages, category pages and product pages are relevant. Every subpage should have a title and meta description with specific keywords that are important for the business and tailored to the website. Check out our previous blog entry to see how metatags affect SEO. It’s also crucial to optimize headers which should include keyphrases that match the landing page and individual subpages. To learn more about headers, go to our blog post: What is a website header?
Content is king…
Forgetting about quality, unique content is a very frequent mistake of all big erotic online stores. Most companies create product categories without any descriptions or copy the texts prepared by manufacturers. Duplicate content resulting from copying the descriptions becomes an obstacle of the SEO process and decreases website visibility on Google. Consequently, the store doesn’t become popular, even despite marketing activities – it lacks content that would attract users and… Google robots. You can learn more about this problem from our previous entry – Duplicate content. How to deal with this issue?
Apart from the obligatory texts on the home page and various subpages, consider running a company blog that will not only increase the amount of valuable content on your page but also enable internal linking to your products! When managing an online store with erotic accessories, you can write an article about vibrators (from your product range) that are the most suitable for the very beginning.
However, keep in mind that Google has clear principles stating that advertising and promoting sexual content explicitly is categorically prohibited.
… and linking is the queen
An appropriate link database is extremely important in the case of the erotic industry. It’s necessary to be sensitive and accurate as not every place is suitable for linking and not every page allows it. To avoid being banned or penalized, it’s advisable to conduct thorough research that will enable creating a comprehensible list of secure places with high Page Rank and TR that don’t prohibit 18+ content. Unfortunately, it’s not a piece of cake. Most forums, ad services, or social networking sites block entries with such topics.
Seasonality and unusual situations
It’s worth mentioning that the erotic industry, especially online stores with accessories, can be somehow regarded as seasonal. They record extraordinary traffic in specific year periods. Higher interest in erotic accessories can be seen during the holiday season and before Valentine’s Day (which may suggest that apart from traditional, romantic gifts couples prefer also more intimate ones). Therefore, think about creating appropriate profile links with phrases like “gift” or “Valentine’s Day” etc.
Although 2020 is unpredictable for most industries and leads to many drops in sales, people operating in the erotic sector unanimously confirm that since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, their results have improved significantly. Erotic accessories are extremely popular, especially among couples that have been separated by the current situation.
We love problematic and challenging industries. Our portfolio includes cooperation with a company operating in the 18+ industry. Zmysły.pl is an online store with erotic accessories that has been operating dynamically on the Polish market. Our cooperation began in 2019, with a total traffic of 4500 sessions, including 100 sessions from the organic traffic. The store’s visibility wasn’t really impressive, the website wasn’t ranked in the top 10, and only 8 phrases were listed in the top 50. General keywords were either far in the search results or completely off the index. The legibility and transparency of the website complemented by the company blog allowed us to start fruitful cooperation likely to bring great benefits in the future.
The on-site process started with changing category names. They were structured at the beginning – so they needed to be optimized for the relevant keywords.
The next step was to optimize the homepage and introduce texts with relevant keywords. The headers were properly structured. We also optimized the title and meta descriptions that are extremely important when it comes to Google positions and the CTR increase.
Product and category subpages were also described properly with titles and meta descriptions. We got rid of duplicate content and refined the phrases. Next, we took a closer look at the URL addresses and removed unnecessary capital letters, characters, digits, and ID numbers.
To improve Domain Rating, we paid special attention to link building which was a part of the off-site process. It was complex mainly due to the fact that not every website can link to a page with erotic accessories. So we based our strategy on sites that allow 18+ content.
Obtaining the first positive results always takes time, however, in the case of an appropriate SEO strategy, they’re very satisfied. The visibility of zmysły.pl improved significantly, and the organic traffic increased from 0 to 4000 visits per month (February 2019: 100, February 2020: 4000).
Additionally: business-relevant phrases have reached high positions in the top 10.
As you can see, effective SEO is possible even in the case of challenging industries. Let’s use the comment of Milena, our specialist as the summary of this case study:
Cooperation with an erotic store is quite a challenge! And it’s not about SEO itself because I completely trust my knowledge and expertise in this field. It’s more about the taboo topics. Together with the team working on the zmysły.pl website, we needed to overcome certain barriers. We had to learn to talk with one another about such intimate things and to be honest… I really love such tasks! We’ve developed an individual strategy for this industry and it turned out that we have a nose for it and know which combination works best in the case of SEO and erotics.
To see detailed information about the zmysly.pl website, check out our case study of the erotic industry,