How to Do SEO for the Footwear Industry?

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How to Do SEO for the Footwear Industry?d-tags
19 October 2023
Whether there is an economic crisis or not, everyone buys and will buy shoes. The footwear industry is one of the largest and fastest-growing sectors of the e-commerce market. Its development is influenced by the growth of online sales as more and more people search for stores, products, and use price comparison engines. This is why more and more shoe retail stores use SEO services.

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Footwear Market Worldwide

Year by year, the value of the footwear market is increasing – in 2020 – $409.5 billion and is estimated to reach $725.1 billion in 2032. Currently, China is the largest exporter in the world (9.3 billion pairs in 2022).

And which countries are the biggest “game changers” on the footwear market? Here is a list of 5 countries that generated the highest revenues in 2022:

  1. United States (US$85.84b),
  2. China (US$79.32b),
  3. India (US$23.73b),
  4. United Kingdom (US$15.52b),
  5. Brazil (US$13.50b).

source: statista.com

Characteristics of the Footwear Market

There are many companies worldwide that produce shoes and export them. Therefore, this industry is extremely competitive. The table below presents the 10 largest footwear companies based on market capitalization in 2023:

Rank Company Country Market cap in 2023 ($ billion)
1 Nike US 157.92
2 Adidas Germany 32.97
3 Deckers Brands US 13.37
4 Li Ning Company China 10.54
5 PUMA US 8.11
6 On Holding Switzerland 8.02
7 Skechers US 7.61
8 VF Corporation US 7.26
9 Birkenstock Germany 7.23
10 ASICS Corporation Japan 5.65

 

source: companiesmarketcap.com

Many stores, such as Deichmann, also run their company blogs, which are an integral part of their corporate marketing. The blog gives many great advertising opportunities such as banners or sponsored articles. Customers often make buying decisions based on information found on such blogs.

As statistics show, the share of Internet sales in the shoe industry is growing year by year – in 2017, 16% of shoes worldwide were bought online, while in 2020 it was already 21%. This trend is likely to continue in the following years as well, as it is estimated that in 2027 26% of shoes will be sold online. This means that the footwear market has a bright future!

Marketing for the Footwear Industry

1. Influencer Marketing

An essential part of the footwear market in cooperation with influencers (opinion leaders). According to Adweek, nearly 50% of online users put more trust in content that was created by other users. In turn, far fewer people follow traditional media.

An influencer with its followers may form a group of people who share their passions, interests, and lifestyle. Influencers are much more authentic because they face the same problems in daily life and recipients more easily identify themselves with them. The community is strongly connected with the influencer, that’s why they treat the products more favorably of which the influencer has given a positive opinion. Influencer marketing also has a strong impact on SEO, as with this strategy it is possible to gain plenty of natural backlinks.

2. Social Media

The popularity of social networking platforms is growing rapidly and that’s why they became highly influential in the e-commerce industry. All these networks have developed their own custom tools and forms of advertising. In 2020, more than 3.6 billion people worldwide already use various social media platforms.  The most popular platform is, obviously, Facebook with 2.74 billion users in Q3 2020.

footwear industry seo for shoe stores

But, apart from Facebook, you should focus on two additional platforms: TikTok and Metaverse. The former is an excellent tool for reaching younger audiences, for instance Gen Z, as short videos are the preferred form of content for these customer groups. What’s more, with this platform you’re capable not only to advertise your products, but to build stories around your footwear and keep your audience engaged, waiting on the edge of their seats for new collections.

When it comes to the Metaverse, let’s simply look at an example: how Nike utilized it to boost their customers’ engagement and drive sales. It all goes down to the Nikeland – a micro world created withing the Roblox ecosystem.

In Nikeland, people who share their passion for sports can gather, interact and most importantly – try on Nike’s products. To add to that, they can compete in various minigames and create their own accessories (or buy prepared ones) in a digital showroom. What was the result? Nikeland attracted 7 million people from all around the world in only 5 months. This success is further underlined by the US footwear giant’s claims that they are planning to further expand and develop this Metaverse world.

So, remember – running social media is mainly about building customer trust and brand awareness. With its help, you can create a community of customers where they can express their opinions and discuss your services or products. Social media platforms also give you the possibility to easily check what are the current customers’ demands and needs. What’s more, there you can also answer all the questions about your brand or customer service. Social media is also a great way to reach more customers.

Seasonality of the Shoe Industry

According to Google Trends, customers usually search for shoes on the verge of September and October, in November and December. Another popular period is the beginning of spring, which is the verge of February and March and a peak might also be observed before summer kicks in – between April and May.  Remember, however, that people search for shoes all year round, so you should constantly introduce new marketing campaigns and adjust your collections to the seasons.

shoes industry trends

The trend of the phrase “shoes” over the past 12 months worldwide

Stay ahead of your competitors and suggest these types of shoes to your potential customers a bit before the search trend starts. Pay attention that, for example, both sneakers and ballet flats are searched much more often in September, so introduce them to your range a bit earlier, already in August. The same goes for boots – as Google Trends shows, people look for them already at the beginning of October, so why not offer them right after the summer vacations?

footwear industry seo

The trend of the phrase “sneakers” over the past 12 months worldwide

keywords for footwear industry

The trend of the phrase “ballet flats” over the past 12 months worldwide

shoe industry seo

The trend of the phrase “boots” over the past 12 months worldwide

How to Do SEO of a Shoe Store?

1. Keyword Research

Choosing the right keywords is very important – they allow you to better control your marketing strategy and launch more effective campaigns. You should remember the keywords whenever you introduce any changes or add new content. Thanks to them, more users will visit your website from organic search results.

It is also worth focusing on more detailed keywords, which are called long-tail phrases. They will make it much easier for users to find your website while searching for a specific product. To the original product name (like “men’s shoes”), you can add the name of your brand, model, color, and even material.

Check our post on keyword research basics to learn how to find the right keywords.

2. Unique Content

Each website should contain interesting and, above all, unique content. This way, users will have access to high-quality blog posts. More and more people are recognizing the benefits of unique content as this also contributes to the usability of your website. If your website has too high a level of internal duplication, then Google may penalize it, which will consequently lead to reduced visibility in organic search results and web traffic.

It is also worth checking if your site has external duplication.  All you need to do is select a short piece of content (a sentence or two), copy it, and enter it in the search engine in quotation marks. If only your website will appear in the search results, it will mean that you have no external duplication.

footwear industry seo essentials

Another problem is internal duplication, which consists of copying content within your website. In such a case, Google may index only one of the pages with duplicated content and exclude others from the search results.

Do you need help writing your content? Consider our blog writing services!

Work with us!

3. Website Optimization

If you want Google to recognize your website, high-quality content is not enough.  You must also remember to optimize technical aspects and introduce changes on your website. The most important aspects are:

  • optimization of title and meta description tags;

footwear industry seo meta tags

  • optimization of your content, especially category and product descriptions. Optimize page using your previously selected keywords and provide correct H1 and H2 headings;
  • image optimization – choosing the right size of your images and pay attention to their quality – opt for 640 x 640 or 800 x 800 graphics. This way, they will still maintain good quality, but won’t affect your page loading speed. It is also important to complete the alt attribute with the right keywords;
  • improve page loading speed.
  • optimize your data architecture – this way, your products will gain rich snippets, which are crucial for e-commerce stores as they improve organic traffic significantly.

Value-added content – the whole content on your website, including metadata such as title tag and meta description, should be exclusive, unique, and valuable. If you would like to discover how important high-quality content in an online shoe store is, check out our case study of LubieButy.pl, in which we present how, thanks to our optimization, our client has increased visibility in Google search results and web traffic.

Try our e-commerce SEO services and boost your onlien business!

Work with us!

4. Local SEO

Local SEO is especially important for physical footwear stores, but will help your e-commerce as well.

The main advantage of local SEO is lower competition – while local keywords will have lower monthly search volumes, there will be significantly fewer companies battling for those users. This way, you will have higher chances of reaching high ranks and displaying your products to potential customers. And, this is crucial in the footwear industry, where global competition is major and often nearly impossible to beat.

To target your SEO activities locally, conduct a keyword research with your target area in mind. Look for long-tail keywords with the name of the cities in the area or the whole region, and create content which is rich in them. You may even consider writing your industry-related blog and target topics that contain local keywords.

5. Support Your SEO with Ads

Google Ads, Facebook Ads, or TikTok ads are an excellent form of supporting your SEO efforts. While they won’t affect your organic positions in any way, they will help you attract users who wouldn’t have seen your website otherwise. They might also be introduced for remarketing or retargeting – approaching those users who visited your store but did not convert.

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Possible Indexing Problems for the Footwear Industry SEO

When optimizing your website, you must be aware of the possible challenges with Indexing that you may face. This is related to your crawl budget.

Each page on your website needs to be visited by Google box in order to be indexed. However, the number of subpages that may be crawled at once is limited. Your crawl budget defines this limit and is affected by your crawl health – the technical aspects of your website that affect crawling.

To cope with this problem, you should make sure that your page loading and server response times are quick. You also need to eliminate links to 404 error pages – this may occur when a product is linked on your blog, but it becomes removed from the store.

Even if you introduce all the best practices, Google might not be able to index all the pages that you want it to at one time – especially if your store is large. In such cases, you need patience – SEO will still work for your footwear store, but it will take slightly more time.

Summary

The footwear industry is one of the largest segments of the e-commerce market. More and more people buy shoes in online stores, which is why competition in this industry is getting more and more fierce. It is worth paying attention to aspects such as:

  1. running a company blog,
  2. cooperating with influencers,
  3. activity in social media,
  4. introducing unique descriptions,
  5. website optimization.

This is an updated version of the article published on April 9th, 2020.

Author
Kasia Śliwa SEO Delante
Author
Kasia Śliwa

Off-site SEO Specialist

Off-site SEO specialist, link building expert. At Delante since December 2018, she took her first professional steps in organizing large events. Student of journalism and social communication. Passionate about dance, music and good cinema. Loves listening to people and discussing with people with opposing views.

Author
Kasia Śliwa SEO Delante
Author
Kasia Śliwa

Off-site SEO Specialist

Off-site SEO specialist, link building expert. At Delante since December 2018, she took her first professional steps in organizing large events. Student of journalism and social communication. Passionate about dance, music and good cinema. Loves listening to people and discussing with people with opposing views.

FAQ

1. Is it worth investing in SEO for footwear company?

Of course it’s worth it! Well-planned and conducted SEO strategy for your online store will contribute to its better brand awareness and online presence. As a result, your company will be attracting more and more new clients!

2. What to remember when doing SEO for online shoe store?

When it comes to elements that will support SEO for footwear industry online stores, you need to take care of:

  • proper website optimization,
  • systematic work on your blog & its merits,
  • creating unique, relevant, and well-optimized (both in terms of SEO and user-friendliness) content,
  • systematic management of social media channels,
  • cooperation with influencers.

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Awards

Award - Deloitte 2021 Award - European eCommerce Awards 2022 Award - European Search Awards 2022 Award - Global Agency Awards 2022 Award - IPMA Award - US Search Awards 2021