How to Do SEO for the Footwear Industry?

How to Do SEO for the Footwear Industry?
09 December 2020
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.
Table of contents:

Footwear Market Worldwide

Year by year, the value of the footwear market is increasing - in 2020 - $365.5 billion and is estimated to reach $530.3 billion in 2027. Currently, China is the largest exporter in the world (9.5 billion pairs in 2019). 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 2020:
  1. United States (US$86,132m),
  2. China (US$66,102m),
  3. Brazil (US$49,653m),
  4. Japan (US$27,933m),
  5. Russia (US$15,780m).

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 revenues in 2019:  
Rank Company Country Revenue in 2019 ($ billion)
1 Nike US 39.1
2 Adidas Germany 26.8
3 Kering France 16.1
4 VF Corp US 13.6
5 Skechers US 5.2
6 New Balance US 4.1
7 Burberry UK 3.6
8 Asics Corp Japan 3.4
9 Fila South Korea 3.4
10 Wolverine Worldwide US 2.3  
source: 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, so we can assume that already in 2022 22% of shoes will be sold online. This means that the footwear market has a bright future! [caption id="attachment_34291" align="aligncenter" width="602"]footwear industry seo Sales channels in the footwear market, source:[/caption]

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 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 in November and December. Another popular period is the beginning of spring, which is March.  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. [caption id="attachment_34294" align="aligncenter" width="602"]shoes industry trends The trend of the phrase “shoes” over the past 12 months worldwide[/caption] 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 the most frequently searched worldwide at the end of February, so introduce them to your range a bit earlier, already in January. The same goes for boots - as Google Trends shows, people look for them already in September, so why not offer them right after the summer vacations? [caption id="attachment_34297" align="aligncenter" width="602"]footwear industry seo The trend of the phrase “sneakers” over the past 12 months worldwide[/caption] [caption id="attachment_34299" align="aligncenter" width="602"]keywords for footwear industry The trend of the phrase “ballet flats” over the past 12 months worldwide[/caption] [caption id="attachment_34301" align="aligncenter" width="602"]shoe industry seo The trend of the phrase “boots” over the past 12 months worldwide[/caption]

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.

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.

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. It is also important to complete the alt attribute with the right keywords;
  • improve page loading speed.
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, in which we present how, thanks to our optimization, our client has increased visibility in Google search results and web traffic.


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.
Kasia Śliwa SEO Delante
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.

Leave a comment


Get a
Free Quote


european search awards finalist

Check our Free SEO and Marketing Tools!

Free SEO and Marketing Tools