Supermarkets guilty of leaving SEO on the shelves

Posted on November 3, 2011


A new study has indicated that British supermarkets are failing to attract the levels of consumers they should be enjoying, as a direct result of poor search engine optimisation (SEO).

The analysis, by Hitwise, looked at the visibility of the UK’s big six supermarketing; Asda, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose. The results showed that their visibility was adversely affected due to a lack of engaging content.

In part, the study focused on five popularly searched for recipes; chocolate cake, cup cakes, pancakes, sloe gin and Yorkshire puddings. Not one of the supermarket websites appeared on the first page in Google searches against these terms.

With recipe searches such as these, it’s an ideal opportunity for supermarkets to show recipes, with simple links to each ingredient to purchase online, quickly and easily; this would no doubt increase instant sales. There are plenty of other online marketing ideas they could take advantage of.

No doubt each supermarket stocks items relevant to the searches, so this begs the question why do supermarkets have such a poor result?

According to Juliette van Rooyen, digital consultant for, it is purely down to poor online marketing strategies. By being so fixated on themselves, rather than the needs of the consumer,

“supermarkets don’t realise (other retailers) are stealing market share”, she said.

With online spending consistently growing, the potential for continued growth is there. In the ever more competitive world of supermarkets those that shelve present thinking and concentrate on filling their SEO trolleys healthily, could well steal a march in the vibrant online marketplace.


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