– what do you need to know?
Switzerland is a landlocked country in central Europe with almost 60% of its land area covered by mountains. The Swiss neighbours are Italians, French, Germans, Austrians and Liechtensteiners. Officially, there is no capital city in Switzerland, so that no one would be offended. Informally it is Bern and the largest city in Switzerland is Zurich (420,000 inhabitants). Overall, the country has a population of 8.7 million people, who mainly use the three official languages: German (63%), French (23%) and Italian (8%).
The Swiss enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world. Switzerland is one of the most economically stable countries, with an ever-growing GDP, giving it a place among the 20 largest economies in the world. Overall, the country is made up of 26 administrative areas (cantons) with a high level of autonomy.
The Internet penetration rate in Switzerland is 98%. This means that approximately 8.6 million inhabitants have access to the World Wide Web. Their number increased by 1.7% last year. As for browsing the Internet itself, most Swiss use computers for this purpose (data for March 2022):
When it comes to social media use, this applies to 86% of Switzerland’s total population, with Facebook being the most popular social media platform (data for February 2022):
The number of social media users in Switzerland, comparing the beginning of 2022 to 2021, increased by 6.2%.
of the population has access to the Internet
of users use Google
In Switzerland, the most popular search engine is Google, which is used by more than 90% of internet users in exploring the web (share for March 2022):
Among web browsers, more than 4 in 10 Swiss also use the well-known Google product – Chrome (data for March 2022):
The above statistics prove that in order to appear at the top positions of search results in Switzerland, you need to “befriend” Google. In other words, you have to adapt with great attention and care to its complex algorithms and systems of ranking websites, ultimately affecting the place of our site in the list of displayed web addresses (SERPs).
E-commerce revenues in 2021 exceeded 13.7 billion US dollars. This is an amount that must inspire awe and, of course, interest. Especially when you add an estimated average annual growth rate of 5% for the next four years. The Swiss love e-commerce. They buy goods worth nearly 20,000 Swiss francs a minute in online shops. To get an even better idea of the scale of this, it is enough to give the number of orders placed during those 60 seconds – there are 178 on average! Interestingly enough, 64% of these orders come from foreign suppliers.
The Swiss pay attention to the cost of the order, and more specifically to its final value. Here, it is important to remember to include VAT, customs or delivery charges in the final value of the transaction. If additional costs appear on the bill, and they were not mentioned during e-shopping, we may alienate the Swiss customer.
Products in the virtual shopping cart in Switzerland are most frequently put in the basket by people in the 25–34 age group, followed by the representatives of the 35–44 age group, and by the youngest age group, i.e. 15–24. The Swiss spend on average 3.5 hours a day on the web, but 22% of them stay online for more than 5 hours a day! It is also worth remembering that almost half of online shoppers use mobile devices for this purpose.
What categories do online sales in Switzerland focus on? Let’s see:
When it comes to the chosen payment methods for online shopping, more than half of the Swiss do it via bank transfers:
Swiss people pay attention to the origin of goods. When they find products they are interested in and one of them is offered from a known source, they will opt for it. Price is not important, it is quality and trust that counts. The Swiss also appreciate an efficient and transparent purchasing process and after-sales service.
Regarding the e-commerce providers with the highest turnover in Switzerland, the top five are as follows (data for 2021):
Digitec and Galaxus, i.e. sites 1 and 3, are one entity, offering users more than one million products, from virtually all categories, ranging from home, garden, sports, children and toys, jewellery, beauty products, to electronics and media.
Switzerland has its own domain name, which is “.ch”. However, the local Google.ch is used around 25% of the time. Thus, the Swiss extension of the site should help us reach the local community, but as you can see from the scale of use, it is not a necessity. Conducting SEO activities at the highest level, we should also find a place for ourselves on this market with a foreign domain.
Moreover, when planning the expansion of our e-shop to several countries, it is good to think about the domain used in the community countries, “.eu”, or a global extension such as “.com”. Later we will only need to add other language versions to the website, for example: mypage.eu/ch, mypage.com/fr, mypage.com/de, etc.
With revenues of nearly 14 billion US dollars in 2021, Switzerland ranked 21st in terms of e-commerce in the world. With an e-commerce growth rate of 16%, Switzerland contributed to the average growth of this market on our globe (an increase of 29%). The inhabitants of this one of the richest countries in the world are accustomed to using the functionalities of the Internet. Going further, they like convenient online shopping. Price is of secondary importance to them, quality, brand sentiment and the origin of an interesting product are definitely more important.
SEO is a kind of ticket and bargaining chip to gain the attention of the Swiss. They look for interesting topics in the organic results, as well as links to interesting e-commerce sites. Free positions in the SERPs inspire their confidence and it is through them that they mainly surf the web.
According to forecasts, the e-commerce market in Switzerland is expected to surpass and break the $15 billion revenue barrier in 2022. This is a huge potential to exploit. If in this relatively small, but rich country, we find at least a piece of the e-commerce space for ourselves, our business will enter the realms of further development opportunities.
While positioning a website in Switzerland, it is worth starting with its adaptation in terms of providing users with the possibility to choose several language versions. Without this, it is better not to start SEO activities, because we will limit our audience. The next step is to optimise the website, including proper saturation with content related to keywords and modelling its structure according to Google requirements and the preferences of Swiss users. This must also be complemented by high-quality link building.
As in every German-speaking market, it is not the quantity but the quality of the links from reliable sites that is of the greatest importance. These of course influence the positive evaluation of Google’s algorithms. Link building should also be diverse. Redirections to our website should not only come from sponsored articles, but also popular blogs (with do-follow links), thematic forums and press portals. We need to be visible in places with a good reputation and at the same time high quality (domain rating). This will naturally translate into moving up the search results.
Full Customer Journey
Using SEO360®, we reach consumers at each stage of the purchasing process; analysing their activities with the use of CRO, we increase sales effectiveness.
Network of quality partners
We execute activities independently or with in-country partners who operate at the same high level as us.
Supervision of the entire process
Our Client Success Managers, who manage the end-to-end process, ensure the best results for our customers.
Guaranteed link maintenance
We do not remove acquired links even after the end of cooperation.
Constant access to reports updated 24/7.
Dedicated to E-commerce
It is effective for other industries as well, including the service sector and SMEs.
It is the starting point for SEO360® actions, individually priced and created on the basis of the customer’s needs and expectations included earlier in the brief filled in by the customer. As part of our conceptual work, we establish the KPIs necessary for successful implementation of further stages of the project, in particular analysis, content marketing plan and estimations, which are the components of the strategy.
In this step, we carry out all the activities verifying the current state of the selected website in terms of SEO and its potential in a given country when compared to the competition. At the same time, we analyse the full user path based on the customer journey. The result of the analysis is a large amount of data that can be used to implement further SEO360® steps.
Content Marketing Plan
Individually prepared for the industry represented by the Client and for the given markets where SEO360® activities will be conducted. It includes a scenario concerning the type of created content and the way of its distribution in order to reach the consumers with it precisely and to be one step ahead of the competition. Content Creators guarantee the successful implementation of this plan.
An extremely valuable and final component of the strategy, where we estimate individual values related to the visibility of the website in the most popular search engine of a given country, taking into account the increase in traffic and, more importantly, the increase in conversions over a specified period of time.
When starting proper SEO activities, one of the necessary steps to achieve final success is technical SEO, also called technical analysis or technical optimisation for SEO, i.e. the part of optimisation that does not concern content. It consists of all activities that affect the architecture and code of a website in such a way as to make it as friendly as possible to the most stringent search engine requirements and, at the same time, to stay one step ahead of the competition.
Part of optimising a website for SEO, in addition to technical SEO, is content optimisation. Valuable content for the user is one of the key elements that will help to achieve high search engine visibility as well as increase conversions and thus revenue.
UX + CRO
As part of the SEO360® service, we provide analysis and optimisation of User Experience metrics with a particular focus on heuristic experiments and A/B testing as well as Conversion Rate Optimisation. In this way, we analyse consumer activity at each stage of their purchase process, increasing sales effectiveness.
We conduct link building using the highest quality permanent links acquired from external sources or services, from reliable publishers with a guarantee of their maintenance even after the end of cooperation. As part of this process, we take care of the correct link profile, which brings end benefits.
Ongoing Data Analysis
In SEO360®, through advanced tools supervised by the Client Success Manager, we constantly measure the progress related to the evaluation of conducted activities, and on their basis, our customers have access to extensive reports 24/7.
Increase in traffic and revenue
The ultimate value of SEO360® is the increase in brand awareness, traffic, conversions and revenue generated from the service, which is significantly higher than in the case of ‘regular SEO’ and above all, it is long-lasting.
Switzerland is divided into 26 cantons (administrative units). At the time of the 2015 census, the following proportion of languages spoken was determined: German (64%), French (22.7%), Italian (8.4%), English (5.4%). More than a dozen other languages can be found on a daily basis, but their use does not exceed 3% of the population. Looking for a solution and an answer to the question – “which language should be our main one, when operating in Switzerland?”, one should first check the popularity of a given language in the administrative units of Switzerland we care about the most. However, regardless of this, it is of course worth providing users with several language versions in order to reach the widest possible range of potential customers with your offer.