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Featured in:
Convince & Convert logo.
ProBlogger logo.
Marketing Association logo.
The Icehouse logo.
NZ Business logo.

    E-commerce SEO in New Zealand: Winning the Online Retail Game

    New Zealand’s e-commerce market is thriving, with tech-savvy Kiwis flocking online. To win, you need a strong e-commerce SEO strategy. Learn how to dominate the online retail game through SEO best practices and actionable tips.

    Published on April 9, 2024

    Found logo.

    By Megan Smith
    Content Marketing Specialist

    Published on April 9, 2024

    The New Zealand e-commerce landscape is booming. With a population that’s proving to be internet-savvy with a penchant for online shopping, it’s no wonder that businesses need to shake things up when it comes to standing out among competitors. With an increasing internet penetration rate of 95.7% (Statista), Kiwi consumers are turning to online platforms to fulfil their needs, thus presenting a massive business opportunity.

    But how do you tap into that market?

    Here’s where e-commerce SEO strategy comes into play. It is a secret weapon that will equip you and spearhead your online visibility.

    This article will give you the know-how to enter the online retail market and harness SEO’s capabilities. We’ll explore the current outlook, discuss SEO best practices, and provide actionable tips to boost your online store.

    A miniature shopping cart resting on a laptop, filled with tiny Amazon boxes and a credit card, representing online shopping.

    The E-commerce Landscape in New Zealand

    Market Size and Growth

    E-commerce revenue is projected to hit NZ$7.92bn in 2024, with revenue growth of 10.07% per year. By 2029, it will likely hit NZ$12.80bn—that’s no small change. This data shows that local consumers spend online, presenting brands with a lucrative undertaking if their e-commerce SEO strategy is perfected.

    Mobile Dominance

    Kiwis love their tech, and this extends to online shopping. Over 60% of online purchases are made using a mobile device (Shopify), and over 65% (Gen Zers—born 1997 – 2012) make online purchases per week. These figures should encourage you to review your website and see if it’s responsive, as not having a responsive website is no longer optional—it’s essential!

    Local Focus

    While international brands will always feature online, Kiwis love supporting local businesses, and highlighting this feature can be a decisive advantage.


    With skyrocketing online growth, the market is becoming increasingly saturated, with local and international brands battling for attention. By no means should this stop you from pursuing your e-commerce business, but rather highlights the importance of a strategic approach. SEO ensures you rank for all the right reasons, driving organic traffic to you and converting it into sales.

    Top view of woman using a laptop to search what she is interested in.

    Why SEO Matters

    SEO supports your e-commerce store by allowing it to appear in online search results when potential customers are openly searching for the products you offer.

    Let’s examine why it should be the foundation of your online venture…

    • Increased organic traffic: SEO drives organic traffic to your website and attracts potential customers to your products. This translates into more frequent visits by online users and more opportunities for conversions.
    • Brand visibility: When you rank higher in search results through search engines like Google, the online visibility of your brand is enhanced, making you more discoverable, allowing you to build brand awareness and cultivate customer loyalty. Consumers often perceive websites at the top of SERPs (search engine results pages) as more reliable and trustworthy.
    • Reach: An optimised website with relevant keywords means you can hook customers who are genuinely interested in what you have to sell. SEO with a combined target approach can lead to higher conversion rates and better ROI (return on investment) regarding your marketing efforts.
    • Cost-effective marketing: Traditional advertising methods are costly, but SEO is a sustainable, cost-effective choice for reaching your target audience. When you start ranking organically, you won’t have to pay continuously for each click or impression.
    • Level playing field: Unlike physical business storefronts, where location is everything, e-commerce allows businesses of all shapes and sizes to compete on equal footing. SEO levels the playing field, giving even the smaller brands a chance to shine!

    Digital illustration of several individuals gathered around a computer, with a large megaphone bursting out from the screen.

    Winning Strategies for E-commerce

    Now that you understand the importance of e-commerce SEO let’s explore some winning strategies for your New Zealand online store.

    Keyword Research

    • Search intent: Earmark keywords that reflect your customer’s purchasing journey. Are they just looking (‘best running shoes for women’) or ready to buy (‘buy Nike Vaporfly 3 NZ’)? Optimise your pages and content throughout your site with relevant keywords. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush to source relevant keywords with high search volume and low competition. For example, instead of concentrating on ‘running shoes,’ look at ‘best workout shoes for women in NZ.’
    • Localise your search: Remember to pay attention to local search terms by incorporating region keywords and location-specific keywords like ‘running shoes Tauranga’ or ‘buy running shoes online NZ.’
    • Long-tail keywords: Long-tail keywords are more specific and lower competition. With this type of keyword thread, you’ll be able to attract customers who are further down the purchase funnel and more likely to buy. Example: ‘black running shoes for women size 7 Tauranga.’

    On-Page Optimisation

    • Product descriptions: Write compelling and informative product descriptions that contain relevant keywords naturally. Remember to use those keywords in titles, descriptions, meta tags, and image alt text. Highlight unique selling points and target search intent by addressing user queries. To build trust, include high-quality product images from multiple angles, detailed specifications, and user-generated reviews.
    • Category and brand pages: Optimise category and brand pages with applicable keywords to enhance navigation and user experience. Use internal linking to connect related products and pages within your website.

    Technical SEO

    • Mobile-friendliness: Mobile-responsive websites and a seamless user experience matter, and that accounts for all devices. Given the statistics around mobile use and e-commerce, it’s essential that this be one of the main priorities of any business, selling online or not.
    • Page load speed: A slow website can lead to cart abandonment. Do your pages load quickly? Did you know that e-commerce sites that load in less than 1 second have a 3x higher conversion rate? Technical SEO factors like these can significantly impact your search engine rankings. You can optimise your website for fast loading times using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights.
    • User experience (UX): Make your website easy to navigate with clear product categories, intuitive search functionality, and a user-friendly checkout process.
    • Structured data: Implement schema markup to provide search engines with more information about your products, such as price, availability, and brand. This can lead to richer search results and potentially higher click-through rates (CTRs).
    • Security: Make sure your website uses HTTPS encryption, which will protect your customers’ data and the transactions they make on your website.

    Content Marketing

    • Blog content: Combine local content into your strategy. Target topics related to your products and interests for the New Zealand market. For example, include blog posts about ‘the best hiking trails in Tauranga’ or ‘waterproof sneakers for fishing in the Coromandel.’ This attracts local customers who are searching for relevant information.
    • Valuable content: Craft informative articles like buying guides and product reviews to address customer pain points. Remember to highlight your expertise. This builds trust among potential buyers, and they get to know you as the thought leader in your industry.
    • Social media: Social media channels can be valuable traffic sources. Promote your products and services on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. Social media advertising can help you to target specific demographics and individuals interested in your industry.
    • Create a Google Business Profile: Confirm your business information is correct and up to date. Motivate customers to leave reviews, which can significantly strengthen your local ranking.

    Building Backlinks

    • Collaboration: Building backlinks by reaching out to relevant New Zealand websites, guest writing or leaving product reviews can earn you quality links from high-authority websites, which improves your site’s ranking and credibility. Feel free to contact local bloggers or influencers, too!
    • Engage: Join online forums and communications relevant to your target audience. Provide insights while subtly linking to your website.
    • Product Images: High-quality images displaying a clear product image from multiple angles are necessary. Boost user experience and include alt text (ALT text is a description of an image that helps visually impaired individuals and search engines understand and rank your website.).
    • Internal linking: Create a solid internal linking structure that connects applicable pages within your website. For example, if in your blog ‘Top Hiking Boots for the South Island’ you cover three top brands, you would want to link each boot on your list back to the designated product page.

    A man and woman working and checking online orders for their e-commerce store.

    Additional Tips and Tricks for E-commerce SEO Success

    • Progress: Track your progress by regularly monitoring your site’s analytics to assess your SEO performance. Google Search Console is perfect for this purpose and can give you valuable insights into traffic sources, keyword trends, and areas for improvement.
    • Stay updated: Digital work is always evolving. Stay informed about the latest trends and algorithm changes to ensure your strategy remains effective. Visit sites like Google Search Central, Search Engine Journal, and Search Engine Land for the latest news and updates.

    Quick E-commerce and SEO Tool Guide

    Here’s a list of our top online tools to help amplify your online store…

    Competitor Analysis

    Product Sourcing and Research

    Optimisation for E-commerce Stores


    Branding and Social Media

    Thriving in the New Zealand E-commerce Market

    Don’t just survive in New Zealand’s booming online retail scene. Thrive with Found’s expert e-commerce SEO services. We’ll equip you with strategies to lead search results and attract Kiwi online shoppers to your store.

    Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and discover how our expert team can help you achieve your business goals.

    Megan Smith, Content Marketing Specialist.

    Megan Smith

    Content Marketing Specialist
    Megan is a seasoned digital marketer at Found, specialising in creating compelling content strategies that boost brand visibility and business growth.
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      Get Your Business Found

      Ready to go where your customers are?

      75% of people never scroll past Google's first page. If you're ready to get found where they're looking, get in touch and find out how we can grow your business and drive more traffic, leads, & sales with search marketing.

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