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State of SEO strategies in France - statistics & facts

With more than 25 million households having access to the internet at home in France in 2021, the number of internet users is expected to grow to 57 million in 2025. When mentioning the internet, the term search engine immediately comes to mind. Google was far the most popular on all devices, with a 96.86 percent market share on mobile devices. The leading query in 2021 was "Facebook", indicating the strong position of the five biggest U.S. companies that dominate the digital world, known as GAFAM (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft).

Website traffic, bounce rate and backlinks

The general direct traffic, defined as visits without a referring website, was the strongest for among French cosmetic websites. With the paid search, that is to say, visits made through paid advertising, organic or search traffic are the primary channel that inbound marketing strives to increase, which was the highest for the mass retailer, reaching 60.7 percent in March 2020. This traffic is defined as visitors coming from a search engine, such as Google. In turn, referral traffic brought 39.55 percent of Google's net traffic, representing visits from other sites, without searching for it on a search engine. Backlinks can be a source of referral as they can link one website to another. had the most backlinks on its shopping platform in 2020, with more than 8,000 backlinks.
For e-merchants, Ebay and GEMO had the highest bounce rates at over 75 percent in 2020, which equalled the percentage of visitors who entered the website and then left ("bounce").

SEO strategies and common errors

Setting up SEO strategies does seem crucial in the 21st century, especially the relevance of textual content for good SERP (Search Engine Result Page) positioning was rated as important, along with keyword embedding in the title tag and a functioning alt tag for properly working images or video content.
For an e-commerce website, international expansion can be a great challenge, as the search engines have to understand the content offered in different languages. Using Hreflang (HTML or tag attribute), search engines are informed about the relationship between pages in different languages on a website and use the attribute to match their search results based on the searcher's language preferences. However, in a study conducted by SEMrush in 2018, the most common SEO language errors were missing Hreflang and Lang tags for French e-commerce websites.


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