Whether your e-commerce site has just a handful of popular products, or thousands of products, SEO tips can help you drive traffic to your site.
More than any other kind of site on the web, e-commerce sites directly financially benefit from increased traffic. Traffic, and especially highly targeted search traffic, leads to more sales.
Here are 10 e-commerce site seo tips.
- Check for Broken Links Throughout Your Whole Site
Using tools that automate the link-checking process, like those from Moz and Google Webmaster tools, check for broken links.
The links are still important in terms of ranking. If links are broken, bounce rates go up because the links are out of order and the pages aren’t there leading to a fall in the Google SERPs.
- Use Original Meta Tags, Meta Keywords, Titles, and Product Descriptions
Describe your products in completely original ways. Whether it’s the metadata like the tags, keywords, or page titles, or it’s the product descriptions themselves, be as original as you can.
The search engines value originality. It is pretty difficult to write Shakespearean content for product categories and products – especially when the products are heavy on technical details and specs – but it pays off to learn how to write original material for product descriptions.
One of the simplest ways to go about it the wrong way is to copy & paste from a manufacturer’s description and then get in trouble for having duplicate content. Hire a copywriter if you have to, or spend some time on it yourself if you can’t afford one. Duplicate content is a surefire way to get knocked down in the SERPs.
- Get Your SEO Consultant, Information Architect, and Web Designer Working Together From the Very Start
You will have a better-optimized, more effective site if you get your developers, programmers, planners, and designers working together from the very beginning. Oftentimes, SEO consultants are hired too late, and a lot of re-coding, adjustment is recommended – but little can be done if the URL structure and information architecture has already been determined.
- Make Sure Your Developers Know About the Potential for Duplicate Content and How to Fix these Issues Before They Start Coding
Both developers and designers need to be familiar with the downsides of advanced search and filtering, the potential for problems with meta directives or robot exclusion, and know about the potential problems associated with pagination.
E-commerce sites can have serious duplicate content issues. Duplicate content problems often arise from non-intuitive website structure, poor information architecture, and bad planning.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
- Test Out Smaller Iterative Processes Instead of Revamping a Large E-commerce Site All at Once
When you’re planning your tactics and implementation for your SEO strategy, there is one factor that is far more important than anything else – and that is doing small tests. All too often, e-commerce site owners want to transform a site all at once. They want to make all the pages rank highly on Google in an instant.
However, it is much more effective to run small tests, see what works, and then roll out the changes site-wide. Focus on the important things first. Most designers and developers have limited time, and you want them to work on the pages and products that are either central to your site or will bring in the most income, to spur further SEO work.
- Use E-commerce tracking to Track the ROI of SEO Improvements for Clients
If you’re a SEO expert and doing work for an e-commerce site owner, you would want to show him/her the profit boosts generated from your SEO improvements. A lot of website owners will just look at traffic growth as a sign that they are moving in the right direction, and that they are doing something effective and smart.
That traffic should convert into sales, though. That’s why it’s important to turn on e-commerce tracking with tracking software like Google Analytics. If you can show the results in dollars, it is much more effective than increasing clicks, rankings, or pageviews.
- Traditional SEO is Important to E-commerce Sites
E-commerce sites usually under-perform on product pages. This could be traced to issues with text, coding, or related content.
An e-commerce site may have product pages with too little product information, a lack of original content, or duplicate content found elsewhere on the web.
Getting back to tip #2, it is important not only to have original content, but to have plenty of it. You need adequate product text, because it is virtually impossible to rank and drive traffic to your pages without it.
You also need proper keyword targeting, video, and images, or else it will be hard for the product pages to compete in these really tough niches. Avoid re-publishing content at all costs, and put effort into making it completely unique.
- Make Your Site Compelling to Real Humans – Not Just Search Engines
Content shouldn’t just be unique. It should also be very high quality. Try to focus on making your content share-worthy such that it garners tons and tons of likes, re-tweets and +1’s across various social networks.
The diversity of site traffic, time spent on the site, bounce rate, page layout, and user experience are all taken into account in your Google search engine rankings.
- Optimize All Kinds of Content
Google Image Search has become increasingly popular. Furthermore, Google’s Universal blended search makes optimizing every type of media essential. Optimizing your title tags, alt tags, links pointing to your images are all very much important today.
- Get Your E-Commerce Site on the Social Networks
Social signals are the single most important thing to search engine algorithms today. It is a good idea to have official pages on every social network with lots of fans, likes, shares, and tweets, but you want to continuously post a lot of great content to keep your fans interacting with your brand, as well.
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