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Critical SEO Errors of E-commerce Websites – It’s common for online merchants to think that by simply listing hundreds or even thousands of products on their e-commerce website, search engine traffic will start rolling in. It turns out that is far from reality.
The sad fact is, optimizing e-commerce websites for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is much harder than it is for blogs or simple 5 page company websites. By having lots of product pages constantly shuffling on and off the site, numerous problems arise that make SEO very difficult for e-commerce websites. Today we are going to go over 6 common SEO errors of online stores and e-commerce websites.
Lack of Product Description
From my experience, this error usually is made by online gift stores (in the broad sense) and online lights shops. Unfortunately, the complete lack of a text description of the product virtually puts an end to the chances of the page being in the top 10 of a search engine query, even in the case of low-frequency queries. So be sure to add a description to the item card; do not kill your page’s chances.
For example, these halogen light. Nothing special, just light. Of course, the picture speaks a thousand words, but the search engines cannot see images. So make sure to add ALT description of the product.
A great way to measure how much unique content you need is to measure the default word count of a blank product page. Count all the words that are used in your navigation, sidebar, footer and any text that is present on a blank product page. Make sure your unique text, exceeds that “default” word count in order to have a heavier weight on unique content. Obviously the more unique content you write for your product description will always be better for your SEO efforts. However, keep the following things in mind:
- Only write quality descriptive content that helps your customers make purchasing decisions.
- Don’t copy content from other websites. The search engines will penalize you for doing this.
- You may want to test what description word count helps with purchase conversion. Too much content might hurt.
Using Product Descriptions from Manufacturers
If you want to be filtered by the search engines, just add a description from the manufacturer. This action can guarantee your site will be banned from the search engines. The thing is that these descriptions are distributed to many online stores. And most of them are leaving the text in its original form. All this leads to a number of pages with non-unique content and filters from Google. To make this an even worse mistake, these manufacturer descriptions are usually not written in a way that sells.
The rule here is: always create unique content. Google has been getting better and better at kicking websites down the rankings because of duplicate content and content scraping. Now creating unique content for thousands of products or wildly varying inventories can be a daunting task. I’ve been there before. You may want to consider putting a NO INDEX meta tag on product pages that you can’t write unique content for.
If you have thousands of product pages that you either can’t get to, or will be out your inventory in a matter of days, then certainly consider keeping them out the search engines. The point here is you don’t want to have thousands of pages with no unique content compared to only a few that do. What this does is it makes your website look like it has automatically generated thousands of simple webpages to try to gain SEO traffic. That’s exactly what you don’t want it to look like.
It’s much better to keep your SEO in good standing than let it suffer from poorly optimized product pages or a spammy looking content strategy.
Lack of Product Reviews
About 80% of buyers are looking for reviews of products on online stores or forums before making a purchase. This means that if your site has no such reviews, you are missing a very large percentage of the audience. Moreover, it is easier for review pages to reach the top of search results than selling pages.
Amazon.com has allowed its users to not only buy products, but also leave reviews of books, gadgets, and more. Thus, they have created a whole community of book lovers who share their experiences.
Critical SEO Errors of E-commerce Websites – The beautiful thing about product reviews from customers is:
- They are creating unique content for your online store and it’s free! We’ve been talking about all the trouble involved by not having unique content and how hard it is to create it. Product reviews solve this problem!
- It keeps the product page “living”, which can help to bring the search engines back more often. Anytime you can update your site more frequently, the better it is for your overall SEO efforts.
Not Optimizing Product Pages Based on The Search Demand
Be sure to consider the demand and search keywords that people are typing into the search engines when you write headlines, title pages, and product descriptions whit strong keywords. Otherwise, you may create a situation in which you are promoting something that no one is searching for. This is a common mistake of stores with a great number of different goods.
For example, you could make a page by mistake that has the title tag, H1 heading and image alt tag information optimized for the keyword phrase “35 Watt GU10 Halogen Light Bulb”, when it would be much wiser to optimize for a more specific keyword phase such as “35 Watt GU10 Halogen Light Bulb”. Start description whit <strong>35 Watt GU10 Halogen Light Bulb</strong> – and continue whit product description…..
Critical SEO Errors of E-commerce Websites – With that said, here are some tips to help you better optimize those product pages:
- Use model numbers in your title tags and H1 headings.
- Use brand names in your title tags and H1 headings.
- Use <strong> or <b> wen you start description
- Don’t use other bold or strong keywords, on description
- Don’t forget to fill out your image alt tag information!
- Don’t keyword stuff the page with the keyword phrase by repeating it over and over again.
- And never, ever, use iframes to display content. Make sure your content actually exists on the product page it is meant to be on.
Another problem of the large online stores is duplicated title tags. Watch for their uniqueness and try to avoid identical values. It is the school foundation of SEO, but when we are talking about online shopping, for some reason, many have stopped observing this simple rule.
It’s difficult to create unique title tags when you sell multiple items from the same brand, or similar items from many brands. You will inevitably repeat the same keywords over and over again. Search engines are aware of this occurrence, and therefore you should focus on making unique key phrases.
A lot of online shoppers are searching for a key phrase oppose to a single keyword. A formula that tends to work well is the “band-model” title tag recipe:
- For example your title tag should be structured in this way: Brand – Model – Item Type
- Some real life examples could be: “28 Watt E14 Small Edison Screw C35 Halogen Candle Light” or “28 Watt E14 Small Edison Screw C35 Halogen Candle Light Bulb”
An important tip for nailing down the right keywords is to survey your customers to see what language they use when they talk about the products you sell. The structure in which they phrase your products will clue you into how they might search for them.
- Article name: – Critical SEO Errors of E-commerce Websites
- Created on: 30.09.2015
- Created by: Dorel Tanase – marketing specialist and writer at on-seo.co.uk who likes to write articles about SEO, social media, and internet marketing.