Search engine optimization for online stores is different than usual SEO practice that you can use on blogs or informative websites. When it comes to ecommerce optimization, every mistake is noticeable because it results to immediate drop in sales. Therefore, it is very important to follow this SEO guide and set up everything correctly at the beginning and avoid usual e-commerce mistakes that will lead your business into failure.
1. Do a keyword research for all products
Search for variations in product names, and be sure to know what do people search for when looking for the product on the internet. Sometimes businesses know well how to sell products online, but they are not very familiar with the internet search of the same product. If your store sells “elegant dresses”, you may find out that there is a specific niche like “prom dresses” and “evening dresses”, or even conclude that women usually search for dresses in specific colors like “red evening dresses”. This is all very important, because if you know your audience, you will target the perfect customer easily and help them find you on the top of the search results.
2. Create simple URL structure
Avoid dynamic URL structure, and make it easy for understanding. If your URLs look like this:
you need to change it right away. Dynamic URLs are used if the content of your website is pulled from a database in a specific way that it generates links automatically. This can lead to duplicate page SEO problems and Google will not be able to understand what your page is about. This is a very common mistake with e-commerce SEO. Your URL structure should be static, and reveal folders of your website that are logical and simple to navigate to. If you want to go a step further, install breadcrumbs on every page so users and crawlers can easily navigate between different portions of web content.
Links should be descriptive to both users and search engines, and they are a great place to put your keywords, too. Giving user the opportunity to see this URL can help him navigate back and forth to all options available on the website. Google, on the other hand, will be able to understand the website’s logic and how all of the pages are connected.
3. Write keyword rich title tags, product names, photo titles and alt-tags
Use keywords wisely and strategically. When you add product photos, be sure that those photos are named with your most important keywords, have photo title tags and alt-tags with the same keywords. This way, you can optimize your photos and get it to rank too, even for Google image search. Make sure that your photos are optimized and not too large, always use the option “Save for Web” before you upload it on the website.
4. Write unique product descriptions
Do not copy product descriptions from other websites. Write unique, informative and appealing product descriptions that will help your users determine what product to choose. Make sure that you have short product description next to your product photos and shopping card, but offer an option for reading more about product specification for those who are keen to know all the details before they shop.
5. Implement canonical tags on paginated pages
Google needs to determine what page is the most relevant page for the desired keyword. If you have paginated pages, make sure you always point to the first (or the most important) page of the specific product. You can do that with using rel="next", rel="prev" and "view all" attributes on your paginated pages.
6. Internal website search
Have a visible, easy to use search option on your website. It will help visitors find what they are looking for without spending extra time on your website, and crawling through the content they have no interest in.
7. Product reviews
Product reviews are a great way to update your website constantly with fresh content. Offer your visitors something in return, and they will write an honest review on your website. It will also show up as a microdata on the search results and give you higher CTR. People are 63% more likely to buy if there are product reviews, so invest your extra time in getting those honest reviews from your current customers!
8. Rich snippets
Rich snippets are structured microdata that help search engines have better understanding of your page. The most important rich snippets for ecommerce include product name, price, review, and availability and you can find the detailed instruction of how to add it on Google Developers Rich Snippets page.
9. Write a blog
Useful, up-to-date blog on your website is the best way to interact with your visitors and give them valuable information that will be shared over social networks. Use you blog to answer the most important questions in your industry, highlight your top products or give any other valuable information frequently. You can check our blog about blogging for companies and learn more about this subject.
10. Social media buttons
The last, but not the least are social media buttons. Make sure that your product pages have share buttons, so people can click on it and post or like your products. Social interaction is an upvoting signal for Google, and when someone likes your product it gives it a value. Help people share your content and generate more traffic back from social channels.
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