E-commerce & SEO: Tips for Success

E-Commerce and SEOWebsite Search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t easy. E-commerce sites particularly have some unique SEO challenges. These tips will help you overcome your e-commerce site’s SEO so you can rank higher in search engine results and get more visitors, customers and sales for your online store.
1. Create Unique Content on Each of Your Product and Product Category Pages
Relevant, unique content tells Google a page is valuable, and helps it rank higher. Well-written content can also persuade more of your visitors to actually follow through with their purchase. Don’t just copy the manufacturer’s description of the product. Write your own description so that Google sees it as valuable, unique content. Google’s Farmer/Panda Update of early 2011 favours sites with more original content.

2. What Shoppers are Actually Searching For?
Keyword research is an invaluable way to discover the words you should be using to describe what you sell. You can find out how many people search for a particular keyword per month, and even check more specifically for your own region, with Google’s free keyword tool.

3. For Categories People are Searching For, Create Pages
It might be assumed that people may be searching for specific product names like “Nikon D90,” but odds are, more people are searching for broad keyword phrases like “Nikon digital camera” and “digital SLR cameras.” Creating category pages for these broad keyword phrases – as well as product-specific pages within each category – boosts your SEO and helps you capture a bigger number of people searching for what you sell. Category pages based on broad keywords can help browsers and researchers find what they want more quickly, and turn them into buyers.

4. Interlink Your Pages Using Optimal Anchor Text
Link to other products or categories within the text on your site using anchor text with relevant keywords. This will help search engines find and index other pages on your site, so they can be found by searchers. The links and anchor text will also boost the linked pages’ SEO and help them rank higher for words you use in your anchor text. Added bonus: People reading your text can easily click on links you provide and find other products that might interest them. You’ll be keeping people on your site, and helping them find what they want. Perfect world!

5. Allow People to Share Your Products on Social Media Sites
Social media mentions help your SEO. Plus, social sharing gets your product seen by more people. Install social sharing buttons for Facebook, Twitter and Google+ on every product and product category page. Make sure they’re easy to find. One online retailer places them right below the price of each product, because people always look for the price.

6. Get Valuable Backlinks
Backlinks (links from another site to yours) have always been one of the most important factors search engines consider when deciding how high to rank a web page in search results. Getting backlinks isn’t easy, however, as most people get spammed regarding this topic.  Adding interesting content to your website beyond product and category pages is the first step, because few website owners want to link to a boring page, or a page where you’re just selling something. A blog is a great avenue for adding link-worthy content to your website.

7. Avoid Duplicate Content Issues
E-commerce sites tend to give visitors the option to sort a list of products by various parameters like price, popularity or product ratings. While sorting is useful for people, it can be a nightmare for your SEO, because it usually means you are essentially creating multiple pages with the same content, just in a different order. Search engines can see these pages as duplicate content, and therefore less valuable. This in turn can dilute the SEO of these pages. This isn’t a simple thing to fix, but the easiest thing you can do is tell Google about the sorting through Webmaster Tools. For more info on solving this problem, read item No. 3 in this article.

8. Use Descriptive URLs
The URLs on your site are another opportunity to boost your e-commerce site’s SEO. If your page about green grommets has a URL like http://www.example.com/green-grommets, the URL is telling Google that the page is about “green grommets” and should show up in search results for that keyword phrase. However, if the URL is http://www.example.com/page?id=59274974, Google doesn’t get that extra piece of information telling it what the page is about. People also look at URLs, and it’s much better if the URL informs them, too.

9. Let Visitors Leave Reviews
Reviews are another piece of unique, relevant content, and search engines love unique, relevant content. Plus, reviews can influence visitors to decide to pull out their bank cards and purchase the product.

 

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