Today most of the eCommerce sites rely only on SEM than SEO, as their sites doesn’t shine well before the eCommerce giants in search results. This trend is not good for any online based business, because as the competition increases the search engines will increase their CPC which will cost you more. You will have to concentrate more on eCommerce SEO than on SEM to get more traffic through search engines. Here are some of the key factors which will boost your eCommerce website’s SEO rankings and conversion rate.
It has become a trend for eCommerce sites to scrape contents from other websites, especially product descriptions. A site full of duplicate content is considered to be a SPAM website in the eyes of Google. So it is necessary for webmasters to add unique descriptions for each product, explaining about its features.
Similar to product descriptions, the images are also downloaded from other websites and uploaded to eCommerce sites with irrelevant names. The Google image search contributes a lot in traffic to eCommerce websites. So concentrating more on images would bring you a good amount of traffic. Keep your image names descriptive. For eg, Samsung-Galaxy.jpg would be more search engine friendly than 11122.jpg, keeping an alternative text for browsers which doesn’t display images.
Product url Structure:
The product or category pages in default eCommerce frameworks would not be much eCommerce SEO friendly. It is the responsibility of developers and marketing teams to make the link structures proper. Keep your targeted keywords as close to your domain as possible and avoid lengthy urls.
Image url Structure:
Most of the eCommerce frameworks load image urls from cache. But search engines doesn’t like this format of url structure, because once the cache is cleared the url of the images also gets changed. Most webmasters get issues on indexing the images because of this. To solve this issue its better to load your images from a subdomain or cdn. If this costs you high, then you can keep one permanent image url linked to your website and the others from cache, so that it doesn’t slow down your website. It also makes the image url more eCommerce SEO friendly.
The sitemaps help web crawlers to navigate through your site without any hurdles. Recently separated sitemaps have came into existence for images and mobile urls which helps to index more urls with it. Sitemaps should be generated as per the sitemaps.org structure ( http://www.sitemaps.org/protocol.html ).
Every eCommerce framework will have their own robots.txt in default. We should make sure that the robots.txt is restructured properly so that it is secure and allows search engine bots to crawl navigable urls. For eg, In Magento the /media/ will be blocked in robots.txt and that particular directory would have the images in it. So it is the responsibility of the webmaster to make the page crawlable from that directory and also keep the important files in it secure.
A proper usage of H1 tags would help the search engines to know about what that particular url is about. But if it is overused then it would not add any value. Instead it would confuse search engines, making them to skip your website.
Meta Tags :
A meta title serves as a gateway for your website. It helps search engines to know what your site is about. Never do keyword stuffing in meta titles, as it will give a bad impression about your website in the eyes of web crawlers.
Meta description is not considered as a ranking factor by Google or other search engines, but it still has more value by displaying customised description on search result. A well optimised meta description with unique content will have more clicks through rating from search results. Most eCommerce developers would automate meta descriptions with the same content for all products, which is a duplication that should be avoided.
Og Graph is the recent meta tag which illustrates on how your website link should appear on social media sites.
Data Highlighter :
The data highlighter is a useful customisation available on webmaster tools under search appearance. This helps site owners to customise the visualisation of a product view on search results. Using this tool you can mention about the default infos like product name, price, review etc to be highlighted on search results. This feature would also increase the CTR of your website in search results. For this number of frameworks come up with a rich snippet feature or it is provided through customized eCommerce plugins .
Site Wide Navigation:
A proper flow of urls is necessary for a user-friendly website. A customer should not spend more time searching for a product or on shopping cart page. So it is the responsibility of site owners to keep the navigation simple, so that it would help customers to browse your product portfolio quickly and with more convenience.
Site Speed :
Every customer who enters an eCommerce site looks into multiple pages before purchasing a product, so as to have a comparison on products, check new products and other infos . If your page speed is slow then there are more chances that your customers will quit your site and look out for some other website. To avoid this, you should analyse your site wide speed and make necessary changes. There are a number of online tools like gtmetrix which gives you useful recommendations to increase your site speed.
It is always recommended to keep a customer interaction page like review or testimonial on a product page. This helps the customer to tell their feedback about a particular product, and in return it creates more trust on your site and also about that product.
A common mistake which people make is that they keep the social sharing buttons on the home pages of eCommerce sites. A customer would be interested in sharing a detail of a product rather than your website. So keeping a social sharing button on an eye catching position in the product page would help in social interaction.
Add to Cart:
There are sites which are very good in design, navigation, content etc. But they fail at cart page conversion by not checking their add to cart and add to shopping bag buttons which are the most important places in an eCommerce website. Track your abandon cart rate in analytics, which will give you a clear feedback about your cart page. There are chances of errors, slowness etc to happen at the cart page. So make sure it works well. Another thing in some sites is that the cart page might have been placed in a corner of the product page or the cart button have been given a dim color. Keeping the cart button highlighted would increase the chances of conversion of a product.
Organic search will bring you customers on a long run, while newsletters could give you conversions within a short span. Placing the newsletters at the right place would get you ideal customers who loves regular updates on new products added to your site.
Last but not the least, a regularly updated eCommerce blog would drive extra traffic to your website. Posting blog posts once or twice a day about your products, about the site, new arrivals etc helps to keep your customers engaged with your site regularly. Also a blog with quality content glitters more in search results.
The tips listed above will not only increase your search visibility, but also lower your bounce rate which is a recent factor that Google considers while positioning websites in search results.