Some SEO Considerations for E-Commerce Websites
Based on recent statistics from Statista.com, global B2C e-commerce is expected to grow into a sizable $1.92 trillion by the year 2016. Who does not want to have their share of this huge and highly lucrative pie? E-commerce specialists will readily agree that e-commerce is one of the best things to happen to retail. People can now shop while riding on the bus, waiting for their commuter train or during their down times at home.
However, with the opportunities presented by E-commerce also come its challenges. First, you need to build a robust and high-usable system that is designed for both desktop users and mobile users (or perhaps build a separate website for each). Next, you need to draw potential customers to your store. With the vast number of e-commerce sites vying for the customers’ attention, you need to make and implement a sound SEO strategy.
Here are some considerations for you to take note of:
- Plan your website with SEO in mind. How your pages are structured will have an impact on the website’s SEO. Outlining the hierarchy of the pages and considering its content in terms of the website copy and the URL will do much to ensure that the websites support each other and even strengthen the major category pages. On the other hand, a poorly designed website, SEO-wise, will result in pages cannibalizing the SEO standing of other pages. Doing the planning before the website is designed will help simplify things in the future. If you have already published your e-commerce site, this is one of the first things you need to review to see what changes can be made.
- Duplication vs. uniqueness. You are selling V-neck t-shirts with the same brand and description, with a variation on colors and sizes. There are also products that have very similar specifications. You need to look into the URL parameters, the website content, pagination, printer-friendly versions and session-IDs to check for duplication. The same goes for products that are placed on sale or on a special offer.
- Product descriptions. Your writing team needs to get their creative juices churning to create unique product descriptions, even for very similar items. This prevents you from getting penalized for duplicate content.
- Enable and encourage reviews from users. Yes, you will have users who will rant about your products – but you will also have users who are engaged with your website. Reviews from individuals provide unique content that contributes to the SEO strength of a page. Being open for reviews also increases your credibility to customers as they tend to trust candid feedback from fellow buyers. It can also give the “extra push” for wavering would-be buyers to make the decision to purchase, when they have more information about the product.
- Social media. You should also enable users to share product pages through their social media account. As users share your products through Facebook and other social media sites, you also increase your points SEO-wise as search engines also look into social signals as part of their evaluating your SEO ranking.
- Practice internal linking. Strengthen your pages by linking between pages. You can do this by offering alternative items to a specific product page, presenting related and similar products for the user to also look into.
- New products and seasonal products. When adding a new product page, make sure that the page is linked to the right product categories and check that the categories are linked to the home page. For seasonal products, think about using a generic yet unique URL (rather than using the specific model number). This is in case the product returns the next season with slight changes. A generic URL allows you to simply change the contents to adapt to the newly revised product. If the product is just for a specific season, you can redirect the user to an alternative product or to the main category.
- Out-of-stock products. Items that have gone out-of-stock will still add to your rankings. Keep product pages of out-of-stock items up – just note that the product is currently unavailable. You can then present alternative options of similar products as well as provide a facility where the user can sign up for notification when the product is available.
- Products that are phased out. When a product will no longer be available, you do not necessarily delete the product page. This action can cause you to lose on your SEO standing. Rather than simply deleting the page, you can redirect the user to the main product category or to a replacement product. If there are no replacement products and no bookmarks on the page, you can then opt to place the page on 410 status. This notifies search engines that the page is permanently deleted.
- Use quality pictures and videos. Only use high-quality images that are optimized to enable the page to load faster. This provides information for the user and also increases the SEO standing of the page.
About Adaptivity Pro
For the e-commerce requirements of your business, you can trust Adaptivity Pro to be your web design and web-based services provider. We specialize in Utah web design, internet marketing and SLC Search Engine Optimization. Our team of expert programmers, web designers, graphic artists, SEO analysts and copywriters will be just what you need to push your e-commerce website to the next level of sales.