Almost everybody uses search engines like Google when looking for products and services. Search engines are one of the most important mediums to get highly targeted traffic and make your store findable on the Internet.
E-commerce, as an online-based business, should care more about SEO. Besides the fact that search engines are a natural place to get new customers, online stores could suffer from search algorithm changes. Rankings, your store’s exposure and therefore sales, could be affected as many e-commerce sites have a similar profile as spammy-feel websites do, and Google is wiping out their search results. They have:
- high page volume
- pages with content
- duplicate content
Search engines are a clever piece of software, but they aren’t perfect and if your website is not SEO friendly, it could be hit like any other website out there.
1. Better Navigation
The first aspect of optimization is to make user experience top-notch. You should always bear in mind that your client’s satisfaction is the most important factor. The website you’re creating is made for people, not search engines. The smoother your visitor’s experience will be, the higher the chance is that he will turn into a happy customer.
Provide a clear and topic-based navigation. Your users will have the ability to find the product they’re looking for quickly and easily. For the search engines, it will be a clear signal that your website is well planned and of course it will be reflected in your website’s search engine optimized link structure url:
2. Content Optimization
Content optimization, in terms of e-commerce is of equal importance as on any other website. Websites with properly crafted content will be precisely relevant to the product query, as users on the Internet are looking for specific products, rather than specific web stores.
The most important factor is to eliminate or reduce to a minimum the chance of duplicated content. Google treats websites with a high number of pages along with thin or duplicate content, the same as spam sites. With so many product pages, lack of content on each page, as well as duplicated product descriptions, can be the source of some serious problems for e-commerce sites looking to boost their organic rankings.
Avoid using copy and paste descriptions given form the manufactures. Try to use unique product descriptions. It could be frustrating and time consuming, but it’s absolutely essential if you want to score better rankings or on the other hand, don’t want to get banned by Google.
When users navigate through an e-commerce website they are able to reach a product page in a number of ways. For example: a particular website could have the same products listed on a different kind of ways, like products sorted by rating or by price. E-commerce websites are likely to show url address in a browser, which reflects user’s exact steps through your website. A can probably imagine how this kind of situation translates for search engines – multiple urls with the same content. To prevent content duplications issue caused by multiple urls pointing to the same landing pages you should use a canonical tag.
Implementing rel=”canonical” tags on your e-commerce website is pretty simple. Just add a canonical tag in the head section of your primary web page. It would be a clear suggestion for search engine crawlers that this page is the only one they should care about.
3. Microformats and Rich Snippets
If you’re not using using Shema.org markup, then you should start using it right away. Rich snippets will provide your potential customers with a better search experience, thanks to enhancements to the displayed results.
Tiny bits of information like rates, price information or a short product overview are the elements which grabs users’ attention and makes your offer look professional and complete.
4. Social Media
Social media, despite the fact that it is used for communication with users, has a major impact on search engine rankings. Links that appear in social media are new and very important signals that tell search engines that your content, besides the relevance, is the right one to show to the user for his query.
Provide social media plug-ins integration that refer to your shop and specific products for better user experience.