Everyone who has an idea always wants to sell their product online to reach the largest possible audience. I am writing this because it scares me to see how many E-commerce sites are out there which are not search engine and user friendly and which will struggle succeeding organically in many search engines as a result.The following are some minimal points which should be taken into account from an SEO perspective for anyone who is thinking of or in process of creating an E-commerce site.
1 . URL Rewrites
There are so many sites out there that still that do not have their URL structure correctly set up. This could be due to a heavy focus on design or content at the outset, at the expense of the very important technical aspects of websites designed with SEO in mind.
In the same way that it is important to have target keywords included in the content and meta data etc, it is also important to have a URL structure that is easy to understand and describes what the page is talking about, and which preferably contains target keywords in the URL’s as well.
Obviously the upper URL already suggests that the page is about bags with a main focus on work-bags, while the lower URL does not represent or tell anything about the page on a URL level.
Some might think this to be a very small thing; however making your URL’s as clear as possible does provide a better impression to everyone (including search engines), and better demonstrates what a particular page on a site is actually talking about. If you can put relevant keywords in the URL’s then that is even better. You may refer to the following site for a more detailed explanation of URL rewrites.
2. Choose the right keyword for the right page
With hundreds and thousands of pages, E-commerce sites can be overflowing with information on prices, product descriptions, reviews, legal information, delivery methods, and so on, so make sure you are aware of the keywords you are targeting and wanting to have rank high organically. Such keywords should be placed on your most relevant target landing pages throughout the site.
Deciding on the right keywords will allow you to write more specific content and enable more specific theming of target landing pages which can be expanded in future by using additional related target keywords to capture more search engine traffic.
3. One topic per page
When creating pages on your E-commerce site, be sure to use one topic or theme per page for your products.
For example, you don’t want to have a page that both talks about bags and shoes. Why? Search engines don’t like pages that cover multiple topics as they can’t identify what exactly the pages are focusing on. Additionally, if users are searching for bags and arrive on a page that lists multiple other products in addition to bags, the chances are they will not have a very good user experience and may even leave the page or site if they do not immediately and easily find what they are looking for.
4. Bread Crumbs, Internal Linking
Because E-commerce sites can have hundreds and thousands of pages, it is important to make the site as SEO friendly as possible by also making good use of bread crumbs. Make sure your bread crumbs are simple for users, as well as for search engine spiders. Making simple bread crumbs is the key, as in my first example below. The second example is of a poor use of bread crumbs, which included a complete duplication of the page title for the specific page I was viewing.
Example of good bread crumb:
Home > Store > Product > Bags
Example of poor bread crumb:
Home > The best store with all products you need > Find the best item from our 1,000 + items > Bags | The best quality
Internal linking should be designed to ensure link juice is spread throughout your website, so that all important pages on your site rank well for their targeted keywords. You can read more about internal linking here. Make sure you include target keywords in your anchor text when setting up the internal linking for your site. For example, it is important that if you have a product page for sports bags, that any internal links on that page should contain target page keywords and should also link to other hand bag pages, in order to maximize the page authority and relevancy for each page, as well as to provide a better user experience.
Remember, if your site looks messy to humans, it will probably look the same from a search engines point of view.
5. Unique Content / Enrich with content
It is true that a picture tells a thousand words, but a picture alone isn’t sufficient for E-commerce sites. Users want full descriptions; they want to know more about the products that they are interested in. Make sure you have relevant keyword focused content included in your product pages. I have seen countless sites that simply upload a nice image (which is also important), but offer only minimal product details, such as colors, sizes, and availability. This information is definitely necessary, but make sure you also include a section that describes the product in more detail, so you can use your targeted keywords in this content.
Be sure not use the descriptions provided straight from the manufacturers product feed. Search engines, like people value original content. By using this content verbatim, you’re offering little value to both humans and search engines. Instead write unique, personalized content whenever possible to avoid duplicate content issues and a weak reception from visitors.
These pages are the most valuable pages on your E-commerce site as, after all, they’re the ones where conversions take place.