How to optimize Ecommerce Websites for Search Engines
Simply because of the large number of pages on an eCommerce website, they are an extremely challenging SEO issue. It can be a very time consuming task to properly link these pages together – and especially obtaining links to the actual product pages from external sites.
SEO for eCommerce is, in reality, a completely different animal than trying to rank a blog, for example. But there are a few things that you can do to make this process a bit easier.
SEO Keyword field in your database – The backbone of every eCommerce website is the database. This includes product names, prices, descriptions, etc. If you include a keyword field in your database, you will always know what keyword you are ranking that particular product for. This will help your link-building, product description and title optimization, and innumerable other tasks.
Product Detail page optimization – This is by far the most important piece of your SEO project. All of your product pages should have the following pieces:
iconProduct name – Your product name should be the title of the page. It should include all of your relevant keywords, but as few words as possible. Each product name should be unique, and should clearly indicate to users what each product is.
iconPrice – It is essential that your price be easy to find. Having to hunt for the price of a product might discourage potential buyers. It will be the first thing that your customers look for, so make sure that you put the â€œbuyâ€ button close. Which brings us to….
iconBuy button – Make it prominent, easy to spot, and colorful. Keep it on the first screen, so that users wont have to scroll down to find it. You will also need to remember that words can mean different things in different cultures, so keep that in mind when you choose the wording for your shopping cart.
Avoid session ID duplicate content – In situations where your site uses session IDs, it is possible that you have duplicate content. This could cause it to be penalized, and subsequently buried in search results. Session IDs are used for security purposes – they make sure that all transactions are traceable. On the downside, they also create unique URLs for every visitor who begins a purchase.
You will need to edit the file robots.txt to ensure that the search engines dont end up getting confused by all of the extra content. Even if you arent penalized, these could make your sites structure unclear – and this could harm your rankings.
Site map and RSS Feeds – Site maps can make your site much easier to rank. eCommerce sites have very large indexes, and without a site map there is always the possibility that some pages wont get crawled or indexed at all. By creating and submitting an RSS feed to relevant aggregators can help you acquire tons of backlinks – and these will help your site rankings.
SEO friendly shopping cart – You might discover that finding an SEO friendly shopping cart isnt as easy as it sounds. You will have to look for shopping cart software that says, specifically, that it is SEO friendly. Just because a software solution is expensive doesnt mean that it is the best, or that it is geared toward SEO. There are lots of great shopping cart software packages out there, at affordable prices – but youre going to have to do your research.
Social media – Social media is basically free advertising for your eCommerce site. Make sure that you include the social sharing buttons on your site, and allow users to leave their own reviews. This will improve customer participation, and enable you to receive feedback on your product and services. You will also need to make sure that your site is fully integrated with analytics, so that you will be able to capture all relevant data.
eCommerce websites are some of the most difficult to optimize for SEO, but they actually need it more than a regular website. Hopefully these tips will help, but be sure to do your research and testing.
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