Ecommerce websites have different inherent qualities which makes handling them a different ballgame altogether. These websites often run into thousands of pages and have duplicacy issues among other challenges, which must be addressed in order to get the best conversion rates. Here are some tips for the same.
There is no doubt that an online business thrives on good website design and search rankings. The easier it is to find your website for a particular search query, the better are the chances that user will pay a visit to your site. But in Ecommerce, mere traffic doesn’t mean anything, until that traffic converts into sales. All your efforts are pretty much in vain if people visit your Ecommerce site only to bounce off to another site without spending a single penny. It is pretty simple; the more attention you pay to the design and search engine marketing of your site, the more it will benefit your business. While there is no magic potion that can offer you instant top ranks in search results, paying attention to little things will ensure that your ecommerce website is optimized for attention of Google.
Your website should be human friendly
Gone are the days when writing few words of product description, and that too copied from the product’s website would suffice. After the Panda update, and the latest Hummingbird, Google has become much more conscious towards qualitative content. Now, the search bots not only look for uniqueness but are also capable of recognizing useful and relevant content from crap. Pages that are written for humans will rank high and those written for spiders will surely find themselves penalized. In order to populate your page with useful and human friendly content, you could include sections like reviews, comments, pictures, videos and other interactive media. Such user-generated content can lend higher relevance to your page and thus rank it higher than competitors.
Remove duplicate content
The biggest issue that these websites face is of duplicate content, affecting the rankings of web pages. To avoid this duplicacy you can employ techniques such as link canonicalization. This technique is particularly useful for sites that make the same HTML content available through different URLs. A canonical link will be preferred version of the page which the Google should show in its search results. There are a number of ways of setting up a canonical link such as using 301 redirects, specifying one in your HTTP header or setting your preferred domain. Other methods that will help in reducing the duplicacy issue include syndication of content, and requesting Google to remove pages that are using your content with or without prior permission under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Dealing with obsolete or expired products
Every e-commerce website is replete with products that have either been phased out by the manufacturer company or will never find their place on the site. Many websites remove these pages from the site, without taking any further note, which itself is not one of the best practices. Deleting such pages will reduce the SEO value of your site. Instead, there are a number of other clever ways to deal with such pages. You can use permanent 301 redirect from the older page to the newer model‘s URL which automatically tells Google that you want this page ranked. Other witty solution will be to reuse the URL for directing to similar products where technical specs and model number hold no relevance.
Strengthening the category pages
Many Ecommerce business owners fail to recognize the significance of category pages, paying all attention to either the product page or the home page. Category pages are in fact the most powerful after home page, and getting them ranked is surely going to be a good thing for your business. Instead of filling the category pages with pictures and listings, make sure it has some qualitative content. This content will not only rank your web page to the top of search results but also help usher visitors through the conversion funnel.
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Saurabh Tyagi is a budding online blogger and social media enthusiast. He keeps an eye on the latest SEO trends and offers expert advice on various issues and topics pertaining to choosing the various web design techniques.