5 Mistakes of E-Commerce Sites That Affect SEO Rankings
5 Mistakes of E-Commerce Sites That Affect SEO Rankings
Most online entrepreneurs think that posting photos and names of products on their website is enough to increase their search engine rankings. Believe it or not, optimizing a website to rank high on search engine results needs a lot of work.
Optimizing blogs or even simple three-page websites can be very challenging because product pages are constantly updated. Learning about the most common mistakes that e-commerce sites make can help online storeowners improve their search engine rankings.
Not Using Keywords Properly
When you write product descriptions, headlines, or event titles, make sure that you are using keywords that your target audience is typing in search bars. Otherwise, you are creating content that nobody is searching for. You would be surprised at the number of online stores that do not know how to use keywords to optimize their product pages.
Some of the most effective ways to maximize your page’s SEO rankings include:
- Using Numbers in Titles and Headings
- Using Brand Names in Titles and Headings
- Not Overusing Keywords or Keyword Phrases
Make sure you do your due diligence on your research for these phrases using tools like SEMRush.com or the Google Adwords Keyword Tool.
Absence of Product Descriptions
Not using product descriptions completely eliminates the chances of an e-commerce site to rank anywhere in the top 10 of search engine results. What you can do is to measure how much unique content is necessary in these product descriptions. You can check the default word counts of blank product pages to count the number of words needed in your footer, sidebar, and navigation areas.
The unique product descriptions must exceed the default word count, so your product pages would have more weight on having unique content. The more unique content you use for these descriptions, the higher your SEO rankings will get. Make sure that you write the product description in a way that helps your customers decide to buy your product. Most importantly, never plagiarize content to avoid penalties from search engines.
Copying Titles from Other Websites
Duplicating titles is another huge mistake that e-commerce website owners make. For some reason though, this basic SEO rule has been universally ignored by many online shopping sites.
The challenge of writing a unique title is you will use the same keywords many times over at some point. If you are selling various items from the same brand, or the same item from different brands, this is bound to happen. This is the reason many e-commerce websites copy rather than write unique title tags. Keep in mind that search engines are designed to detect duplicate titles.
Learning what specific keywords to use is important in writing unique titles. There are online tools that you can use to help identify the specific words that your target audience is typing in search engines. People actually use key phrases and not just keywords when they search for products online. Learning how these phrases are structured will help you determine how people search for your products.
Copying Descriptions from the Product’s Manufacturers
Not only does copying product descriptions from a manufacturer ensure that search engines filter your website, it also ensures search engines ban your site and IP address.
The reason for this is simple: hundreds of e-commerce websites just copy product descriptions from manufacturers. These descriptions are highly distributed, which means that thousands of pages have similar content. Google has very strict filters for copied content. The worst part is the fact that the descriptions from these manufacturers are not written in a way that makes people want to buy the product.
Rule of thumb: always write 100% unique content. Google is constantly developing algorithms to detect and filter websites because of content duplication.
It is challenging, of course, to write unique content if you have hundreds of products or if you sell fast-moving products on your website. For product pages that you would not be able to write unique content or descriptions for, put a no index Meta tag on the page. This prevents the search engines from filtering the pages or kicking down the rankings.
The point is you would not want hundreds of pages with no unique descriptions or content to pull down the performance of the few pages that do. A handful of product pages with unique content, with a hundred or so others that do not, will make your website look like spam. This hurts your e-commerce site’s SEO rankings badly.
No Product Reviews Posted on the Website
Most online shoppers look for product reviews before they buy anything online. This makes sense because they cannot actually see the product or try it on. Product reviews are the only way they can get an idea whether your product would actually work for them.
Product reviews are important in any e-commerce website simply because they are unique content; plus, it is free! You did not even write it; your customers did that for you. All you need to do is post it on your site and all your content needs are solved.
Not posting product reviews affects how your target customers and search engines view your site as a whole. Product reviews keep your website alive. Constantly updating review pages and putting up new product reviews from your customers helps your SEO rankings. Besides, customers are less likely to buy anything that you sell when the product reviews you posted are six months or a year old.
Asking for feedback and posting what your customers have to say on your website is another way you can keep your site “alive” to search engines. It also helps to link your website to your social media pages where you can post photos and content about your products and ask customers to comment.
Having numerous product pages means dealing with problems that make it very difficult to optimize an e-commerce website. However, avoiding common SEO mistakes is important if you want to establish a solid presence online and increase your search engine rankings. Learning about SEO best practices not only boosts your search engine rankings, it also increases your profitability by attracting more online shoppers to your website.
Ronald Dod is the Founder and Owner of Grey Umbrella Marketing, an internet marketing agency that focuses on Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing for eCommerce businesses. His passion is helping eCommerce business owners and marketing professionals navigate the SEO & Social Media landscape and put together a plan to increase the bottom line through new traffic and conversions. He holds a Masters in the Science of Marketing from Florida State University and is certified in Google Adwords & Analytics.