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When I first tell my clients that SEO can double my online sales for consumer e-commerce marketers, they are skeptical. But not after showing how well it has done for Norwegian ecommerce using 8 effective SEO tips.

Sounds unrealistic – but still. SEO optimization and ecommerce conversion rate optimization can double your traffic and sales. When I show them proof, my potential customers have a lot of questions about generating more traffic, increasing conversions, increasing sales, engaging customers, and turning into fans. Here are the most popular questions – and my answers.

Ecommerce SEO Best Practices

Question no. 1: How do I handle extracurricular items?

It depends on several factors, but here’s what I recommend.

Leave the pages up. If the items will later be in stock, leave the pages only as they are. It is bad to delete, hide or replace them. Visitors add another product to them or redirect visitors to other pages.

Offer alternative items. If certain products are sold out, offer highly relevant alternatives through a widget on the site. Some examples:

  • Same product in different colors
  • Newer models or versions
  • Identical products of other brands
  • Other products in the same category that match the quality and price

You provide excellent customer service and they value it. It also helps search engines find relevant pages and better understand the structure of your site.

Notify users when they will return. Always offer the expected date when the product will be in stock so that visitors know when to return and purchase.

Offer to place a product order. Have them order and promise to send them after fresh supplies arrive. Future buyers who really want the product think of waiting a few extra days for it.

Soften the blow. Provide comfort by offering them some benefits, such as reducing prices when fresh supplies arrive. This may interest them to buy later.

Question no. 2: What should I do with obsolete / expired products?

All e-commerce websites have products that will never come back, such as consumer electronics or fashion apparel stores that are constantly being replaced by newer models and styles.

Many ecommerce websites delete pages and take no further steps. From an SEO perspective, this is bad. You lose SEO value and people who tagged the URL will receive an error message.

The most appropriate solution will depend on many things.

  1. Permanent 301 redirect expired product URLs. If an expired product is replaced by a newer model, permanently redirecting 301 from the older page to the URL of the newer model tells Google that you want the page ranked instead. Your SEO value will be retained.
  2. Redirect to parent category. The basic intention is to solve the problem of visitors. If you have other relevant products that serve the same purpose as an expired item, you can direct your visitors to the home category.
  3. Permanently delete pages, content, and URLs of expired product. When you do not have any related products with the expiration date displayed, you can completely delete it with 410 status code (missing), which informs Google that the page has been permanently removed and will never come back.
  4. Use URLs again. If you sell generic products where technical specifications and model numbers are not relevant, you can reuse your URLs. This will retain the authority of the site and increase your place on Google.
  5. Some items deserve to be lived. Certain products may have informative value for existing customers or others who wish to explore it. Leave these pages untouched. Previous customers can find information, help and service through these pages.

Question no. 3: How do I handle seasonal products?

The goal is to strengthen product categories. Focus on product categories and link them to seasonal crumbs and links in descriptions on product pages. Optimize your top product pages with the highest potential and spend the rest of your SEO budget boosting product categories.

If you are launching a popular product and you know that it will be in high demand, add the “coming soon” page to the URL structure and offer unique content, launch notifications and pre-order forms. Integrate social media into this site and warm your prospects with user-generated content.

With annual issues that you too I know will be replaced every year, simply add the year to a URL like this: website.com/category-sub-category/product-name-2012/ and 301 redirect it to website.com/category-sub-category/product- name -2013 / version when a new version replaces it.

Question no. 4: How do I handle SEO for new products?

Good information architecture, website structure and internal link architecture are critical to good ranking of new product pages. Link categories from your homepage and product pages from category levels. This will ensure that Google quickly finds, indexes and indexes your content. Also link them from their homepage pages.

Optimize your website theme so that new products are always displayed on your homepage where they need to be found and indexed. A good internal link architecture will quickly be indexed and ranked on your new product pages.

Question no. 5: How do I deal with product pages with little or no unique content?

With all the challenges of running an ecommerce business, few businesses think of unique content on product pages. Many pull product information from the database, leading to duplicate content issues.

Some pages have little more than a product photo. This leaves search engines with no way of understanding what this page is about, how it relates to other pages on your site and how relevant it is to search users.

  1. Add content for your most popular products. Start by identifying the pages of your best-selling and most popular products with Web Analytics, and then manually update them with content.
  2. Reinforce product categories. You create text for 100,000 different products. Instead, focus your SEO on strengthening the product parent category. Improve your internal link architecture, breadcrumbs and add relevant products to feed your search files and learn what your site is about.
  3. Add user-created content. It can effectively differentiate your product pages from other duplicates on the Internet. Social media works well. Approvals and reviews from happy customers or customers will not only improve your SEO campaign, but also drive sales conversion.

Question no. 6: How can I present manufacturer descriptions from manufacturers?

Shared Google as duplicate content. Reprints of the manufacturer’s products are separate content. But large ecommerce sites cannot rewrite all product descriptions and specifications.

You can work around this by adding unique content like user-generated comments and reviews. Invite user comments. Integrate social networks. Allow users to tell their stories. Happy customers will serve you as marketing aides.

  1. Add content to product pages. Increase the quality and uniqueness of your content by personalizing it to solve your users’ problems. Add information, images, videos or suggestions to your content.
  2. Add a layer of psychology to your content. Typical product descriptions are tedious and technical. However, people buy on emotions and feelings. Revive your product descriptions by telling a story.

Question no. 7: How do I handle product variations (colors, sizes, etc.)?

Some products are almost identical but exist in different colors or sizes. If not properly handled, listing them can be considered as duplicate content, causing poor ranking and cannibalization between different product variants. Products can be ranked for the wrong keywords (blue jeans are ranked for red jeans searches). Adam Audette delved deeper into the nuances of this excellent report.

Browse your website and you may find many products that can sell better if they are ranked for the right keywords.

Question no. 8: How do I handle category pages?

In addition to the homepage, category pages are the most powerful and popular.

  1. Treat category pages as individual homepages. Think of your categories as silos or niches containing closely related product pages.
  2. Add content to category pages. You found some great tips in this article.
  3. Build in-depth links to product categories. Guest blogging, content marketing and even paid ads work well, as does social media.
  4. Highlight socially shared content. Be strategically focused on sharing links on Google Plus, Twitter and other networks. Be specific in your labels.
  5. Make sure you stay featured / featured. Design category pages to provide the best possible service for search engines and users.
  6. Use custom URLs. This often results in quick results, as you give your providers powerful tips on what this URL is about, and provide useful and valuable information to your visitors – just avoid filling in keywords. The most effective URL structure for category pages (and product pages) is:
    • Category Page: Website.com/category/
    • Subcategory Page: Website.com/category/sub-category/
    • Product Page: website.com/category-sub-category/product-name/

Question no. 9: How to manage internal link building and architecture?

Internal link building helps with SEO and ranking. But for better results, you need a connection architecture, not just “link building.” Internal connectivity is not just about search engine spiders. User friend is important too. Creating a solid internal link architecture needs planning and time.

  1. Category-level navigation This will make it easier for users to see what will be found in the subcategories and pages. Keep things contextually relevant.
  2. Link to relevant category-level products. Look at this from a human perspective, considering intentions and needs, but also optimizing for the right keywords.
  3. Use bread crumbs on all pages and category pages. This ensures that users and Google can move up one level to the parent category.

Question no. 10: How to leverage user-generated content?

You are terribly distracted by user-generated content – ever afraid of being honest about your products and services. There are two obvious SEO benefits to user-generated content:

  • Better conversion and sales rates
  • Unique content is taken to a higher level and provides “freshness”

Integrated into product pages, user-generated content can enliven your site. Good reviews increase sales conversions. Users become part of a happy community. Prospective buyers see colorful activities that persuade them to buy more easily.

  1. Build a “community” of satisfied users. Post customer testimonials and reviews. Share blog posts with your lucky customers. Use positive reviews to convince visitors that they can trust you – trust is king, and social media helps you present it effectively.
  2. Use Schema.org. A schema.org overview lets you get stars in addition to listing individual SERPs with individual product pages, which affects click rates.
  3. Integrate social media into product pages. Instagram, Facebook comments, Pinterest pins and Google + 1 can all be integrated into your website to present social proof. Post photos of happy customers using your product.

“New SEO” requires that you think about the psychology of your visitors more than the technology of your website.

Question no. 11: How to incorporate SEO into the web design process?

Web design is all about visual appeal. You need an expert ecommerce web designer who has experience and will work as a team with your SEO consultant, analyst, conversion optimization course, and more. You need to give them space and budget to act as experts.

When website design and information architecture work in tandem, without page / URLs breaking through the structure, amplifying the entire site every time you publish a new product page and secure early crawling by search spiders. Good design and content with a pleasant visitor experience will generate more sales.

  1. If you don’t plan, it plans to fail. SEO must be involved in the business / website as early as the planning stage, before you even begin to work on your wireframes and design process – not after starting your site. Creating fantastic category / section templates and promoting them on your internet links is very effective.
  2. SEO for ecommerce websites is different from traditional SEO. SEO e-commerce requires a skilled consultant across multiple disciplines, with a deep understanding of human psychology, conversion rate optimization, analytics, web design and development, social media marketing and communications, copywriting, economy, usability and user experience. Top ecommerce SEO experts also have a deep understanding and understanding of commerce and how the retail business works.
  3. Ecommerce web design is never done. Continuous A / B testing process in search of variations that have the best performance. The right “tools” are important, but the best adviser or company is more important. An expensive advisor is cheaper if it can generate more sales than a “cheap” one.

Question no. 12: How do I organize related products on a site?

Presenting relevant related items on product pages can increase sales. Your PIM’s meta data ensures that all items presented are relevant, personalized and in stock. Your web designer and developers must also focus on the internal link architecture.

  1. Be relevant. If visitors arrive at the product page for the latest Apple iPhone, you should also suggest other relevant products based on the price, quality and personalization of this customer. The latest Google Nexus may be a similar product, but Apple’s loyal acolyte is by no means a buy! Measure and optimize product proposals.
  2. Location or location. Make the product featured on the page stand out and shine. Give him space. It is badly covered by other proposals. Bad waste your best location on products that are not popular.

Question no. 13: How do I use internal site search?

Shocking that experts optimize your site for Google search further enhances their own internal search engine on ecommerce sites! Because they often overlook or underestimate the role of internal search, which is sales. People searching for misspellings, synonyms, dashes, or spacing errors are not taken to the relevant product pages. They should be.

  1. Enable search tracking on your site. Use tools that let you see the keywords that people are looking for inside your website and calculate the revenue they generate.
  2. Number of popular searches. They can mean that your product is popular and can be profitable. They can also indicate that they are human no finding out why they came to your site!
  3. Use a tool like the Crazy Egg track clicks and see how people rank on your homepage, important category pages, and product pages.
  4. Think of your site’s search results pages as “landing pages.” Search results should be relevant and help users solve their problems. Required “noindex” search results.
  5. Include site search in keyword research. Analyze what your visitors are looking for to find new product ideas, find potential areas for improvements, identify popular products, and overcome search and usability issues.
  6. Test your site search and correct errors. Enter some keywords that were not detected in your internal search and see what they found as a result. When you fix everything that is broken, sales will increase!
  7. Optimize internal search. Make sure every internal search finds the right product. This requires setting up metadata in your ecommerce solution. By dealing with this meta meta data, you create pages loaded with misspelled or misspelled words.

Question no. 14: How do I optimize product images and videos?

The quality of your images, photos and videos will affect how visitors feel about your product. Never underestimate the value of straining potential customers to feel the benefits of your product.

Interesting pictures are shared on Pinterest and social networks. Getting people to tag and comment on photos also makes your content unique. Your brand strengthens as word of mouth spreads. With optimized images, you can drive even more traffic than Google Image Search.

  1. Use high quality images. Take photos that create an atmosphere that makes potential people feel something. They will generate more sales. Although expensive, it provides a good investment for your best products. Video can work even better.
  2. Optimize your images. File name, alt text, title, etc. They should be short with a descriptive description. These are opportunities to give search engines clues about the content of your image.
  3. A / B Test Options. Try one image against another to see which allows for better conversion rates.

Question no. 15: How to put product pages for sale?

Specify the canonical URL in the HTTP header of the product page for the item for sale. This indicates that Google refers to a duplicate of another URL and ranks a unique version of the page, not this one.

Question no. 16: How do I design for mobile?

Mobile is also very important to ignore in your ecommerce SEO strategy. An informal poll by my colleague Kenneth Gvein running for our e-commerce customers in Metronet and Vaimo Norway found that customers had 2 to 3 times higher mobile e-commerce growth rates. Go mobile – or go home!

Offer versions of all URLs for desktops. Some users prefer the standard web version, even on a mobile device. Offer the ability to switch between versions. Already return them to the homepage as many ecommerce websites do.

Question no. 17: How to deal with security?

Your customers are concerned about online security – for good reason. They put your identity and financial information in your hands. You need to reassure them that you are safe.

Leave visual clues. Display logos and text confirming that you comply with safety standards. Show them your SSL / Visa / other security standards or encryption certificates. Tell them that shopping on your ecommerce website is 100% safe. This enhances conversions.

Many e-marketers hide this information at the bottom of the page or simply take it for granted. I make that mistake badly.

Best Practices and Routines – Best Tips for Any Ecommerce Site

1. Periodic SEO analysis: SEO is not static, nor is your ecommerce site. Your site and code will change. A programmer can, with the best intention at heart, solve one problem but create another. Use a strategic SEO framework to ensure that everything is in line with your economic and strategic goals.

2. Use Google Webmaster Tools: This free tool helps webmasters find and solve nervous SEO problems. Establish a routine where:

  • Look for 404 errors, soft 404 and other problems
  • See how your site, products and pages work on SERPs
  • Notice popular keywords and phrases, popular pages, and more

I recommend integrating Google Webmaster Tools, Google AdWords, and Google Analytics to access valuable information for free.

3. Take action: Only adequate data monitoring. You must identify the submissive items to continue improving. Know what to look out for and why. See problems with indexing, duplicate content, manual fines from Google, and more. Solve problems immediately.

4. Invest in SEO tools: Tools like Moz, Search Methods, Raven SEO Tools, Deep Crawl and more help you identify problems and offer suggestions for fixing them. Set up effective reporting. Establish troubleshooting routines. Each tool has unique advantages. As a consultant, I recommend using a combination of ecommerce SEO tools.

5. Do manual (sample) testing: Use Screaming Frog SEO Spider to identify issues with pages and sections of your ecommerce site. Select one product segment that is important to you and analyze within specific categories and subcategories. It is often discussed finding site-wide problems caused by your CMS that can be fixed quickly.

6. Data analysis is the new gold: Everything you do can be done better, but you still have the resources to do it all. You need analysis to help you prioritize improvements. Build dashboards that contain actionable information.

7. Take the mobile revolution seriously: Mobile devices are growing fast. Delays in developing your mobile site can kill your online business. What experience do you provide to mobile users and how can you improve it?

It’s not possible to cover everything about SEO for ecommerce sites in one article. The tips above have helped many ecommerce sites increase sales and revenue to large multipliers, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.

If you have any other tips or tips that you think our other readers should know, add them as a comment to this post. We gathered together looking forward to your conversation.


This article is the opinions of the guest author, not necessarily Search Engine Country. Staff writers listed here.


About the author

Trond Lyngbø is the founder of Search Planet and a senior SEO consultant. He has over 10 years experience in SEO, e-commerce, content strategy and digital analytics. His clients include multinational Fortune 500 corporations and large Norwegian companies. Trond has helped grow the business through more effective marketing search and SEO strategies. He is most passionate about working with e-commerce companies and web stores to develop and expand their marketing initiatives across all channels.



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