This article is the first of a series of articles focused on optimizing e-commerce websites for search engines. We hope that through this “SEO for E-Commerce” series, you will be able to learn a few search engine optimization tips and improve the way you do your business online.
Setting up an online store is already a huge project for any company. Add to that the need to have your e-commerce website appear on the first page of search results. This dual daunting task could be too much for anyone, and that is why some people resort to hiring reputable SEO companies to do the job for them.
If you are, however, very passionate about your website and want to implement the SEO strategies yourself, then I’m here to give you a few recommendations to jump start your plans for higher Google rankings. Here are some tried-and-tested tips on ensuring that your e-commerce site gets noticed by search bots and land in the top results pages:
1. Whatever you know in traditional SEO also applies to e-commerce SEO
Search engine optimization companies know the basics of making a website shoot up to the top of search results, and I’m sure you know some of these fundamental tips. The usual SEO techniques that you have heard and come to know – making relevant content, formulating good keywords, putting image attributes – are also applicable to e-commerc websites.
For starters, your product pages must contain text that search bots can easily read. Putting up an image to describe the product is not enough. Also, do not copy content between your pages or from other external sources, because Google penalizes content duplication.
2. Arrange your products by category or topic
Just like a traditional website, your online store can benefit much from a good structure. Put your products in specific categories and tags to give your store a concrete skeleton that search engine spiders desire. Besides, your site visitors and potential customers will also appreciate the ease in navigating your website if they see that your items are categorized properly.
3. Highlight newly posted product pages
New posts or pages are usually the hardest ones to optimize for SEO, because search engines have not discovered tem yet. Give these just-uploaded pages an SEO boost by making them stand out in your store. You may put a special section entitled “New Arrivals” on the home page. As with other pages, don’t forget to implement the same SEO techniques on your newly posted pages.
4. Optimize your website’s internal search
Aside from preparing for Google search optimization, you also have to look into the benefits of having an internal site search. Provide a search field for visitors to conveniently look for your products. It’s also good practice to install a search monitoring tool to see what keywords generate the most searches.
5. Don’t delete pages of out-of-stock products
What do you do to a page of a product that has just run out of stock? Don’t consider deleting them just yet! In fact, let them stay as is. When you replenish stock levels, at least you still have the product pages intact. Instead of deleting these pages, you may put a set of “Related items” or suggestions as alternatives to the product that’s temporarily out of stock.