This article is all about the basic strategies used for e-commerce website promotion through online media. Here, you will get a brief idea about several SEO factors such as content quality, pagination, http & https versions of websites etc., which affect the performance of websites over the web.
In today’s world, millions of people shop online every day. Approximately 60% of purchases result from online hunt through major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. If you are running an online store and want to increase visibility in the search engines then you need to optimize your website in a proper manner.
Nowadays, search engines are knowledgeable enough and more attentive towards providing the most relevant information to their audience to sort out the sites that are not offering appropriate data. With e-commerce, you are dealing with the big platforms & technologies, and the chances of SEO going wrong are quite high.
The following are some of the pitfalls that often come from trying to optimize for e-commerce websites.
1. Duplicate Content – It’s a common complaint and appears on many e-commerce sites as these sites are intended to comprise short expressive tags and a graphic image for each product featured and place the default manufacturer’s product narration to the website. This results in both, internal and external duplicity.
The major problem arises due to the fact that most of your competitors might be using the similar description that you are. It not only becomes very tough to rank well in the SERPs, but also have possibility to getting a hit by Google Panda update.
How to check it
There are many online tools available to check the website for duplicacy issue. Out of them Copyscape and SEMrush have become quite popular when it comes to site analysis.
How to avoid it
- Always try to create exclusive content description
- Place No Index Meta tags on the product pages for which you are not able to write fresh content
- You can also use rel=“canonical” tag to avoid internal duplicacy
- You can also use robots.txt to block spaces that appear duplicate content such as archives, tags, etc.
2. Use Schema – It is a slice of HTML code on your page that is structured in such a way that it provides search engines surplus information about your product or content. It may be counted as one of the best methods to write product prices, and available offers using the structured data mark-up. This may cause search engines like schema mark-up as it is easy to understand by them and display organized data to the user.
Benefits of Using Schema Mark-up
- Help users to find what exactly they are looking for
- Boost the efficiency of search engines
- Present Rich Snippets on SERPs
- Increase CTR
3. Use of Canonical Tags – Canonical tag is a distinct tag that is introduced into the header section of the webpage that helps communicate to search engine bots the affiliation of that webpage content to other pages of the site. These tags tell the crawlers which sections of content are innovative or main and which are copied. In this manner, the bot will pass over the copies and index and provide link credit only to the prime content piece.
Why use for E-commerce sites
- Help crawlers to filter the main page instead of a large number of similar pages
- Avoid content duplicacy for several product pages which have minor content changes
4. Pagination on e-Commerce Site – Pagination is the method of isolating a web document into separate webpages. Due to this, search engine spiders face difficulty to establish the relationship between similar pages. For e-commerce sites the following issues can arise due to pagination:
- Crawler Limitation
- Duplicacy Problem
- Thin Content Issue
How to deal with Pagination
For your e-commerce site, you can use several methods to avoid issues that occur due to pagination. Consider the subsequent actions you can take to escape on extensive pagination issues:
- Increase the number of categories, which will reduce the complexity of each paginated sequence
- Increase the quantity of products per page, which will drop the amount of total pages in the paginated chain
- Connecting to all pages within the now adaptable paginated series from the first page
As an SEO, you have three alternatives to deal with any difficulties that may take place because of pagination:
- Remove your paginated content from the index with meta robots tags with nofollow attributes
- Create View-All Page option and rel=“canonical”
- Use Rel=“prev”/“next” tags to the paginated pages
5. Move to HTTPS – Moving your e-commerce site from ‘http’ version to ‘https’ version may prove to be a good idea for long term. As most of the people like to do transactions through secure gateways, so an ‘https’ version can be considered as a good option. But, you need to be more attentive while moving the website to the https version. You should consider several factors, such as:
- Make sure that all of your internal pages links point to the new HTTPS URLs
- If you are doing link building, ensure that all of the external links and new social shares point to the new HTTPS URLs
- Don’t forget to include rel=”canonical” tag from old HTTP version to new HTTPS URLs
- Be sure that you have planned out the new HTTPS URLs on a page-to-page level
- Update your sitemap by including all of the new URLs
- Verify your site with HTTPS version in Webmaster account and monitor any concerns that Google may be having with your new HTTPS website
The above are some of the factors that you might want to pay close attention to, in terms of SEO, while dealing with an e-commerce website.