Blogs by date "06/01/12"
3 Essentials of Search Engine Optimization for Ecommerce Sites
Ecommerce sites are conceptually similar in that they all have product categories, subcategories, product pages, shopping carts, and checkout processes. This makes the fundamentals of ecommerce search engine optimization, (SEO) relatively universal for most online stores; however, there are still a number of intricacies that contribute to better rankings.
In this article, we outline some of the most important concepts of SEO for ecommerce sites. Acknowledging these three components of search engine optimization will help you create a more prominent presence in the organic search results.
1. Optimize Product-Level Pages
Product pages are some of the most important page for ecommerce SEO. These are the pages that contain unique, value-driven content that is often optimized for specific (often times long-tail) keyword targets. When optimizing product-level pages for ecommerce SEO:
- always do keyword research to know the exact keyword target/search query per product.
- ensure all page text is crawl-able by search engine spiders.
- make strategic use of headers, strong tags, and other content elements while optimizing product pages.
- mention key product features, specifications, unique selling propositions in the content.
- implement rich media like videos and image galleries.
- infuse user-generated customer reviews on each product page.
- display related products or additional selling pushes, such as 'products that might go good with this product' or ‘customers who bought this, also bought that.’
2. Proper Page Classification
Classifying pages on your ecommerce site is highly important to bolster category pages that have been optimized for ‘short tail’ keyword queries and generic searches. Proper page classification also ensures a more intuitive navigation and browsing experience for users (which also translates to better conversion rates). For effective classification of pages:
- assign and organize product-level pages under tiers for product categories and subcategories.
- organize the each product category into a hierarchy.
- focus on more short-tail keyword optimization when doing category level SEO (such as brands or broad-based categories.)
- List and link all relevant product level pages on each category page.
3. Avoid Duplicate Content
Duplicate content is common problem for ecommerce sites and can negatively impact your SEO efforts. In many cases, particularly with content management system (CMS) software, pages may be generated without acknowledging issues with duplicate content. Whether this be duplicate page titles and meta data, page copy, or complete pages, you'll want to be mindful of many considerations, including:
- avoid duplicate content both on-page and off-page.
- ensure that your have unique category pages (that show no signs of overlapping with other related pages and more importantly, have unique product pages.
- assign source attribution to products by adding parameters to URLs.
- when doing affiliate marketing, have alternate versions of your product information in different feeds. Create different sets of descriptions, titles, and other elements.
- consider having select fields in the different feeds, reserving the full product data set for your website.
- use Google Webmaster Tools, check search engine indexes and do analysis to identify and to eliminate duplicate content. These are three core components of SEO for ecommerce sites that must not go overlooked.
Although there are many other factors that go into the optimization of an ecommerce store, these three are the most essential can make or break your search engine optimization campaign.
In addition to these essentials mentioned above, cohesive ecommerce SEO campaigns will almost always include social media marketing as well as a number of off-page SEO strategies, such as link building, content marketing, and ongoing public relations management.
The idea is build a strong ecommerce brand through a number of channels, with SEO being the base for increased exposure in the search results.
This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our Ecommerce SEO Specialists here at ClickCentric SEO.
7 Powerful Link Building Tips for Ecommerce SEO
An ecommerce site enables you to efficiently sell products to your target market. However you must effectively target and attract your target customers to keep your online store afloat. Although this can be done through many different Internet marketing strategies, search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most targeted and highly effective methods to market your ecommerce site.
One of the most powerful ecommerce SEO practices that you should be doing is link building. Having a high volume of quality external backlinks coming from various sources around the web (such as articles, web directories, press releases, blog comments, blog posts and other relevant websites) makes your site more popular and thus better ranking in the search results. Hence the industry buzzword "link popularity," with respect to SEO link building.
Link building for ecommerce SEO must be done as naturally as possible. That is, after Google unveiled the 'Penguin' update to its search engine algorithm, no longer are paid link programs or expansive blog networks as effective as they used to be. This is because these link building services are designed to create tons of optimized links (or links with exact keyword phrase anchor text), which is very un-natural and will raise a red flag on your site.
Rather, you should be focusing on link building strategies that generate natural link popularity. Sure, there are still ways you can manually build optimized links for SEO, however you will want to do this moderation.
Below we offer 7 tips that will help you create a sustainable link building strategy for ecommerce SEO:
- Have creative category pages: It is important to realize the SEO value of creative, well-optimized category pages. This is because product category pages are often times filled with rich content and relevant internal links (usually pointed to specific products.) Building links to these pages is very powerful SEO. Even more so, focus on making your category pages extremely valuable for consumers. Provide information, offers, deals and specials as clearly as possible. This will compel other users on the web to link to your category pages in an effort to spread the goodness your ecommerce site has to offer.
- Start an External Blog: Creating an external blog (a blog that is on a separate domain from your ecommerce site) will give you optimum flexibility in publishing content and building links. We suggest starting a blog that is highly focused on a certain aspect of your ecommerce store. So if you sell outdoor apparel and equipment, perhaps create a blog all about outdoor gear. Here you can write blog posts that highlight certain products you have to offer. Within the content of your blog posts you can build links back to your ecommerce site.
- Offer contests and special promotions: Contests and promotions are a great way to attract the interests of your target audience. Most effectively paired with social media marketing strategies, contests, sweepstakes, polls, and promos generate buzz and popularity about your ecommerce store. As a result, people will be apt to link to your site to share the fun with all of their friends.
- Take photos and create image galleries: Beautiful pictures are visually stimulating and they make even a passive customer active. Use photos that are large and that have high resolution. It is recommended that photos are professionally taken for the best results. Create mini-galleries on product pages to really capture the allure of customers. Additionally, image galleries are great form of link bait. When you have a robust product page filled with quality images, the potential to attain links back to your site is greatly enhanced.
- Write and publish articles and press releases: When you have something newsworthy going on, such as a new brand of products being offered on your ecommerce site, publish a press release about it. Take advantage of the power of content, for both marketing and link building. It is important that anything you publish is of great quality, value, and relevancy. On many publishing platforms, you are allowed to add links in the content. This is your opportunity to build an optimized link back to your ecommerce site. Just be sure to do this ethically, and use only relevant anchor text that reflects the topic of the article or press release.
- Create product video highlights: Video is becoming huge for search engine optimization, especially for ecommerce SEO. Creating videos that highlight the features of products is a great way to both earn and build links. You can earn links by offering informative videos that people will want to link to. You can also build a link to your ecommerce site or product page in the video's description on YouTube. Develop a YouTube channel for your ecommerce site and start creating videos of some of your highest margin products.
- Offer resources, tools, info and/or freebies: Whether you create product pages with tools and information on sizing and specification, or offer free incentives and add-ons for purchases, the name of the game here incentivize. When you create incentivizing offers, your customers are likely to share the goods by linking to your site. Make your incentives unique and be creative with how you pitch them to your customers. Again, social media is an effective tool to use for strategies like these.
There are tons more link building strategies for ecommerce SEO. One platform we have to mention is Pinterest. Here you can pin your product images to you 'pin board' where other viewers can see them. Not only does this build a link back to your product page, but gives your product additional exposure on the web.
Link building for ecommerce SEO demands creativity and responsibility. Be responsible and ethical in how you link, as well as creative in capturing the attention and interests of your target market.
This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our Ecommerce SEO Specialists here at ClickCentric SEO.