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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.

Visit Tyler on Google+

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