Blog items tagged with "html"
Ecommerce SEO's are always looking for ways to boost their product page click-through rates (CTR's) from Google SERPs. In this short article, I will show you three of the most powerful ways to do just that using Schema markup.
Depending on whether or not your product pages contain images, videos, ratings, or reviews - some of these elements may not apply. Nonetheless, take a quick gander and see if you can implement product page Schema markup to boost your CTR's, and perhaps, your SEO keyword rankings.
1. Ratings & Reviews
If your ecommerce site features ratings and reviews on your product pages, you can make this information appear in Google search results. You've probably seen these beautiful rich snippets popping on high authority site listings - the little 5 star rating showing just under the URL.
There are a number of ways to trigger this rich snippet on your product pages. For instance, you can manually integrated the code via the AggregateRating microdata at Schema.org/Product, or try other methods like the hReview-aggregate microformat to make ratings and reviews data appear in Google.
2. Images & Videos
Perhaps the most profound product page rich snippet that grabs attention and entices click-through's is for images and videos. Rich snippets for video and images do not render as often as other product page rich snippets (often it's YouTube that owns these gems,) however if your product page SEO is highly specific (make, model, model variation, etc.) and the users search query was also specific, it's definitely achievable and worth while.
In this case, ispot.tv used a Macy's commercial to trigger the video rich snippet in their Google listing - creative, yet borderline ethical. Nonetheless, they masterfully leveraged the Schema.org/VideoObject microdata to make it happen.
For images, use the Schema.org/ImageObject microdata markup. It's essentially the same format as for Videos, and equally as eye-grabbing.
3. Product Name & Price
The product name and price rich snippet is especially powerful if your ecommerce site offers competitive pricing. It also helps to bring in better quality traffic, as shoppers know the price before they click your listing.
In the example below, FarmandFleet.com was able to trigger the price of their 57 piece socket wrench set at $79.99.
This was achieved by leveraging the Schema.org/Offer microdata markup.
As you've probably gathered, implementing product page Schema markup takes some technical capacity. But in most cases of using Schema, the content of your product pages is easier to interpret by Google, and thus generates some impactful search results. If you're using Wordpress to manage your online store, explore some of the Schema-generating plugins available. These can make the process much easier and streamlined.
About the Author:
Tyler Tafelsky is an ecommerce SEO analyst at Click Centric SEO. In addition to blogging at BetterTriathlete.com, Tyler is well-versed in multiple facets of organic search marketing, particularly link generation, content strategy, and social media marketing.
Optimizing product pages is an integral aspect of ecommerce SEO. But many search marketers are stuck in rut as to which elements of a product page need to be optimized.
Most of us know the basic tags for SEO: page title tag, Meta description tag, etc. So in this article, I highlight 5 HTML tags that you might not be including in your on-page optimization.
Schema Product Markup
If you're new to Schema, then I highly suggest you visit Schema.org and freshen up. Using Schema's structured data markup enables you to better communicate a page's content to search engines. In short, it's a game changer for ecommerce SEO.
There are specific schemas for products. These can not only help your product pages rank harder, but also display rich snippets in Google's search results.
Think of the Rel=Canonical tag as means to tell search engines the most important pages on your site. In some cases, particularly on ecommerce sites with 1000's of pages, duplicate content (or very similar pages) can exist. Often times, this can discount SEO value to the page your really want getting all the love and attention from Google.
Tell Google "this is the page to crawl, index, and rank" and implement the Rel=Canonical tag on your optimized product pages. It's super easy and potentially an SEO game-changer depending on your website.
Image ALT Tag
The image ALT tag is intended to be alternative text for those viewing a page that doesn't render an image. The ALT tag should reflect what the image is, but it's constantly abused by SEO's and keyword stuffers. Just don't leave it blank. Write at least something in for your ALT tags.
The nice thing about product pages is that the images being used are typically very keyword relevant. For this reason, it's legit to use keywords in the image ALT tag for these pages. If you have multiple images, vary your ALT tags with keyword variations. You can take the practice of image optimization even further by using these strategies.
Header 2's, 3's and 4's
Introduce some depth to you product pages by including more elaborate descriptions. Not only are unique, creatively-written product descriptions essential for SEO, but they also sell and can inspire visitors to make a purchase.
When separating ideas and paragraphs, use H2, H3, and H4 tags where appropriate. This is good practice incorporate in all aspects of on-page SEO.
Strong, Italics, Underline Tags
Text styling tags, like the strong (bold), italics, and underline tags, are some of the most under-used HTML tags that can help with both SEO and CRO. Wrapping keywords and phrases in these tags can help to emphasize greater meaning and value in certain words on your product pages. Not only does this practice help signify keywords of value for SEO, but creatively using text styling makes for a better user experience.
About the Author:
Tyler Tafelsky is an ecommerce SEO analyst at Click Centric SEO. In addition cycling and blogging at BetterTriathlete.com, Tyler is well-versed in multiple facets of organic search marketing, particularly link generation, content strategy, and social media marketing.
Ecommerce sites are often massive and complex domains containing hundreds and thousands of pages. It's thus important that someone on your SEO or Internet marketing team understands the intricacies of technical SEO for ecommerce sites.
Although technical SEO focuses on the nuts and bolts of a website (typically the elements that are invisible to users), these technical elements can significantly impact a site's performance in countless ways.
In essence, technical SEO addresses the fluidity of crawling and indexing, the quality of user experience (or usability), and the overall SEO-friendliness of the website.
If you're interested in learning more about various aspects of technical SEO, then read on, my friend. Below I educate you on how technical SEO influences ecommerce site performance and SEO potential.
Find & Fix HTML Errors
There are a couple places to pinpoint HTML coding errors on a website. The first is Google Webmaster Tools, where you can look at the "error reports" feature. The second is W3C Markup Validation Service, a free tool that scans and lists all of the HTML errors and warnings that are present on a site.
Google Webmaster Tools only shows errors that are picked-up by Google bots, so this data might pose some limitations. So in addition to the W3C tool, you can also check Yahoo and Bing webmaster tools to pinpoint all potential errors.
The most critical issues that can impact SEO performance are crawl errors, like DNS lookup errors and 404 pages. These can be common on ecommerce sites, so take the time to address any significant HTML errors that arise.
There are two main types of sitemaps: HTML sitemaps and XML sitemaps. And using each type of sitemap correctly is critical for SEO success.
The HTML sitemap is a visible "index" on the website that contains links to almost every page of the site. I say "almost" because in some cases of websites with thousands of pages, many pages are left out. A big mistake I see with large ecommerce sites of the like is that they fail to include key product pages on the HTML sitemap.
Because product pages are the bread and butter to ecommerce SEO, it's important to include these pages on the sitemap (or at least those that you're trying to rank in search.) For very robust sites that face this issue, often times segmented sitemaps are a sound solution.
Additionally, you'll want to link the sitemap on all pages, such as in a site-wide header or footer. The HTML sitemap is your search engine spider food for SEO. Google spiders eat up sitemaps, which aids more efficient crawling, indexing, and ranking of your pages.
The XML sitemap, which is submitted to Google Webmaster Tools, is a list of all the pages on a website that instructs search engine spiders precisely what to index. In short, the XML sitemap helps search engines find all of the pages of a site. XML sitemaps are also very important in monitoring a website's index-levels, or to ensure key pages are being crawled and indexed.
When new pages are added to an ecommerce site, they should also be added to both the HTML and XML sitemap. Additionally, the updated XML sitemap should be re-submitted in Google Webmaster Tools to notify search engines to crawl and index these pages.
Pinpoint Duplicate Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
The uniqueness of each page's title tag and meta description is very important for ecommerce SEO. You can detect duplicate title tags and meta descriptions using Google Webmaster Tools or other crawling tools, such as SEO Powersuite's Website Auditor Tool.
Aside from being unique, title tags and meta descriptions should:
- be compelling, relevant, and incentivizing
- contain primary keyword targets
- be no longer than 70 characters for titles and about 155 characters for meta descriptions (to ensure all appear in the search results without being cut-off)
Utilization of Canonical Tags
In some cases with large ecommerce sites, the same content is on more than one page (or even worse, the same content is duplicated across multiple pages.) SEO-unfriendly scenarios like these call for canonical tags.
A canonical tag tells search engines which page is the preferred URL (or "canonical URL.") This will ensure the correct page is indexed and ranked according to your ecommerce SEO strategy.
For example, if the "money page" (as we like to call it) is www.ClothingStoreBrand.com/outdoor/north-face-jackets, but the same content is present on other URLs (such as www.ClothingStoreBrand.com/mens/north-face-jackets and www.ClothingStoreBrand.com/north-face/coats-jackets), then the rel=canonical tag needs to be applied.
Google itself has stated that it cannot guarantee to follow the canonical URL, so it's wise to completely eliminate any duplicate content found on the website.
Optimize Page URLs
The URLs of your pages should be short. (Shoot for less than 115 characters if possible). URLs should also be static in that there should only be one static URL for each page of the website.
Ecommerce sites are often built on a CMS (content management system) which can adversely impact the best practices of URL naming. For instance, some CMS platforms automatically generate URLs with excessive parameters, such as:
These cumbersome URL parameters make it difficult for search engine spiders to crawl and index the URL's content and, in some cases, can result in problems with duplicate content.
Similar issues can stem from ecommerce sites that assign session IDs. When users visit a website they are assigned a unique session ID (which is then included in the URL.)
For ecommerce SEO best practices, URLs should be keyword relevant and readable. The goal is to include the primary keyword targets, while ensuring URLs are short and unique from one another. Here's an example of a SEO-friendly URL naming convention:
Or to offer a real world example:
Ensure Proper Indexing
Indexing simply refers to URLs or webpages that have been successfully recognized (crawled) and stored (indexed) by search engines. It's important that all optimized pages are indexed in order for them to appear in the search results.
To ensure key pages have been indexed, it's useful to refer to Google Webmaster Tools where you can view the URLs that have been crawled. Uploading an XML sitemap helps to carry out proper indexing of the ecommerce site.
Another option, although a bit less efficient for technical SEO purposes, is to perform a Google search as follows:
Be sure to have no space between "site:" and the domain. The number of pages that are shown in the results reflects the URLs that Google has crawled and indexed. If there's a big discrepancy between the number of indexed pages and what's included on the sitemap, then further investigation is needed.
Implement or Correct Mishandled Redirects
Particularly for online stores, it's important to check existing redirects as they may be using 302 redirects (which are temporary) instead of 301 redirects (which are permanent.) Unlike 301 permanent redirects, 302 redirects do not pass link value for SEO.
If the site has an abundance of redirects, the technical SEO team should address any mishandled redirects as soon as possible. It's important to avoid removing redirects, as there may be backlinks pointing to a page (which may be providing SEO value.)
There are a few special tools that you can use to determine the nature and type of redirects being used. Here at Click Centric SEO, we use Website Auditor, one of the four awesome programs in Link Assistant's SEO Powersuite.
About the Author:
Tyler Tafelsky is the lead SEO analyst at Click Centric SEO. Tyler is well-versed in multiple facets of organic SEO for ecommerce sites, as well as PPC advertising, content marketing, and social media marketing.