Before eCommerce customers can buy, they need to be able to find your site. Here are five eCommerce SEO Strategies to help your store stand out from the crowd.
There are over 100,000 eCommerce stores in the US alone. That’s an awful lot of competition for SERP space, particularly for smaller online retailers without the bottomless marketing and optimization budgets of giants like Amazon. While it may seem a daunting task, and I would in no way diminish the difficulty of effective eCommerce search engine optimization, there are a number of fairly straightforward improvements that would help the vast majority of eCommerce stores stand a fighting chance.
Remove Internal Duplicate Content
Duplicate content can be a big problem for eCommerce sites. Product pages are not entirely conducive to the sort of content that leads to better search ranking, and for stores with hundreds or thousands of products, it’s often easier and less expensive to boilerplate product listings and various other aspects of the page. That’s a mistake – Google likes uniqueness and specificity.
eCommerce retailers should concentrate on making product pages unique, relevant, and informative, paying particularly close attention to title tags and meta description tags — they make a huge difference to SEO and are too frequently ignored.
Allow Customers To Write Reviews
Allowing customers to add reviews to a page is an inexpensive way of generating indexable content. User-generated content like reviews and testimonials tends to come optimized for keywords that shoppers are likely to use themselves, including when they are searching. The social proof aspect can also exert a powerful influence.
Obviously, reviews are a double-edged sword, without proper moderation they can do more harm than good, but throwing the baby out with the bathwater and abandoning user reviews misses an SEO and CRO opportunity.
It’s a commonplace that businesses now need to be publishers. The bulk of content on most eCommerce stores is product descriptions. Product descriptions are necessary, of course, but they are essentially sales copy geared towards transactional conversions rather than content, which has a different job to perform. By adding a blog and publishing high-quality and relevant content, retailers can attract links, build an audience, encourage sharing in social media, and increase the amount of indexable content on their site.
Attract Links With Exceptional Content
Take a look at the Bellroy site. Each product page has a video which is well produced, fun to watch, and relevant to the product. Video is expensive to do well, but it can have significantly more impact than blog posts or even infographics.
Often retailers make the mistake of focusing too closely on selling in their blog content, content marketing (and their social media output). Selling is the eventual goal, but videos, ebooks, and other forms of content marketing should be targeted towards branding, education, and entertainment. Decent content will attract a different sort of link profile than sales oriented content.
Don’t Use Manufacturer Product Descriptions
My first suggestion discussed duplicate content within retail sites, but the biggest sin I see is relying on manufacturer’s product description. They are repeated across almost every site that sells a particular product. Google hates including multiple versions of the same content in its results. Duplicates are simply not listed and Google will choose one example to show. Writing unique product descriptions can be time-consuming and expensive, but that’s a lot better than never appearing in the SERPs because you use the same content as a dozen other stores.
SEO is a complex iterative process, and no short article can adequately cover everything, but by implementing these five suggestions, it’s almost certain that your site will perform better than competitors who don’t make the effort.