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5 SEO Errors Every E-Commerce Website Needs to Avoid

5 SEO Errors Every E-Commerce Website Needs to Avoid

Most buyers today start their shopping experience by running a search through a search engine. This is why SEO is extremely important for any e-commerce businesses that are looking to grow because they can’t convert unless they’ve got traffic coming their way.

While it may seem that optimizing e-commerce websites for SEO is pretty much the same as it is for your blog, it’s actually quite different and a lot harder. Lots of product pages translates to numerous problems that make SEO optimization quite difficult to achieve. We’ll cover some of the biggest mistakes e-commerce websites tend to make when they’re optimizing for SEO.

Default Product Description

Adding a description from the product manufacturer will ensure that you get filtered by the search engines. Why, you may ask? Well, chances are your manufacturer isn’t only distributing to you, and the description they’re using may be used by twenty other online stores. This spells non-unique content to Google’s algorithm and will make it impossible for you to ever reach the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs), even for the low-frequency queries. Even more likely is that you’ll just be completely filtered, as well as the other websites that are doing the same thing. Another reason is that manufacturers don’t tend to write a description in a way that sells.

If you’ve got thousands of products and can’t write custom descriptions for all of them, at least add a No Index Meta Tag on those pages you can’t write unique descriptions for. It will tell Google not to index your page for search results and you’ll avoid the duplicate content penalty.

Duplicate Title Tags

Title tags are extremely important when it comes to search engines, but it’s sometimes difficult to forge unique title tags for e-commerce websites, since they’re usually selling multiple items from the same brand. There are many practices for optimized title tags and you should use them to your advantage, especially when it comes to creating unique key phrases, since many searchers online are actually using phrases for their searches, not single keywords. A good formula to start with is “Brand -> Model -> Type”.

Non-Optimized Product Pages

You want people to land on your product pages, right? Well, in that case, you’ll have to do some keyword research and consider which words people will use in their searches. Once you’ve figured that out, you’ll have to include them in your headlines, product descriptions, and title pages. Many businesses tend to leave their product pages non-optimized, which leads to them promoting products that no one is searching for. Just be careful not to repeat the same keywords over and over again, as it will lead to a penalty. Also, you should always write your image alt tag information as well.

Bad URLs

There’s a huge difference between a well-structured URL and an URL that gives a spammy impression. It’s vital for SEO purposes to create good URLs which can be read both by people and search bots. So how does a well-structured URL look like?

You can see that it’s quite easy to figure out what the page will be about even before we click on it. Not only will this mean that your potential visitors will be more likely to actually click on the URL, but you’ll also get the chance to use a keyword inside it. Plus, it will make your pages way more shareable. No one likes those huge, spammy URLs, as they give the impression of a faulty, “can’t be trusted” website.

No Product Reviews

A big majority of shoppers today are searching for reviews of products that they’re interested in, either on online stores or on other sources. Review pages also have a better chance to reach the top of the SERPs than selling pages, so you’re missing on quite a lot of your target audience if your website doesn’t have reviews. By having product reviews on your website you’ll get completely free and unique content, which is a great help when it comes to SEO. Reviews will also keep your product pages fresh since they will constantly be updated by your reviewers. Updating your pages is really important when it comes to staying on top of your SERPs, so that’s another benefit of having product reviews.

To Wrap it Up

There are many SEO pitfalls to running an e-commerce website and they can really hurt your rankings. With lower ranking, you’ll be losing out on quite a lot of traffic and money. No shop wants to be invisible to their target audience, so you need to look out for any mistakes and optimize your SEO in a way that will let you reach the top of the SERPs. Avoiding these 5 SEO errors is a great start to get you going towards the top.

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by Chloe Smith // Chloe Smith is a cycling enthusiast, business consultant, and a part-time writer always willing to share tidbits of advice. She believes that passion, courage and, above all, knowledge breed success.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.