Search Engines always like to give higher priority to websites which has lots of unique content and are updated on regular basis. No doubt sites like Mashable, Lifehacker or Problogger are pretty well optimized to rank higher in search engines whenever it’s updated. And hence implementing SEO on a blog in simple & straight-forward. It’s never that complicated.
Nowadays, there any many themes available like Thesis Theme, Pagelines or Genesis that does the SEO for your blog. You don’t have to hire any SEO expert if you’re using these themes. But the problem with an E-commerce website is the lack of unique content. If you’ve not done your homework, you can loose potential customers.
A typical e-commerce website contains few 100 pages to 1000 pages where you can buy or sell products or services. For example Amazon.com or ebay.com are all e-commerce website which contains thousands and millions of products pages. And thus such websites need careful SEO planning well in advance which will help you to save lots of time and effort in future. Here are some quick SEO tips that will help you to optimize your e-commerce website.
Optimize product pages
1. Use unique Title for every product page. An E-commerce sits has number of product pages. So it’s important to have different page title for every product pages. Because titles are the first thing fetched by search engines and also seen in the browser tabs and search results. Use H1 tag for product page title as it’s the important tag for search engines.
2. Clear and Optimized product images. If you are adding images be, sure to include images from every angle with zoom-in on image hover. It would be better if the images open up in a lightbox rather than opening images in new tab. Be sure to include the “Atl” and “Title” tag to product images. Because images are another great source of traffic from search engines.
3. Include every aspect of the product. Like it’s price, discount available, Shipping charges and specs. Also include description about the product with the targeted keywords. You can also include a short video review about the product.
4. Add customer reviews with star ratings on every product pages. Because this increases the conversions based on how many people have tried the product and worked well for them. This in-turn produces content for your product pages.
5. Adding related product on every page with it’s price tag is also a great way to increase conversions. For instance, if the user wants to buy an iPad, but he’ getting Samsung Galaxy Tab for a better price. He might be interested in that too.
6. Include targeted keywords related to the product wherever possible, like in the title or in the meta description tag. The keyword must reflect the important phrases within the webpage.
7. Remove duplicate content issue by fixing URL canonicalization of the website. The website should only have “www” or the “non-www” version of URL. And the site must direct to only one preferred URL structure.
8. URL structure. Use hyphen-separated URL instead of using blank spaces or numbers. Keep URL Lowercase. Use categories in URL instead of using dates.
9. Include Rich Snippets- Product markup. Product markup allows you to provide Google with specific information about the products on your site. Information about price, availability, reviews and more may be used in search results to help users more quickly and accurately identify relevant content. Visit http://www.schema.org/Product for more details.
Optimize User Interface
10. Optimize the load time of the website by removing unnecessary plugins or applications. Try to avoid less jQuery objects and avoid using flash objects. Try avoiding use of images in website design, and if you’re using images, use CSS sprites to load all images as one object. Employing GZIP compression is one of the best method to optimize large HTML pages.
11. Try to employ responsive site design that can be viewed on Tablets and on smartphones. Because search engines love responsive design that serves same set of HTML one single URL on all devices. Responsive design also reduces duplicate content issue, than serving the same content on a sub-domain [m.domain.com] This also means more conversion for your Ecommerce website, because your website can be accessed through any mobile.
12. Add a search box on every page of the website. This is the most important thing for an E-commerce website. So it’s easy for users to search any product on your website. Place the search box in a visible section like around the header section, so that a user can search easily what they are seeking for when they land on your site. Make the search results more specific by adding categories to the search.
13. Create proper search filters. Search filters makes it more easy for a user to search a specific brand product. For example, if a user is searching for a 64 GB Pen Drive, then the user can go on the Hard Drives and Storage category page, and select the filters like;
[Category page] Hard Drives and Storage > [Filter Type] Pen Drives > [Size] 64 GB
And then the filter will show all 64 GB Pen drives of different brands with it’s price tag. This will make more convenient for the user to search for a product.
14. Add categories section in the header via Navbar. You can create a drop down category or a large drop down category like Amazon.com.
15. Make the registration process easy and smooth. Don’t make it lengthy by adding unwanted fields unless and until it’s required. Include form-filling standard
autocompletetypeso it can make the sign up process more faster during purchase. See the example below:
<input type=”text” name=”field1” x-autocompletetype=”email” />
16. Make it easier for users to compare two or more different products based on its technical specs, price, outer body, etc… so the user can compare and buy the best one.
Optimize Category Pages.
17. Consider category pages as homepage because this will be useful for your products to rank higher in search engines. Implement same SEO technique on category page as you do for your homepage. Add proper Title and meta description for category pages.
18. Include Breadcrumbs for all Inner Pages. A breadcrumb is like a secondary navigation structure. It helps the visitor to navigate back to the main product category page. A breadcrumb also helps in the internal linking of the website. Overall, including a breadcrumb makes the website SEO friendly.
19. Include search filters on all category pages.
Optimize Trust Indicators
20. Install a secured payment gateway like CCAvenue, PayPal, Authorize.net or Google Checkout. Because a payment gateway is the heart of an E-Commerce website. When choosing a payment gateway, look for Cart Compatibility, Multiple Card and Currency support, Fraud detection and Prevention service, PCI compliance, Price and Simplicity.
21. Get a Norton Secured Seal or TrustE seal to verify website’s safety so a buyer could trust your website and enters it billing details during the purchase. And make sure you update the SSL certificate everytime.
22. Add about page, contact page [Embed Google maps which shows your company exact location] and support details [emails]. Make it easier for user to track purchase orders by providing tacking number via email automatically.
Keep a Track
23. Use Google Webmaster and Bing Webmaster to track crawlers efficiency. You can choose which pages should be crawled and which should not. You can increase or decrease the crawl rate depending on how your website is updated.
24. Keep a track of your visitors activity. Google Analytics is a good tool to track users behavior in real time. You can track which products are ranking higher and check the traffic resources. However if your website is operating on a large scale, you can go for Premium Google Analytics tool.
25. Keep a track of your competitors to check what’s working for them. Open Site Explorer works best to monitors 10-20 competitors. Use Google Alerts with your targeted keywords to know what your competitors are upto. This will also help you to generate more content ideas.