Everyone makes mistakes.
Even highly experienced operators who have been around the block a few times, who know more about a subject than some people will forget make a blunder every now and then.
Making mistakes with your Ecommerce SEO can be as close to literally throwing money down the drain as it’s possible to get.
Ecommerce SEO is a tricky subject.
It’s not easy to do well.
It can be a bit complicated – although not as complicated as some will make it out to be when they’re trying to charge you extortionate rates to write a better meta description.
And having worked with hundreds of clients who have come to us after trying to do their own Ecommerce SEO when they started out, we’ve seen a few common issues that keep cropping up.
So, have a read of this and see if you recognise any of the problems in here (maybe you’re having them now, or have had them before) and let’s see if we can’t help you get your Ecommerce website back on track.
Not optimising for mobile
So making sure your website is adapted for mobile so your users can still get as good a shopping experience on their smartphone as they can on their desk top is essential.
For two reasons.
First, the user experience.
If your website isn’t optimised for mobile, then the user experience will be awful.
Users won’t be able to use your website, and so won’t be able to buy anything from you.
Second, Google actively ranks websites not optimised for mobile lower in search than websites which are.
This mobile first approach means that not creating a mobile ready website is instantly putting your Ecommerce SEO on the backfoot.
Slow web page speed
People are busy.
Many are shopping for things in their lunch breaks.
Even when they’re not, they don’t have time to sit around waiting for your slow website to load so they can browse.
Slow web pages can be caused by a number of things, but a big reason is using large file sizes for images or content.
Compressing these files before adding them to your website can be an easy way to speed up your website.
Using generic descriptions (that everyone else is using)
If you buy a product from a manufacturer to sell on to other people, you’ll have noticed that it comes with a generic “product description”.
What you shouldn’t do, is use that product description as your own.
One, because everyone else who is trying to sell that product has access to (and might be using the same product description).
Two, the generic product descriptions tend to be just that, generic and boring.
Poor product descriptions
On the same topic, too many product descriptions fail to entice customers to buy products.
This is because they’re not descriptive enough.
They don’t get the full value across.
They use boring language – or flimsy language which doesn’t really mean anything.
And they don’t include keywords or phrases that people are looking for.
Not including keywords in your descriptions is bad for a few reasons.
You miss out on search engines recognising the content as relevant to particular searches.
Two, you can’t go after a few longer tail keywords on your product pages, which limits the amount of searches you can be found for.
Not doing any keyword research
On the issue of keyword research.
Some Ecommerce websites don’t even have keyword research behind them.
Which is a sure way to fail.
Not doing keyword research for Ecommerce SEO means people who are searching for your products aren’t going to find them, because you’re not using the same words and phrases as them.
Not getting product reviews or testimonials
Firstly, they prove to Google that you’re a reliable source for your customers, because they’ve actively given you a good review.
Second, they’re an indicator to other customers that you sell good products, or you provide a good level of service.
Think about it.
If you had two businesses selling the same thing, but one had lots of reviews and the other had none, what would be the deciding factor in who you bought from?
Not considering search intent
This is more to do with SEO copywriting than technical SEO.
But understanding search intent is a key thing to think about when creating content for an Ecommerce website.
Search intent is just about understanding what a user expects to find as a result of making certain searches.
Search around “How to” for example, you would expect to come across results for demos or how to guides.
Similarly searches for a particular product with the search word “top 10” or “best”, would leave you expecting to find reviews of products or services – rather than promotions for particular products.
Understanding what your audience expects to find when making particular searches will help you map and create content to meet that intent.
No page titles or meta descriptions
Page titles and meta descriptions are like the headlines in a news story.
Your page title should give both the user and Google an idea of what your page is about.
For instance one page title for us would be “SEO agency” because that’s what we are and what we provide as a service.
Your meta description goes into a bit more detail about what the user can expect to find by clicking through to the page.
They also give you a chance to insert some keywords for Google and search engines to crawl and index.
Complicated site structure
Your Ecommerce site structure is no different to the layout of a physical shop.
If you walked into a clothes shop for example, and everything was all over the place, you had no ideas where to go, and there was no signage telling you where you might find what you’re looking for – you’d leave and go somewhere else.
Your Ecommerce website is the same.
Your homepage is your front door.
It should entice customers into your digital shop.
After that, your category and product pages need to be clearly structured so your customers can find what they’re after with just a few clicks.
Ideally, you want a customer to never be more than three clicks away from your homepage before they find what they want.
The simplest path should be: Homepage – Category Page – Product Page
Duplicating content across the website
Duplicate content is a killer for any SEO, not just Ecommerce.
Whenever Google or a search engine comes across duplicate content on a website, it struggles to figure out which is the dominant page (the one you’re trying to rank) and will guess which one to rank highest.
This might not be the one you want.
Duplicate content is also difficult to manage on an Ecommerce website when you’re selling similar products that have similar features.
What you can do is add a canonical tag to the page you want Google to recognise as the main page.
Keeping on top of your SEO long term
Ultimately Ecommerce SEO is an investment for the long run.
You’ll always have new pages being added, new products added to categories, new blogs to create and changes to make.
Not to mention changes to Google’s algorithm which always seem to happen just as you’ve started to get a handle on your site’s search performance.
There are tools out there which can help you keep on top of your site’s SEO.
If you’re struggling, you can always hire an SEO agency who can take care of the management and heavy lifting for you.
Get a review of your Ecommerce SEO
Why not ask us for a free technical SEO audit of your Ecommerce website.
We’ll review your site using our suite of analytics tools and present you with a full report showing you where your site is performing well, and where you could make improvements.
You can make those improvements yourself, or you can pay us to manage them for you.
Either way, why not get an SEO audit and start seeing quick improvements to the performance of your Ecommerce website.