Best SEO Practices to Increase eCommerce sales
It is hard for eCommerce site to believe that SEO can double or triple their sales in short time. Here are a few eight effective ways that can be embraced by SEO expert to optimize the eCommerce site and improve the sales figure.
Though, it sounds to be impractical, but it is practical to improve the sales and conversion rates be adopting SEO to your eCommerce site. In fact, optimizing the site by using SEO tactics will double your traffic and sales. There are many queries arises on how SEO can boost the traffic, conversation rate, sales number, engagement rate, and turning prospective clients into buyers. In this post you can see the best SEO practices to increase eCommerce sales Here are a few questions that are probed by the many eCommerce site owners and the answer for each question is given below.
There are several ways to deal with it, but here is a few which we suggest.
Leave a few pages up. If the items are yet to receive into your warehouse, then leave a few pages up. You should not delete, conceal or replace those pages with other pages which have stocked items. Avoid adding new products in the pages or redirecting website visitors to other pages.
Offer items that are substitute to the out-of-stock items. If you do not have a particular item that a user is searching for, then offer alternative items in the widget form on the site. few of them include
• Exhibit the same product in different colors
• Offer latest versions or models of the product
• Show the similar products sold by other brands
• Products of similar category that are of same price and of superior quality
Instead of disappointing the customer by displaying a message as out of stock for the item they are looking for, you can show the similar items of other brands. This will be positive received by the customers and turn them as your loyal customer. Instead of losing a potential customer, you can show similar products and compel them to buy instead of going with empty hands from your website. In addition, this helps the search engine to find appropriate pages and structure your site in a better way.
You can also inform the users about the date on which items they are looking for will be available on the site. You need to offer the expected date on which the stock will come to make sure that visitors land on your site to make purchases.
In addition, you can let them do back order so that whenever the fresh stock arrives, you can deliver the product at their doorsteps. The desperate buyers who are looking for the similar product will never mind waiting for a few more days for it.
Undoubtedly, customer gets annoyed by seeing the out-of-stock tag on the item list that they are looking for. You can soothe their mind by offering discounts on the product as soon as the fresh stock arrives. This will keep up the interest of buyers to make purchases from your store later.
What should it do with expired or obsolete items?
eCommerce websites will sell apparels, accessories and electronic appliances. However, the latest models of appliance and styles of apparel will hit the market from time to time. The old clothes that are exhibited in the store becomes obsolete. It is important for the eCommerce site to be on par with the trend and add the latest items that hit the market to garner the attention of the visitors to their website. The eCommerce site owner needs to delete the old pages without taking any further action. This is too bad from the viewpoint of an SEO because people who would have bookmarked the URL would get an error message when they try to land on those pages as those are deleted.
The best solution depends on various things.
You need to use 301 redirect to show the expired URLs message. If you are replacing the expired product with a latest model of the same product, you can use 301 permanent redirect, which lets the user to redirect from the old URL to the new one as soon as they click on the bookmarked URL. This directly tells the search engine to rank the new page, thus retaining the SEO value of the page.
Redirect the page to the parent category. The main intention of doing this is to resolve the user’s issue. If the similar pages that are existing on the site serve the purpose of expired item pages, then you can direct the visitors to those parent category pages.
Totally delete the expired pages along with the content and URL. If the product page that is expired has no similar products that can serve the purpose, then you need to completely delete the page and show 410 status code which lets the search engine understand that the page has been deleted from the site permanently and will not be restored.
You can Reuse the same URLs. If you are selling generic products who technical specifications and model numbers showcased on the product page are not true, you can reuse the same URLs to show the new products. This helps to retain the page authority and boost the ranking of the page on Google.
Few of the items have huge demand forever. There a few pages which has a lot of informative content that the customers may be looking for always, so you need to retain those pages. The buyers who have already purchased the same product can get the information, customer service help from these pages.
If you want to reinforce the product categories, you need to totally focus on product categories by linking seasonal product in each category while giving a breadcrumb for the visitor to understand in which category the product falls into and where they are navigated through on the site. This link describes about the product pages. You need to spend a little budget to optimize the crucial product pages on the site and spend rest of SEO budget on strengthening the product categories.
If you are soon going to launch a product and want to create a huge hype for it, then you need to create a coming soon page by posting informative content about the product, notifications about the launch and preorder forms to the visitors. You need to add social media buttons to the page to let visitors share this page with the other people. You need to add user centric content on the page to engage the visitors.
You also need to add the year in the URL structure. For instance, if your site has a URL for the current year, you need to use 301 redirect to drive the user to the new version of similar product page.
How to do SEO for latest products
There are a few factors one should be fulfill to rank the new pages on search engines. Few of them include information architecture, structure of the site, and internet link building. You need to link the new product page from your home page, product categories page and category level page. This lets the crawler to crawl through the new page and index the page faster. It is crucial for you to link the new pages from the parent category pages.
You also need to optimize the theme on the home page to showcase the products on this page to let the search engine find the new ones with ease and index them. In addition, you also need to link the similar existing product pages to the new products to let Google index and rank the page swiftly.
How to optimize the product pages with no or little unique content?
It is highly challenging and daunting to run an eCommerce site with fierce competition from rivals. Businesses always want to showcase unique product description for every product page. Few people due to lack of time and money will use same product description for the similar products, thus leading to duplicate content and penalizing the site by Google.
There are a few pages that have a product image and some vague information. This will not let the search engine understand what the page is speaking about, how this page is related to other pages on the site and how it is useful for the users.
You need to craft unique and informative content for every new product that is added on your site instead of pulling information from the database. You need to use Google analytics to find the best pages from where you are receiving more number of sales and update the content of those pages regularly.
You also need to reinforce your product categories. It is impossible for an eCommerce site to produce content for millions of products showcased on the page. The best way to avert this problem is to strengthen SEO for product categories. Use breadcrumbs, internal links and add appropriate products to feed the search bots and let them learn and understand what the site is about.
It is crucial for you to use only the content generated by users rather than robots. This unique content will stand out from the other product pages with duplicate content. You can share these pages on social media. Also, you need to encourage the customers to leave reviews about the products purchased from the site to boost up SEO campaign and thereby sales.
How to showcase the product descriptions given by the manufacturer?
Google never like to have duplicate content stored in its database. Undeniably, the manufacturer will have the same product description used on his/her site and when you lift the same content and add that on your site, it becomes duplicate. There are many eCommerce sites that are not rephrasing the product descriptions and specifications instead are adding the same content on the manufacturer page on their site too.
You can keep duplicate content at bay by using unique content that is posted by the users in the comments section and reviews. You need to motivate users to comment and integrate your product pages to social media. This lets the user to convey their story and experiences of using the product. The happy customers who loved the products would promote about your brand and the product.
Add unique content in each product page. You need to personalize the content by letting the user understand how the product solves their daily problems. In addition, you can add product specifications, photos, videos and suggestions to the content of the product.
Add a psychology” layer to the product content. Many product descriptions are not engaging and are filled with many technical specifications. Undeniably, you need to hit the right chord of the audience by cashing their emotions and feelings. You need to write the product description like a story.
How to deal with variations in the product like the color of the product and its size?
Many products that are available on the eCommerce sites are similar to others except the color change and size difference. If you are not handling them property, then it results in duplicate content, thus taking a toll on the site ranking and have negative impact on the new products that are releasing by the company due to the poor sales performance of the existing products. Also, products will be ranked for wrong keywords like for black shoes the user will get the list of products showing red shoes.
You need to thoroughly go through the entire site and change the keywords of the products to rank your site better and gain huge traffic and sales.
How to handle product category pages on the site ?
After the home page, another crucial page on the website is the product category page. You need to consider the category pages as landing page or separate home pages. You need to category the products correctly under each category to let users find the products they are looking for easily.
Add informative and compelling content on each category page. Tips to handle category pages include
Construct an in-depth links for product categories. You can use paid campaigns, promote the products on social medial, do content marketing or guest blogging.
Tag the content that is shared socially. Use right strategies while sharing links on social media platforms like Twitter, Google plus, LinkedIn, etc. You need to be specific to what you tag.
Take ownership of what is being showcased. You need to design the category pages that are easy to search engines to crawl each page linked to the category page and for the users to search for what they are looking.
User search-engine friendly URLs. This lets the search engine to pull out the pages whenever a user searches with the keyword as in the URL and gives knowledge on what the URL is about. You should not stuff too many keywords in the URL instead keep it simple. The effective URL structure for product pages include
• Category Page: abc.com/category/
• Sub-category page: abc.com/category/sub-category/
• Product page: abc.com/category-sub-category/product-name/
How to effectively do internal link building and architecture?
You need to build internal links to other product pages on the site to let search engine crawl and index the pages again and again whenever it sniffs a new piece of content in any of the pages linked to each other. To attain fruitful results, you need better link architecture rather just building the links. Basically, internet links is not all connecting one page to another, but it should be user-friendly. There require a perfect planning and time to prepare a powerful internet link architecture.
Offer navigation for every category level. This gives a clear picture to the user on what they find in the sub-category pages of each category. You need to keep the pages related to context.
You need to create different categories and add the relevant products that falls under a specific category. You need to do the categorization by keeping humans in mind and optimize those pages with the right keywords.
It is imperative for you to use breadcrumbs on all category pages to let user know where they navigating on the site. This helps both search engines and users to navigate from parent category to in-depth.
How to leverage the content generated by users?
You need to showcase the content generated by users until and unless you feel humiliated for showing their opinions about the products and services. The two benefits one can reap from user generated content include
• Improve conversion rates and sales number
• Unique content ranks better and infuse a breath of fresh air on the site
This content needs to be integrated into the product pages to add freshness to the site. Positive reviews left by the users will improve conversion rates. Many new users add into your customer base and form a happy community. Prospective buyers would get motivated to buy products from your site.
Build a happy users community and start posting the customer testimonials on your website and social media pages. You can share the blog posts written by the users sharing their experience of shopping on your eCommerce site. One positive review left by a user will influence the other prospective buyers to trust in your brand and compel them to become your loyal customers. You can showcase the trust of customers on social media platform.
You can use Schema. org to showcase the ratings based on the reviews of the customers on the search results pages whenever the user searches for your site or search with the keyword similar to your product. The site that has higher star ratings will have higher click through rates.
Integrate every product page to social media like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google plus to receive comments, pins and followers. This showcases your social presence to the users. You also need to post the photos of happy buyers on your site and social media pages by using your products.The latest SEO is all about psychology of users rather than technology of the site.
How to optimize the site from website designing phase?
Web design is not all about adding aesthetics to the site. You need to hire an expert eCommerce web designer who works in liaison with the SEO expert, digital marketers, analyst, conversion rate optimizer and other team members of digital marketing to start gaining traffic from day one of the site going live. The company should give freedom for these teams to take right decisions and allocate budget.
When a web designer and information architecture work is done simultaneously, then you see no break in the URLs or page structures whenever you add a new product page. This also assures quick crawling by all the search engine spiders. The site that has visually appealing design and great content will give an incredible experience for the users while generating more sales.
If you fail to plan you fail to implement it properly. It is crucial for every eCommerce site owner to let SEO work simultaneously with the web design from the designing phase. This SEO expert is involved in creating the wireframe and in designing phase to let the site get traffic from day one of the site launch. Creating internal links for product category pages on the site would be effective.
SEO done for eCommerce site is totally different to the SEO done for the other websites. Every eCommerce site owner should hire an SEO consultant who is expertise in understanding human psychology, conversation rate optimization, Google analytics, web designing and development process, social media marketing, content writing, budget, and user experience. In addition, the professional SEO expert who has worked for many eCommerce sites will also have profound knowledge on the functioning of eCommerce business.
The design of an eCommerce site should keep on changing; there is no end for its design, as customers want to have a new experience every time when they land on the site. The site designers will perform A/B testing to check what the users likes and dislikes on the site and how the site is performing for each web design pattern. Using the right tools and hiring the best SEO consultant are important. Though, the expert is expensive, but it helps you to generate umpteen sales in a short time.
How to organize similar products on the eCommerce site ?
By organize relevant products at one place will let users search for all the relevant products and buy one that best fits in their needs. This lets the buyers to buy some or the other similar model product that is in their budget. This definitely will help you to get a sale. The Meta data ensure that all the products showcased are relevant, personalized and stocked at one place. It is the responsibility of your web designer and developer to build solid internal link architecture to link one similar product to another.
Be specific. If the user has landed on your product page in search of iPhones, you also need to show similar products as per the buyer persona. You should never show the product whose range and quality is lower than iPhone rather showing the product that is on similar lines of iPhones. For example, you can show the latest Google phones. If the buyer likes the product, he/she may make a purchase. You need to measure and optimize the suggestions given for a product from time to time.
Placement and location on the site. You need to showcase the product at the right place on the site to stand out from the other products and look beautiful to the visitor. You need to give a special place for new products rather than placing it between the existing products or in the suggestions page. You should never waste the best space on the site for the products that are rarely opted by the users.
How to boost internal site search
Many eCommerce websites will optimize the site for Google search, but fail to optimize the internet site search. The reason for this is giving less priority to internet search and losing the potential sales. When people search with wrong spellings, synonyms of the product and with hyphens will let take them to the right pages of the eCommerce site, but this should take them to the right pages. For this, you need to use site search. You need to use certain tools that let you to identify the keywords with which users are searching within the site and calculate the amount of revenue it generates.
Check for the keywords that are often searched by the users on your internal site search page. This lets you to know which products are more popular and lucrative. This also lets you know that users are not able to find out the products what they are looking for in your site.
You can use the best tool like Crazy egg to clicks of the users on home page, category page and other product pages. This lets you to track their behaviour on each page and until which page they are going from the home page.
Consider the site search results page as the landing pages of the site. The user searches with a keyword to find the best site from where he/she can buy a product. The search results should give relevant results and let users to find a solution for their problems. Ensure to add “no index” in every product page.
You need to add site search in the keyword research page. You need to know which keywords are used by the users to search for new products on the site, find areas of improvements on the site, know the popular products on the website and find out if there are any search problems that are experienced by the users.
You need to keep on testing the site from time to time and fix the bugs quickly. You need to search for the keywords that you have included in the internal site search and see the results it is displaying. You need to fix the broken links to improve sales.
Add internal search on the page and ensure that this search lets user to find right product that they are looking for on the site. For this, you need to make a few minor changes in the Meta data of the eCommerce site. By using meta data, it will not show or create pages with misspell or incorrect words.
How to optimize the product photos and videos
Undeniably, the content quality, video quality, images on the site will have a great impact on the experience of the user on your website. You need to post high quality pictures that let users to see the product clearly. Do not ignore the significance of photos and videos thinking the just content is being viewed by the prospective buyers while buying a product.
Pictures that are appealing will be shared on Pinterest and other social media platforms. There are a few users who tag the photos and comment on them. This spreads a word of mouth about your brand, thus strengthening its image in the online world. You also need to optimize the images with right keywords to pull in more traffic and sales.
You only need to use quality pictures. You need to take photos of these pictures in the right environment to let buyers connect to the images emotionally. This improves the sales. Though, you need to spend money on taking photos, but it pays you off at the end. You can also use videos to take the experience of the users to the next level.
Add keywords, ALT text and caption to the images. In addition, you need to write interesting and compelling description about the product shortly. This gives a strong hint to the search engine about the site and about which product you are talking about.
You need to conduct A/B testing by adding images and videos on the site to see how much traffic is being increased and thereby sales. You need to post two to three similar pictures by changing the colours and see which one is giving high conversion rates.
How to add pages for the products on sale?
Add a canonical URL in the HTTP head of every product page in which there is an item for sale. This lets search engine know that it is not a duplicate URL and rank it as a different version of the page, but not as the same version.
How to design an ecommerce site for mobiles
You cannot overlook the significance of mobile in eCommerce industry. This is playing a crucial role. If your website is not mobile friendly, then you are simply losing half of your customers. Today, people are ordering products on the go from their mobiles. A plethora of surveys conducted on eCommerce solutions found that the site which are mobile compatible have seen a growth in the sales to two to three times more.
You can create an app or make the site responsive. You need to offer the same URLs offered for the desktop version to let the user view the product on their mobiles. Let the user to switch from one version to another. Do not direct them to the home page like other eCommerce sites do.
How to strengthen the site security ?
Many customers will step back to do online purchases due to poor site security and intimidation of getting prone to cyber attacks. In online shopping sites, you need to provide your personal and financial data to carry out the transactions. It is the responsibility of the site owner to ensure that the site is secured comprehensively.
You need to build up the trust and confidence in the customer by showcasing the logos and text stating that you are following security standards. You also need to show the SSL, encryption and visa certificates on the site to assure them that the site is protected. You also need to tell the visitors that shopping on your site is 100% secure and safe. This improves the conversion rates.
Many eCommerce sites will showcase this information at the footer area of the site instead you can proudly showcase them on the place where it reaches to the focal point of the user
Tips embraced by eCommerce websites
Optimize the site regularly: Ecommerce site should be optimized every day rather than doing once and leaving it. In the process of optimization, the code of the site and look changes. The developers may fix one and create a new bug in some other page of the site. You need to use strategic and solid SEO framework to ensure that every change is made in line with the website and business goals.
Use Google webmaster tools: This tool has to be used by every eCommerce site owner to find the bugs and fix them immediately before the situation goes worse. You keep on looking for 404 page errors and other similar problems. Also, see how the pages on the site are performing on the search engine. Identify the keywords with which users are searching for the products similar to yours. In addition, you also need to find poor and high performing pages on the site.You need to integrate this webmaster tool, Google Ad-words and Google analytics tool to get valuable information of your site performance in terms of search engine and users.
Take appropriate action: It is not enough to keep a watch on data. You must take necessary actions from the collected data. You should know which areas on the site to look. It is crucial for you to identify the indexing problems, problem with duplicate or useless content, penalties imposed by Google, etc. You need to fix all these problems manually and quickly.
Spend big on SEO tools: You need to use various SEO Tools like Moz, Raven, Deep crawl and other tools to detect the problems on your site, fix them and boost up the performance. You need to prepare a report to take the right actions. You need to timely check for problems and fix them. Every SEO tools has their own significance. It is highly recommended to use various tools to optimize the eCommerce website.
Perform manual testing: You can go for screaming frog SEO spider tool, which is considered as a powerful tool to detect the page and section issues on the site. You need to pick a single product segment and analyze its category and sub-categories. There are many problems that are aroused in the CMS area of the site which you need to fix immediately.
Analyze the data: Every job you do to optimize the eCommerce site can be done in a better manner, but due to lack of resources, it is not possible. For that, you first need to prioritize your tasks on which areas of the site to be improved first and which are having great impact on the site performance. You need to develop dashboards displaying information about the site performance.
Make your site mobile friendly: With the advent of mobile technology, you should immediately start revamping the site and make it mobile friendly to improve sales of the site. You need to give the similar experience that a user gets on desktop even on the mobiles.
It is merely impossible to tell everything about doing SEO for eCommerce site at one go. The above given tips will help the eCommerce site owners to make necessary modifications in the site and improve sales and traffic.
If you have any more tips, you can share with us in the comment sections. I am looking forward to hearing from you about the new tips which can bring scores of traffic and sales for an eCommerce site.