In order for search engines to index content updates on your website, make sure XML sitemaps of all the e-commerce content page URLs are being generated. The XML sitemaps are created dynamically on the fly by most eCommerce websites. Plugins like All In One SEO and WP SEO are capable of generating sitemaps automatically and submit them to search engine webmasters. This ensures constant indexation of your content by search engines and improves your SERP rankings.
Also, make sure to place rel=”canonical’ on each of your pages. This will ensure search engines index only unique URLs for each category, sub-category and product pages. This is really helpful if there is duplicate content on your website. You can avoid being punished by Google with reduced SERP rankings for content duplication by specifying canonical URLs. You can configure canonical URLs from the General Settings of All In One SEO.
Sometimes, a product category may have many products that cannot be displayed on a single page. Let us say, your eCommerce website can only display 10 products per page. But you may have 50 products in that category. This may confuse search engines in thinking that there are 5 unique pages on the website. Whereas, all the five pages display products from the same category, and are the continuation of the same page. For such paginated content, make use of rel=“next” and rel=“prev” attributes to tell search engines that these linked pages are not separate unique pages, but the continuation of the same page.
Effective eCommerce SEO is important for your website because:
- Prospects are looking to make product comparisons.
- Prospects are looking to understand product specifications.
- Prospects are looking to buy products at discounted rates.
- Prospects are looking for product reviews.
- Prospects are looking to buy from the comfort of home.
- Prospects are busy and short of time to explore all websites.
- Customers have limited time and budget.
- It is a highly competitive market.
Some important points to keep in mind while creating your eCommerce SEO strategy are:
- To use keywords, descriptions, titles and alt tags containing keywords.
- To provide crisp and granular product details to search engines for enhanced search results.
- To use rich media snippets for your products.
- To use link building techniques consistently across the website.
- To use the call to actions consistently across the website for social sharing.
- To provide easy navigation and path to the shopping cart.
- To use Google Alerts to be notified about earned media.
- To respond to customer feedback and reviews across digital marketing channels, which can further lead to link building and reviews.
- Sharing educational and informative content establishes you as the thought leader, and indirectly drives marketing.
You can use product recommendation tools to advice identical or similar products to users on your website.You can display enhanced and detailed product information on SERPs using rich snippets. Some of the most popular rich snippets used are as below:
- Limited-time offers.
- Product Name & Prices.
- Review and Ratings
- Product Availability
- Images and Videos
- Paid Product Search
Do not delete the pages for out of stock or temporarily unavailable products. Mark these pages with the appropriate message for search engines. Deleting an indexed page can affect SEO adversely.
For discontinued products, delete the page, and display 404 “not found”. Include an apology on this page and provide navigation links to product pages that are related and closely aligned with the deleted discontinued product. If the product page has moved, make sure to implement 301 permanent re-direct for search engines to understand the shift and take users to the new page. A simple structure of an eCommerce website makes it easier for search engines to index the eCommerce websites. Search engines would easily understand the structure and composition of your website, what categories you have online, and what products are being sold in each of those categories. If search engines can easily crawl and index your pages, they would rank your website higher and display relevant results on SERPs to user queries.
Following points should be kept in mind while working on product pages:
- Every product should have a unique landing page.
- Product pages should contain relevant product specification.
- Metadata should be used for each product.
Include category, subcategory, and product pages in sitemaps.
- You can promote your products across social media websites:
- By sharing educational and informative product-related content that actually helps users.
- Sharing highly engaging and interactive product-related content that catches user attention.
- Sharing customer reviews, testimonial, and recommendations across social media websites.
- Offer deals like discount coupons, buy one get one free, give away’s and other special offers.
- Have a dedicated section for the deal of the day, special offers, contests, or sweepstakes.
- Adapt to User Generated Content (UGC) strategy.
- Include social sharing CTA buttons on all product pages.
- Include “save to wish list” and “share with friend” functionality.
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