7 Simple SEO Mistakes That Could be Killing Your eCommerce Store
04 April 2014 by Steve Lewis
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Is your eCommerce store SEO-friendly? Are you giving your products and category pages the best chance of showing up in the search engines? The unfortunate truth for many retail professionals is that simple SEO mistakes are resulting in significant lost revenue.
Here are seven of the most common eCommerce errors – and what you can do about them.
#1 – Avoiding Analytics
Google Analytics is an invaluable tool that allows you to really get to grips with how your website is performing. If you’re not regularly checking your Analytics page then you’re missing a trick.
Find out 6 quick ways you can use Google Analytics to understand more about your eCommerce store.
#2 – Doing Duplicate content
Google’s Panda update discriminated heavily on sites that used the same content on various pages. So if you’ve copied and pasted from other pages (whether that’s yours or someone else’s) then Google will regard yours as a low-quality website and rank you as such too.
For many eCommerce stores with hundreds or even thousands of individual product pages, this presents a problem. After all, it could take many hours to provide unique text for each page.
Although it’s tempting to use the product description that’s given by a supplier, this content will doubtless be used elsewhere on the web, deemed as duplicate and will only result in diminished rankings.
It may take time to individually write customer-focused product descriptions, but the high-value long tail traffic and increased authority will ensure your investment is worth it in the long run.
#3 – Misusing meta information
Are you neglecting your site’s meta titles and descriptions? A page’s title (the large text in search results) is one of the first things that Google looks at when it crawls a web page.
And just like with site content, putting the same content in the meta descriptions and titles will have a harmful effect on your site’s SEO.
At best, identical meta information will lead Google to think the different pages are in fact the same and present the ‘wrong’ page to visitors – causing substantial bounce rates. At worst, it will regard the meta information as spammy and push it down the rankings. Either way, it’s essential to differentiate each page’s metas.
#4 – Cramming in Keywords
Choosing the right keywords and utilising them in meta information and content is essential if you’re looking to grow your reach online. However, you have to use keywords sparingly.
Back in the day, the ‘cramming’ of keywords over and over was an effective way of ranking in search engines. But the Google Panda algorithm released in 2011 put an end to this low-quality practice.
Think of keywords like spice in a curry. The right ones, in the right quantity, will complement the page and make it stand out from the rest – but put an unnatural amount in and you’re left with something quite unpalatable. Include keywords by all means, but don’t forget that you’re writing for real human readers.
#5 – Using Unsavoury URL Structures
Many developers miss a simple trick when they neglect to build a site that allows readable URLs because Google pays huge attention to a site’s URL when determining search rankings.
For instance, if we have two websites with the following URLs:
The former will be far more likely to rank than the latter which looks spammy and offers no insight as to what the page is actually about.
What’s more, not only will a keyword-rich URL help to show up in search engines, it will also appear more relevant and worthwhile to human visitors and increase click-through rates.
#6 – Scrimping on Copy
Every web page needs readable text so that Google can scan it and ascertain what it’s all about. So if you’re building standalone web pages without a decent chunk of interesting, relevant and original text you’ll struggle to rank well.
What’s more, you need to be sure your text is crawlable. Put simply, if you can’t highlight, copy and paste the text individually then Google won’t be able to read it either.
#7 – Having a sluggish, unusable site
Put simply, Google is dedicated to enhancing the experience of its users. As a result, the web pages that it displays to searchers will not only be the most relevant, but also the most usable. A decent site speed is essential for ranking well, as we discussed in a previous blog.
As Google becomes increasingly sophisticated, there will doubtless be new ways that they determine the quality and usability of a website.
Want to stand the best chance of enjoying strong search rankings? Focus on providing a unique and convenient online offering that puts visitors first.
Talk to us today
TheGenieLab is trusted by big brands and niche start-ups to build search-friendly, highly-accessible websites. For more information about how we can help to create a website your brand can be proud of, speak to us today – call 01633 415 364 or live chat with us today.
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