[UPDATED]Ecommerce is booming and every year the holiday season breaks many records. But, let’s face it. You do not build a store for a season. You make one for the sales and the profit (and perhaps, for the thrill of retail.)
Online commerce works on a simple rule! If you want to increase your profits, you have to increase your sales. To increase your sales, you need to attract more traffic.
Now, the question comes: How to get more traffic?
Well, for me, the answer is simple. It’s SEO (aka Search Engine Optimization).
If your Ecommerce product SEO is in place, then there should be nothing stopping you to get your hands on higher profits. An effective SEO plan increases traffic. Recently, I created a checklist on ecommerce SEO practices. However, it did not end there. It was just the beginning.
Best Practices For Ecommerce Product SEO
- Use Efficient Link Architecture on Your Product Page
- Proper Internal Linking Help Bots To Crawl Your New Product Pages
- Plan Your SEO Strategy Before Any Season
- Use Redirection For Discontinued Products
- You Should Always Write Your Own Product Description
- Your Product Pages Should Contain Additional Content
- Choose the Best Keywords for Titles, Meta Descriptions & Headings
- You Must Use Your Keywords As an Alt Text For Product Images
- Optimize Your Product Pages With Long Tail Keyword Phrases
- Always Use Search Engine Friendly URLs
- Seo and Page Load Speed Go Hand-In-Hand.
How to Execute Ecommerce Product SEO?
You must be wondering why does ecommerce product SEO get a separate blog post? Well, SEO for ecommerce product pages are the wheels of your online store that drives sales. These pages make a large part of an online shop. These pages are always dynamic. Sometimes the product is available and sometimes it is not. Every state requires a different SEO treatment.
But, one thing that remains is the Architecture. You need to ensure that your website is created under a structure. This optimizes the store for user experience. By creating categories and sub-categories, you are telling both the user and the search engine about the pathways on which your store has been created.
1. Link Architecture on Your Product Page
For an efficient function of the link architecture, consider following the ecommerce on-page tips given below:
- Create navigational flow in the Header section.
- Place another navigational set of links in the Footer section too.
- The Header should contain the Search Bar and the Cart.
- The Footer should contain the Contact information and Policies pages.
- Just under the header, put a Breadcrumbs flow.
In the following example, you can see the Tavik store’s product page.
You also consider adding the links to related products. Remember, Flash and Java content is not accessible to the search engine crawlers. Therefore, always put a product description if you want the maximum benefit.
2. SEO for New Product Pages
Everyone wants to have the new products pages for new products ranked instantly. For that, you must create a sensible place for it in your link architecture.
Proper internal linking makes it easy for the bots to crawl your pages. Oh yeah! You may want to create a blog site. It helps too! Also, think about releasing a Press Release.
3. Plan for Seasonal Products and Deals
Some of the Products are for only a specific period of time, like Christmas Items, Winter/Summer Items, etc. You have to plan your SEO strategy before any season starts because organic results take time. Plan your content, keyword research, promote content, etc.
Sales generally are a yearly event. If you have created special pages for a season, apply redirect 301 to a future event.
For example: xyz.com/christmas-2014 => xyz.com/welcome-2015
If you do not have any seasonal products or deals coming up, don’t delete anything. Keep those pages alive for users and show some relevant products or deals. If it’s not possible, redirect to Home.
4. Out-of-Stock Product SEO
Products do not stay on the shelves forever. There comes a time when they are not available, temporarily or permanently. In the following paragraphs, you can read about the treatments.
i) Discontinued Products
If the product has been discontinued, then redirect with relevant products, if possible. Otherwise, redirect it to Parent Category. Alternatively, you can redirect to Main Page.
Some owners prefer to delete the page and apply 410 Status Code that notifies search engine bots about the deletion of the page. But, I recommend to use redirection instead. Remember, 301 redirect (Permanent) is an SEO friendly redirection tag.
ii) Temporarily Unavailable
Don’t delete, redirect or replace the page. Put a clear message that the product will arrive soon. Show some relative product on that page. I would recommend that you put an email form that can notify the visitor once the stock is back.
5. Product Description Optimization
Well, your store can be selling Coca Cola. Should you copy the description from some other store? No! That’s plagiarism. You should always write your own description.
Do not create different pages for different product sizes or colors. Ask your developer to use widgets for such purposes. That’s it. Keep optimizing product descriptions for higher rankings in searches. This is one of the best practices in ecommerce.
6. Your Product Pages Should Contain Additional Content
Most of the times your product descriptions are short and concise which may not help you in the SERP. You should add to your content possibly by adding reviews, FAQ’s, elaborate product guides or related blogs in that product page.
By doing this, you will be adding more information for your visitors as well as have the opportunity to plug in more keywords and keyword combinations and rank better in search results.
7. Choose the Best Keywords for Titles, Meta Descriptions & Headings
To rank well on Search Engine you must use the most relevant and searched keywords for your product page’s title, description & heading.
You want your user to click your search result therefore use a title which should firstly help you rank better in search results, and secondly entice the viewers to click on it.
8. Alt Tags Are Important
This is one of the neglected area when it comes to optimization. The text used in these tags count the same as anchor text used in your content. You must use your keywords as an alt-text for these images.
Additional Tip: The ‘file-name’ of an image also plays an important role, be sure to use relevant keywords while naming your images.
9. Use Long Tail Keywords
Long tail keywords are the phrases with 3 words or more. People who search long phrases are the ones who can be your potential customers as they know what product they are looking to buy. Try to optimize your product pages with precise long tail keyword phrases as this is one of the best practices in ecommerce.
10. Always Use Search Engine Friendly URLs
Another one of the best practices in ecommerce is having a search engine friendly URL structure. A search engine friendly URL will help you in search results. Try to make your URL unique and try to use your primary keyword in it. These kinds of URLs not only help with search engine optimization but also helps the user to understand in an instant what your web page and business is all about.
11. Do Not Forget Speed!
SEO and page load speed go hand-in-hand. If your pages are not fast enough, you will not be ranked high enough to create profits from Organic.
Your hosting service plays an essential role in speeding-up your website. Customers don’t enjoy waiting even for a few seconds. So, choose wisely when you opt for an ecommerce hosting provider.
The essence of getting higher sales resides in following these Best Practices for Ecommerce Product SEO. So, do your product SEO wisely and comment below if you don’t understand any point written in this guide.
And, if you have already optimized your ecommerce store’s product pages but still not getting relevant results, then check out our ‘Ecommerce Store Optimization Guide’ to perfect your on-page factors.