SEO can double the sales on eCommerce websites, but this statement sounds unreal, doesn’t it? I am going to share with you some best practices for eCommerce SEO that are proven to boost search engine presence and conversions for Grey Umbrella clients.
Tip # 1
Dealing with Out-of-Stock Items
There are many ways of dealing with out-of-stock items, but here is what I recommend:
- Do not hide the pages: Leave the pages upon your website; don’t hide or replace them.
- Offer alternative products: Offer alternative products through sidebars and widgets on your website. If you have the same or similar items in different colors or sizes, show them.
- Inform Customer of the Expected Date of Return: Use a countdown timer or any other means to display the approximate time when the product will be back in stock.
- Place a Backorder Icon: Place a backorder icon on the page and promise to have the product sent to the customers first, when the item re-stocks.
- Offer Additional Discounts: Offer a bonus or discounts to keep your customers happy. This may keep them in the loop until the products arrive.
Tip # 2
Dealing with Obsolete / Expired Products
While most eCommerce SEO companies suggest for you to remove the expired or obsolete products from your website, we have some totally different suggestions. Old pages have SEO value. People may have bookmarked them or linked to them. By deleting the pages, we are unnecessarily “ridding” our website of all those benefits. Here is what you can do as an alternative:
- Permanently Redirect the Pages (301 Redirect) to other relevant products, or newer versions of the same product. When you 301 redirect a page, Google gets a signal that you want to rank the other page instead of this page.
- Redirect to Parent Category so that customers can select from a range of options that match their intentions.
- Display a Notice saying that the product has expired or is obsolete, and offer customers alternative options by linking to other relevant products on the same page. Older customers can also get information on the specifications of the products and servicing information.
- Keep Using the URLs for Generic Products in a way that doesn’t come off as irrelevant.
Tip # 3
Dealing with New Product SEO
As is the case with any other product on your website, good information structure, website architecture, and internal link architecture are crucial for ranking new product pages. This will ensure that Google can crawl and index your pages faster. The less time spiders have to spend on indexing your website, the faster they will return to your website next time.
Optimize your theme, so that you always display new products on the Home Page, so that more and more customers will visit those pages. Also, never make the mistake of ripping the manufacturer’s product description onto your website.
Over the years, Google has given a lot of weight to original content. You do not want your website to get buried in the crowd of hundreds of websites who have copied the same product description from the manufacturers.
Tip # 4
Dealing with Products Pages That Have Little or No Content
Managing an eCommerce website can be a daunting task. That is why very few webmasters think of adding unique content on every product page in their eCommerce website. Many simply pull the content from other websites or manufacturers’ websites, which leads to the problem of content duplication.
If your product page has nothing more than a photo, there is no chance Google will understand what you want to showcase, because bots cannot make sense of your images. Always add unique content on your most important product pages. It may be a time-draining procedure, but you do not need to accomplish it overnight.
Tip # 5
Dealing with Product Category Pages
Your product category pages are the most powerful pages, after your home page. These need to be handled with care if you really want to get the maximum SEO exposure for your website.
- Category Pages Are Individual Landing Pages: Design category pages like you would design a landing page on your website.
- Add Content to Your Category Pages: It’s important to add content to your category pages. Google will never rank a page without any unique content, unless in extreme cases.
- Build Links to Your Category Pages: There are many ways to build links to your category pages, but we suggest using techniques like guest blogging, content marketing, and paid advertisements.
- Use Search-Engine-Friendly URLs: This point is self-explanatory. The most effective URL structure for a category page is:
- Category Page: Website.com/category/
- Sub-Category Page: Website.com/category/sub-category/
- Product Page: website.com/category/sub-category/product-name/
I hope you find these tips helpful. Stay tuned to the Grey Umbrella blog for more cool interesting tips and tricks about eCommerce SEO, social media, searchmetrics, and PPC.