Top 10 Critical SEO Errors of E-commerce Websites
SEO is a complex field, and there are many nuances to it. However, there are some SEO errors that e-commerce sellers often make. These include keyword stuffing on the page, not using schema tags or product metadata, and optimizing search engine images. With the help of ecommerce SEO services, ecommerce sellers can optimize their websites properly and avoid these errors.
Ecommerce websites are very popular, yet many things can go wrong with them. All ecommerce website owners should know what they can do to avoid these common mistakes so that their brand will be successful online in the long run.
Nevertheless, suppose you are planning to invest in an ecommerce business. In that case, you should hire professional SEO service providers who can create effective SEO strategies for your website. The main reason behind this is that such experts have the knowledge and skills needed to optimize large websites that can bring more traffic and sales.
Ecommerce sellers can increase their search engine rankings and attract more customers by choosing the right ecommerce SEO services. To find out more about the top 10 critical SEO errors of e-commerce websites, keep reading:
Keyword stuffing on the page
This is one of the most common errors that e-commerce websites make. It involves putting keywords in meaningless places, like in the footer, navigation bar, and Meta tags. Often, these words are also repeated several times. This makes search engines think that the website’s content has nothing to do with keywords. As a result, users won’t find that particular website in search engine results, and it will eventually disappear from SERPs.
E-commerce websites should avoid putting too many keywords in Meta tags or using them several times on the page. They should also use long-tail keywords as well as focus on making content more meaningful for readers.
Not using schema tags or product metadata
Schema is an HTML markup language that lets search engines better understand what certain web pages are about. Ecommerce websites can use schema tags and product metadata to enhance their SERPs. However, many e-commerce websites don’t use these tools on their sites.
Ecommerce sellers should take advantage of schema tags because they effectively give search engines an accurate understanding of a web page’s content. Moreover, it helps create rich snippets that display ratings, prices, and other types of information directly on SERPs.
Product metadata is also a vital part of SEO that e-commerce websites should pay more attention to. For instance, if you have a Nike shoe website and use Microdata’s schema, you should mark the brand name and other important product data like release year or colour. All these would help search engines understand your web pages better.
Not optimizing images for search results
Ecommerce websites often forget to optimize their images for search engines. After all, image files are an essential part of an e-commerce website, and without them, users won’t be able to see the products at all, (and Google can’t read them). The first step towards optimizing images on any website is finding out which major search engines support file formats.
Google supports most types of image files, including JPEG, PNG and GIF. However, it cannot show SVG images because they are too complicated. Ecommerce websites should use SEO-friendly formats for their images, such as JPEG and use proper file names (as well as alt tags). Moreover, you should enable compression to make your image files smaller without changing their quality.
Not using redirects
Ecommerce websites should always use 301 redirects when moving their web pages. Even a slight mistake could result in losing traffic and rankings. The most common mistake that e-commerce websites make is not putting the /shop/ in the new page’s URL, which makes it harder for search engines to do pogo-sticking.
It is important to properly plan your redirects because even a small problem can have bigger consequences. For instance, if you have an Etsy or eBay store and want to switch its name on your website, then you should remove the old pages altogether and use two different URLs (the other one would be for mobile visitors). This way, Google will easily know which page has changed or been deleted from your site.
Site speed issues
Ecommerce websites usually have large libraries of images, HTML pages and scripts. Unfortunately, these can also be one of the reasons why ecommerce websites are slow. If you want to make your website fast, you should compress HTML and remove any unnecessary CSS or JS files. A faster site is more user-friendly and makes visitors stay on your web pages longer because they don’t have to wait for each page to load (which may cause bounce rates). Moreover, if users feel that a website is slow, it’ll appear lower in SERPs than other sites with similar content (but faster loading times).
Not using HTTPS URLs
HTTPS URLs are important for ecommerce websites because they offer secure connections. Moreover, Google is encouraging website owners to use HTTPS because it can help improve rankings and user experience. Using HTTPS is also one of the best ways to protect your website from various types of hacks.
If you are using WordPress, it’s easy to set up HTTPS for your ecommerce website before making it live (there are plenty of premium plugins that can help you do this). However, if you already have a domain and hosting package, you should contact your hosting company and ask them to add a free SSL certificate to your server.
Lack of internal linking
Internal links are necessary for ecommerce websites because they help search engines crawl various pages more efficiently. The first step towards adding internal links is creating good XML Sitemaps that can be submitted to search engines using Google Webmaster Tools.
The next step is linking to the most important categories and products using breadcrumbs (the last part of an ecommerce website). Breadcrumbs are not only helpful for search engines, but they also help users find their way through your site because they see where they currently are. If you have a large website, adding breadcrumbs is worth the effort because they’ll make the navigation process much more user-friendly.
Word of mouth plays a crucial role in ecommerce websites simply because customers base their buying decisions on what others say about a product. One of the best ways to encourage positive reviews from real users is to ask them whether they are satisfied with the product they bought. Another way is to ask for reviews directly on your website in a subtle (yet noticeable) manner – offering discounts, gift cards, and other rewards might also do the trick.
Missing local SEO presence
Suppose you have an ecommerce store that caters to people from a specific city. In that case, you should create local landing pages that have information about your store (including opening hours, telephone number, physical address, and other important details). Moreover, it’s worth registering a Google Places for Business page in case you haven’t done this yet.
Not using robots.txt files
Robots.txt is a simple text file (placed in the root directory) where site owners can specify which pages are allowed or disallowed to be accessed by search engine crawlers (robots). For instance, if an ecommerce website doesn’t want search engines to certain index content (like commenting system or shopping cart), it can easily exclude them from search engine indices by using this simple file.
The above-mentioned ecommerce SEO errors might not seem that serious at first, but if you neglect them for the long term, then they’re bound to have a bad effect on your organic traffic and revenue. If you want to avoid such problems, you should hire professional SEO experts who can help you take care of these issues (either on an ongoing or a per-project basis).