While many of the basic elements of SEO are the same for eCommerce sites as they are for blogs, the situation can get quite a bit more complicated and harder to deal with as soon as you open up a storefront. Not only is it much more difficult to get editorial links, you are far more likely to face duplicate content issues and similar problems. Here are 5 tips to help get past this problem.
Avoid Duplicate Content
To begin with, never use the manufacturer description. This is what almost all of your competitors are doing. Google is almost certain to decide your product page is duplicate content found everywhere else on the web, and is likely to devalue the page as a result. Find a scalable way to create unique product descriptions on every page. Furthermore, security precautions on most eCommerce sites generate completely new versions of the same page for every unique visitor, which could potentially create an enormous duplicate content problem. Always make sure that these automatically generated unique URLs are noindexed.
Use internal linking networks to ensure that every page is easily discovered by the search engines. Use "recommended products" links to connect all of your most closely related pages and create clusters of relevancy on your site. "Those who searched for [bland] also searched for [blank]" links are especially powerful, since they harness your user behavior to create genuine relevancy that reflects what search engines expect.
Many eCommerce sites scrape the URL directly from their database and end up with a web address completely lacking keywords or any kind of useful search engine data. Replace these nonsense URLs with keyword relevant URLs, preferably based on a title tag that also uses the keywords. In fact, it is generally a good idea to include keyword data in the database itself so that this information can be easily retrieved in the future for any SEO efforts.
Use and Track an Internal Search Engine
An internal search engine not only makes it much easier for visitors to find products on your site, it also gives you access to data that is coming directly from your visitors about what they are looking for. This should give you an idea of what kinds of keywords you should be chasing, and how you should be adjusting your internal search engine in order to send these visitors to the right place.
Have a "Blogfront"
In addition to the storefront portion of your site, it is a good idea to introduce a blog as well. eCommerce sites almost never attract natural links directly to the product pages. A blog allows you to produce linkbait and shareable content that naturally attracts links. These links are far more powerful than other methods and can boost your overall domain authority, making it more likely for your product pages to rank.
Search engine optimization for an eCommerce site is a difficult task, but when implemented properly it gives you an edge over the competition and allows you to pull ahead of them, grabbing the kind of traffic that is already looking for the products you're selling.
Sarah writes on behalf of Fluid Branding a promotional products specialist. Fluid Branding have thousands of promotional product from promotional mugs to calculators, from promotional pens to umbrellas. Fluid Branding have something for everyone.