• Kieron Hughes

    Hi Trond, some nice tips here, and a couple of good reminders for people.

    Just wanted to leave a quick comment re: question 8 (point 6), with regards to product URLs. The method you mentioned is the most logical one, however this can be problematic when you have products that are categorised in multiple sections of the site. Referencing the category name in the product URL could lead to multiple versions of that product page existing on your website — which isn’t ideal.

    In some cases it’s better *not* to include the category sub-directory in the product URL, and simply have the product page sat at the base of the website.

    For example:
    http://www.example.com/product-name/
    instead of:
    http://www.example.com/category-name/product-name/

    Cheers,
    Kieron

  • http://freshwebservices.blogspot.com/ freshwebservices

    Very constructive & useful article – thanks!

  • http://www.theedesign.com/ Lauren_Mktg

    E-commerce SEO is a completely different than regular SEO, with tons of varying factors. This is extremely helpful!

  • http://www.experienceadvertising.com Affiliate Management

    WOW! Amazing stuff!

  • http://www.experienceadvertising.com Affiliate Management

    WOW! Amazing stuff!

  • MaydayPictures

    This is a great article! Lots of great info.

  • Satish Coolpctips

    OMG! This list is so huge and amazing! I think these tricks are applied to all the ecommerce platform like Opencart, magento prestashop and etc. Why there is no much concentration on social media? Does social media really influence people to buy things from a ecommerce website?

  • Adam Cirlincione

    Great article! Just curious why there is no mention of using canonical tags to address near duplicate products?

  • Abhiraj

    Superb Article. Perfectly put in words and Points. Specifically Point no.11. Stores with Artistic, creative but RIGID design may become hurdle for its own growth.

  • http://www.koozai.com/author/ali-moghadam/ Ali Moghadam

    Wow – this is really awesome stuff! I think you’ve identified some key points that a lot of ecommerce sites are missing.

    I’m in the process of writing about my pet hates on ecommerce sites – one of my absolute biggest is no mobile accessible version, or a poorly crafted solution.

    I personally believe that responsive designs are the way forward – one CMS, one design and one bout of optimisation. I love responsive designs and there are some very cool examples out there, like http://www.vouchercodes.co.uk/ – if only all shopping sites looked and behaved like that! :)

  • Anne CrowleyDaly

    Excellent, relative reading, bookmarked.

  • Carz Valdez

    this is awesome, great tips Trond.

  • Wade Jones

    Why would you “noindex” your search results pages?

  • George Iovchev

    Brilliant! Structured, detailed but concise information, true guide for e-commerce websites owners! Thank you. Bookmarked for future use.

  • http://www.cometton.com/ Tom Conte

    Hey Trond,

    Great post, I have to agree with all of your points made. I would like to hear your thoughts on an alternative to question 3….

    Instead of incorporating the year into the URL and scheduling a redirect to happen, I recommend to only update the year in the Title Tag, Meta Description, and other on-page elements. That way, the seasonal URL is always live. Thoughts?

  • Emmanuel Rosani

    Thanks for this informative post, mate !

  • darrylxxx

    Terrific article Trond, thanks. I have learnt a lot at the e-commerce coalface (there is a lot still to learn!) and this is a great summary and validation and corrective for my efforts.

  • darrylxxx

    BTW one issue I have struggled with is multiple product listings for vehicles e.g. the exact same brake disk that fits multiple vehicle models. Like “Big brake disk for Honda Civic 2010″ may actually be the exact same product as “Big brake disk for Ford Cortina 2005″. We to the approach to just list the “Big brake disk” and have the models associated to it, but all competitors list the same product multiple times using the vehicle model for differentiation. Drives me nuts. I feel we are doing it right, but we don’t get the same volume and coverage. Any thoughts on this would be great.

  • http://www.indiaseo.com/ Ritu Singh

    Shallow copy, duplicate content and a large
    product catalog are qualities in e-commerce sites that make difficult to
    get high page ranking in Google. By using these practices we can gain
    some traffic from Google & increase our sales. Duplicate contents
    are a common challenge for e-commerce sites so try to avoid these &
    use canonical URL to get rid from these. SEO is changing day by day so if
    you want to rank well in search engines & increase sales then you
    need to work continuously on your site because only one Google updates
    can ruin your website so try to make your site organic as much as you
    can.
    In last SEO is all about your knowledge , patience & experience.

  • http://www.coffy.com/ matt coffy

    Sounds really helpful and feasible. Will definitely recommend this article to my circle. Thanks a lot for this great information, Trond! Keep it up!

  • http://SEOnomics.com/ Trond Lyngbø

    Thank you very much, Matt. Glad you enjoyed it. That was the target with which I set out to create this report – that readers would find it of some value, consider the action tips practically feasible, and would love them enough to share with a friend :-)

  • http://SEOnomics.com/ Trond Lyngbø

    Great insights, Ritu. Content-thin sites are doomed to get caught and lose rankings during any of the numerous algorithm updates. It takes some effort to stay ahead of these changes – but the good news is that it creates a competitive barrier that others must battle against to beat you out!

    With all the challenges of running an e-commerce enterprise, few businesses even think about unique content on product pages. Major retailers often do not produce text and other content on their pages themselves. Many pull product information from a database, not realizing that this may lead to duplicate content problems.

    I recommend that my clients start by identifying best-selling and most popular product pages using web analytics tools, and then update them with content manually. However, just ranking pages higher isn’t the goal. Your copy and keywords matter, but more importantly, you must persuade visitors to take action. Understand what is going through your buyer’s mind, and solve their needs. Hire the services of a copywriter to boost sales conversion.

  • http://SEOnomics.com/ Trond Lyngbø

    Great insights, Ritu. Content-thin sites are doomed to get caught and lose rankings during any of the numerous algorithm updates. It takes some effort to stay ahead of these changes – but the good news is that it creates a competitive barrier that others must battle against to beat you out!

    With all the challenges of running an e-commerce enterprise, few businesses even think about unique content on product pages. Major retailers often do not produce text and other content on their pages themselves. Many pull product information from a database, not realizing that this may lead to duplicate content problems.

    I recommend that my clients start by identifying best-selling and most popular product pages using web analytics tools, and then update them with content manually. However, just ranking pages higher isn’t the goal. Your copy and keywords matter, but more importantly, you must persuade visitors to take action. Understand what is going through your buyer’s mind, and solve their needs. Hire the services of a copywriter to boost sales conversion.

  • http://SEOnomics.com/ Trond Lyngbø

    Interesting approach, Tom. Yes, it could work well. There are many ways to solve that problem, and the one you suggest is good. I’ve found this one is very effective – and the SEO effect and rankings are not “lost” like it would have been if you placed it in a separate archive like website.com/archive/product-name/

    Leave the categories and URLs intact and you will retain SEO value. Focus on product categories, and link the seasonal products to them.

    Investing into product page SEO CAN be smart, but often by the time SEO starts kicking in, the product is on its way out! With that said, it is possible to outrank competitors from the very first week a product goes live, but that needs some work on the information architecture, website structure and internal link architecture.

    By using some social marketing tactics, like offering contributors a chance to win the product, you can generate buzz, get a lot of free marketing and SEO juice even before the product is ready. By the launch date, your page is already indexed because you use the SAME URL updated with fresh content.

    By ranking your category pages, which will not go “out of stock” or be removed after some time, you can turn this into a long-standing strategy.

  • http://SEOnomics.com/ Trond Lyngbø

    Landing pages offer a kind of ‘first experience’ of your business, brand and e-commerce store to your prospective buyer. If a ‘cold’ visitor from a search engine arrives at a page on your site which ALSO appears like a search results page, it could adversely impact conversion.

    While someone already ON your site and conducting a search EXPECTS to see a few relevant options presented, a visitor arriving through Google search expects to find THE answer to their query… and no-indexing your internal search pages prevents them showing up on Google SERPs.

  • http://SEOnomics.com/ Trond Lyngbø

    One of the most important pieces of advise I give my e-commerce clients is this: Don’t put off mobile.

    Even when they create mobile versions, most businesses seem to give it little thought, and simply slap up a functional set of web pages while ignoring user experience and the ultimate goal of an e-commerce site… making sales! Design, structure and content should all be directed at closing more sales.

    I recommend that in addition to mobile-optimized pages, you also offer desktop versions of all URLs. Some users prefer the standard web version, even while they are on mobile. Give users the option to switch between versions.

    And DON’T just return them back to the home page like many e-commerce websites do!

  • http://SEOnomics.com/ Trond Lyngbø

    There’s so much I could say about integrating SEO into the Web design process!

    Web design for an ecommerce website is different from any other company’s site. You need more than a good web designer. You need a team that understand the most important focus is to make more sales and serve customers better than competitors.

    Professional e-commerce companies do extensive A/B testing and keep optimizing because it is lucrative and constantly grows profits. The right “tools” are important, but finding the best consultant or company to do the job is more important. An expensive consultant is not expensive if he can generate many more sales than a “cheap” one.

    Planning, launching, managing and growing an e-commerce store is tough. Cheap is not best. Getting the right people who are ready to work extra-hard aboard is critical. You must trust other consultants and give them space and the budgets to act as experts rather than doing what you think is best.

    Don’t forget that traffic is only half the job. You also need to convert visitors into buyers. Good design and content along with a pleasant visitor experience will generate more sales.

    When SEO consultants are given time to research and analyze data, they can plan the user interface, interactive design and help a web designer with category names, website structure and creating wireframes. Taking conversion optimization seriously skyrocket conversion rates and sales.

    Best wishes,
    Trond Lyngbø

  • http://SEOnomics.com/ Trond Lyngbø

    Yes, Satish, I believe social media can definitely (and powerfully) influence people to not only buy things from an ecommerce website, but also spread word by telling their friends about a good shopping experience.

    Take just one ‘indirect’ example of how social media can help. You can add user generated content through social sharing. It can effectively differentiate your product pages from other duplicates on the web. Integrating your site with social media works very well for this. Endorsements and reviews from happy users or customers will not only enhance your SEO campaign but also boost sales conversions. What others say about your product can convince others into buying.

  • http://www.cometton.com/ Tom Conte

    Thanks for the response, Trond. Great point about using social to speed up SEO impact. Keeping people updated about a product’s imminent arrival also keeps search engines in the know to build up that trust.

  • Mark Brixton

    Actually, Trond, this is wrong – the reason you don’t index them is because of duplicate content issues.

  • http://gsesoftsolutions.com/ Ravi Kumar

    Number of good tips listed. Thanks for these. If contents can not be added in categories pages then what is the solution?

    How Google authorship is important for ecommerce website?

  • http://www.bindashsandeep.tk/ Sandeep Pattanaik

    Really appreciate your time for this post @TrondLyngbo:disqus . Thank you :D

  • Rachel E. Rine

    My question is in regards to the suggestions about product descriptions and original content. I’m working on a site for a manufacturer, who chooses to maintain their own product catalog and descriptions. I have noticed many distributors have copied this content in the past. Since obviously I have no control over distributors choosing to duplicate the copy from this site, how do I keep the content fresh and original?