Things are getting wildly exciting lately for us all. Our three companies are merging into Cardinal Path and all the while we have to keep our feet on the ground doing what we know best. So, before our next free webinar “Selling Through Search: SEO for E-commerce Sites” March 23rd 10am PT, here we go with another post relating to SEO for E-commerce.
If you missed SEO for Ecommerce Series I: Organic traffic performance for e-commerce sites, take a look at it.
We all know that, when it comes to SEO, content is (close to) king, but e-commerce sites have some peculiarities. Let’s review by page type.
There is no such thing as a relevant (read: well ranked) page that does not have decent original content… well, actually there is one exception: the home page.
Take a look at the “Text-only version” of the Google cache of any online shop and you will be surprised. Many of them don’t have a single H1 or paragraph defining what they sell, nor even a message for visitors explaining at a glance why they should be there.
Couple of examples: Zara’s and Victoria’s Secret’s home pages. They are nothing more than a bunch of links to internal sections as you can see in the next image.
“We are big, well known brands. Why should we explain what we sell if customers are coming to us anyway?”
Wrong approach, a significant part of your pie is being eaten by competitors. We are talking about non-branded traffic here and there is a lot of competition for “buy men shoes”.
This is the place where well-converting long-tail keywords reside.
Browse category pages in 20 or 30 e-commerce sites, kind of disaster again. Ok, they usually have an H1 but not a simple 150 words of text describing the category and if they have something close to it, you bet it’s not properly optimized.
By the way, it’s interesting how this e-commerce introduces verbs into category headings.
This error is a missed opportunity to optimize content for more generic keywords – those not related to the brand of the products shown, unless we are talking about “browse by brand” obviously.
Second typical error: you want visitors to see products not literature, right? So here comes the old trick of placing optimized text in the upper part of the html document for the search engines to find right off the bat, but making it appear at the bottom of the displayed page via CSS.
Some other common errors in product listings:
- Title of the product not having a link to product page
- No short description for every single product listed
- Images with links to a product page before product name link (in html order)
- Images not having ALT text
It is really hard to get some relevancy, rankings and traffic for those category pages. Nobody links to them naturally, so, being deprived of external link juice, we have to do our best to drive relevancy with good content and internal linking structure.