It has been said that SEO for e-commerce websites is slightly different to SEO for non-retail sites, but the truth is that the differences can be more than slight. For example, for a regular landing page, you might simply use an illustrated index to take visitors to a department, a class of products, or a service offering. This may be different in the case of e-commerce.
Retail sites with limited offerings might be better off with individual pictures of specific designs, serving clickable links, and taking people to a more comprehensive description of a product range. An individual page for each product, followed by a complex page to compare several choices is effective for sales, but how does it affect your e-commerce site’s visibility to search engines? Today, we will discuss best practices to boost SEO for your e-commerce.
A retail site that sells replacement parts might be better off with a catalog and/or text style listing, where knowledgeable users look for industry-specific classifications, part numbers, or keywords to find what they seek. There would be little benefit gained from displaying individual pictures of nuts and bolts or car mufflers. Such items are too similar in appearance to differentiate between them in a thumbnail image.
An information site, which doesn’t deal specifically with intangible items, could be well-served with brief clickable texts. This leads us to…
This is one of the most important choices you will make for your e-commerce after you’ve already written your content. Gallery-style menus for a lighting manufacturer could show samples ranging from pendant lights and sconces to phantom and display lighting. Each one could lead to a sub-category with more details.
Each category that you provide with H1 or H2 level headings, provides an opportunity for search engines to categorize and sort your material for relevance. That means that each heading is an SEO opportunity and each product description presents additional chances to rank higher. Nowadays, site-ranking is the domain of Artificial Intelligence (AI), which looks for content that serves the needs of the user.
Sticking with lighting for a moment, proper content describing your products, like a chandelier, for example, gives a better chance to match a search engine inquiry more precisely.
The AI can now recognize if the website, including e-commerce, offers valuable content. The days of keyword loading and keyword stuffing are long gone. In fact, these practices are now penalized by Google. While nobody can claim to thoroughly understand Google’s algorithms, general observations tell us that non-organic backlinks (purchased), or other SE manipulative technologies, are strongly negatively rated, to the point of sites being removed from SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) and sites being delisted.
Pages must be designed so they can conform to many screens, from standard 24” home- monitors, through HD TVs, as well as wrist-chronometers with minuscule screens. Your content should at least fit a smartphone’s typical display (portrait or landscape) or a 70” television while keeping the text readable. There are programs that can do that, so make sure you use them.
And the future…
You don’t need your own AI, provided that you have a decent bandwidth connection. AIaaS (Artificial Intelligence as a Service) is now commonly available, so your customers can pose verbal inquiries to your system that can be interpreted and returned in just seconds to your existing system that can handle text inquiries.
Now is the time of Alexa, Google Voice, Echo Dot, and innumerable others, so forward-thinking companies are getting ready to respond to customers that choose to speak rather than type.
Sold out situation
Being out of a popular product can be handled in two ways. You can disable the page until you receive a shipment, but that can compromise your SE rating. Alternatively, you can create an AI-driven responder that maintains the page information, and which tracks resupply (in real time), providing a date when the product can be ordered again, or which accepts back-orders.
Staying up-to-date with new merchandise
In the same way, AI can introduce seasonal items in a timely fashion to your users, based on current stock, without human intervention. When stock changes, AI can automatically send out a spider-request to all the relevant search engines so they can add new content to your search results as soon as possible.
Helping the lost ones
Creating a new page for a well-established product can leave a lot of people with 404 errors (Page Not Found). Make sure to establish a redirect system to the new page on the old page’s address. Keep the redirect page active for at least one year (remember the spiders will follow it, too, so search engines will find your new content).
Taylor Welsh has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and works as a professional technology programmer/writer at Ax Control Inc. — an automation control device service and supply company based out of North Carolina. They specialize in new and obsolete drives, PLCs, HMI, and related control devices. Taylor was also the former President of the North Carolina InfraGard Cyber Club. Please show your appreciation for Taylor’s article by visiting their website AxControl.com.