Understanding how to get the search engines to recognise your eCommerce site and pay you the attention you deserve can be a struggle. Sometimes, rather than understanding everything you need to do right, it’s more efficient to avoid the most common SEO mistakes.
In this article, we’ll share with you 8 common eCommerce SEO mistakes you should avoid and some helpful tips for how to easily fix any mistakes you may have already made.
1. Poor Product Description
Creating hundreds of listings is not enough to attract the attention of search engines. They have to understand what the listings are before they can show them to potential shoppers. Search engines can only understand your listing if you provide a complete product description.
When writing a product description, avoid keyword stuffing. Search engines are smarter than many people give them credit for. Their entire reason for being is to show viewers the best results for their searches. Make your descriptions human-reader friendly while still optimising for keywords (see mistake #5).
SEO Product Description: clear, human-friendly, detailed description of what your product is about.
2. Using Duplicate Content
Manufacturers often create content for their retailers to use, such as product descriptions. Many eCommerce stores take this content and directly publish it to their sites. This is a big mistake.
Search engine spiders will recognise the content as duplicated across a multitude of websites already and assume that your website is spam, scam, or basic plagiarism. While you don’t get penalised for duplicate content, in any case, search engines avoid subjecting potential buyers to sites and stores considered to be low-quality, copied content.
Check Duplicate Content: update all content on your website so that is unique.
3. Non-Descriptive Product Titles
Just as search engines don’t love it when you publish duplicate content on your product pages, they also do not like it when you duplicate product titles. This is a common mistake with eCommerce shops because often products are nearly identical and therefore easily labelled with the same title.
If a search engine spider doesn’t know which of your two pages with the same title is more appropriate for a given search, it may avoid showing either of your pages in preference for a guarantee on a competitor’s website instead.
SEO Product Titles: even if the difference is as slight as size, model number, or colour, make sure every single product title is unique in some way.
4. Missing Product Reviews
Shoppers want to feel that the products they buy are trustworthy. Only a minority of people are excited to be first adopters. Most consumers want to know that, when they spend their money, it is on products that have been tested and proven to be worth the price they’re paying.
Reviews help consumers feel this level of product trust. If your website doesn’t show reviews, you’re likely missing out on many buyers. To add to that, even if a consumer finds a product they’re interested in on your site, if there are no reviews, they will likely continue looking for that product elsewhere, telling search engines that your site isn’t trustworthy enough to buy from.
Reviews are also a great way to display unique, targeted content on your site without requiring you to do the work to create it, which is great for business and SEO in many ways.
SEO Product Reviews: increase the trustworthiness of the products you are selling, your store’s reputation, and boost SEO content on your site using reviews.
5. Not Optimising for Search Traffic Demand
Showcasing products that are popular, trendy, and in-demand is important. But if consumers don’t know that you are selling these products, it will not matter what you’re selling.
Optimising your store and product pages to attract the appropriate audience of potential buyers is just as important as selling the products those buyers want to purchase.
If you don’t optimise each product page to tell search engines that you are selling exactly what people want to buy, you’ll never attract the traffic you need to operate a successful eCommerce business.
On Page SEO Techniques: understand the keywords buyers are actively searching for and use them strategically in your heading tags and page content.
6. Unfriendly URLs
The URL of every single product page is another opportunity to increase the SEO of the page as well as user confidence and, unfortunately, many eCommerce shops waste this opportunity.
Using keyword phrases in your URL is a strong signal to search engine spiders that the page will be relevant to what the user is searching for, which is an important aspect of optimisation.
Additionally, if your URLs are full of model numbers, special characters, and other information that doesn’t mean anything to the average person, consumers are more likely to assume they’ve landed on a spam page and leave immediately.
SEO Friendly URLs: tell search engine spiders and consumers exactly what the page is about by using relevant keywords in the URL.
7. Missing Image Alt Text
Product images are a crucial part of the online shopping experience. Pictures show consumers what they’re considering buying, evoking a desire that black and white words on a page can’t.
Images are also an opportunity to add some SEO to your site without cluttering the user experience. Search engine spiders cannot see images as sighted humans can. They must read the image alt text to understand what you are displaying. Incidentally, by using image alt text you’re also making your website more user-friendly to the visually impaired.
Image Alt Text SEO: tell search engine spiders and visually impaired viewers more about your products by describing the image you use in the alt text.
8. Not Being Mobile Friendly
In 2021, mobile commerce, or mCommerce, is expected to account for more than 50% of all online sales purchases. If your website is not mobile-friendly, not only are you going to alienate a huge portion of your potential consumer base, but search engines are going to avoid listing you.
Google may not penalise your website for not being mobile-friendly, but they actively boost the rankings of a mobile-optimised website design for all mobile searches, which, practically speaking, is essentially the same thing.
Mobile SEO: make sure your eCommerce site is accessible on all screen sizes and devices or risk becoming invisible to mobile shoppers.
Avoid Making eCommerce SEO Mistakes
If you know your eCommerce website has committed one or more of these common eCommerce SEO mistakes, Riordan SEO can help. We make it our business to search out and correct SEO mistakes so that you can focus on doing what you do best – offering the best products to fill your customer’s demands. Find out more about our eCommerce SEO services here.