Guest post by Alex Jasin.
As an eCommerce business owner, your entire business is online. People need to find your site, like your products, and then proceed to checkout for you to make any money. And the more people visit your site, the more chances you have to convert them and make sales.
But the process isn’t quite as easy as it sounds, is it? To make your business successful, you’ll need a ton of website traffic and useful content in terms of product descriptions, reviews and blog posts. You’ll also need to up your overall search marketing game. This is where SEO (Search Engine Optimization) comes in.
So, how serious are you with your SEO? And do you understand the direct benefits of SEO to your marketing?
If you’re not seeing much success from your SEO efforts, it’s probably because you’re making some or all of the following 6 ecommerce SEO mistakes.
1. Poor or no product descriptions
Research studies have shown that about 30% of online shoppers in the US will abandon a cart as a result of poor product description. And if this is not bad enough, Google will penalize your website if it lacks high quality content.
In fact, Google’s Panda algorithm is so focused on quality content that it will check for grammar and spelling, text formats, length of content, subheadings, and quality of links.
This means that if the product descriptions on your site are poorly done, the website is pushed further down. The same is true when you lack any product descriptions at all.
2. Not optimizing content for search queries
When search engines index a site, they do so based on search queries from internet users. These search queries are what the digital marketing community refers to as keywords. So if the content on your site isn’t optimized for what users are searching for, it may never achieve visibility.
For instance, let’s say you are selling personalized shoes and each piece has a unique name. If you only use the names you’ve branded the shoes and neglect the common names users will type in when browsing, your site will be harder to find. And, you’ll end up losing sales.
3. Lack of user-friendly URLs
The internet is filled with fraudsters, spammers and hackers. No user wants to open a suspicious page. To avoid this, most internet users look at the URL of the site they have opened to decide if it’s secure or not.
eCommerce websites will have a huge number of product pages, especially if it’s for a large company. Because of this, most pages may end up having very long URLs and even incomprehensible ones.
Take this one: https://www.fashionlite.com/jklh/i?cidl=x#werx5472q
URLs like this can confuse users, leading them to potentially abandon your site prematurely. This can lead to a high bounce rate, which negatively impacts your website ranking and SEO in general.
To counter this, consider simple URLs that prioritize on your site’s keywords. For instance, if you’re selling hats, let people see that you’re indeed selling hats and not numerical catalogues.
A URL like https://www.fashionlite.com/accessories/hats/sombreros is far more user friendly and SEO friendly than the previous example.
4. Keyword stuffing
As much as you can use keywords, you must also know how to distribute them. If you’re using keywords but your eCommerce site is not ranking as you expect, you could be making this mistake.
Google defines keyword stuffing as the practice of loading up your blog or product pages with keywords or numbers in a way that is considered out of context. This mistake is a common problem among eCommerce websites, especially when product descriptions are of poor quality.
Let’s pretend we’re selling “personalized Chukka boots” (don’t ask why). Here’s a good example of keyword stuffing in action:
Shop personalized Chukka boots at our store. Our personalized Chukka boots are affordable for everyone. These personalized Chukka boots come in different colors and sizes. If you want to surprise your spouse or partner with our personalized Chukka boots, call us today.
If this sounds anything like your site, hire an SEO expert or conduct the necessary edits yourself to your on-page content.
5. Very little content on the page
Owning an eCommerce website does not mean you’re allowed to slack on the content and just fill your webpages with images. While Google does index images, they aren’t enough to give your site a top 10 ranking or appearance on the first page. You’ll need to have written content or use videos for better SEO ranking.
A good way of doing this would be to create a blog page where you provide tips to your visitors. This type of content can be generated based on your site’s keywords and can be as needed to be helpful to your website visitors. Keep in mind that long form content that includes images, infographics and even videos tend to rank better in search results.
See how you can incorporate this on your site. Also, if the content on your pages is little (say less than 300 words), change it.
6. Lack of alt text in your images
When uploading images to your website, it may prove a difficult task to add alt text for every single image. But the reality is that alt text can help improve your SEO rankings, since Google uses that information to better understand and index your images.
Don’t go overboard and keyword stuff your alt text, but try adding relevant keywords for each image.
It’s no secret that Amazon, eBay and the likes absolutely dominate the eCommerce business market. While you probably won’t match up to Amazon, you can learn from their strategies and avoid these simple SEO mistakes. Doing so will help improve your search result rankings, increase your website’s traffic and boost your online sales.
Looking for more ideas like this? Learn more at Metapress and X3 Digital, or connect with Alex Jasin directly on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Read more of Jasin’s writing on Business Insider, Entrepreneur, HuffPost, CMI, Mediabistro, The Next Web and other major publications.