What are the worst SEO mistakes for your eCommerce website
Have you ever wondered how many ecommerce websites there are in the world? We all know it’s a competitive market, but how competitive exactly? And how much revenue can you actually get? In 2015, the global ecommerce market experienced a 20.9% growth compared to the previous year in terms of money spent online. This can only mean one thing: we are turning into active online shoppers and it’s very unlikely to ever go back to traditional shopping for any kind of item.
However, there are over 12 million ecommerce website around the world and over 650.000 have active sales of over 1.000 US dollars every month. Truth is the ecommerce market is a trillion dollar market opportunity that’s expected to grow with another 20% in 2016. It may seem like a lot to you, but the reality is that eCommerce spending only accounted for 6.6% of an incredible total spending of 24 Trillion US dollars in retail sales in 2015.
So ecommerce seems like the type of business you want to be running. But do you have what it takes to stand out from the other 12 million ecommerce websites, or at least get a seat in the 650.000 others with sales over one thousand dollars? Well, this is a lot up to you, the type of business you are running, and your marketing strategy.
But here are some helpful tips on how to avoid the worst SEO mistakes you could make. Optimizing your ecommerce website for search engines allows you to improve your search visibility, get in front of your customers and increase traffic. And all of that can only mean more sales and an increase in revenue.
1. Lack of product description will definitely not give your product pages a chance to appear in the top ten of a search engine query, even in the case of low-frequency keywords. It’s true "a picture is worth a thousand words", but unfortunately search engines can’t see images. So make sure you populate your product pages with quality, descriptive content that will help a user in his purchase decision. Don’t copy content from other websites that sell the same or similar products to yours because search engines will not like that. Here is an example of a product page that is badly missing a description.
2. Using product descriptions from manufacturers is even worse than a complete lack of product description. Not to mention that it’s completely impersonal and very unlikely to help you influence customers in their purchasing decision, but this will definitely get you banned from search engines because there’s nothing else that they hate more than low-quality, unoriginal content. Remember that the same product description is also sent to other online stores, causing you to have the same content as who knows how many other websites. If you have too many products and it seems like an impossible job to write unique, quality descriptions for each of them then use the NO INDEX meta tag on those pages. This will keep them out of the search engines and help keep your SEO in good standing. Keep in mind Google has gotten pretty good at down-ranking websites because of duplicate or spammy content, and you don’t want to be one of them.
3. Lack or product reviews is something you should really consider if you feel like your customers are slipping through your fingers. This will not only encourage your customers to buy based on positive reviews from others, but you will also be getting unique content for your online store, for free. It’s also a known fact that review pages can reach the top of the search engines a lot faster than actual selling pages.
4. Not optimizing your product pages based on search keywords can also hurt your search engine visibility. If you’re not writing title pages, headlines or product descriptions using keywords people actually search for, then you don’t really have a chance to be found by clients looking to buy what you’re selling.
5. Lack of user-friendly URLs can be a real problem for your SEO efforts. Customers have gotten used to seeing these types of URLs and a really long URL full of letters, numbers and other characters can actually make them trust it less because of its spammy appearance.
6. Remember to avoid as much as you can duplicate content on your product pages. We understand there may be certain sentences or sections you need to display on each product page, but use robots.txt to block any areas that create duplicate content or add nofollow attributes to links that point to areas of the site with duplicate content.