In the complex universe of the worldwide web’s domination, people often mistake traffic as a digital championship concerning SEO principles. And while this isn’t entirely false, it’s not always the case.
Many aspects contribute to the success of e-commerce websites. Still, only a few of them are as crucial as their SEO ranking.
Without your involvement in improving things, Google’s online helpers will find it challenging to search for, index, and rank your website anywhere close to the first search result pages.
Conversely, SEO is an evolving science with dozens of fluctuating metrics and variables.
As a matter of fact, you may be committing a few e-commerce SEO mistakes yourself, which you may not even know.
It will only be a matter of time before internet experts figure out how to address e-commerce SEO issues. Only then will websites that utilize the new-found science will enjoy faster and better results.
But until then, let’s stick to what works so far and continue avoiding e-commerce SEO mistakes.
Here is the list of 13 e-commerce SEO mistakes that you must be watchful of.
1. Not enough SEO and comprehensive URLs
This one is a massive problem with products when it comes to categories. Item numbers instead of product labels are much more keyword-targetable and comprehended by search engines and people alike.
Comprehensive URLs help educate users where they are on a page and understand what they’re about to read. Engines benefit from this too. Never forget to include this in everything you optimize.
Remember that category IDs are never the preference when compared to keyword-oriented categories. It’s always much better to come across “/womens-glasses/womens-pink-glasses-sale” versus “this-46/product-52727?glasses”.
This gives people a friendlier grasp of what link they’re opening or where they are, thus igniting trust indicators that many online retailers and sellers undervalue.
2. Not enough share-enabling functionality
Never underestimate share buttons on a website. Icons that indicate sharing on social media make it easier for users to spread the word. This is especially applicable to younger people and tech crowds.
Know the website and social media of your audience. For instance, if you’re selling gadgets in the smartphone space, a tweet button comes in handy as many tech-lovers use Twitter.
If you’re a seller of furniture and artsy decor for homes and offices, consider adding a Pin button, as aesthetic-loving profiles frequent Pinterest a lot.
The bottom line is to know your market and display the share button your audience is most likely to press.
Although putting every possible button on your website may be helpful, you don’t want to overdress the site with share buttons. Doing so might affect your “add to cart” feature, so be very specific.
3. Not enough reviews
Product reviews, in general, are one of the easiest ways to integrate a substantial extent of content into pages that highlight products.
Amazon reviews, in particular, generate good traffic and make for great content. One product alone can have thousands of customer reviews.
A good tactic is to create lists with headlines that have the words “most effective,” “best,” or other similar superlatives. Make sure you have well-written, quality reviews on your website to help readers get through the buying process immediately.
Otherwise, expect them to check the reviews on Amazon and buy the product there instead.
A study says that almost 70% of buyers read reviews first before making a purchase. This makes product reviews especially useful.
If you still don’t have a review section on your website, consider adding one. It won’t really cost much, and it’ll additionally help in refreshing the content of a product page, letting Google chew on something until further notice.
4. Not enough image alternate text (Alt Text)
Not putting enough emphasis on image alt texts can be fateful, but unfortunately, very easy to dismiss for many. One can gain more than they expect from this minute captioning effort.
Plenty of people, website builders or not, often forget that images are massive sizeable content pieces that are fundamental for any e-commerce network.
There are multiple pieces to the website puzzle— meta title tag, meta descriptions, below the line texts, related blog posts, reviews, product descriptions, and photos, among others.
Always remember to optimize the alternate image text. It may be complicated, but it’s a fast way to provide search engines valuable context on what those chunks of content are about.
Optimizing alternate image texts also cover precise search terms. Use that to your advantage and avoid e-commerce SEO mistakes.
5. Not enough uncommon and exclusive titles and headlines
Spammy content, duplicate titles, unfriendly headlines – all contribute to not getting traffic. Google’s most apparent indicator of what a page comprises is its title tag. Therefore, using the same titles from other pages and sections of your website will only damage your chances of ranking, so don’t duplicate your titles. Avoid using titles that come from manufacturers too. This builds their credibility even more and can also harm you by getting penalized.
6. Not enough reliable page content
Not having enough high-quality consumable content is dangerous. This is why hiring premium writers and contributors are worth the investment.
Many people can source reading material from outside your website, let alone your page, so what makes your content unique? Create and produce work that is “crawlable” by search engines.
As established earlier in the write-up, utilize your website puzzle pieces, and take advantage of being able to foster a user’s buying process.
Don’t glorify the “add to cart” button without bettering the signages along the way, which in this case covers all the calls for text and shareable functionality.
7. Be wary of the photos you use
High-quality images help improve websites and make for good bait, but if these photos are too big in size, then you’re committing a huge mistake.
If your photos are too large, your load time is affected; and we all know no one likes waiting.
Google has also been open about how load time speeds affect ranking. If your site has an array of “heavy” photos, consider being put off by two parties: the customers and the internet God himself—Google.
8. Not enough market analysis
Selling products that aren’t massively commercial is common in the world of e-commerce, making this difficult for many sellers.
Remember that just because your SEO efforts are all intact, it doesn’t guarantee that promising results are underway.
If what you sell are items that people don’t look for, then all your attempts of boosting pages and ranking are potentially futile.
The question now becomes: how do I create a need? How do I let my target market understand that what I sell is advantageous to them and that they need it?
Search engines operate on demand and supply. In this particular example, the demand happens when people search for items online, and the supply is when websites provide answers and related content to these searches.
If you don’t have products that people look for, gaining traffic will be more challenging.
9. Making use of wrong tags
Hundreds of e-commerce sites play their cards wrong when they employ contradictory tagging signals on category pages.
Suboptimal tagging schemes can also do you wrong. Too many e-commerce websites make several of their pages canonical to the home page. This tells Google that all the other pages on your site have nothing substantial to provide.
Along with the effort to execute SEO initiatives, businesses should also have a practical understanding of SEO standards to avoid e-commerce SEO mistakes.
Many people think that Google figures this out on their own. While it’s not a lie to say that Google does get it at times, there are also many times when Google doesn’t.
10. Slow websites
We can’t specify enough the importance of speed when considering the overall user experience. Having a cool website with insane, gripping, and over-the-top features can take a toll on the loading speed.
Moreover, this affects a page’s ranking in search engines. One study reveals that this particular encounter is common for plenty of e-commerce sites, citing that thousands of retail websites take about 10 seconds to finish loading.
Such a figure can be off-putting, for according to a study, almost 50% of page visitors close a tab altogether if the page doesn’t fully load within the first three seconds.
This act potentially translates into a bounce rate that dismisses your chances of ranking well.
11. Over-prioritizing ranking
Despite what many algorithm warriors will tell you, the goal of SEO in e-commerce isn’t for a site to land on the earlier pages of search engine results.
The goal is to acquire traffic that leads to sales. At the end of the day, it’s all about raking in the money.
Even if you have the most spot-on list of keywords (no keyword stuffing) with good search volume, it won’t automatically guarantee you a return on finances.
Furthermore, it’s crucial for e-commerce personnel to align their content marketing strategies and social media projects to their SEO efforts.
Cohesiveness is still the key, and a clean aesthetic binds all your marketing goals in place.
You can have the best copy and the most engaging pieces of material. Still, if you don’t have a call-to-action button or an avenue that calls for purchasing, your SEO will have been in vain.
It’s becoming more progressively overt that initiatives such as backlinks, keyword density, and site structures exist mostly, if not only, in the SEO space.
It’s also important to remember that Google factors in hundreds of diverse aspects to gauge a website’s value in the search results.
A reliable indicator of this could be one’s social signals. This is precisely why it’s vital to adjust and regulate your SEO efforts into your marketing campaigns.
Zeroing in on one little piece of the puzzle can be costly versus taking a step back and focusing on the overall efficacy of all these endeavors combined.
12. Study the science of voice search optimization
One of the newer tricks up any digital marketer’s sleeve is this one. It’s no secret that technology conversely forms consumer habits and behaviors.
A Google study reveals that less than a quarter of American mobile searches are performed through voice commands.
This action alone begs to argue that something like this can only grow in influence in the coming years and change portions of how SEO is done.
Mastering how these fancy feature works are future-proofing your e-commerce site.
There are a variety of methods to go about this, but one point that ties everything in the science of voice searches are the question-based keywords. Logically, begin with questions like who, when, what, why, where, and how.
A study shows that more than 40% of shoppers begin their buying expedition by Googling an item before they actually purchase it.
13. Broken Links or 404 Errors
Most e-commerce websites tend to have a regular update done to their inventory and webpages. However, there are times when these companies delete pages that contain out of stock items. But what they fail to realize is that when pages get removed, they have a significant overall impact on the e-commerce site.
Deleting pages results in products disappearing from the website, changes in product categories or sub-categories, the emergence of dysfunctional links, eventually leading to a 404 error message. This can be immensely frustrating for a customer, who will immediately switch to a different website on seeing the error page.
It is, therefore, advisable for e-commerce companies to update their out of stock pages regularly. If not that, they can also redirect their URLs, or replace the old products with new ones to avoid losing valuable customers and sales.
Given the time and context of tech today, e-commerce will only thrive in popularity and preference as days go by. So, abide by the tips written in this blog post as much as you can, and you’ll do just fine.
We hope these typical e-commerce SEO mistakes don’t hamper the growth of your e-commerce website.
If you have encountered SEO mistakes other than the ones we have listed, please feel free to add it in the comment section, as we will be more than happy to include them on our list.