7 SEO Problems that Most Ecommerce Websites Face
The biggest challenge websites face is search engine optimization. They have to make the website user-friendly, while at the same time ensuring that search engines crawl the website deeply.
The challenge is even greater for ecommerce websites that are starting up as they have to deal with product inventory and constant addition of new pages. The situation is further worsened by the fact that the responsibility of maintaining the website is often undertaken by several people.
Consequently, the more people working on a website, the higher the chances of experiencing setbacks since some of them tend to have little to no knowledge regarding proper SEO techniques. One of the most common challenges for such small business owners is getting links from link farms, which is a black hat strategy that is flawed upon by major search engines.
Another common mistake made by merchants is the assumption that listing products in hundreds or thousands on their websites leads to increased traffic flow. This, when done poorly, affects the page loading speed and user-friendliness, which reduces traffic to the website, and thus, search engines do not find the website relevant. Since there are a lot of product pages that are going on and off the website, numerous problems arise.
As a result of this, ecommerce websites have no option but to go an extra mile to ensure they are visible on top of search engine results. Even minor SEO changes like the addition of ALT tags, structuring header tags properly, etc., can mean the difference between a website ranking No 1. or No. 2. We are going to explore 7 of the most common problems that ecommerce websites face.
- Improper product description
Any ecommerce website that lacks product description is as good as dead. Yet, this is one of the most common mistakes made. Every product sold on your website is supposed to have a description and not just any description, but a unique one. If you have expectations that your website will be highly ranked, you cannot ignore this aspect.
Users depend on product descriptions before they make a decision on whether to make a purchase or not. While images are great, without elements like image tags, search engines are unable to see them, and as such, the website does not feature in search results.
For product descriptions to bear the desired results:
- Write high quality and descriptive content capable of helping the customer make an informed choice.
- Do not copy paste descriptions from other websites since you will be penalized by the search engines.
- Keep the content short and concise by keeping it at the appropriate word count.
- Do not use the product description given by the manufacturer. It is what they give to all retailers they sell products to.
- Leaving product pages unoptimized
People use search keywords when they are looking for a product. Therefore, while writing title pages, product descriptions and headlines, it is important to take into consideration the kind of keywords they use.
Users have changed the manner in which they search for products. Now they tend to use specific keywords such as (Samsung 45in LED TV or model number) rather than broader terms such as TV or LED TV as it helps them identify specific products they are interested in. While broad terms drive a lot of traffic, it is not appropriate to forget users are already aware of the specific product they want. Neglecting such user’s cuts off traffic. True, specific keywords are longer, but they can also translate to immediate conversion. A product page is said to be unoptimized if:
- It does not have any product reviews
- Keyword targeting is poor
- Lacks ALT image tags
- Has thin content
- In order to optimize pages you have to:
- Include model numbers in the title tags and in H1 headings
- Include brand names in H1 headings and title tags
- Ensure you do not forget to fill image alt tag information
- Do not overstuff keyword phrases by repeating them over and over again
- Never, under any circumstances, use iframes for purposes of displaying content. If you indicate there is content in your product page, make sure that it exists
You can hire an expert SEO Company today by following these tips.
- Use of titles that are not unique
Duplicating title tags is yet another problem that ecommerce websites face. Keep an eye on these to ensure they are unique, and at all costs, avoid use of identical values. A good example of a title tag as found on the home page of SEOmoz.org is:
<title>SEO Software. Simplified. Seomoz</title?
Creating title tags that are unique, especially when selling several items from the same manufacturer, is not easy. Inevitably, you end up repeating the same keywords and search engines pick this up. Avoid getting flagged by coming up with key phrases that are unique. An ideal tag should be structured as: Brand- Model- Item Type.
Surveying the kind of customers you have and the language they use is a reliable way of picking the appropriate keywords for products you have to sell.
- Poor internal linking
Internal linking that is inconsistent is another major problem facing ecommerce websites. Project managers, social media marketers, designers and copywriters all make the mistake of grabbing links which they use in their projects, yet they do not pull the right ones. By doing this, they do not get the actual value from the internal link since they pull the link from searching for the product through internal search, which in most cases means the link is non-followed and non-indexed. Your SEO team should be educated on the crucial importance of linking that is consistent. They should also understand the necessity of linking to a URL that they want to rank highly in search engines.
- Ineffectively managing URL parameters
Another overreaching issue that ecommerce websites face is that of URL cleanliness since most of them have URLs that are dynamically generated instead of keyword relevant and static URLs. Though search engine optimization attempts to limit the parameters of URL within their strings, it is a necessity for e-commerce websites. There will be parameters in existence; the key is correctly managing these parameters.
Overreliance on Google Search to configure URL parameters leads to creation of duplicate content without your realization. While Google does a good job in parsing and reading URL information, sometimes, it never gets it right. What is more, as a website owner, you understand the structure of your URL far much better compared to a bot. Therefore, configure your parameters appropriately by letting Google know the parameters it needs to crawl and which ones to ignore.
- Not using ‘Speaking’ URLs
Speaking URLs refer to those URLs that have the product name in the address. This is extremely important in terms of boosting online presence. It helps create a unique URL and ensures you are no longer anonymous. The importance of speaking URLs lies in these three factors:
- Semantics –They make it easy for users to know what they are supposed to expect even before they click a URL. Avoid using incredibly long URLs that are comprised of gibberish and numbers as they are a turn-off and also appear spammy. You can get your semantics right by working with the right SEO Company.
- Keyword and anchor linking luck – There is the possibility your URL will be picked by another site and re-posted. Include important keywords in the anchor tag in cases where it is used as the anchor text. Adding keywords in the anchor text helps point back to your website and is a great driver of getting high rankings.
- Relevancy – Having keywords that are relevant in your URL is also a huge contributor for your domain names. While Google is placing less priority on keywords, it never hurts to include relevant ones in your product page URLs.
- Lack of collaboration between SEO and SEM
This is not a problem limited to ecommerce websites, it is everywhere. SEO and SEM need to play nicely as a team. This is especially true when it comes to ecommerce websites since they have so much more to lose if these channels do not work together and keep battling instead of sharing data.
These teams should be integrated such that the SEO team can rely on keyword data from SEM teams to secure the number one spot on search engines. Once you note that you are losing a lot of money on specific keywords because they are not converting, do not bid on them anymore.
Work With a Professional SEO Company
When it comes right down to problems ecommerce websites face, this is just a shallow list. The best way to overcome these and additional problems is working with a reputed and professional SEO company. We are the right people to talk to.
Not only have we been in business for years, but we understand the concepts and ever changing world of SEO. We will help you overcome the challenges highlighted above and ensure that your website ranks highly. For most small businesses, staying on top of the SEO game is important. Trust us with your website building needs and you will not be disappointed.
By referring to these tips on hiring the right SEO Company, you will be better placed to see why we are your best bet.
Contact us today for more information!