10 SEO Issues of eCommerce Websites & The Best Solutions
The majority of online shop owners know the importance of SEO despite the fact that they’re new to the eCommerce world. Spotting an issue on the site is easy. After all, every piece of information is out there, right?
Even the most experienced entrepreneurs fail to detect every SEO problem with their e-commerce websites. Here are the top 10 SEO issues of eCommerce websites you should be noticing and resolving right away.
SEO Issues of eCommerce Websites
Lack of Internal Linking
Internal link building on an e-commerce site improves the user experience. It helps visitors with the navigation through the site and thus lowers the bounce rates.
Another benefit of internal linking has to do with search engines’ ability to identify the information in order to organize it and compare it to other pages on the internet. This is called crawling, after which Google indexes all web pages to put the results into the internet search.
But, how to do it right?
Firstly, the content on the page you link to needs to be relevant to the context. For example, if your eCommerce site has a blog, make sure you mention and link to the products or category pages. The chance of purchase becomes much higher.
However, you must be careful not to link too much and to the pages that have little to do with the anchor text.
Secondly, linking one item to another gives the customers a broader choice and helps your SEO efforts. When product A is similar to product B, It’s best to either link to it on the product A’s page and vice versa.
The last internal linking tip is to always use correct anchor text. The link should simply lead the reader to additional information and provide more value.
E-commerce site owners tend to overlook little details, such as the URLs. Seemingly unimportant, these help the crawlers to understand what the page is about.
The users, on the other hand, feel more comfortable when they see a shorter and descriptive URL. Also, that URL is more visible in the search engines and looks secure, so they’re more likely to click on it.
The key is to simplify the URLs and include the keyword in them. Short, simple, descriptive, and containing a keyword. It's as simple as that.
Faceted navigation, or faceted search, is the process of acquiring information through a faceted classification. The data shows by applying different filters.
This kind of navigation can be a big issue for SEO since some websites have a few hundred live URLs.
The mess will occur when you have a lot of duplicate content and send wrong signals to search engines.
Another solution is to disallow the parts of the site via robots.txt. However, if you tell Google not to go to a particular page on the site, it will probably index it anyway.
Category pages are a great place to include unique keywords. To the contrary, bad categorizing can ruin your chance of ranking for specific keywords.
Category page optimization starts with looking at what keyword groups you have on the eCmmerce site. Later you should optimize the metadata.
Probably the oldest SEO problem, keyword stuffing still poses problems to some — especially in older online shop websites that haven’t been updated for a long time.
Keyword overuse happens regularly on category pages. The problem occurs when you mention the same keyword so many times that it starts sounding unnatural.
A part of the SEO world claims there are a certain number of keywords you can use throughout the page. But, if a single page can rank for thousands of other queries, there cannot be a magical percentage that will make your position in the SERPs skyrocket.
So, the best practice is to write enough information for the customer. If you need to mention the name of the product five times, go ahead and mention it. Just make sure it reads naturally. Also, don’t be afraid to use long tail keywords.
Another issue of eCommerce websites is the notorious duplicate content. Duplicate content is any content that has been taken from another source, such as republished posts or press releases, or content that is quite similar to other content.
Although Google claims they aren’t penalizing duplicate content, the chances are your republished content will rank significantly lower than the original one (the one from your competitor). In fact, it may not get to the SERPs at all.
For an eCommerce website, this means that even using the manufacturer’s product description can be bad for your SEO if you don’t have a strong backlink strategy and good user experience.
Try to avoid identical names on different pages. Also, make your text relevant to the product and unique for your brand; link to the product description rather than copying it. Lastly, stay away from copying or republishing your competitor’s content.
Blocked or Unplayable Content
If the visitor cannot access images or video files, he’s more likely to run away from the site, especially on mobile. Error messages and unplayable content are annoying, and your task is to know what types can and can’t work on mobile. After that, you must use video embedding that works across all devices.
Lack of User-Generated Content
User-generated content is free SEO. Almost every future buyer reads a review before purchasing something. Reviews and feedback can not only bring you more traffic but also boost your page up in the SERP ladder with additional content.
You can add reviews manually or with the help of a provider, such as Reevoo or Yotpo.
Too Many HTTP 404 Pages
E-commerce websites get new pages frequently. Be it outdated product pages or sales pages; you’ll stack a few 404 pages on your website.
Almost every website has them, but when the number climbs to hundreds or thousands, it’s time to take action.
First, you have to enlist all the URLs with 404 errors with the Screaming Frog. Decide which are the most critical and make 301 redirects, or make a whole new page out of the old one.
Faulty redirects regularly happen on mobile. This is because mobile URLs are different from your desktop URLs.
For example, if you have a desktop page.com, the mobile version should be m.page.com and not m.page.com/contact.
If you don’t have a mobile equivalent to the desktop site, stick to the desktop pages on mobile. However, the best practice is to have responsive web design.
The number of SEO issues of eCommerce websites goes beyond our list. Nevertheless, we enlisted the most common ones in the hope that you’ll recognize and solve the ones in your online shop website.
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