SEO For ECommerce Websites

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The world of eCommerce SEO is different in many ways to traditional SEO. For the website owner running an online eCommerce business, SEO has become vital to suceed.

Below are 5 simple tips to help you achieve your aims with eCommerce SEO.

1) Choose The Right Platform

There are 100’s of eCommerce platforms available for you to build your website upon. Choosing the right platform could make the process of SEO a lot easier. Some of the older platforms like OScommerce, Zen Cart and Cube Cart do not provide the best environment for SEO, these platforms have been around for years, even longer than the SEO industry in some cases! Is is one of the reasons they don’t cater for SEO as well as some of the modern platforms.

When choosing a platform to build your site upon I would recommend choosing a modern system with a huge network of developers and a community. Magento is arguably the industry leading eCommerce platform available, there is also Prestashop. Both of these platforms are free to download, however, they both require specialist hosting to get the most out of the platform. Another contender is Woocommerce running on WordPress.  A client, Midland Paving, is using this to great effect.

Both of these systems have been built with SEO features built in, these will give you a head start over the older platforms.

2) Target Product Names

The world of eCommerce SEO is different to the more traditional sites, customers often know the products and brands they are looking for, it is important for the eCommerce site owner to pay attention to the name of the product or brand with their SEO in order to tap into this search traffic.

If your site is selling in a specific niche you can gain some quick wins and easy traffic simply by optimising your product names correctly.

3) Use Product Feeds

Using product feeds is sure fire way of increasing traffic to your eCommerce website. Google merchant centre is the biggest and most important product feed you should be targeting, and guess what… It’s Free to join!

Submitting your products feed to Google Merchant Centre will give you the opportunity to get your products listed in the “shopping results” in Google.

There are various other services which accept product feeds, including Bing, Shopping.com, Shopzilla etc…

4) No Duplicate Content

A common problem with eCommerce sites is duplicate content, often caused by strange url’s and query strings or products appearing in multiple categories. How ever duplicate content gets created it is very important that as an SEO you fix this problem.

Google introduced the “canonical” link element which goes some way to helping you over come the duplicate content issue, however if it can be avoided whilst the site is in development it will save a lot of problems later on.

If you are using Magento be careful of the “layered or faceted navigation” features, duplicating content may be produced because the different facets can contain very similar content.

5) Don’t Forget The Categories

It is important to SEO category pages as well as the product pages. The main reason for this is because potential customers might not know exactly the product they require, however the will know the type of product.

For example, let’s say we run an online health shop, selling “pain relief products”, our customer has severe back pain but doesn’t know which product they require, in this instance they might search for “back pain relief”. If we target the back pain category to this term we should be able to offer multiple products which could help with the customers back pain.

Andy Morley is a professional SEO Consultant based in the UK. Andy has many years experience in eCommerce and Magento SEO.

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