Unfortunately, many online merchants believe that simply listing products on an e-commerce website will result in plenty of website traffic and excellent profits. If you do not pay attention to good search engine optimisation (SEO) for your e-commerce site, it can cost you in the long run. Optimising an e-commerce site for the search engines takes a lot of work, and it is harder than dealing with SEO for company websites or blogs. Make the wrong SEO mistakes and you will have a tough time making money with your site. Here is a look at some of the top SEO errors that e-commerce websites often make, as well as some tips you can use to avoid these common mistakes.
Error #1 – Failure to Add Product Descriptions
One of the biggest SEO errors is failure to add product descriptions to your e-commerce website. When you do not include any description, this makes it difficult for you to get the product page ranked well in the search engines. While pictures are important, you still need a good product description. If you are unsure how long your product descriptions should be, look at the default word count you have on an empty product page, including words in the footer, navigation menu, sidebar, etc. It is important to have unique descriptions that total more than the default number of works so the unique content gets more weight.
When you are writing product descriptions, you need to keep a few things in mind. First, make sure that you write high quality descriptions that will encourage customers to purchase the product. Another idea is to play around with the description word count. Test several descriptions, some shorter and some longer, to see which description length offers the best conversions. In some cases, too much content can be a problem.
Error #2 – Product Titles that Aren’t SEO Optimised
If your product titles are not SEO optimised and unique, it will hurt your performance in the search engines. Your product titles are extremely important. Duplicating product titles can cause problems in the search engines, so you need to make sure they are unique.
Here are a few things to remember when writing product titles:
- Keep them under 70 characters
- Make sure the product title actually describes the product
- Ensure that the title is unique on your website
- Use keywords in the product title that consumers commonly use when searching for that product. It is better to use keywords than the actual or technical name of your product.
Sometimes it is tough to create product titles that are unique, especially if you have multiple products that are very similar. To help you keep product titles unique, try adding product characteristics, attributes, or brand names whenever applicable.
Recommended Reading: 5 Actionable Tips to Get the Most Out of Your SEO
Error #3 – Simply Using the Manufacturer’s Product Descriptions
Do not make the mistake of going the easy route and using the manufacturer’s product descriptions. Using the manufacturer’s product descriptions will result in duplicate content, which will definitely hurt you in the search engines. Make sure that you create new product descriptions for each product.
Writing product descriptions is not always easy, but with a few tips, you can come up with some great descriptions. When you are trying to write descriptions, try to highlight physical attributes and features that set the product apart from other similar products. You also want to write descriptions that will encourage visitors to buy. Focus on features and benefits in your descriptions so visitors learn what the product can do for them.
Error #4 – Failure to Have Product Reviews
Many consumers want to read product reviews before they make a purchasing decision. If you do not have any product reviews on your e-commerce website, you are not reaching a large portion of your audience. Review pages also perform well in the search engines, so reviews are essential to the SEO of your site.
Customer reviews offer your website several benefits. First, these reviews give your e-commerce site some unique content, and that content is free. If you are having a problem getting unique content on your pages, product reviews can help. As customers add more product reviews, new content will bring the search engines back to your site, and the more your site is updated, the better your site will perform in the search engines.
Recommended Reading: SEO Checklist for Optimising Blog Posts to Get Maximum Traffic
Error #5 – Long Load Times on Your Ecommerce Site
Is your e-commerce site taking a long time to load? If so, that can cause you multiple problems. Multiple studies show that customers will leave a website that does not load quickly. You will generate more sales if your e-commerce site loads quickly.
For the best results, your site should load in under four seconds, whether consumers are visiting your site on a desktop, smartphone, or tablet. Some tips you can use to improve your site’s load time include:
- Make sure that your videos and images are optimised to reduce load times
- Keep pages optimised
- Ensure that your code is optimised, or hire a programmer to do this for you
- Avoid running an e-commerce site on shared hosting
Error #6 – Forgetting to Optimise Product Pages with Specific Keywords
If you forget to optimise your product pages using specific keywords that are in demand, you will have a tough time bringing traffic to your website. Make sure that you optimise every product page with keywords that consumers are searching. The goal is to use keywords that people actually use when they search for your product. Some great ways to optimise your product page include:
- Make sure that image alt tag info is filled out
- Add model numbers to H1 headings and title tags
- Don’t use iframes
- Make sure that brand names are used in H1 headings and title tags
- Avoid stuffing your product pages with keywords
Recommended Reading: The Experts Guide to a Complete SEO Health Check-up for Websites
Error #7 – Using URLs That Don’t Include Keywords
Many URLs seem to have nothing to do with the product, which can be problematic for your site. Make sure that you use URLs that use keywords. Unique URLs that have keywords in them offer several benefits. First, it makes it easier for consumers to know what they can expect when they click the URL. URLs that include important keywords also prove helpful if your URL is reposted on another website. Using relevant keywords in your URLs can also keep your links relevant.
Error #8 – Problems with Site Usability
You also need to make sure that your site is usable for your visitors. Good SEO focuses on the user experience, ensuring that the site is user friendly. If you want to make money with your e-commerce website, your site must be useable. Some of the factors that make a site usable include:
- The ability to load the site on mobile devices
- Easy navigation
- Fast load times
- Great structure
Optimised for search engines
The internet is a powerful tool, and it offers an excellent way to sell products to consumers across the world. However, if you want to reap the best results, you need to avoid the common errors that many e-commerce websites make. By avoiding these big SEO mistakes, you will find it easier to achieve success with your online shop.