When you are running an online business, your efforts are mostly focused on increasing your website traffic, your conversion rates, or both. The primary goal of your business is to attract customers and maintain their interest in your business, in order to increase sales. Facing expenses on a daily basis, you’re probably always on the lookout for cost-effective online marketing techniques. Out of all the options out there, ecommerce site optimization has been proven as one of the most effective.
However, have in mind that ecommerce site optimization is much harder than optimizing little static ten-page websites. All of those product pages constantly changing and shuffling on and off the site can cause many optimization problems. But, if you follow some powerful optimization techniques, you will increase quality traffic, which will lead to more conversions and loyal customers.
Top 7 ecommerce site optimization techniques
Some online business owners believe that simply listing numerous product pages with similar keywords will ensure good website rankings. The truth is that it doesn’t work like this. You need to put in a lot of effort if you want to succeed. We give you 7 powerful website optimization techniques to help you get the most out of the time and money that you invest.
1. Keep an eye on your URL structure
URL structure plays a big role in your website rankings, since it makes it easy for search engines to recognize what the website is all about. This helps your site and its pages get indexed with better rankings. If you don’t pay attention to the URL structure, your website’s pages may end up competing against each other.
Each URL on your website should be unique, keyword optimized, and relevant to the page. It makes it easier for visitors to trust your link when they see it. It’s best if your web designer and SEO expert work together on this matter as early as possible in the process of building the site.
2. Fix all broken links
Every ecommerce website has some products that are temporarily or permanently out of stock. Some companies simply delete those pages, which causes enormous damage to their website’s SEO value. Moreover, it frustrates website visitors when they encounter a “404 not found” page.
If you have an item which is temporarily out of stock, leave the page online. You can use the page to offer alternative, similar products, and provide information when you expect the product to be back in stock. Your visitors will appreciate it and search engines won’t be confused about your website structure.
If you have an expired product, you can redirect visitors to one of its parent categories. In case the product is replaced with a new model, it’s best to use a 301 permanent redirect to the newer model’s URL. This way, the SEO value of the old page will be retained and transferred to the new one. You can also reuse the old URL for a new product and preserve the page authority.
3. Get rid of duplicate content
When it comes to ecommerce websites, one of the biggest problems is so-called “duplicate content”. Having many similar products (or variations of the same product) with an identical description (or copy-pasted specs) may result in something the search engines consider “duplicate content”. This means that the engines will only choose to index just one of these pages, and simply ignore other similar pages. You need to analyze your pages regularly and reduce redundancy.
You can use the canonical tag to indicate the pages you want indexed. Adding “nofollow” attributes to links that point to areas of duplicate content is also a good thing to do. You can also use a “robots.txt” protocol to block areas that create duplicate content such as archives, tags and category pages.
4. Encourage customer reviews
One of the most important aspects in an ecommerce business is the option for customer reviews for each product. Customer reviews help you build trust with potential buyers and directly impacts your conversion rates and sales. The more reviews you have, the more you encourage the building of a community of happy users. In the same vein, don’t forget to integrate social media sharing buttons on each product page.
Apart from the power to increase conversions, customer reviews help you constantly generate new, unique content on your website for free. Since Google loves to see unique content, you’ll ensure higher rankings and improved visibility for your site. Every update on your site improves the success of your overall SEO efforts.
5. Pay attention to product descriptions
Never ever use a manufacturer’s description for your products. It’s really bad for your business for many reasons. For example, it creates duplicate content which we’ve already established is bad for your SEO. Product descriptions are also sometimes used by search engines as meta descriptions if you don’t use specific meta descriptions for each product.
Having unique content on your website goes a long way, and this extends to your product descriptions. Take the time to write unique and search-friendly descriptions for each and every product. It will help your ecommerce site optimization strategy and grab the attention of your customers.
Make sure to explain how and why a particular product can help your customers. Just don’t overdo it. State the most important features in a short, bulleted list. Provide an option to read more information on a product for people who want to take their time and explore a product in more detail.
6. Don’t forget the images
Images are a crucial part of an ecommerce business. They are the first thing customers look for when buying online, so it’s very important to include images of the highest quality. However, if you have many high-quality images, you will slow down your site and hurt your SEO. Optimize the size of your images, or include a “zoom in” feature that allows users to see a larger version.
Images can also help you boost your site rankings. Make sure to add relevant keywords in the ALT tags of your images. This will help search robots find, see, and understand your website’s images.
7. Improve the shopping experience
You can not achieve ultimate success if your customers are not entirely happy when interacting with your company. Each of your ecommerce site optimization efforts will go down the drain if you can’t provide a truly exceptional shopping experience.
Establishing elegant site navigation is essential for both attaining higher search engine rankings and improving user experience. Organize your product pages intuitively, in easily understandable categories. Ensure that your internal site search works well to improve conversions and sales.
Provide product information, related products, delivery times, and return policies. Since you are asking people to enter their credit card details on your website, provide trust signals to let them know that their personal details are secure.
Don’t take mobile for granted. Make sure your site works flawlessly on every single major device to give your users a smooth mobile shopping experience. Not making your site mobile friendly is a risk you don’t want to take.