Common E-Commerce SEO Mistakes That Could Cost You Sales

Mattan Danino
Reading Time: 3 minutes

We decided to put together a post that describes some of the pitfalls and missing key points that you should know when optimizing your eCommerce store. We get these questions all the time and decided to answer them once and for all!

Here we go!…

More and more consumers are choosing to purchase items on the internet, and there are many companies who think that simply putting a website online with merchandise is enough to get customers flocking in to purchase. The problem with that theory is that the internet contains millions of websites, and hundreds of thousands of them are selling the same exact merchandise. If you want your e-commerce website to stand out, you need to avoid these common SEO errors.

Missing Product Description

If you want search engines to locate your website and rank it highly in the search engine returns, you have to have text on the site that is optimized with keywords. Although a picture may be worth a thousand words, search engines cannot see pictures, only text. Therefore, include a short description of each item next to each merchandise photo. Be sure to include keyword optimization in the text as well.

Not Using Unique Descriptions

Another common mistake made by online retailers is simply copying the manufacturer’s description of a product onto their website. Search engines seek unique information, and if the descriptions on your site are exactly the same as 30 other online retail sites, it will not appear unique. In addition, manufacturer descriptions are usually not keyword optimized, making it even more difficult for search engines to find them. Write each product description yourself to make it unique, but remember that the copy should be of high quality, with no misspellings or grammatical errors. If writing is not your strong point, consider outsourcing website copy to a professional writing company.

Titles That Are Not Unique

Just as using the product description provided by a manufacturer is a poor SEO practice, so is using the title provided by them as well. In addition, many online retailers use the same title tag for similar products, and, for those who sell many products that are the same, it is difficult to come up with unique title tags for every product. Therefore, it is more important to focus on key phrases rather than keywords. A key phrase is a string of words that typical shoppers enter into search engines. Rarely does a shopper type in one single word, as online shoppers have learned that the results returned are far too vague. Instead, a shopper looking for a particular brand will include the brand name in the search. Consider using Brand-Model-Item-Type as the template for any items you plan to sell online.

Optimize Product Based on Demand

Much like the non-unique titles, you need to consider what people are entering into search engines when you write headlines and product descriptions as well. Include key phrases in both headlines and product descriptions so that when a consumer searches for a product, the search engines are more likely to find them. Never keyword stuff, however, as using the keyword or phrase will have the opposite effect on your website.

Unidentifiable URLs

It is important to use what are known as “speaking URLs” on your website as well. A speaking URL has the product name right in the site address. This makes it easier for a consumer to know what they will find when they click on a link. In addition, it makes it easier for another site to pick up the link and share it on their own website, increasing the visibility of your website. Whenever possible, include keywords in the URL for even more chance of recognition by search engines.

Allow Product Reviews

Research indicates that as much as 70 percent of online shoppers seek reviews of products before they purchase them. If your site does not allow customers to review products, you may be missing a significant portion of online shoppers. The good thing about product reviews is that it creates completely unique content and it costs nothing. In addition, the more often a site is update, the more a search engine will find it. Because product reviews are provided on a continuing basis, the site appears to have been updated more often, making it attractive to search engines.

In addition to these common SEO practices with e-commerce sites, some online stores use a considerable amount of duplicate content, which should be avoided. In addition, it is critical to make the site as usable as possible as the more time a customer remains on your site tells search engines that they are returning the right results to consumers and will continue including your site in their results.


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