In the recent years, Internet connectivity and advancements have caused a drastic development and adoption of e-commerce for business. The average expenditure in e-commerce is estimated at $1.2million per minute and this expenditure is expected to rise in the next few years.
However, even with the advancement in technologies and platforms supporting e-commerce, there are some optimization challenges, which can be easily eliminated with simple SEO practices. These challenges are the main cause of low popularity of e-commerce campaigns and websites and as such draw very low traffic to the websites.
These challenges are;
Duplication of content
The organization of e-commerce platforms is such that it can allow for duplication of content. The classification of products into categories and sub-categories easily creates links that cross reference the same item on a single webpage. This further creates unreadable URLs for a single item, which when indexed by a search engine, are identified as duplicate content and thus penalized.
The SEO Solution
- By practice, components like categories and sub-categories that create duplicate content may be excluded from indexing by use of Robots Exclusion Protocol.
- Embedding within the no-follow attribute all the URLs generated which link to duplicate content.
A competent SEO expert will easily manage to implement these.
E-commerce sites have numerous products and their variations and their listing on the sites may include similar titles and title tags in an effort to maintain consistency in naming and identification on the sites. This is problematic because search engines identify this as content duplication, leading to penalties if overdone.
- Use unique keyword phrases instead of a single keyword in the Meta descriptions, in addition to the product name.
- Use these same keyword phrases in the product titles and these are the same keyword phrases that the target customers will use in their searches.
For many e-commerce sites, the homepage button, instead of returning you to the website root, is set to redirect to another page, and the same happens for header logo link. This causes the link equity to be diluted as it is shared between the root and the other linked page.
- Thoroughly scrutinize the website’s structure and links to ensure that those homepage links are actually linking to the root and that all other links point to the correct pages and remove any hanging links.
SEO as you know it has a totally different approach in e-commerce sites than in the normal websites. The constant changes in the product listing and categories make the undertaking even more complex and time consuming. However, the guidelines are almost similar and so are the outcomes.