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With the current state of the web, you can literally order anything online and have it delivered to your front door. Yes, even bread, eggs and milk. If you are starting your own e-commerce business, then get ready for a major challenge. E-commerce sites often have thousands of pages, making them an extremely challenging SEO issue. Properly linking these pages together, and especially obtaining links to the actual product pages from external sites, is a very difficult and time consuming task.

In many ways, this makes SEO for e-commerce sites a whole different beast from trying to rank a blog. Here are a few things you can do to make this task more manageable.

1. Create an SEO Keyword Field In Your Database

Inevitably, an e-commerce site is powered by a database complete with product names, prices, and other variables. Include a keyword field in this database so that it is always immediately clear what keyword you are trying to rank this product for. This is extremely useful for your link building efforts, your product description and title optimization, and countless other tasks.

2. Optimize Your Product Detail Page

This is by far your most important content. All product pages must have the following pieces:

– A Product Name – The title of the page should be the product name, which should include all relevant keywords in as few words as possible. Every product name should be unique and it should be clear to users what each product is.

– Price – The price should be easy to find and prominent, or you will end up irritating your users who are trying to shop. The price is one of the first things that users look for, so be sure to put the “buy” button right next to the price so that it is easy to find as well.

– Buy Button – The buy button should be prominent, colorful, and easy to spot. It should almost always be “above the fold” so that users don’t need to scroll down in order to find it. Keep in mind that words can have different meaning in different cultures. “Add to basket” is more appropriate than “add to cart” in the UK, for example.

The product name and title tag should be closely related or identical, and certainly contain the keyword. All content on the page should be crawlable. Avoid duplicate content at all costs, and for the same reason do everything you can to avoid using the manufacturer’s description as the product description, since all of the other e-commerce sites will be using the same content.

3. Avoid Session ID Duplicate Content

If your site uses session IDs, it’s possible that your site has duplicate content which could cause it to be penalized and buried in the search results. Session IDs are used for security reasons and to make sure that all transactions are traceable, but they also create a unique URL for every visitor who starts making a purchase.

Be sure to edit robots.txt so that the search engines don’t end up getting confused by all of this extra content. Even if your site doesn’t get penalized by duplicate content, it can make your site’s structure unclear in a way that harms rankings.

4. Product RSS Feed and Site Map

By submitting your RSS feed to relevant aggregators you can pick up tons of backlinks which can help improve your site rankings. Google Base is a good example of the type of aggregator to submit to. Site maps can also be incredibly helpful for e-commerce sites since their indexes are so large and there is always the possibility that certain pages won’t get crawled and indexed.

5. Find a SEO friendly shopping cart

Finding a SEO friendly shopping cart software can actually be quite a difficult process. Look for shopping cart software that is explicitly marketed as being SEO friendly. Don’t assume that this is taken care of just because your shopping cart software is expensive. Obviously there are incredible solutions on the web at affordable prices, but just because the first one sounds good does not mean it’s the best.

6. Go Social

Be sure to add social sharing buttons so that your best products can spread by word of mouth. Allow users to leave their own reviews in order to improve participation and to get feedback. Pay attention to your analytics to see where the buying funnel leads. Make sure that your site is fully integrated with analytics so that you are capturing all of the relevant data.

Conclusion

E-commerce sites are very difficult to optimize for SEO, but they need it perhaps even more than any other type of site. These tips should provide a good road map to get you started, but be sure to do your research and test everything extensively.

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Posted by Jeff

Jeff is a passionate blogger. He often writes about SEO and is also a content writer for newyorkstatedivorce.com

8 Comments

  1. Great article, but I would never recommend using session IDs in your URL. Doing so is a major security issue. If you must track your visitors by session ID, store it behind the scenes using the session_id() function in PHP.

  2. great information’s

  3. This post are given the information’s about how to work the seo’s in e-commerce. SEO services are working in all website maintaining works

  4. Interesting post thanks – I think and believe the most difficult task for an ecommerce site is the duplicate content issue. Like you say if you have thousands of pages how do you make them unique? The only answer is to start working through them and changing them product by product. Building deep links to the product pages is much the same, start with the most popular products and work through them. This is why SEO on these sites is expensive as it takes so long. A rule of thumb for any ecommerce site owners looking to get this work done as cheaply as possible – if it sounds too good to be true then you won’t get the results you want. It takes time to do this work and people charge for their time, if its only £100 per month you won’t get the amount of work done you need in the near future. It always comes down to the content and the links.

  5. Great article to increase ecommerce ROI !

  6. Excellent post. A website should never be designed by the client but by the customer as they are the people using the website. Too many people think that getting a website designed is enough. In the wrong hands no SEO can improve a badly designed website. Using Google website optimizer should be one of their most used tools and will the help of ongoing SEO to bring in targeted traffic and using the points you have described above is the only way forward.

  7. e page you requested was not found.

  8. At Park2Peak.com we’re just beginning to tackle our SEO issues. Slowly but surely we’re making the effort to optimize our new product pages as we get our new products in and uploaded as opposed to going back to optimize our older inventory. The common theme seems to be that there is just so much content on ecommerce sites in general to try to optimize everything. Efficient time allocation is our strategy. Only time will tell if it proves to be a wise choice.

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