Whether you sell products online or not, a good amount of your website traffic will likely come from search engines. While being visible in Google’s results can be a major boon to your bottom line, if you aren’t executing the right SEO strategies on your E-commerce site, that visibility won’t do much for you at all. In fact, it could even hurt business. Here are seven common SEO mistakes that affect E-commerce websites and how to fix them.
1) Focusing on keywords over user intent
When people think about “SEO,” they usually think about optimizing content for a set of keywords. If you’re trying to rank for “running shoes,” make sure you have content about running shoes on your site. While it’s true that good SEO means writing pages with the intent of optimizing them for certain words, what really matters is satisfying user search intents. In other words, which searches are people making, and what do those searchers actually want? More often than not, Google will interpret searches differently from how a human being would interpret them—and sometimes Google’s interpretation will be way off base, as anybody who has ever tried ranking for the keyword “comfortable red shoes” can attest. Instead of focusing on individual keywords, focus on providing the best possible answer to every person searching for something related to your business. How does Google interpret that search? Is your content satisfying searchers’ intent?
2) Ignoring on-site SEO
When people hear “SEO,” they usually think about keywords and links. However, there are plenty of things you can do right on your own website that will help with ranking, too. For example, if you want to rank for the keyword “running shoes” but you have a hodgepodge of product category pages with no internal linking, or maybe one page labelled “men’s running shoes” with no subcategories, only a few outbound links to relevant sites, and little information about particular models, you’re going to have a very difficult time ranking well for that term. If people are searching for “men’s running shoes,” they’re probably trying to find a particular pair, not just any old running shoes.
3) Focusing on vanity metrics
Nobody cares how many followers you have, or how many views your latest video got. Google won’t care either unless those numbers somehow affect the number of people who are searching for something related to your business and finding your website in the SERPs. For example, if you post videos that relate to what you sell, these can help boost rankings for certain keywords. Similarly, more outbound links will have a positive impact on search engine rankings because it means more opportunities for Googlebot to crawl your site—as long as they’re links that include relevant keywords.
4) Using the wrong HTML tags
There are a lot of common HTML tags that will help Google understand what your content is about, but certain tags will also cause search engine crawlers to give your pages lower rankings because they’re “poorly formatted” or “low-quality.” Using h1 and h2 tags appropriately, for example, can help with things like SEO copywriting, while improperly using h3 and other subheaders might make search engines think you don’t know how to format your webpages properly. Similarly, implementing schema markup, embedding rich media like video, taking advantage of image alt text (especially on eCommerce product pages), and having unique meta descriptions for each page can all improve SEO. You can also use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to check how your website is implementing markup and what you’re getting out of it.
5) Not using internal links
It may seem counterintuitive, but linking within your own site will help with rankings. If somebody finds one page on your site through a search engine result, they’ll probably want to find related pages, too. By providing good internal link opportunities, you help Google understand the structure of your site—and that makes it easier for them to return relevant results when people are searching.
6) Linking to low-quality sites
One way Google determines whether or not a particular website should be ranking well is by checking other websites’ domain authority. If somebody links to you from a site that isn’t very reputable, then your own site may be seen as less credible. Similarly, if there are too many outbound links with little text content, Google might worry about the quality of those websites and adjust your rankings accordingly.
7) Ignoring local SEO
Have a brick-and-mortar business? You’ll need to make sure that your information is easily accessible online. Things like accurate business hours and directions are very helpful for customers who are trying to find your store in person—and they’re also helpful factors when it comes to SEO. Using Google My Business makes this pretty straightforward; there are even some things that are specific to optimizing your business for local searches, like using Google Street View or enabling the Local Visibility System.
SEO is a complex and ever-evolving beast, and the same techniques that worked last year may not work this year. That’s why it’s important to stay up to date on the latest changes and trends in the SEO world. In this article, we’ve outlined seven common E-commerce SEO mistakes and how to fix them. But as with any aspect of digital marketing, there are always new challenges on the horizon. So make sure you continue to research and learn about SEO so you can stay ahead of the curve and get the most out of your website traffic. If you need more information or questions about SEO, Sotavento Medios is here to help! Click this link to know more.