How e-commerce brands can improve their search engine visibility

24 August 2017

How e-commerce brands can improve their search engine visibility

We all know SEO is important and we’ll assume that you’re already familiar with basic strategy, meaning that from a technical perspective you’ll have covered off points such as page speed and ease of navigation and you’ll have worked out a way to provide great content at regular intervals.

Now, it’s time to step it up a gear and move your website even further forward because, in SEO, every step up the rankings is a gain, sometimes a very meaningful one.

Here are five tips to achieve this, in order of (what we think will be) the quickest wins:

1. De-index (or canonicalise) content-thin pages

It’s fine to include pages for technical purposes rather than to provide value with their content, but you want to hide them from Google. You can use your robots.txt file to de-index them or canonicalise them to a higher page (which would typically be the main category page).

2. Remember your readers are real people

Even though by this point in time (post Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird) people really should know better, there are still a fair number of sites out there with title tags and meta descriptions that are blatant examples of old-school keyword stuffing. Yes, keywords still have a lot of use these days, but keyword stuffing has thankfully had its day. If this is you, it should be an easy win to update these.

3. Use rich snippets

While Google has yet to start awarding bonus points for using rich snippets (although that may come), the simple fact of the matter is that they look far more enticing to real people, which helps to encourage humans to click through onto your site. If they then find good content and stay around a while, Google will notice and that will improve your ranking.

4. Improve your keyword research

As a basic rule of thumb, when it comes to keywords, you want to start big and work your way down as far as you can before you hit individual products. For example, let’s say you sell clothes and you start by breaking them down into major categories, such as tops, bottoms and shoes. You’ll find the competition for these keywords pretty brutal so you break it down a bit more and subdivide “tops” into blouses and t-shirts. There’s still going to be a bit of competition for these terms to take it down another step into plain t-shirts and printed t-shirts. Why stop there? What are the themes of your t-shirts? How about natural world t-shirts, t-shirts with famous quotes and t-shirts from films and TV programmes? You could keep breaking down these categories even further if you wanted to (“Game of Thrones t-shirts”). The lower you go, the less competition you are likely to get and the more you are likely to find your results returned if a person does search for that term.

5. Include user guides in your content strategy

A lot of the time, people search the net to find answers to questions and/or solutions to problems, so including content such as user guides, how tos and best ofs can help bring people to your site when they need information. This improves both your SEO ranking and puts you in a strong position to sell to people once they have decided what they need.