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9 SEO Tips for Ecommerce Sites

Make sure your sitemap is up to date.

If you regularly add, update, or remove products, it’s easy for your sitemap to quickly become outdated. Ideally, you should have an XML version for search engine spiders and an HTML version for your buyers. And if you want your HTML sitemap to be the most useful, keep it organized by product catalog. If your online store is large, it can definitely be difficult to manage to maintain the sitemap manually. Fortunately, there are several very good automated sitemap software packages available. A simple search for “sitemap software” should give you plenty of options to choose from.

Improve your product descriptions.

I am amazed at how many online stores I come across that continue to use the manufacturer’s default product description. The biggest problem with this is that all your competitors are now using the same text as you, and it becomes very difficult to rank well in the SERPs. Be sure to write your own unique product descriptions using your own unique keyword phrases. If your store is extremely large, this could be a monumental task, so create a prioritized product list and start working from the top down.

Strengthen your “read more” links.

For some reason, I’m starting to get hungry. But that’s not the point I want to make, which is… Don’t use generic “read more” text to link to the full product description page. For an added SEO boost, take advantage of keyword-rich link text, such as “learn more about the Chicago Cubs premium 100% cotton cap.” Remember, your anchor text is an extremely important part of your overall SEO strategy.

Don’t forget the plural version of your keywords.

It is true that search engines classify singular and plural versions of keywords as totally separate words. When we work with eCommerce clients, we like to make it a general rule of thumb to use the plural version of the keyword on the main category page and the singular version on the individual product page. That way we cover both keywords and it also helps us stay organized when writing our content.

You will definitely want to look at your traffic logs when you implement this technique. You may find that searchers who use the plural form are early in their buying stage, while searchers who use the singular form are more ready to buy. Be sure to plan your web copy and page layout accordingly.

Use simple URLs.

This technique will depend on your ecommerce software and/or database, but definitely avoid complicated URLs and session IDs at all costs. Search engines really don’t like them, plus they’re hard to use in your own marketing efforts. After all, why would you want to send an email newsletter with a link to mysite.com/products/category1/productid?id=2wsh543cd&department=54red32s&wh=rhed3440vnad87e421&code=87vb8frelmwq209637 when you could just link to mysite.com/CubsCap?

Create unique title tags.

Many ecommerce programs will automatically create your page title tags and unfortunately it is often the same tag over and over again. Using the same title tag on every page of your website is a very bad move when it comes to SEO. In most cases, the automatic title tag can be edited, so make sure to use a unique keyword-rich title on each page. Don’t forget the general rule of thumb of plural keywords on category pages and singular keywords on product pages.

Create attractive description tags.

It’s true that your page’s meta description tag won’t really help your rankings, but it can certainly have an impact on your clicks. The description tag serves as the “mini ad” for your web page, as this is the information that web surfers see when they use search engines.

Again, many eCommerce programs will automatically add a description tag based on the first available content on the page, or the program might not create a description tag at all. You’ll need to check your ecommerce package, but chances are the description tag can be updated manually (and if not, it might be time to look into new ecommerce software). Add a unique keyword-rich description to each web page that is short and to the point and entice search engines to click on your page over your competitor’s.

Take advantage of product reviews.

Product reviews have become a great marketing tool, but I personally like them for their SEO utility. Customer product reviews are a great way to increase the keyword density on your page, but they are also a great source for keyword research. It can be surprising to see the words and phrases customers use to describe various products, and it’s a good bet those are some of the same keywords and phrases customers use to search for those products!

If your eCommerce software doesn’t allow you to accept or post product reviews, check the manufacturer’s site. They may have reviews available that you can republish on their site (make sure you get permission first).

Optimize your product images.

I’m not 100% convinced that image-seekers will turn into buyers (in most cases, I think they’re just looking to use a particular image), but optimizing your images is such an easy step that there’s no reason not to. do it. he. Make sure each of your images includes a unique Alt tag and an additional title tag that are keyword-rich whenever possible.

And, as always, remember that search engine optimization is an ongoing task. While it’s important for all webmasters to engage in SEO on a regular basis, it’s even more crucial for ecommerce sites trying to build a profitable online business. Never think of your keyword research and optimization program as a set-and-forget test. Create a regular plan for yourself, include the 9 tips above, and you will see results in no time.

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