Top SEO eCommerce Mistakes You Must Avoid
by Sam Dunning
Let me set the scene. You have successfully appointed a Web Development Company to design and develop your new eCommerce store, it looks great, works well and is all up and running.
Great news….however, in order to start gaining visitors and more importantly, sales, you will need to look at SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This, in short, is getting your website organically listed on page one of Google for the keywords your target customer will be searching for your type of business/products/services under.
Although SEO may sound simple in principle, it must be carried out by a specialist to ensure that the desired results are achieved.
Unfortunately, there are many mistakes that both new and well-established eCommerce stores marketing/management teams make. These mistakes cause a negative impact on SEO, resulting in your online store dropping below page one on Google.
Are you or your eCommerce marketing team making any of the below mistakes? See below and get your online store back on top of SEO.
1/ Poor keyword research
Many retailers and businesses focus on using keywords that are related to the products or services that they sell, rather than focussing on the keywords that their target audience are actually searching for!
Let’s say you are a ladies fashion brand and want to push sales on a new black leather handbag. Rather than using general keywords such as bag, handbag etc. You should be more specific with the keywords e.g. brown leather handbag, ladies brown leather bag etc. This way you avoid driving the wrong types of visitors to your store.
Carry out proper research on the keywords your target audience are actually searching for your types of products/services on. Google AdWords Keyword Planner allows you to see the monthly searches for any keyword. This will allow you to gauge how competitive and well searched specific keywords are and if they are worth targeting. Other useful tools for this include Moz and SEMrush.
2/ Copying content
As the saying goes, ‘content is king’, and while creating fresh, unique and well-written content may not be a quick or easy task, it is crucial for SEO.
Having unique page titles, page content, headings, product descriptions etc. where possible is very important. Google and other search engines pick up on duplicate content and they will push your website down in their rankings for doing this.
Create as much unique content as possible within your eCommerce website. If there are pages with lots of duplicate content, utilize 301 re-directs or no-index tools. This will tell search engine bots not to crawl these specific pages, meaning your SEO will not be harmed.
3/ Keyword stuffing
Far too many online retailers are still stuffing keywords into their H1 and H2 tags, meta descriptions, product descriptions and page content.
This is a poor practice and Google’s algorithms will pick up on areas of your website that have content with keywords stuffed in. Google penalizes websites that are stuffing keywords into their code and content.
Create well-written content that carefully utilizes only the relevant keywords in an appropriate manner. Do not keyword spam.
4/ Lack of product reviews
Having real customer reviews on your products and services is an important factor for SEO. Reviews will help boost your Google ranking and assist prospective customers in their decision-making process.
Not having a review system in place can be a serious mistake. Reviews help to instill trust to new customers and at the same time provide fresh content for your website.
Make it easy for customers to leave a rating and review. Send an email to the customer asking for a review once the product/service has been successfully delivered. Avoid email spam and make it optional for the customer to leave a review.
If you have not got a review system in place for your eCommerce website, I would high recommend you speak your Web Development agency to implement this beneficial feature.
5/ Poor security system in place
Having a secure and robust online store not only keeps hackers at bay but also gives visitors confidence in the services you provide. Unfortunately, many online retailers avoid key security measures to save money.
This will not only affect your SEO rankings but will also make your website vulnerable to attacks and can result in serious harm to your business, such as customer identity theft, financial loss, negative Google ranking and lost reputation.
Install an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate for your online store. Having an SSL certificate in the browser URL bar shows customers that their transactions are going through a secure website (if you opt for a high level SSL, users can see a green padlock within the website address bar, this provides enhanced security and further assurance to customers).
Google also ranks websites higher that have an appropriate SSL certificate. SSL certificates have also been proven to help to increase conversion rates!
If your website is on an eCommerce platform such as WooCommerce, Magento or Open Cart make sure you have security plugins in place to prevent unauthorized access to your website back-end.
6/ Poor page loading speed
Having a slow loading website can have a terrible affect on your website bounce rates and SEO.
Here are a few facts about page loading times:
- 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load
- A 1 second delay in page response time can result in a 7% reduction in conversions
- Page load speed plays a factor on your Google Ranking
These stats provide that having a lightning-quick website is key to converting more customers and having a better SEO ranking. Your page loading speed should be under 3 seconds.
Check your website on Google PageSpeed Insights to see how well optimized your website is. If your site scores poorly, seek assistance from your Web Development Company to get your website fully optimized for quick loading times, meaning more new business, better customer retention and higher Google ranking.
These are some of the top SEO mistakes made in eCommerce, however, there are of course many more. It is important that you stay up to date with Google latest algorithm and constantly update your website to be optimized for the best possible SEO rankings.
Ready to get your website on page one of Google? Contact us today for your free proposal!