Common SEO errors on e-commerce websites- and how to fix them

Jul 18, 2019 3:55:37 PM / by Mari Muthu

Common SEO Errors on E-commerce Websites


E-commerce is a big platform. With the growing online retail competition, managing an e-commerce business has become a tedious job.

The whole e-commerce business revolves around the amount of traffic that it receives.

There is no exception for anyone. If you are into e-commerce, regardless of your industry or vertical, you should be thinking about certain key points which can eliminate the common SEO mistakes on an e-commerce website.

Lets’ get a glimpse of some of the most common SEO mistakes:

  1. Product description:

To have your product on the top 10 search results, it is important to have a proper text description. This SEO error is found among most of the online gift stores and online clothing shops. No matter how many beautiful images you have, if you do not have proper descriptive text then it might affect your customer turnover.

Even if the query for the particular product is comparatively low, the chance of being in the top search results of ecommerce SEO becomes less. This is because for accessing a particular product, search engines usually look for images instead of only text.

Always keep the following points in mind while creating the product description:

  • Create content which can help the customer to make a purchase. Make sure it adds value to the reader.
  • Never copy the product descriptions from other websites. If you are having identical product description to those of your competitors with stronger rankings, it can be near impossible to outperform them.
  • There are different plagiarisms checking software which will help you stay away from duplicated contents.
  • Always evaluate your product description within every 2-3 months, to make sure your SEO rankings are increasing. If it is taking too long, then you should try creating the content or make the necessary changes.
  1. Not having product reviews:

Product reviews can make your content unique and that too for free.

Almost every buyer wants to look for product reviews from experienced customers on online stores and forums before making the purchase. And if you are lagging in that, you will be losing a large number of customers.

From the sellers’ point of view, including user reviews can be scary, as this allows buyers to give negative feedbacks along with the positive ones’. But it can be a blessing in disguise.

Statistics have shown that sites having user review have got better conversion rates compared to those who don’t.

So if you were in the dilemma of whether to include user reviews or not, then it is time that you opt for it as it will help you reach to the top of Google product pages.

  1. Optimizing of product pages based on search demand:

This is a common mistake lots of new e-commerce websites make or those who are having a large number of products.

Most typical product pages are built around a brand and model name. But many times consumers may not be familiar to your brand name.

This brings in the importance of having keyword research for each product page before creating the headlines, titles, product description, etc. 

It should be phrases which are mostly used by consumers when searching for products similar to yours.

A few tips for ecommerce SEO:

  • Use brand names and model numbers in title tags and H1.
  • Fill out the alt text information in images.
  • Avoid stuffing of keywords in your content.
  • Use different keyword tools and make some competitive research to identify phrases used by customers while finding similar products.
  • Creating a blog can also be helpful for capturing the keywords searched for by consumers.
  1. Lacking Keyword friendly URLs

Keyword friendly URLs are those which make your product page unique to the search engines.

These are also known as speaking URLs as these keywords will be representing your product page.

Here are a few reasons as to why you should use keyword friendly URLs.

  • Having friendly keywords makes it easy for the customers to know exactly what they are going to get when they click the URL.
  • If someone else uses your URL as anchor text and repost it on their website, people will more likely click on it as the link explains the page.
  • Google prefers having a relevant keyword within URLs.
  1. Fixing your 404 error pages:

There can be nothing frustrating than to see a 404 error page while searching for a page. It's like going to your favorite restaurant only to find it is closed.

404 error page means your site server cannot locate the requested page or it is temporarily unavailable.404 occurs mainly due to the following reasons:

  • The requested pages have been deleted.
  • The searched products are out of stock or removed from the website.
  • Certain changes have been made in categories or subcategories.
  • Technology or CMS providers have been swapped without correct mitigation process.

It may get reflected in your site rankings. If there is a linking of another site to the URL of your domain that doesn’t exist, you might end up losing some link value.

 Fixing 404 errors can be a pain as new 404 errors are created all the time that are indexed by Google.

To view your e-commerce site errors go to Webmaster tools account>crawl>crawl errors. This will lead you to the list of errors appearing on your site. Check the pages and restore them as required.

Look if there is any incorrect links on your site and 301 redirect pages that no longer exist to other pages.

It could be a good idea to contact your web developer as are equipped with standard methods of dealing with deleted pages or out of stock products.

  1. Common titles for a product:

One of the common ecommerce SEO errors is that webmasters don't use unique title tags.

Page titles speak to the search engine and the potential customers. If you are having multiple identical page titles, it could be hard for search engines to find which pages to recommend.

Creating unique title tags can be a problem. Even search engines are aware of this issue.

One common remedy for this error followed by many sites is to structure your title tag in the following format: Brand/Model/Item type. This little change will differentiate your website from other competitions.

  1. Not having analytics event tracking:

Analytics event script is a JavaScript which will give you user-specific actions like button clicks, link clicks or interaction with videos.

Based on the JavaScript code, this feature gives you deeper insights into the activities to your website. These analytics results will help you to make informed improvements to your e-commerce sites.

If you are unfamiliar to this feature, then you can go through the detailed instructions from Google on how to add Analytics event tracking code to your website.

  1. Implementing planned site redesigns:

Always take SEO into account while redesigning your website. A site redesign helps in beautifying and modernizing a site or to implement changes which can maximize conversions.

Even the well ranked pages might get affected in SEO with poorly planned site redesigns. The content that was pulling in traffic can get rearranged and the results of the past can get lost.

What can probably go wrong?

  • If the key pages that had been pulling large traffic get lost during a redesign, it can lead to the creation of 404 errors. Thus affecting the Page Rank.
  • You might end up having a new URL structure, which means all of the links pointing to the old pages were now pointing nowhere.
  • If during the redesigning of the site you end up adding duplicate content, your site may get algorithmically penalized.
  1. Secure website:

Many customers stop online purchase because of website security concerns. This is seen mainly among the smaller players. They usually fall short of clearing trust indicators that users can trust and know that their information is secure and protected by HTTPS.

Having a digital certificate will provide authenticity for your website and an encrypted connection for sensitive data. And the best part is you can get all this within your budget.

Your secured website will tell your customer that your site is trusted and can securely keep their information.

  1. Checkouts should be hassle free:

The checkout process for e-commerce websites should be a smooth one to avoid SEO errors. If your site is asking customers for unnecessary information, then it may lead to increased abandonment rates.

Keep it simple and easy, so that customers can easily check out.

If you are having multiple checkout pages, you can try the one page jQuery checkout. It will easily allow you to go through the different steps of your account creation/guest checkout, shipping, billing and credit card information all on one page.

If something is good and unique for your customer, it is also good for the search engine. Make your online store convenient and user-friendly for your customers in order to gain their loyalty.

The more they spent time on your site, the less they click back.

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Topics: SEO

Mari Muthu

Written by Mari Muthu