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September 12, 2010

16 Ecommerce SEO Tips to Keep You Ahead

A typical Ecommerce website contains a few hundred pages. An Ecommerce giant like Amazon contains thousands of products and millions of web pages. Optimizing a website like Amazon is not tough; it just requires a strong SEO strategy.

Optimizing an Ecommerce site is slightly different from optimizing a static website. You need to plan and construct your optimization strategy well in advance. This will help save you a lot of time and effort in the future.

16 Ecommerce SEO Tips to Keep Your Website Ahead in Rankings and Traffic

1. Maintain a Uniform and Clean Website Structure: The home page of your website should reflect the product categories; while all the inner pages should follow a common webpage structure.

2. Use a Unique Title Tag: Every product page should have a unique title. An Ecommerce site can contain any number of web pages. You can ask the programmer to code the title from the page content and product name. This makes your SEO more dynamic.

3. Select an Appropriate Keyword: The keywords must be unique for every webpage. They must reflect the important phrases within the webpage content. For an Ecommerce site, you can ask the programmer to select keywords from the content and product name.

4. Create a Relevant Description Per Web Page: The description of a web page is the snippet which appears in the SERPS. Every visitor reads the snippet and then clicks on the search result. It is very important to include a description relevant to the webpage content.

5. Include Breadcrumbs for All Inner Pages: A breadcrumb is like a secondary navigation structure. It helps the visitor to navigate back to the main product category page. A breadcrumb also helps in the internal linking of the website. Overall, including a breadcrumb makes the website SEO friendly.

6. Use a Heading Tag: Searchbots assign a lot of importance to the heading tag. The heading tag is SEO friendly and can be used to format the title of the web page content.

7. Avoid Usage of Flash: Avoid using flash on every web page of your Ecommerce website. This will increase the site loading time. If the use of flash is inevitable, include textual content in the flash. Search engines are capable of reading the text in the flash file.

8. Optimize Images: Add the Alt tag to all the images of your website. Search engines cannot read images. The Alt tag is a means of ensuring that the search engines read the alternate text for images.

9. Optimize Anchor Text: Anchor text appears between the anchor opening and closing tag. It is good practice to use keywords as the anchor text.

10. Create an SEO Friendly URL Structure: The default URL structure of a dynamic website contains parameters. Search engines are not capable of understanding these parameters. A good URL structure must contain words separated by hyphens.

11. Generate a XML Sitemap: A XML sitemap contains all the URLs present in the website and makes it easy for searchbots to find and index all web pages. If the number of web pages on a site is large, you can create a number of XML sitemaps and then submit these sitemaps to Google via Webmaster Tools. E.g. sitemap1.xml, sitemap2.xml.

12. Limit the Number of Outbound Links: Always link to a safe and secure website. If you are not sure about the quality of the website you are linking out to, use the no follow attribute.

13. Submit to Search Directories: Submit your website URL to good quality search directories. Most of the search directories take a few weeks to link back to a site. Fill in the details of the submission form carefully, so that the administrator accepts the submission.

14. Submit to Article Directories and Social Bookmarking Sites: Article submission is the quickest way of obtaining high quality backlinks. You need to select the do follow bookmarking sites and submit the URL to them. Increase in traffic is a plus point of submitting to social bookmarking sites.

15. Integrate a Secure Payment Gateway: A secure payment gateway is the heart of an Ecommerce website. Get a trust seal from Verisign, TrustE, etc. Visitors will be more likely to trust your site and to make an online payment.

16. Track User Behavior with a Good Analytics Tool: You can track and analyze visitor behavior with a good analytics tool. You need to select an analytics tool based on your requirements. If your Ecommerce website operates on a large scale, you can opt for a paid analytics tool. Otherwise you can use a variety of free tools to obtain the best results.

It is very easy to rank well and get quality traffic with these tips. The trick is to maintain the balance of the site being SEO and user friendly.

What steps do you take to optimize your Ecommerce website?

Debbie A. Everson, CEO, experienced SEO Consultants and Search Engine Optimization Agency to over 2,000 small businesses. Learn about search engine marketing, pay-per-click, social bookmarking, and email marketing at our SEO Blog. Follow us on Twitter @searchmar or call 866.885.6263 to speak to a SEO Consultant.

13 Responses to “16 Ecommerce SEO Tips to Keep You Ahead

    avatar david jones says:

    I totally agree with your article. To many website ecommerce owners spend a fortune on their websites. But they think that’s all they have to do then they sit back and wait for customers to flock in to their site. Not the case it takes a lot of hard work to optimise a website. I know as I do all my ecommerce sites myself. A really important thing is to get right is quality backlinks to your site with your keywords in the link for example my site is a online uk gifts and that is one of my main keyword make sure you put that in your link back link.

    Owning a website is on going hard work will reward you.

    avatar David Lakins says:

    A great list Debbie, my only addition would be partnering the site with a blog. We use this technique with a lot of our clients and find we can use the blog to rank for different sets of product keywords whilts linking back to the main e-commerce website that drives sales.

    Debbie, Very nice article it is point 6. is very good most of site maker forget to implement that.

    avatar Jim W says:

    The tip #5 “Include Breadcrumbs for All Inner Pages” is the one I overlook most often especially when doing posts. I should not be in such a hurry, but it is easy to overlook even though it is one of the best ways to help keep a reader on your site! Thanks for the great list.

    Its true that flash is harmfull for SEO but one should know that how to validate the flash. I did many SEO project of only flash based e-commerce sites. All are doing well in SERP. You need to create a dynamic Sitemal.xml here in that place. At the same time try to develope a RSS Feed to give the extra feed to the search bot and always try to minimize the load time of the site. This is very important in recent time.

    Good article and I’d go a step further and stress the point that there is no point in using manufacturer supplied text in your ecommerce site, google has sen it before so make up your own product descriptions or reviews.

    avatar Virtual Character says:

    Good tips! I haven’t tried some of the ones you posted but I will try. Aidan, what do you mean by the manufacturer supplied text?

    avatar Chicago SEO says:

    Good list, but I would be looking for a more complete/advanced linking strategy within a large eccomerce site.

    avatar philgifts says:

    Thank you for this great tips for ecommerce website. Hmm.. from the #14 submit to social bookmarking website.

    I want to know what are the best list of websites should i submit my e-commerce site?

    thank you! again.

    avatar Sunny Makkar says:

    wow this nice resources that you have shared. Thanks for sharing such nice post.

    avatar QR Code says:

    Choosing the right keywords is essential. Title tags are right up there as well. Thanks for the post.

    Where have you been all my life. This information is priceless. Thank you so much.

    avatar Mommy Makeover Cost says:

    Find a keyword with under 50,000 competition and you’re gold. Helps to have the exact match domain too.

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