Ecommerce SEO Services: 6 Very Common Yet Very Deadly Mistakes

Written by Phil Birss: Group CEO.
· 4 minute read

6 Deadly Mistakes Made By Many An E Commerce SEO Company

Before we talk about ecommerce SEO services think about this. If you want to build a house where do you start? . . The FOUNDATION!

So why then, do I keep seeing time and time again, poorly structured and poorly optimised ecommerce sites that have been “managed” by so called SEO companies?

If your foundation is poor then your structure, be it a building, website or other, will be weak. If your ecommerce site has a poor foundation then simply “link building” to it will usually not be enough for you to claim top rankings for your chosen keywords.

So Ecommerce SEO Mistake Number 1 = Structure (or lack of)

E commerce sites will, by their very nature have hundreds and often thousands of pages and often these do not have any kind of order or structure to them. Does it not make more sense to group relevant products together with a well thought out set of categories and sub categories?

Do you think it will be easier for people to find what they are looking for if your products were grouped together? What about Google. . do you think when the big G crawls your website, that it wants to see the pages of your website grouped together and assigned to relevant categories . . or that it wants everything to be sort of everywhere with no real order to it?

Make sure your product pages are assigned to relevant categories as this will help both the visitor and the search engines to navigate your site which will result in higher conversions and higher rankings . . which will mean more traffic and even more conversions.

Oh one more thing about ecommerce site structure. Often, one product will fit into more than one category. Fine, no problem BUT the structure of this is often another thing that is poorly done. Let me explain:

Below is a sample url. Looks quite neat and relevant what’s wrong with it?

http://www.yoursite.com/category-x/subcategory-name/product-name/

Well the problem is when you put the same product in two different categories.

http://www.yoursite.com/category-y/subcategory-name/product-name/

You now have two different urls for the same product . . hello duplicate content! In case this is all new to you, Google HATES duplicate content and this is a big SEO schoolboy error. Luckily there is a fix to this and that is your web developer can work some of their magic and remove the category bit from the product page urls so it looks something like this:

http://www.yoursite.com/product-name/

This needs to be done correctly though so a trained developer needs to carry out this task unless you are fully competent with tasks such as this.

Mistake Number 2 = Poor Categorisation And Navigation

This is kind of related to the first mistake but I mean this more from a visitor/conversion point of view. Quite simply, if the visitor can’t find what they are looking for quickly and easily, you’ve lost them!

The navigation needs to be well structured, above the fold and easy to use and the same goes for the category pages.

It is also a good idea to have a new products section on the home page so any new product pages can be easily found and indexed quickly by the search engines.

Mistake Number 3 = Lack Of Optimisation

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve come across an e commerce site that has supposedly had an “ecommerce SEO service” yet only has the main pages optimised for the search engines leaving the product pages blank!

No matter how many product pages there are, these should all be correctly optimised for the search engines. Having correctly optimised product pages gives them the best chance of ranking for relevant keywords as many could rank without anything else done to them apart from this basic onsite optimisation. Having product pages ranking for long tail keywords will attract more traffic to your site which should result in more conversions and more money for your business.

P.S Do you think someone typing in “Sony Bravia 32 inch LCD TV” and landing on a page selling these, is more likely to buy than someone typing in “lcd tvs”? . . What if hundreds or even thousands of your product pages were ranking for “buyer” keywords (people typing in the actual product in their search)? . . Starting to see the power of this yet?

Mistake Number 4 = Lack Of Content

One VERY common mistake with ecommerce sites is lack of content. Category pages rarely seem to have content and even product pages don’t often contain more than a few lines.

Most pages should have some sort of useful content on them as this will help a lot with the search engine algorithms and the ranking of your site. Try not to repeat the same content only reworded though.

Content should be unique and relevant to the page not just some useless, churned rubbish that nobody wants to read and that has just been stuck there for the search engine with no thought given to the human visitor.

Mistake Number 5 = Duplicate Content

Notice how I’ve still not talked about “link building” yet? Many ecommerce SEO companies don’t really look much into the structure of your site and simply “link build” and if you’re lucky, post to your blog.

Anyway mistake number 5 is duplicate content. Out of the very few e commerce sites that DO have content on them and a half decent level of content on product pages . . a good number of these actually have duplicate content across the site, usually the product pages. By having duplicate or nearly duplicate content on the product pages, you have just significantly reduced the effectiveness of those pages and their ability to rank in the search engines. Sometimes this can even KILL your chances of ranking those pages.

Mistake Number 6 = Forgetting The Long Tail

When all the ecommerce site structure and optimisation has been completed by the SEO company, a common mistake seems to be to forget about the long tail “buyer” keywords and product pages and simply focus on the very broad “vanity” keywords.

This often involves an onslaught of continuous link building to a handful of higher level pages only. Links are one of the biggest ranking factors with Google but what Google is looking for is “natural” links coming to your site rather than links that have been created simply to try to rank for a chosen keyword.

So do you think it looks natural for an e commerce SEO company to focus all their link building efforts around a handful of pages and keywords? No! So in the long run, this approach can actually hurt your site.

If links are built across the whole site and especially to product pages, it appears far more natural to Google and what actually happens is:

You start ranking for lots of long tail, high converting “buyer” keywords

You get links right through your site (known as deep links) which will increase overall site authority and help to ensure things look natural to Google

The extra authority your site gets actually helps you to rank for the broader, more competitive keywords anyway

The extra authority your site gets enables you to rank for lots of other keywords with a lot less effort

There are many other elements an ecommerce SEO company should consider when setting up a website and digital marketing campaign. The above points are just some of the most common mistakes that we encounter.

“Do You Have An E Commerce Site? A Free Analysis Will Highlight Any “Mistakes” . . Or Give You Piece Of Mind By Highlighting How Good It Is!”