[Infographic] 10 tips to improve SEO on e-commerce websites

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In our previous articles, we discussed the basics of Search Engine Optimisation and the importance of improving SEO to avoid missing out on impressions, clicks and sales. There are many different elements that need to be optimised on an e-commerce site and of course, with changes frequently made to search engine algorithms as well as your product catalogue, this is an on-going process.

To help you get started, here are some of our top tips to improve SEO for online shops in 2016:


1. Make sure you have a sitemap

Help search engines discover your content with an up-to-date sitemap. Also, ensure that you know how to define page priority so robots know what to crawl first. Don’t forget to verify if your sitemap meets search engine’s specifications using websites such as sitemaps.org.

2. Focus on link anchors

Use internal links to establish site navigation, create content hierarchy and boost your ‘link juice’. Ensure that the hyperlink, anchor/keyword text and appearance are all optimised correctly.

3. Optimise alt-tags on images

Images can help to speak to customers; however alt-tags behind images help to speak to search engine robots. Ensure that alt and title tags clearly describe the image to help you improve your ranking.

4. Research keywords

Well optimised e-commerce websites speak the same language as its potential visitors and customers. Use SEO keyword research tools to find the right keywords to optimise your website.

5. Write unique product descriptions

Enrich keywords and play with the structure of original manufacturer descriptions, or risk having the same content as dozens of other retailers. If your catalogue is too big, at least work on your top products.

6. Keep content fresh

If your catalogue does not change often, try placing promotions at top level to keep content fresh. You should also regularly update category descriptions to ensure that they reflect the latest trends and product searches.

7. Improve page relevancy

Make sure users can quickly navigate your landing pages. Is there a clear description, a product image/gallery, a buy button? If users struggle to find what they are searching for, they will leave quickly, increasing the page’s bounce rate. This will consequently impact your relevancy and therefore your SEO.

8. Work on good site navigation

Making your site easy to navigate also helps to decrease bounce rate. Make sure that users can find exactly what they want and interact with all the visual cues and call to actions you present to them.

9. Improve your website speed

Good search engines don’t like recommending slow pages, so use free tools such as Pingdom or PageSpeed Tools to determine the loading speed for your website.

Tip: In 2016, top websites take no longer than 2 to 3 seconds to load.

10. Keep pages published

It can be tempting to un-publish pages when products go out-of-stock, but un-indexing pages can affect your SEO. Instead, remain present for key search queries while providing a better user experience:

  • Offer similar or related products
  • Allow users to reserve the item
  • Create a redirect to the main product category

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