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SEO Features for Your E-commerce Platform
With millions of category and product detail pages spread across e-commerce sites there are many opportunities for great SEO. However it becomes extremely important that SEO factors are kept in mind while choosing your e-commerce platform.
Webmaster Tools Verification
While performing your first SEO audit on an e-commerce website, there are many key steps that can make your website a success. This will include verification of your website through Google and Bing Webmaster tool. This activity will help you see crawl error; update SEO setting for your website, and more.
Google Analytics Ecommerce
Another important feature is to set up Google Analytics or any other traffic tracking service. This will help you achieve extensive information about the customers shopping behavior.
Once you are done with the above two, its important you set up a dynamic XML sitemap. Setup and maintenance of sitemap become easier if your ecommerce platform is able to create an instantly updated XML sitemap.
It is important that the E-Commerce sitemap is updated regularly as the products get often removed, edited or added to the website. After the sitemap is set up on the site (usually located at yoursite.com/sitemap.xml), it can be submitted to Google and Bing Webmaster Tools as well as other search engines such as Ask and Baidu.
Customized Product Detail Pages—Titles & Descriptions
Having duplicate content on your website is harmful for SEO, hence one needs the ability to edit almost anything on the product detail page. To be able to edit the product page, page titles and meta descriptions individually is critical.
Meta description definitely influences CTRs if not impacting SERP ranking directly. Hence they should ever be generic such as “toys.com offer toys, games and more stuff for kids”.
Instead, a meta description for a product page of a toy car should say something like this “This lovely toy car will keep your kids happy and engaged. Free shipping until January 2013.”
More Product Detail Page Tips
Every product description page offers a wide variety of SEO opportunity which not only helps in increasing website traffic but also online sales. Some of which include:
- Keyword Image Alt tags: Be sure to have the alt tag for the photo on the page, which includes the title of the product.
- Related Products: Use other product titles as the anchor text in a related products section near the bottom of the page that users may be interested in.
- Utilize Video: Besides great photos and content, product description pages could include a video testimonial, review, or overview of the product. For clothing, shoes, and accessories, this can help the customer feel more certain about their purchase because they know what it looks like when held or modeled by a real person.
- Adding social sharing tools, including Pinterest: Pinterest can be a traffic superstar for many ecommerce sites, especially when users pin images that directly go to the description page. Regularly check to make sure the social sharing tools are working (many times, a change in permissions or API logic can cause issues) and make sure the buttons are visible on the page next the image.
- Keyword-Rich URLs: Make sure that the URL structure of product pages includes high-level keywords. For the example above, a good URL would be yoursite.com/men-dresses/grasim-fashion-cocktail or something similar. The URL doesn’t need to include all keywords, but the brand, model, and type is a good place to start.
Don’t Forget the Category Pages
Always remember that there is ample SEO opportunity for category pages as well and your ecommerce platform should support features for category pages that we listed for the product pages:
- Ability to edit page titles and meta descriptions
- Ability to add social share buttons
- Use of image alt tags
- Keyword rich, static URLS
Another important feature you should be looking for, is the ability to add custom text or HTML to category pages. It’s a great way to provide useful text to both visitors and for googlebot.
SEO for an e-commerce website is far beyond installing Google Analytics and adding a keywords meta tag. Hence, it’s important that you choose an ecommerce platform that includes the SEO features you’ll need to succeed.