Do you have an ecommerce site and too little organic traffic? Search Engine Land columnist Pratik Dholakiya talked about common mistakes in the search engine optimization of online stores and suggested solutions for them. And the company “Site Aktiv” translated his column for SEOnews.
Not so long ago we talked about [sixteenhighlyspecificSEO-errorsonthesiteswhich we have to deal with in the work and the ways of their solution.
Today we will shift the emphasis to the problems that are most often refer to ecommerce sites, and we will look at problems that are more closely related to strategy and to a lesser extent – with certain technical errors.
Let’s consider (19459005).
Given that ecommerce sites usually offer a large number of goods, their description is, as a rule, is provided by the manufacturer and is short and automated.
Unfortunately, this leads to certain problems in terms of SEO:
- Short descriptions give search engines too little content that you can work with, and this is a problem. After analyzing 1 million search results, Backlinko concluded that content content usually has more efficiency: On average, the page from Google’s Top 10 issue contains 1890 words.
- Automatic, template descriptions can become the cause of duplicate content.
- The descriptions provided by manufacturers are almost certainly used on other sites, that is, your site does not contain unique content. This means that the search engines have no reason to rank your site higher.
Of course, there is not always an opportunity to manually update product descriptions on each page of the site, but the problem can be solved in other ways. If you turn a few of the most significant pages describing the goods into full-fledged landings with selling texts, this can significantly affect the rest of the pages.
The Australian retailer Toy Universe managed to increase the search traffic by 116 % of total for several months. The growth of traffic in turn led to increased sales. And although various measures were taken to achieve the result, the main part of success is related to the optimization of product descriptions.
Simply put, initially there were no unique product descriptions and unique content on the pages of some categories. Their addition decided about the greater part of the problem.
One more classic example – Motor Bookstore.
When Google first released the update of the Panda algorithm the organic traffic of a company specializing in the sale of automotive literature fell by 38.5% overnight. The brand itself is highly valued by customers, but the product descriptions were provided by publishers, which resulted in a complete match with the descriptions on many other sites.
Duplicated content was not liked by Google, and after the update Panda traffic subsided. (Today Panda is built into Google’s basic ranking algorithm ).
Analyzing duplicate descriptions and replacing them with unique content can help solve this problem. If you provide the possibility of filling the site with user content (for example, by publishing reviews), it will also help increase the share of unique content, as is confirmed by the example of Amazon.
2. Lack of user feedback
In addition to the “dilution” of duplicate content, reviews also seem to affect the results of the SERP. It is not entirely clear whether the ranking directly or indirectly depends on them, but there is an influence, and this is an indisputable fact.
Yotpo analyzed more than 30,000 enterprises added user reviews to their sites, and estimated the impact of such a decision on organic search traffic. The results speak for themselves: over the course of nine months after adding reviews, the number of organic views on Google per month increased by 30%.
Site owners may be afraid of feedback, as buyers can publish a negative opinion about the product. However, there is a huge amount of evidence that user reviews improve conversion rates. In fact, ironically, the more diverse the buyers’ estimates, the more the higher the conversion.
If you are in doubt about adding reviews on the site because of fear of negative assessments or the complexity of implementing this mechanism, discard doubts and take this step. The result is almost 100% positive.
3. Lack of optimization for non-branded keywords
Perhaps one of the most common problems is that pages of ecommerce sites describing products / services are simply created without regard to keywords.
A typical page describing The product is dedicated to a specific brand name and model. Of course, some users are looking for specific names, so they need to be included in the title tag and other important elements of the page.
However, some users search for products not by brand or model name, especially when dealing with unknown brands.
For this reason, it is also important to use more general, popular phrases on the pages of your site.
This does not mean that you should not use narrowly specialized keywords. You just need to use the phrases that consumers enter when searching for products similar to yours and go beyond brand requests.
The company White Hat Holsters did exactly the same as a result of which its sales grew by 100%, and search traffic by 400%. Traffic grew from 2000 to 8000 sessions per week in just eight months.
To achieve this result, the company:
- Used keyword analysis tools and competitor analysis to identify phrases that users
- Performed an analysis of metatags descriptions, Alt attributes, URLs, and headers.
- Chose from three to five closely related keywords to direct to specific pages and updated the tops pages to reflect the selected cli- chevye words.
- to create a blog to capture keywords that users use, “have progressed” a little further down the funnel conversion.
4. Too much emphasis on transactional keywords without creating content content
Improving the ranking by using “monetary” keywords is an extremely difficult task. As a rule, the emphasis on such words is a failure strategy, especially if you ignore information requests.
If you shift the focus from transactional to information keywords, you can achieve better positions in the issuance by using less competitive keywords and create yourself more solid reputation in the eyes of search engines.
Ranking less competitive phrases does not just increase traffic for individual requests, but can also improve the overall reputation of the site. Perhaps this is due to behavioral metrics. But no matter what the reason, this effect was observed once.
Darren Demates helped one site selling medical products to dramatically increase search traffic to an incredible 1,780 % with the help of a curious method of working with keywords, which he called the “double jeopardy technique.” The method was as follows:
- Darren received keywords by adding the URLs of the pages to the Google Keyword Planner instead of the standard method for predicting keywords and viewing issued recommendations. He also shifted the focus from transactional requests to information.
- He used SEMrush to determine the “complexity” of keywords recommended by Google’s keyword planner, and then compared the degree of complexity to potential traffic to understand which keywords
- He used the query “site: name of site.com [ключевое слово]” to determine the pages of the site that had the highest ranking potential for the given keyword.
- He searched the forums with the help of dew “inurl: the name of the forum [ключевое слово]” to identify the types of questions that people asked about specific information keywords.
- He supplemented the blog posts on his site with answers to all the pertinent questions he could find on
It makes sense to make notes in the notebook and use these tips in the future. After all, it’s unlikely that you want to miss the opportunity to increase search traffic.
5. Poorly designed redesign of the site
It’s painful to watch.
We all had clients who were too hasty and redesigned the site without consulting an SEO specialist. Also, customers turn after the site update has led to a sharp drop in their rating.
This experience is incredibly painful, because attempts to make the site more modern and beautiful or to introduce changes to increase the conversion can lead to the complete absence of organic search traffic. Only a few things hurt more than situations when you spend a lot of money and get the result opposite to your expectations.
If you decide to redesign the site without taking into account SEO aspects, you will almost certainly become a victim of this situation. Pages that previously had a good rating may be lost; content that previously attracted traffic can be reorganized;
Seer Interactive helped one client who redesigned the site to protect it using HTTPS. As a result, organic traffic fell sharply to a terrifying 75%. The situation was so sad that the pages of the site were not available in search results even when searching for branded requests.
- When redesigning, several key pages were removed that attracted traffic. This led not only to the loss of pages, but also to the appearance of pages with 404 errors.
- The site has a new URL structure, that is, all the links that led to previously existing pages, now lead to nowhere, and all the reputation that the site earned in the past was wasted .
- After the redesign, copies of pages and duplicate content appeared, which may have caused the imposition of penalties on the site.
After correcting the problems and introducing a long-term content strategy, it was possible to increase the search traffic of the site on 435%. This led to an increase in transactions by 150% and revenue growth of 64%. This took half a year.
Do not perform the redesign of the site without involving an SEO specialist. The results can be horrific.
6. Bad transition between ecommerce platforms
It is no exaggeration to say that most ecommerce sites use third-party platforms. This is a mutually beneficial arrangement that allows ecommerce to pay more attention to its core business without being distracted by web development.
Often, sites “grow” from one platform and move on to another because of increasing their market share or changing platforms for access to previously unavailable features. Unfortunately, switching to other platforms sometimes adversely affects the ranking.
In one of the cases examined, the TotalHomeSupply.com site lost 37% % traffic when switching from Volusion to Mozu. Despite the fact that Mozu belongs to the same company and is an enterprise version of the same platform, the transition has led to the emergence of technical SEO problems. (This is not a stone in the Volusion kitchen garden – this can happen with any e-commerce platform if you do not exercise due diligence.)
The decrease in traffic led to a 21% drop in transactions, despite an increase in conversion rate of 24% which could be the Mozu platform.
In addition, they replaced “meager” content, which led to a decrease in positions after updates Google Panda, and created new high-quality content.
This led to a twofold increase in organic profit compared to last year and reaching organic traffic levels that exceeded the rate that was observed before moving to another platform.
As with the site’s redesign, when moving to another e-commerce platform, you need to contact an SEO specialist.
7. Lack of optimization for the most promising keywords
In the section devoted to information keywords, the technique of “secondary attraction” of Darren Demates was mentioned. In addition to the emphasis on information keywords, the success rate of the strategy also lies in the fact that it uses keywords that are already promising.
This article mentions that this method uses the “site:” command for the definition of pages on the site that have good positions for specific keywords.
An interlinked method for identifying keywords is the analysis of available positions for determining those keywords that already have good indicators and making This was done by Digital Current for Sportsman’s Warehouse .
Its specialists determined the pages lying on the surface that had enough good indicators for the keywords, then updated these pages, changing the headlines and content. In addition, they were attentive to those keywords that would become “seasonal” shortly after the changes were made.
They also paid attention to link building and improved site content.
The changes led to an increase in organic traffic to 31% over the previous year and an increase in revenue from organic search traffic by 25%. This is three times the amount spent on the work of SEO professionals.
There are two main methods for optimizing promising keywords. As part of the first, you need to “drive” your URLs through Google’s Keyword Planner, as in the “double-attraction” technique.
The second involves analyzing the ranking of keywords in Google Search Console or another tool (such as SEMrush) to identify keywords that are already displayed at least on the second page. If these keywords have good positions without optimization, they are an invaluable opportunity for capitalization, and you must use it.
The second approach is sometimes called the low-hanging fruit technique.
you should not sacrifice your positions for the sake of more important keywords and, of course, you need to make sure beforehand that the content changes will be useful for users and will not distract from the main idea of the existing page.
Time to apply received information ation in practice!
Do not close the browser tab. Leave it open and take a look at your website. Pay attention to these problems and ask yourself if you have them at the moment.