SEO Checklist for Ecommerce Websites
SEO can result in a huge boost to sales on any ecommerce website if done right. So here’s a handy checklist of what you should have on your retail website to start racking up sales.
#1 Product Description
Product descriptions can be tricky. It’s important as a retailer that you use the right language and set the scene to capture customer attention so make sure you use the correct keywords when describing your product. You definitely want to avoid keyword stuffing, but do try adding variations on a theme of your main keyword throughout the description. Remember to keep the product features in mind as this will definitely influence the user’s experience and try stepping inside your potential customer’s mind to write the perfect description.
#2 Product Reviews
Customer ratings are extremely important for any ecommerce website and can strongly impact the conversion rate. Up to 77% of consumers read product reviews before buying a product – so they have huge potential to influence consumer purchase one way or the other.
There is also a seperate and distinct SEO advantage in having reviews on product pages as they’re additional content and fall under the category of user-generated. You can also use reviews in schema markup to increase your realestate in SERPs.
#3 Fix Duplicate Content
The issue here is anything that appears duplicate or thin on your page. This could range from using the generic manufacturer’s product descriptions; to product descriptions which are unique and both sit on different URLs but refer to the same product.
The first is easier to fix, by investing time in writing unique product descriptions (as we suggested in our first point). The second is a bit trickier as it would mean concentrating multiple product pages into one single page, with the different variations of the product listed as options and never moving away from the original URL. The technical fix to this is to 301 redirect all previous URLs to the new one that hosts all of the variations.
#4 Structured Data
Schema mark-ups are essential for any website, in particular ecommerce websites with reviews on their products. Having structured data code on your product pages allows Google to fetch the star ratings and reviews from that specific product and return them in the SERPs.
Structured data can highly influence your click-through rate and increase the user engagement of your site, because you’re providing useful information to the users before they even land on the site. The added stars also draw the eye to your link in SERPs, as well as increase the size of real estate you have. Those that do click-through will then have much less chance of bouncing off your site.
#5 URL Structure
It’s important to make sure your URLs are structured in a way that make them optimised for search engines and so that they are user friendly. Avoid making them lengthy and remember to include categories for your users so they immediately know where they are on your site. Consider including brand names if you stock products from different manufacturers.
#6 Social Sharing
Make sure you have social sharing buttons on your product pages! This is especially useful if you want your users to promote any specific product or offer. Links to your own social media accounts should also be included and frequently webmasters do forget this. Having a good social following can really help assist you in SEO.
#7 Page Speed
Page speed is very important aspect of ecommerce websites, especially as mobile trumps desktop when it comes to the number of users that use each device. All of your pages should be able to load in 3 seconds or less. Images should be optimised to a size that guarantees speed and here file format is important (consider using .jpg, .png or .gif). Cutting down on the number of plugins installed is also another useful tip to keep your website in top shape.
So, these are the very basic rules of what you should cover to optimise your ecommerce website and guarantee a good experience to your customers. Keep this checklist in mind and you’ll definitely have the fundamentals covered.