E-Commerce | SEO

SEO for Ecommerce Websites

Credit cards - Ecommerce

Online shops typically have extensive websites that are continuously updated. As a result, search engine optimization for ecommerce websites is more complex compared to simple brand or informative websites.

In this article you will learn what you should pay attention to when optimizing your online shop for search engines.

Content Optimizations

  • Keyword Research: Like for any other website, keyword research is the first SEO step for your ecommerce website. Focus on brands and product categories that are offered on your website for at least a couple of months. As SEO is a long-term process, results are only visible after 4-6 months. In order to promote short-term offers, search engine marketing is an appropriate measure.
  • Text Content: Text is a fundamental requirement for achieving good search engine rankings. Often overview pages of online shops are relevant landing pages but contain hardly any text. Make sure that you add introduction text on these pages that contain a relevant keyword two to three times. See the following example of an overview page with introduction text from the H&M online shop. 
    H&M Online-Shop: Kategorienseite mit Einleitungstext

On-Page Optimizations

  • URL Structure: Define a URL structure that reflects the website architecture. This helps search engines and especially users to orient themselves on the website. Whenever possible, use static URLs and avoid parameters. You can find more information about optimal URL structure in our SEO tutorial.
  • Meta tags: Title tags, meta descriptions and H1 tags are important places that should contain keywords. To avoid spending months writing your meta tags, we recommend creating templates. A good structure is for example: [product category] – [brand] – [product name] | [shop name]. If we take a Levi’s 501 jeans as an example, this would be: Jeans – Levi’s – 501 Tidal Blue | JEANS.CH. Check and optimize the meta tags manually on the relevant landing pages. 
  • Structured Data: With structured data you can add additional information to your website. Search engines can display this information as rich snippets. Rich snippets have a positive impact on click-through-rates and as a result on ranking positions. You should add the following structured data to your ecommerce website in particular:

    • Products: With this markup you add product details like brand, price or review. The following example shows how such product information can appear in the search engine results.
      Strukturierte Daten für Produkte: Gucci-Parfüm
    • Search Box Integration: Search box integration allows your users to search your website directly in the Google search results. The following example of Hornbach Switzerland shows how this looks in the search results.
      Suchfeld-Integration: Hornbach Schweiz
  • HTTPS: https is an official Google ranking factor. We recommend https if trustworthiness is an important factor, like for ecommerce. Thus preferably use the https protocol for your online shop.

  • Duplicate Content: Duplicate content is bad for SEO. However, on ecommerce websites it is not possible to completely avoid duplicate content. This makes it even more important to apply a transparent practice to deal with duplicate content:

    • Redirects: Redirects are the safest method to avoid duplicate content issues. If there is no reason to provide the same content under different URLs from a user’s perspective, you should implement 301 redirects to the preferred page. Common examples for this are URLs with and without www, with http and https or multiple URLs for the homepage.

    • Canonical Tags: This HTML tag is the best solution for identical pages that need to be available under different URLs, for example because the same product belongs to two different categories. The canonical tag tells search engines which of these pages should preferably be indexed.

    • Hreflang Tags: If you target different countries with different websites that contain the same content, you should use the hreflang tag. This tag tells search engines the language and geographic targeting for the different URLs.

    • URL Parameters: Dynamically generated URL parameters, for example for session IDs, also lead to duplicate content. As they are generated dynamically, there are innumerable variants and none of the other methods can be applied. Configure such parameters in the Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) under Crawl > URL Parameters.

 

Pave the way for good ranking positions by following our SEO guide and the outlined particularities for ecommerce.

Feel free to contact me if you have questions or need support for the SEO optimization of your website.