Kieran Reed

The 7 Most Common SEO Mistakes E-commerce Sites Make (And How to Fix Them)

Posted by to SEO

E-commerce is one of the fastest-growing sectors in sales and online business, and there are many successful companies doing amazing things with their e-commerce store.

Creating an online store and managing your e-commerce means that you’re going to be working with a lot of variables, and when you think about the massive number of tasks you manage on a daily basis, you can be forgiven for making a mistake or two online!

But if you want to get great results from your e-commerce project, you absolutely have to make sure that you’re spending the necessary time on getting the details right. SEO mistakes are not going to do your business any favours, so you need to avoid them entirely if you can.

Is your e-commerce store making any of these seven common SEO mistakes?

Mistake 1: Not Making Your Site User-friendly

While we can all get hung up on SEO from time to time, we need to remember the reason why Google makes SEO such a big priority: they want your users to have an enjoyable experience online. That means that your site needs to focus on your user first and foremost.

Your store needs to be convenient to use, easy to navigate and useful for your customers. If Google sees a person spending a lot of time on your site, and not navigating back to the search results page, then that’s a great indicator that Google has done their job properly.

When your site is user-friendly and offers a good experience, people are more likely to buy from you – and return to buy from you again.

Mistake 2: Missing Out on Product Descriptions

You’d be surprised by how many e-commerce stores out there simply don’t have their product descriptions up to date. While high-quality images are a great thing to have for your products, you need to have concise and accurate product descriptions in place too. Otherwise, it’s going to be very difficult for you to get into the top ten, even if you have low-frequency searches.

Give every product the description it deserves, because this (together with images) is what shows customers exactly what you’re offering. It all ties into creating a great user experience – you need to give people the information they need to know what they’re getting when they buy from you.

Just make sure you don’t copy the product description from the manufacturers. Any kind of non-unique content online can be problematic with your SEO, so make sure that you are creating unique content every time. Google is great at kicking websites down the ranks for non-unique and duplicate content – so don’t be one of them.

Mistake 3: No Product Reviews

Most users are looking for reviews online before they make a purchase. Think about it – how many times have you gone to a restaurant without looking at their reviews online? Or how many times have you bought something online without looking at any reviews at all? Basically never, right?

People trust reviews much more than sales content, so if your store has no reviews online, you’d better get some to give your site authority.

When you have reviews, you scoop up a bigger percentage of the audience, and you also create raving fans who are excited about your product. It’s a win-win! The best thing about product reviews is that your customers are creating free content for you and they’re doing it out of love! When you have organic, customer-contributed content, it keeps your page alive and helps to bump you up the rankings in the eyes of the search engines.

Mistake 4: Not Optimising for Search Demand

You have your Google Analytics, and you’re tracking your goals, but have you thought about the demand that customers have for your products based on keywords? You need to consider what people are looking for in their searches and make sure you optimise your website based on this. Headlines, title tags and product descriptions all need to be optimised, otherwise, you risk creating a site that’s optimised for something no one is searching for.

As an example, you might sell plastic pool toys. Your website, title tags, headings and image alt tags are all optimised for “plastic pool toys”. But – if you look more closely at the keywords being searched, you might find that people are searching in huge volumes for “summer pool toys”. So think about this information and use it wisely, because you could be missing out on a large portion of your market.

Mistake 5: Non-speaking URLs

A speaking URL is one that is keyword-friendly and tells the customer what to expect when they click the URL. There are two main reasons why speaking URLs are so important for your e-commerce site.

Semantics: It makes it easy for the customer to know what to expect when they click on the link. If you have an incredibly long URL full of numbers and code and that says nothing about what the page is about, it can look spammy and be a huge turn-off.

Keyword and Anchor Link Luck: There is a chance that the URL will be picked up by another website and re-posted. If it is, your important keywords will be present in the anchor tag – and keywords that point back to your website are great for your rankings.

Mistake 6: Duplicate Content

Duplicate content is bad for your SEO, and it’s just bad form in general. If you have duplicate pages (whether it’s the product descriptions, tags or archives with different sorting elements), then you either need to fix them or make it so that they aren’t indexed by search engines.

Creating fresh, unique content is always the best way to get around this because duplicate pages can cause serious problems for your rank and your site will, more often than not, get penalised as a result.

Mistake 7: Not Implementing an SEO Strategy

Your SEO strategy is the backbone of all that you do online. It’s never too late to make an investment in your SEO, and if you are making any of these mistakes with your e-commerce site, then you either need to take the time to fix up your site or get the professionals on side to do it for you.

Good SEO will do wonders for your e-commerce store, and the sooner you put it to work for your site, the sooner you can start reaping the benefits!