Ecommerce Sites: Get SEO Benefit And More Traffic With These 5 Changes

April 9, 2014By
Dayne Shuda

These changes can improve your ecommerce website’s SEO traffic.

In my previous job I was involved in the retail ecommerce world. It’s incredible the amount of effort that goes into putting a large ecommerce site online.

There is so much content. So many images and links and all kinds of things. It’s incredible to figure out how to get it all working so you can sell products and then you have to worry about optimizing it for search.

One of the biggest SEO challenges for online retailers and ecommerce sites is the sheer size of the sites. When you have thousands and tens of thousands of pages it’s really difficult to make small changes on every one of those pages.

With that in mind I’m going to share a few things I learned during my time that I think will help large commerce sites in terms of getting more traffic from search to various pages on the site.

1. Link To Pages Off Your Site

I wouldn’t say it’s one of the most common questions I get, but a question I hear fairly often is, “Why are you linking to another website? Don’t we want readers to stay on our site?”

It’s a very good question. A link does present visitors with the opportunity to leave your site, but what we find in our work and what I saw even in the ecommerce world is that the benefits of linking to other sites far outweigh any traffic you might lose forever by linking to another site.

The reason you link to other sites is show proof of the claims you’re making. You could cite a study about your industry and use it to help sell a certain product. That links provides proof and the search engines recognize that as well. It might be a small factor, but when you link to quality sites you’ll be associated with those quality sites.

2. Link To Other Pages On Your Site

There is an incredible opportunity link to other pages on your site. You don’t want to go overboard with it, but there is opportunity to link to a number of different pages especially when you have things like products and brands. For example, on a product page you can link to the brand page where there is more information about the brand and other styles found within that brand.

When you write blog posts, which I recommend doing as well, you can link from a product page to a post that you’ve written. For example, write a post like Top 10 Products For The New Year. On your product page you can link to that post saying This product was included in our best of the year list

If you have a popular page that does well in search you can also use that page to help other pages especially new products. Send traffic from popular pages to help promote “New products like this that you might also like…”

3. Name The Images On Your Product Pages

Images can be really tricky with ecommerce. If you have thousands of products you’ll have five, ten or even more times that many images because you need multiple images – in most cases – on each product page. To make it easy to upload those images, numbers are often used to name the images.

Use formulas that use the name of the product on the images. I’ve seen it work with title tags and things like that. Use the same formulas for the images because naming your images makes them easier to search for in things like Google image search.

4. Increase The Size Of Your Descriptions

There are a lot of small descriptions for products on ecommerce sites. Bullet points were popular a few years ago and those are great, but they should be summaries of large descriptions. Put the main points in bullets near the top of your product pages, but include fuller length descriptions below.

Studies have found that pages with more than 1,000 words tend to do better. Now, you can write junk and expect it to do well, but go into detail when you can on products. The more details you include the more long tail traffic you’ll get from search.

It can be easier today because a lot of ecommerce companies are doing videos. Have your video person talk for a few minutes about the product, then pay a transcription service to transcribe it and put that content on the page for the description.

5. Add Reviews And Q&As  To Your Pages

Reviews have proven to be amazing for converting visitors. People trust reviews, both good and bad. And reviews are great for SEO too. Your customers will use their own language in reviews and people like them will search for that language. If all your reviews for a specific product are on the product page those long tail searches will bring in scores of traffic to the page.

The same goes for Q&A sections, which are becoming more common. You can let people ask questions and provide answers for each other. It’s all content that helps your site and you really don’t have to do much more than moderate it all, which can be a big issue, but if you’re getting lots of good content it’s a good problem to have.

These are just a few of the changes you can make to your ecommerce site to tip the scales in your favor. Real SEO experts can do all kinds of things with your website to tweak things and they can help with content strategies and outreach strategies, but I feel the things above can really help to bring in more traffic and convert that traffic to sales.