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Ecommerce stores need a little extra SEO love than regular content sites. The competition for ecommerce stores is fierce. If you’re just starting out or have a low marketing budget, you’re up against huge brands with thousands of marketing dollars at the site’s disposal. Here are a few tips to help you get a little more visibility from search engines than your competitors.
Always Rewrite Manufacturer’s Descriptions
Search engines want to index original, unique content. Your competitors probably have manufacturers’ descriptions for products, so you need to add something unique to your pages. Always rewrite product descriptions, and avoid copying content from any website.
Use Small Descriptions in Image Alt Tags
The “alt” property in an image HTML tag is used to display text for slow Internet connections. However, it’s also useful for search engines. Google says it uses the content in the alt tags to define content on a page that’s mostly images. Create small content descriptions in your products’ image tags and insert them into the “alt” property.
301 Redirect Discontinued Products to Comparable Products
Don’t delete product pages that no longer exist. Instead, use the server 301 redirect code to redirect users from old product pages to new ones. The redirect also preserves any PageRank (PR) you have, so you don’t lose the link juice.
Navigation is key to engaging users who find your site randomly from a search engine page. When users go back to the search engine and perform another query, it harms your rank. Make it easy for users to find products when they land on your pages.
Customize Your 404 Page
It’s inevitable that you will delete pages at some point in the site’s life cycle. The links are still in the search engines, so you want to customize a 404 page that helps users find a product even when they land on a non-existent product page. Although you should 301 redirect pages, you’ll likely miss some missing pages and a custom 404 engages traffic and saves you from losing traffic from a non-existent page.
Use Rich Snippets
Rich snippets allow you to integrate HTML 5 components in your products. This includes product reviews and ratings. These reviews show up in search engine results. The five-star ratings make you stand out against other sites in search engine results.
Suggest Similar Products
Even if the product isn’t what the visitor wants, you can still make a sale if you sell similar products. Always show similar products where it’s visible to the user after they review the current product page. Similar product pages also help you up-sell.
Display Popular Products on the Home Page
If the current trend is iPhone cases and you sell iPhone cases, place these products on your home page. The home page is usually where returning visitors land, so you want to engage these users immediately. You can also take a count of popular items in your database and display those products prominently.
Secure Pages for Privacy
All shopping cart systems should use SSL certificates. SSL certificates encrypt data from the user’s computer to your server and back again. SSL gives users and search engines a sense of security, which is important for privacy and protection.
Incorporate Responsive Design for Mobile Users
More users shop and browse using tablets and smartphones than previous years. Responsive web design sizes a site for smaller screens, which makes it more convenient for users on mobile devices. Without responsive design structures, you lose out on the booming mobile market and its increasing sales numbers.
These ten tips help you engage users and improve search engine performance. You can also use these with A/B testing, which is a type of marketing tactic that displays different layouts for users to determine which one is more effective.