E-commerce is a big, booming business nowadays. From online markets to doing business transactions online, almost everyone deals with E-commerce on a daily basis.
According to Barclay’s “Business without borders: treasury in the digital age” report, E-commerce has grown tremendously since the turn of the century:
“One significant change that nearly all companies have had to make since the turn of the century is to develop an eCommerce strategy. Indeed, the growth of eCommerce has been one of the biggest trends, encompassing almost the entire global business landscape. Online sales in the UK, for instance, totalled £133bn in 2016 according to the IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index. This represents an increase of £18bn, or 15.9%, year-on-year.” Says the report.
But building a successful E-commerce website is not easy, especially since there are many competitors on the web also trying to catch the market’s attention. Knowing how to Optimise your E-commerce website so people will see it in search is important to the success of your E-commerce strategy.
Below, we tackle some ways you can use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) techniques on your E-commerce website.
SEO For E-commerce
One might think that Optimising an E-commerce website is no different from optimising a regular website.
This isn’t the case, though.
E-commerce websites are “bigger” than regular websites because it would have a lot more pages than a regular website to give space for their product offerings. And since products come and go, SEO efforts must always be updated when a new product goes up on the website. Also, there’s a risk that product pages will appear as duplicated content for Google’s crawlbots and may put a red flag on your website.
E-commerce websites also have a lot of pictures of the products they will be putting on the website. SEO specialists will need to take this into consideration when building the website to be SEO-friendly since a “big” website + heavy pictures = a recipe for SEO disaster!
Take this, for example:
E-commerce website A has 6 product pages on the website and each product page look similar.
Product page: 1,2,3,4,5,6
Without proper SEO: Google flags Pages 2,3,4,5,6 as duplicates
With proper SEO: Google knows page 1 is original and pages 2,3,4,5,6 are not duplicates
Since the design and appearance of the pages (possibly links as well) are identical, there is a danger that Google will flag these websites as duplicates.
So you will need to do Rel Canonicalization for the product pages so google will not see them as duplicate content and your website won’t be flagged.
E-commerce Website Page Load Speed
Load speed is also a major factor SEO specialists should consider when doing their SEO strategy on E-commerce websites. Since E-commerce websites are bigger and have more images, the website’s overall speed will be greatly affected if there is no proper SEO strategy in place.
One way to reduce load speed in E-commerce websites is to use light data on the websites: images that have a smaller file size but are high quality, less number of site redirects, and minimum use of website plugins. If you apply these on your website, you can expect less drop in load speed.
Website traffic is also another factor SEO specialists need to consider when they Optimise E-commerce websites since this can affect the page’s load speed. The more traffic you have on your website, the higher the chances of having a slow page load time– and that’s never good for an E-commerce website.
This can be mitigated by checking your server/hosting and if there are enough resources on the server to handle the volume of traffic entering your website. Larger websites with lots of traffic should consider getting a private server instead of a shared server for better load speed.
Should You set up an E-commerce Website?
With market attention moving away from the regular brick-and-mortar shops in the malls and towards online shopping, many retail companies have started setting up E-commerce websites to sell their products on the web. This is transforming the business landscape for many as they fight for attention in search engine result pages.
But handling SEO for an E-commerce website is largely different from handling a regular website and requires constant update and monitoring. So if you are deciding to set up your own E-commerce website, make sure you have an effective SEO team behind you to help you out.
E-commerce Websites are a whole different ballgame, so make sure you’re ready for it.