When it comes to an E-Commerce site, SEO is key to helping your business stand out from the rest of the online stores, especially if you sell the same products. Though E-commerce sites might present unique SEO challenges, there are some traditional SEO tactics that can be easy wins to help your website stand out.

1. Optimizing Pagination

Pagination occurs when website content gets split across multiple pages. You will see this most commonly in blogs and E-commerce websites with a large amount of product. It is important to make sure this pagination is optimized because search engines can not index all of your pages. You can also run into duplicate content issues with meta tags, page content and categories.

There are a few ways to handle pagination, each with its own benefits:

  • rel=noindex
    This is one of the more common solutions you may see because it’s one of the easiest to implement. Simply make sure the first page of your pagination is optimized for your keyword and apply the meta tag ‘CONTENT=NOINDEX,FOLLOW’ in the <head> section of ‘Page 2’ and every page after.
  • Show All
    Create a page that shows all products in a particular series. Once you have this in place you can use the Canonical tag (rel=canonical) in the <head> section of every paginated page that points back to the show all page.The only thing you want to be wary of in this case is making sure your ‘show all’ page loads in 3 seconds or less. Longer load times can translate into a bad experience for users.
  • prev/next
    This option is a little more difficult to implement, but can be very useful. Each page in the pagination series will require a rel=”prev” and/or a rel=”next” tag in the <head> section of the page. The first page will only have rel=”next” and the last page will only have rel=”prev”.  Below is an example on how it would work on a page 2.<link rel=”prev” href=http://www.website.com/products/page1>
    <link rel=”next” href=http://www.website.com/products/page3>This is also a good alternative for the ‘show all’ option if your load time is longer than 3 seconds.

2. Create Unique Product Descriptions to Avoid Duplicate Content and Grab Users’ Attention

Duplicate content is a big no-no for any website, but it’s common on E-commerce websites since most businesses simply reuse the manufacturer’s descriptions when adding in a new product. That means that not only do you have the same content as the manufacturer, but it’s the same as every other E-commerce website that sells their products.

While creating your own unique descriptions helps you avoid a Google penalty, it also gives you the opportunity to write compelling copy that will help draw in your customers, keep a consistent brand voice, and function as a great source of material for your marketing campaigns.

3. Use Reviews & Ratings

Simply turning on the reviews and rating system on your website can give you an edge against your competition. When customers leave reviews on your products, it creates unique, user-generated content that will add to the quality of your page. More than likely, they will use good, related keywords in their review that will benefit your website.

Don’t forget to implement Schema markup for the reviews on your website. This will help search engines better understand what the content on the page is all about and use that information to generate rich organic search results to help your listing stand out from the rest.

Patagonia SERP Example

4. Don’t Forget About IMG Alt Tags

One of the easiest and quickest SEO wins for an E-commerce site is to utilize the IMG Alt tags. Alt tags are an alternative description for any images on your website. They don’t show up on your site, but are there for non-visual readers, whether they be human or search engine. Search engines only look at what’s in the code of your website, so for them to identify what an image is, they have to be told.

Here are a few things to remember when creating Alt tags for your products

  • Use plain English, don’t get too technical.
  • Do Not Keyword Stuff – Just keep it simple. (For example: Men’s Stonewash Patagonia Better Sweater)
  • Include a model number or serial number if applicable.

These tips are a great way to get your E-commerce store headed in the right direction when it comes to SEO. If you want to find out more ways SEO can help increase traffic to your website and sales, get in touch!

2016 SEO checklist

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