7 Critical SEO Errors of E-commerce Websites

SEO ecommerce

It’s common for online merchants to think that by simply listing hundreds or even thousands of products on their e-commerce website, search engine traffic will start rolling in. It turns out that is far from reality. Hoe to do seo for ecommerce

The sad fact is, optimizing e-commerce websites for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is much harder than it is for blogs or simple 5 page company websites. By having lots of product pages constantly shuffling on and off the site, numerous problems arise that make SEO very difficult for e-commerce websites.

Today we are going to go over 7 common SEO errors of online stores and e-commerce websites.

1. Lack of Product Description

From my experience, this error usually is made by online gift stores (in the broad sense) and online clothing shops. Unfortunately, the complete lack of a text description of the product virtually puts an end to the chances of the page being in the top 10 of a search engine query, even in the case of low-frequency queries. So be sure to add a description to the item card; do not kill your page’s chances.

Lack of Product Description

For example, these boots. Nothing special, just boots. Of course, the picture speaks a thousand words, but the search engines cannot see images. So make sure to add a description of the product.

A great way to measure how much unique content you need is to measure the default word count of a blank product page. Count all the words that are used in your navigation, sidebar, footer and any text that is present on a blank product page. Make sure your unique text, exceeds that “default” word count in order to have a heavier weight on unique content.

Obviously the more unique content you write for your product description will always be better for your SEO efforts. However, keep the following things in mind:

Only write quality descriptive content that helps your customers make purchasing decisions.
Don’t copy content from other websites. The search engines will penalize you for doing this.
You may want to test what description word count helps with purchase conversion. Too much content might hurt.

2. Using Product Descriptions from Manufacturers

If you want to be filtered by the search engines, just add a description from the manufacturer. This action can guarantee your site will be banned from the search engines.

The thing is that these descriptions are distributed to many online stores. And most of them are leaving the text in its original form. All this leads to a number of pages with non-unique content and filters from Google. To make this an even worse mistake, these manufacturer descriptions are usually not written in a way that sells.

The rule here is: always create unique content. Google has been getting better and better at kicking websites down the rankings because of duplicate content and content scraping.

Now creating unique content for thousands of products or wildly varying inventories can be a daunting task. I’ve been there before. You may want to consider putting a NO INDEX meta tag on product pages that you can’t write unique content for.

If you have thousands of product pages that you either can’t get to, or will be out your inventory in a matter of days, then certainly consider keeping them out the search engines. The point here is you don’t want to have thousands of pages with no unique content compared to only a few that do. What this does is it makes your website look like it has automatically generated thousands of simple webpages to try to gain SEO traffic. That’s exactly what you don’t want it to look like.

It’s much better to keep your SEO in good standing than let it suffer from poorly optimized product pages or a spammy looking content strategy.

3. Lack of Product Reviews

About 70% of buyers are looking for reviews of products on online stores or forums before making a purchase. This means that if your site has no such reviews, you are missing a very large percentage of the audience. Moreover, it is easier for review pages to reach the top of search results than selling pages.

Lack of Product Reviews

Amazon.com has allowed its users to not only buy products, but also leave reviews of books, gadgets, and more. Thus, they have created a whole community of book lovers who share their experiences.

The beautiful thing about product reviews from customers is:

They are creating unique content for your online store and it’s free! We’ve been talking about all the trouble involved by not having unique content and how hard it is to create it. Product reviews solve this problem!
It keeps the product page “living”, which can help to bring the search engines back more often. Anytime you can update your site more frequently, the better it is for your overall SEO efforts.

4. Not Optimizing Product Pages Based on The Search Demand

Be sure to consider the demand and search keywords that people are typing into the search engines when you write headlines, title pages, and product descriptions. Otherwise, you may create a situation in which you are promoting something that no one is searching for. This is a common mistake of stores with a great number of different goods.

For example, you could make a page by mistake that has the title tag, H1 heading and image alt tag information optimized for the keyword phrase “Floral Pattern Scarf”, when it would be much wiser to optimize for a more specific keyword phase such as “Chanel Floral Pattern Scarf.”

With that said, here are some tips to help you better optimize those product pages:

Use model numbers in your title tags and H1 headings.
Use brand names in your title tags and H1 headings.
Don’t forget to fill out your image alt tag information!
Don’t keyword stuff the page with the keyword phrase by repeating it over and over again.
And never, ever, use iframes to display content. Make sure your content actually exists on the product page it is meant to be on.
For more on-page SEO tips, be sure to read our article entitled The On-Page SEO Recipe for Peak Inbound Marketing Efficiency.

5. Non-Unique Titles

Another problem of the large online stores is duplicated title tags. Watch for their uniqueness and try to avoid identical values. It is the school foundation of SEO, but when we are talking about online shopping, for some reason, many have stopped observing this simple rule.

Here is what a title tag looks like if you view the source code of a webpage. This example is from the SEOmoz.org home page:

SEOmoz title tag

It’s difficult to create unique title tags when you sell multiple items from the same brand, or similar items from many brands. You will inevitably repeat the same keywords over and over again. Search engines are aware of this occurrence, and therefore you should focus on making unique key phrases.

A lot of online shoppers are searching for a key phrase oppose to a single keyword. A formula that tends to work well is the “band-model” title tag recipe:

For example your title tag should be structured in this way: Brand – Model – Item Type

Some real life examples could be: “Honda Accord Sports Coupe” or “Burton Aftermath Snowboard 2013″

An important tip for nailing down the right keywords is to survey your customers to see what language they use when they talk about the products you sell. The structure in which they phrase your products will clue you into how they might search for them.

6. Lack of “Speaking” urls

What is a “speaking” url? Here is an example: http://www.readanybook.com/ebook/harry-potter-and-the-prisoner-of-azkaban-65. Speaking urls are also known as “keyword friendly urls”.

lack of speaking urls

We see the name of the book right in the site address. It is very important in terms of SEO to create such a url for all of your products. No more anonymous IDs! Make your profile unique to the search engine with a unique url.

There are only three reasons why you should use speaking urls:

Semantics: It makes it easy for the customer or searcher to know what to expect when they click on the url. If you have an incredibly long url full of numbers and gibberish – it can look spammy and be a turn off.
Keyword and Anchor Link Luck: There is a chance that the URL will be picked up by another website and re-posted. Important keywords will be present in the anchor tag if they url is used as the anchor text. Getting keywords within anchor text that points back to your website is the main driver of getting to the top of search engine rankings.
Relevancy: Having relevant keywords in the URL used to be a big driver for domain names. Google is starting to put less priority on that, however it can’t hurt to have relevant keywords in your urls for product pages..

7. A Lot of Duplicate Content

Pages to print, archives with different sorting elements, tags, and more – all these things, which create duplicates, should not be indexed by search engines and must be closed in robots.txt. This is important because your site can get sanctions because of duplicate pages (especially on large sites such as many online shopping sites).

an example of a lot of duplicate content

This content appears on many pages of a fashion online store.

Here are some tips to trimming down duplicate content:

Use robots.txt to block areas that create duplicate content such as archives, tags and even category pages in some cases.
Use the canonical tag to indicate which web pages are the pages you want indexed. For example, if your shopping cart creates new urls because of reviews or comments (meaning you have more than one page with the exact same content, except one has reviews or comments and the original does not), the canonical tag will tell the search engines which page they should be paying attention to.
You can add nofollow attributes to links that point to areas of duplicate content. However, you have to be extremely thorough at making sure you find every single link that needs to be nofollowed (because Google will find them).
The Golden Rule of SEO – Make Usability a Priority
As you know, Google is a search engine that is very worried about its users and their experience. First of all, you should make your online store convenient and useful for customers in order to achieve its respect. What is good and unique to your clients – it’s good for Google.

The more time people spend on your site, and less they click back to the search results page is a great indication that Google is sending them to the right place.

Finally, people who like your website and what it has to offer are much more likely to link to it – and as we said before, links are what drive you to top the search results page!

What errors in online stores’ search engine optimization have you identified? Please leave them in the comments below.

Ask iubi digital for a Website audit seo ecommerce is very important for your business.

4 Reasons to Spend More on SEO

Why to Spend More on SEO?

Google has made dramatic changes in 2013, with the May 22 Penguin update having the biggest impact for small business websites. After some severe reductions in traffic, some webmasters are at least seeing traffic increases in August due, in part, to a Panda softening from Google.

In response, many webmasters are making big shifts in SEO tactics. While long overdue, this is the right move.

Few businesses are looking to move to lower quality SEO services as they now fear Google more than ever. But small businesses run very close to the margin and traditionally resist increasing the SEO budget, regardless of the consequences. Here are four reasons why small business owners should reconsider.

1. Google Asked You To

While many will dismiss this as PR, Google has clearly communicated that they no longer will tolerate SEO tactics that used to work in 2008. Article spinning, keyword stuffing, excessive bookmarks, reborn domains, paid links, thin content, and duplicate content are all not OK.

Even if you haven’t received an unnatural link warning, the writing is on the wall. Quality must increase for continued success in SEO. While this message is clearly self-serving for Google, it’s important to respect their power in the industry.

2. Recovering From Google Updates is Expensive

There are plenty of websites that have partially recovered from Penguin downgrades, but each case is different. The level of returning traffic varies.

Technical issues on-site are the easiest to fix and should be addressed quickly using Webmaster Tools as the guide. Duplicate content needs to be removed immediately.

Keyword-stuffed titles need to be edited. Thin content, a favorite among many, should be replaced with real content marketing.

Off-site issues, such as bad link building, are particularly hard to fix. It is very ironic that firms now exist to send “link removal request” emails to other firms who were previously retained to build those links.

Small business needs to stop doing bad link building and embrace content marketing. They need to get creative and experiment with newsjacking.

All of these activities cost money. Smart business owners are thinking toward the future and deciding to spend more on SEO now (via higher quality services) to avoid repeating this activity in 2014.

3. SEO Has Merged With Marketing

Many small business webmasters were using a “set-it-and-forget-it” SEO strategy, believing that they need not worry about SEO after hiring a firm. This violates one of the major tenets of business process outsourcing, which is to outsource process and execution, but maintain strict performance monitoring and accountability.

It isn’t surprising that many small businesses are feeling buyer’s remorsFe, wishing they had done greater due-diligence in the vendor selection process and better understood the risks associated with SEO.

It should be clear at this point that SEO is no longer a technical exercise and is rapidly merging with marketing and public relations. Smart CEOs recognize the strategic importance of SEO in our digital world. For this reason, they find ways to amplify SEO in allmarketing activities. Ironically, many companies have SEO opportunities they don’t harness.

For example, every employee should maintain a “work” Twitter account and share industry news, blog posts and company specials to help spread content. This type of integrated SEO marketing execution is the future, and will draw more budget dollars.

4. SEO ROI Remains High

The data suggests that SEO is still a great investment. This means that small business shouldn’t necessarily shop for the cheapest SEO vendor, but consider the return they can make on their money if they spend more on SEO:

  • SEO remains a very high ROI activity.
  • The cost-per-lead for SEO is still very attractive.
  • Google has significantly tightened the requirements for high-quality SEO.
  • Integrated marketing strategies have big efficiencies.

Conclusions

All technologies and industries mature, and price-points typically change dramatically along the way. SEO is following the same playbook as most other young industries.

In the last few years we have seen SEO move from infancy to adolescence, with the Google algorithm updates as mileposts. While SEO will become more difficult and expensive to execute, the return on investment remains high for small business. In the end, ROI is more important than the absolute number of a budget line item.

iubi digital is offering quality SEO services, you will spend more on SEO, but your investment it will coming back to you.

5 SEO tactics to increase blog traffic

SEO tactics Increase blog traffic

It’s easy to build a blog, but hard to build a successful blog with significant traffic. Over the years, we’ve grown the Moz blog to nearly a million visits each month and helped lots of other blogs, too. I launched a personal blog late last year and was amazed to see how quickly it gained thousands of visits to each post. There’s an art how to increase blog traffic, and given that we seem to have stumbled on some of that knowledge, I felt it compulsory to give back by sharing what we’ve observed.

1– Target Your Content to an Audience Likely to Share

When strategizing about who you’re writing for, consider that audience’s ability to help spread the word. Some readers will naturally be more or less active in evangelizing the work you do, but particular communities, topics, writing styles and content types regularly play better than others on the web. For example, great infographics that strike a chord, beautiful videos that tell a story and remarkable collections of facts that challenge common assumptions are all targeted at audiences likely to share (geeks with facial hair, those interested in weight loss and those with political thoughts about macroeconomics respectively).
If you can identify groups that have high concentrations of the blue and orange circles in the diagram above, you dramatically improve the chances of reaching larger audiences and growing your traffic numbers. Targeting blog content at less-share-likely groups may not be a terrible decision (particularly if that’s where you passion or your target audience lies), but it will decrease the propensity for your blog’s work to spread like wildfire across the web.

2 – Participate in the Communities Where Your Audience Already Gathers

Advertisers on Madison Avenue have spent billions researching and determining where consumers with various characteristics gather and what they spend their time doing so they can better target their messages. They do it because reaching a group of 65+ year old women with commercials for extreme sports equipment is known to be a waste of money, while reaching an 18-30 year old male demographic that attends rock-climbing gyms is likely to have a much higher ROI.

Thankfully, you don’t need to spend a dime to figure out where a large portion of your audience can be found on the web. In fact, you probably already know a few blogs, forums, websites and social media communities where discussions and content are being posted on your topic (and if you don’t a Google search will take you much of the way). From that list, you can do some easy expansion using a web-based tool like DoubleClick’s Ad Planner:
Once you’ve determined the communities where your soon-to-be-readers gather, you can start participating. Create an account, read what others have written and don’t jump in the conversation until you’ve got a good feel for what’s appropriate and what’s not. I’ve written a post here about rules for comment marketing, and all of them apply. Be a good web citizen and you’ll be rewarded with traffic, trust and fans. Link-drop, spam or troll and you’ll get a quick boot, or worse, a reputation as a blogger no one wants to associate with.

seo tactics

3 – Make Your Blog’s Content SEO Friendly

Search engines are a massive opportunity for traffic, yet many bloggers ignore this channel for a variety of reasons that usually have more to do with fear and misunderstanding than true problems. As I’ve written before, ” SEO, when done right, should never interfere with great writing.” In 2011, Google received over 3 billion daily searches from around the world, and that number is only growing:
Taking advantage of this massive traffic opportunity is of tremendous value to bloggers, who often find that much of the business side of blogging, from inquiries for advertising to guest posting opportunities to press and discovery by major media entities comes via search.

SEO for blogs is both simple and easy to set up, particularly if you’re using an SEO-friendly platform like WordPress, Drupal or Joomla. For more information on how to execute on great SEO for blogs, check out the following resources:

  • Blogger’s Guide to SEO (from SEOBook)
  • The Beginner’s Guide to SEO (from Moz)
  • WordPress Blog SEO Tutorial (from Yoast)
  • SEO for Travel Bloggers (but applicable to nearly any type of blog – from Moz)

Don’t let bad press or poor experiences with spammers (spam is not SEO) taint the amazing power and valuable contributions SEO can make to your blog’s traffic and overall success. 20% of the effort and tactics to make your content optimized for search engines will yield 80% of the value possible; embrace it and thousands of visitors seeking exactly what you’ve posted will be the reward.

4 – Use Twitter, Facebook and Google+ to Share Your Posts & Find New Connections

Twitter just topped 465 million registered accounts. Facebook has over 850 million active users. Google+ has nearly 100 million. LinkedIn is over 130 million. Together, these networks are attracting vast amounts of time and interest from Internet users around the world, and those that participate on these services fit into the “content distributors” description above, meaning they’re likely to help spread the word about your blog.

  • Leveraging these networks to attract traffic requires patience, study, attention to changes by the social sites and consideration in what content to share and how to do it. My advice is to use the following process:
  • If you haven’t already, register a personal account and a brand account at each of the following – Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn (those links will take you directly to the registration pages for brand pages). For example, my friend Dharmesh has a personal account for Twitter and a brand account for OnStartups (one of his blog projects). He also maintains brand pages on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.
  • Fill out each of those profiles to the fullest possible extent – use photos, write compelling descriptions and make each one as useful and credible as possible. Research shows that profiles with more information have a significant correlation with more successful accounts (and there’s a lot of common sense here, too, given that spammy profiles frequently feature little to no profile work).
  • Connect with users on those sites with whom you already share a personal or professional relationships, and start following industry luminaries, influencers and connectors. Services like FollowerWonk and FindPeopleonPlus can be incredible for this:
  • Start sharing content – your own blog posts, those of peers in your industry who’ve impressed you and anything that you feel has a chance to go “viral” and earn sharing from others.
  • Interact with the community – use hash tags, searches and those you follow to find interesting conversations and content and jump in! Social networks are amazing environment for building a brand, familiarizing yourself with a topic and the people around it, and earning the trust of others through high quality, authentic participation and sharing

If you consistently employ a strategy of participation, share great stuff and make a positive, memorable impression on those who see your interactions on these sites, your followers and fans will grow and your ability to drive traffic back to your blog by sharing content will be tremendous. For many bloggers, social media is the single largest source of traffic, particularly in the early months after launch, when SEO is a less consistent driver.

5 – Install Analytics and Pay Attention to the Results

At the very least, I’d recommend most bloggers install Google Analytics (which is free), and watch to see where visits originate, which sources drive quality traffic and what others might be saying about you and your content when they link over. If you want to get more advanced, check out this post on 18 Steps to Successful Metrics and Marketing.
As you can see, there’s all sorts of great insights to be gleaned by looking at where visits originate, analyzing how they were earned and trying to repeat the successes, focus on the high quality and high traffic sources and put less effort into marketing paths that may not be effective. In this example, it’s pretty clear that Facebook and Twitter are both excellent channels. StumbleUpon sends a lot of traffic, but they don’t stay very long (averaging only 36 seconds vs. the general average of 4 minutes!).

Employing analytics is critical to knowing where you’re succeeding, and where you have more opportunity. Don’t ignore it, or you’ll be doomed to never learn from mistakes or execute on potential.

Source Moz

Request a Proposal

Title: (required): Your Name (required):
Your Email (required): Your Phone (required):

What is your budget?

 Over £10,000 £5.000 - £10.000 £2.000 - £5.000 £500 - £2.000

Enter Your Project Brief