11 Advanced eCommerce SEO Techniques That Work

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Every SEO specialist website owner is eager to implement simple yet powerful SEO ideas that will greatly improve their rankings, traffic and sales. We have included in our opinion 11 of the most powerful techniques for ecommerce websites that really work and can bring you significant ROI.

Smart On-Page SEO for Product Pages

Usually the success of an ecommerce website in terms of SEO vary depending on the amount of items on sale. There could be thousands of searches for every product and if you have 100.000 items in stock you can be found by much more visitors than a small website with just a couple of products.

But it’s not enough just to have these product pages, you need to be proactive and optimize (US English) them properly. Here are the most important ideas you can implement:

  1. Product name in Title. Obvious but missed so many times!
  2. Product name in text. Try to add to product name keywords, that people use frequently with products (i.e. “Here you can buy [product name] with free delivery.”).
  3. Product name in an ALT of the product picture.
  4. Product name in URL. Do it at least to craft sweet-looking snippets in search results.
  5. Different pages for different colors. You can’t imagine how many searches people run each day searching for, let’s say, “iphone 4gs black”
  6. Don’t forget about local keywords. Consider arranging your content in a way to try to target local keywords (i.e. “city + product name”). Usually you can do this via adding a tab with delivery information and mention here the most important locations for you in terms of traffic.
  7. Diversify content on product page. It’s hard to create unique products descriptions for thousands of items. But adding an opportunity for users to leave a feedback not only increases user experience, but also improves the content and drives long-tail traffic. Don’t miss this opportunity.

Internal Hyperlinking and a Project Structure

Sometimes it’s possible to improve significantly rankings reconsidering project internal structure. Here are two basic tips:

  1. Categories are based on searches. Users demand goes first! Try to take in account users’ intentions during categories and subcategories planning. Let’s say for a website selling watches online it’s worth to analyze (US English) search demand and create categories for man, woman, kids; elite, sport, fashion etc.;  Swiss, Japanese etc.; Golden, Silver, Stainless etc. etc. etc.
  2. Keyword-rich internal links. Use internal power of the website for your categories and product pages. If the first link pointing to your category is an image, insure that this image has an appropriate ALT text.

Website Indexing

Would you like to start selling new arrivals immediately? It’s worth to implement these advices in order to improve new products indexation:

  1. Direct link to a “New Arrivals” section from homepage or even better sitewide link, let’s say from footer. “New Arrivals” is a search results “quick enter” door for all new items you have. It will be easier for Google to find new items this way than to dig your products directory, because homepage usually is the most spiderable.
  2. Sitemaps and “Smart Sitemaps” implementation. Take a look at 123people.com and their “noindex, follow, noarchive” sitemaps http://www.123people.com/name/COM/a-index.html. Why do they use such a strange meta-tags? Each time Googlebot visits your website it has quite limited time allocated for your site. Try to persuade the bot to visit (“follow”) as many pages as possible without wasting the time “noindex, noarchive”.
Roman Viliavin
Roman Viliavin is the Vice CEO in Promodo SEM Company, European company with a focus on complex Internet marketing approach to online promotion. He has... Read Full Bio
Roman Viliavin
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  • Roman, some good tips here.

    I caution webmasters to be careful when implementing extra pages for SEO (pages targeting different colors, different locations, extra categories, etc.) to be sure the pages aren’t duplicate content, thin content, or more search-focused than user-focused.

    I believe that when you’re creating extra pages to target extra keywords that it’s very important that those pages be very high quality, unique content that is user-focused. (Otherwise, you run a higher risk of getting slapped by an over-optimization, panda, or other quality-related algorithm.)

  • I agree with Adam – creating so called *extra* thin parameter driven pages with duplicated thin pages would just not cut it in todays, post-panda world. Focus on quality content and add the colour/sizing/location options in spiderable text so that Google picks up on them – Google would quite intelligently feature your product in its SERPs

  • Nick Bordeau

    I agree again with these gentlemen. In the post-panda world, you are lining yourself up for a problem down the road by creating closely related pages.

    On top of that why would you want to spread you link profile between two pages when you can have them focus on one? In your example above, why not rank your product for “Iphone 4S* Black” and have both colors on one page? This way both consumers that search “Iphone 4s Black” and “Iphone 4S white” will both find your page!

    Otherwise great refresher for all of us e-commerce developers out here!

  • MUAS

    I think all above techniques are basics, tell something new or different.

  • I think the use of rich snippets should be on that list

  • Larry Engel

    Very elementary stuff… a good primer for novices.

    Watch out with the linking strategy. Not too much internal linking, and don’t forget outbound links to highly authoritative sites. Remember, the whole SEO strategy should be based upon creating a better user experience… otherwise you’ll get penalized for something now or in the near future.

    If you want to go beyond these beginner steps, include: rich snippet hard-coding, Item titles that are an industry standard, item descriptions are unique from competitors, a social sharing strategy with buttons (G+ is huge for SEO!), xml feeds to CSE’s, Google Merchant Center acct with Google Shopping feed (while it’s still free), etc.

    Happy Selling…

  • Working up on Ecommerce website is always a bit different then any other. However, strong onpage and regular linkbuilding can help to get more conversions. Also, it would be much better if you use different colored images for a product on a single page and focus on both Search engine and User Friendly content to generate leads, Creating separate pages would not be a great idea (A thought)

  • No offence, I am just wondering if how the above mentioned 11 techniques are advanced ?
    Mentioning Rich Snippets(authorship, ratings etc ) could have considered as advanced( as pointed by Majuterus)

  • These are hardly “advanced” techniques…modifying the title, alt, URLs, and using categories all fall under “basic” if anything.

    As for creating multiple pages for color variations of a product, that’s just bad advice and will hurt you. A client of mine thought it was genius to load 4k+ pages for every single variation of his products, and Google did not like it one bit. Creating pages like that will get flagged as too “thin” by Google, and will hurt you for sure.

  • If there are site owners who aren’t using the product name in the title, they won’t be around for very long!

    The tip about having separate product pages for each variant is a good one. Though I would be interested to know at what stage you could be at risk from Google Panda when having too much content that is effectively a rehash of other content.

  • separate product pages for each variant is a good one.

  • I agree with mike

  • Alex

    this is not advanced. disappointing…

  • I like the advice on using color. that is a technique that is gorgotton about alot.

  • I also like the part about color i use this technique as well