14 SEO Mistakes Even Bigger Ecommerce Sites Make

There is no exception for SEO Mistakes.

Regardless of your industry or niche, if you are selling products online you have to avoid making eCommerce SEO Mistakes because it is going to hurt your sales drastically.

You are thinking! How bad can be website optimization mistakes for your e-commerce business?

biggest ecommerce seo mistakes

I’ve worked with a number of Ecommerce sites on different CMS’s. Whether it’s healthcare product company, clothing, florists, health, and fitness, or multi-brand fashion stores their problem is more or less alike.

It’s more likely that as an online merchant you are listing 100’s or even 1000’s of products and expect a huge traffic pouring to your eCommerce website.

But in reality, the story is the other way round.

Optimizing e-commerce websites for better visibility in search engines and traffic is a bit harder than expectations. Having thousands of product pages cannot assure increased popularity of your e-commerce store in search engines.

Unplanned and un-streamlined SEO results in numerous SEO Mistakes in your e-commerce website leading to not so good usability, search engine visibility and sales. In over 5 years of Search Engine Optimization for Ecommerce websites, I have come across many SEO Mistakes that affects online sales and business badly.

In this article, I’ve listed 15 top e-commerce SEO Mistakes and remedies to fix them. Practicing them ensures better ROI to your e-commerce business.

Ecommerce SEO Mistakes to Avoid and SEO Tips

SEO Mistake #1. Unoptimized/NO Product Descriptions

A number of online stores make this mistake, they don’t bother to add a product description, or the added descriptions are thin, duplicated, or they copy paste the product description from the manufacturer.

Quality product descriptions can only make your product rank for relevant search queries in Search Engines only. The descriptions should be unique, actionable and should not be copied from some other sites, it should add value to the customers finding and should provide the information often searched by shoppers like make, unique traits, size, quality, and other product elements that help customers choose the product.

It will help both search engines to rank your products and customers can buy or can share it with friends. A win-win situation for the site owner.

What should you do:
Invest some time in writing unique product descriptions.
Or outsource the writing task to content writers.
Or make sure your SEO partners does it for you.

SEO Mistake #2. Missing Product reviews

It’s very common behavior of online shoppers now – they go through the product reviews. And if your product fails to the customers’ expectations or you don’t have a product review.

Nearly 70% of users are reading reviews before buying, and lack of product reviews, the bad reputation of product often lead to customer abandonment.

Besides a plus factor in decision making for customers, a product review is one of the best practice of adding valuable and fresh content to your product page leading to more search engine visibility.

Top e-commerce companies like Amazon has huge product review facility somewhere around 15,000 reviews. And it plays a vital part in customer decision-making process.

What should you do:
Encourage Existing Customers to Review you product.
Add a systemic way to markup reviews to showcase in SERP results.

SEO Mistake #3. Not Optimizing Content for Typical Search Queries

While writing the product description or content for your online e-commerce site try to fit yourself in customer’s shoe. Think and optimize the content with things actually people will be searching for.

Make sure you are including search keywords people are searching for in your headlines, titles, and product descriptions. This is a common mistake by online stores displaying a number of products.

What should you do:
Use model numbers.
Use brand names.
Use a relevant image with alt tags.
Don’t use iframes it restricts content from getting found by search engines.
Try to add search keyword in content but don’t stuff keywords.

SEO Mistake #4. Keyword stuffing product pages

Online shoppers navigate to your product page to see more information about the product and expects that the content helps him/him in making the decision. The product description should provide the important piece of information they are looking for.

If they get only keyword stuffed description without the information they were looking for, they will bounce.

What should you do:
Provide user actionable content like sizes, fitting, usable details.
Add search keywords should be added maintaining the natural flow of content and should not be stuffed.

SEO Mistake #5. Lack of image alt text

In SEO, alt-tags plays an important part in image optimization. Search engine crawlers rely on images file names, alt tag descriptions to understand what your image is about.

Often customer’s google images to find more details about products, variations or styles and that can lead them to your product page. It increases your product changes to be the add-to-cart.

What should you do:
Give your product images informative file names and alt tags.
Set up image sitemap for Google – it help Google find and index images easily.

SEO Mistake #6. Duplicate Page Titles

Unique page titles make it easy for Google and your potential customers to know about your page.

Duplicate titles reduce your chances to rank for a wide range of product and that leads to non-indexing of pages & lost customers. Online shoppers often don’t choose pages with duplicate titles.

What should you do:
Analyze your titles in CMS or using tools like Screaming Frog.
Use title templates to keep titles consistent and to remove duplicate titles.

SEO Mistake #7. Badly Formatted URLs

Ready-made eCommerce website builders and software often leads to URLs like this:

http://www.yourstore.com/productid=13333?someother code/1331.

This kind of URLs does not help customers and search engine in understanding the page. It left them to no man’s land and the results are same unsatisfied customers, not so happy SE’s and lost prospects.

Example of good URL: http://www.yourstore.com/men/clothing/ethinic/productname/

What should you do:
Check your e-commerce software capabilities.
Change settings to make URLs user-friendly and easy to understand.
Make a 301 redirection if required.

SEO Mistake #8. Duplicate Content

It is probably the top reasons to extinct of e-commerce websites. Most of the online merchants and e-commerce website owners are not aware of the amount of duplicate content generated through product filtering, in site search, archives, content formatting for print, tags, dynamically generated URLs and more leading to a possible penalty.

Duplicate Content Examples:
http://www. yourwebsite.com / led tv / samsung-tv-led-modelno353
http://www. yourwebsite.com.it/ -led tv / samsung / samsung-tv-led-modelno353
http://www. yourwebsite.com / tv-led / by-32-to-42-inch / samsung-tv-led-modelno353
http://www. yourwebsite.com / products-in-offer / samsung-tv-led-32-ue3dfae

What should you do:
Use Robot.txt to restrict access to duplicate contents tags, archives, and categories.
Use canonical tag and No follow attributes to make sure all indexed content is unique.

SEO Mistake #9. No/Generalize Social Sharing Options

Sites like Pinterest, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon and more plays an important role in building referral and social traffic to your e-commerce store provided you have included option to share your product on social sites, pin it or +1 it.

Analyze your audience and their hangout platforms and accordingly plan your sharing functionality. Leading e-commerce site have perfected this and earning a good revenue from it.

What should you do:
Add social sharing options specific to your audience.
Place it intelligently, don’t dilute the CTA effectiveness.

SEO Mistake #10. No Automated XML Sitemap

Forget to add sitemaps! XML Sitemaps ensures your newly added products, categories, and content gets crawled and indexed efficiently. And not have automated sitemaps may restrict your new products from indexing.

What should you do:
Include automated sitemaps provided by e-commerce CMS.
Or plugins for automated sitemaps.

SEO Mistake #11. Slow page load speeds

It’s been said, “Patience is a virtue”. But it does not apply to the e-commerce business.
Today’s customers are impatience and to keep up with their impatience nature you have to make your e-commerce website blazing fast.

website load speed demand timeline

Web Page loading time has been an important part of any website’s user experience. But now it has become an important factor in search engine rankings. 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.

Stats say a business loses roughly 25% of its online visitors if its site takes over 4 seconds to load. So, if you are not Amazon or Flipkart people are not going to wait for your e-commerce site to load!
You may lose a huge chunk of visitors if you got slow loading web pages.

SEO Mistake #12. Top Reasons for Slow Web Load Speed:

A Limited-Capability CMS

Avoid using general purpose content management systems, if you are the online merchant with big goals in eCommerce market choose e-commerce specific CMS like Magento.

Mediocre Hosting Solutions

To run an e-commerce site successfully you need dedicated hosting solutions – e-commerce sites often means uncontrollable web traffic, large volumes of data, multi-media content, etc. And for that, you need the best hosting.

hosting solutions usage

Large Number of DNS Lookups

A large number of DNS lookups while loading a site affects the total load speed time. Because the site has to request multiple times to the server while loading your website and it consumes time, and increases your web page load time.

Ideally, it should take only one DNS lookup (which is 20-120 milliseconds long on average) to load a page. Prevent this limiting data from external resources as much as possible.

There are many other reasons which are making your eCommerce site slow; here is a list of things which may make your site slow by kissmetrics.com

SEO Mistake #13. Missing Schema Markup

Structured data can help you to send the right signals to search engines about your business and content. Schema Markups is a great way to create more search engine-friendly signals from your e-commerce site, which can indirectly impact search rankings.

rich snippets ecommerce
An e-commerce site benefit from wide range of rich snippet / schema markups such as:

  1. Limited-time offers
  2. Product name & price
  3. Product availability
  4. Review and ratings
  5. Images and Videos
  6. Paid product search

What should you do:
Include schema markups and it will make a different in your online visibility.
Use http://schema.org/ to search and schema to your site.

SEO Mistake #14. Lack of a strong, dynamic CMS (Content management system)

A strong, dynamic CMS can make all the difference between a painful E-Commerce experience and a dream-inducing one. Effective content is essential to engaging prospects and customers. A strong and dynamic Content Management System (CMS) is key to providing a personalized, relevant and satisfying customer experience. No more conventional CMS.

Nowadays a business success is defined by customer touch points, applications, digital engagements and customer satisfaction. Make your customers happy by getting rid of eCommerce website optimization mistakes.


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