Thanks to the rise of e-commerce, even the smallest specialty shop is now able to place its products in front of an international audience of potential customers. But having your voice heard can be difficult – especially with so many shops competing for space and attention in the online search listings. That’s why it’s important that your e-commerce site be optimised for search.

We’re a leading website design company with a strong grasp of SEO and how it should be applied to e-commerce websites. Along those lines, here are a few tips from the experts:

Prioritise unique content

Too many e-commerce pages leave little (if any) unique content on individual product pages. Some pull information from a database and use this to populate the content on the page, so that you end up with very similar blocks of text on each product, with only minor details (indicating sizes, colours, amounts, etc.) setting each page apart.

This is problematic for a couple of reasons. To begin with, search engines don’t like duplicated content, and too much of it is going to result in a penalty (i.e. lower search rankings). But it’s also worth noting that sparse or relatively generic content on your product pages leaves the search engine algorithm scratching its head, so to speak. It has trouble determining how the page is positioned, and this means it’s less likely to serve the page as an option to Internet users searching for relevant products or services.

Ensure that there is plenty of unique content for each product description – enough to offset the default content that already appears on every ‘blank’ product page. This will give your page an SEO boost and will provide visitors with more information when they visit your shop.

Embrace a mobile-first approach

Content marketers and online publishers continue to emphasise the importance of publishing content with mobile users in mind. We’ve also seen a proliferation of terms such as ‘mobile-friendly’ and the increasingly popular ‘mobile first’ mentality. But how does this play into our e-commerce endeavours?

First of all, it’s important to realise that people are not just using their mobile phones to check in with social media, message their friends and read the news. Mobile devices are also playing an increasing role in online purchases.

In fact, this past holiday season, mobile devices accounted for nearly one in five purchases. And just to clarify, that’s one in five of all holiday purchases (and not just those that were completed online). Needless to say, when 20 per cent of all retail revenue is transacted with a mobile device in hand, then it goes without saying that e-commerce marketers need to ensure that their webpages display well on mobile screens.

Flesh out your category pages

You’re best off setting up each category page as an individual home page or landing page through which visitors can discover the various products that fall under this category. Be sure to include plenty of fresh and interesting content on each category page. It’s also important that the URLs are clearly structured so that the search engines can use them to get an idea of what the page is about. All of this works to your SEO advantage.

You can also organise sub-categories according to brand. This gives you a chance to write brand descriptions as well, which can help to ensure that shoppers looking for brands that you carry are able to find you through brand-specific searches.

Pay attention to the URL structure

We alluded to the importance of a sound URL structure above. It’s all too common that e-commerce websites fail to capitalise on this opportunity. Ideally, each product page should have a URL that tells you in plain terms what it’s offering.

Many of the e-commerce themes in use simply use a garbled code to distinguish each page. You can easily override this with a ‘perma-link’ in which you change the URL to something along the lines of the following:

** website.com/category/product-name-with-important-details

This serves multiple purposes. First, it lets site visitors easily tell from the link what they can expect to find on that page. It also makes it much easier for the search engine spiders to index the page. Finally, when other people link to your product page, and the anchor text includes words from the URL (which would be likely in the above case), then that page’s search-engine ranking is going to soar.

At Fallen Leaf Web Design, we excel at creating highly functional e-commerce sites that rank well in searches and lead to more conversions. Contact us to learn more about how we can create a more powerful presence for your e-commerce venture.