The difference between selling a lot of product through organic searches, and relying on traditional advertising is 100% to do with the way your ecommerce website is set up. Small changes to the structure can make all the difference between people finding your product, and customers finding someone else’s.
Before we break down the ways you can pick up eCommerce SEO points, there are a few things that you can do overall to improve your chances of ranking well. First, online ecommerce is all about range of product. Organic SEO can only get you clients if you are selling something that people are searching for. Second having a well structured site can only get you so far. You also need to have a site that looks good, is trustworthy, and will make people want to buy. Lastly, you need to understand the terms people use when they are moving through the buying cycle. When people are researching, they use terms like “best review for mobile phone” but when they are ready to buy, they use terms like “samsung galaxy s”. So your main website should be focussed on the product/narrow terms, and you can use a blog or something similar to go for the early cycle terms.
If you look at your website and your product pages are something like /12311/?cid:1234223, then you are missing out on a big opportunity to pick up some cheap SEO points. Adding pretty URLs means that not only are you directing your customers to the right location when you create links to your site, but also that search engines have a better idea of what the page is about.
URLs include product type and product name
Following on from having pretty URLs, you need to include the product type first, and then the product name for the individual page. This is because people often search for the product type as well as the product name. Also people who are searching for the product name will be ready to buy. This is as opposed to using a generic name for the page or having a category for the base of the URL. For example, you should have /tents/ instead of /camping/ as people will search for tents first.
H1 is Product Name
This is fairly standard on most systems, but having your product name tagged with H1 will also increase the value of that page in relation to the product you are selling.
Product Type Pages
Having category pages is quite standard, but you should also segment your products into type, such as /shoes/ or /paper-cups/ as opposed to /running/ or /restaurant-supplies/. You could use product tags or keywords to do this. Again, the main benefit for search is that people will actually look for “cheap shoes sydney” or “paper coffee cups melbourne” rather than broad terms.
RSS feed of products/reviews
If you can get a website that outputs products to RSS, the you can submit to a range of aggregators and other websites that will direct traffic to you. Google uses RSS for its merchant feed.
Images have product name as ALT/Title tag
Another basic SEO semantic is to have your images correctly labelled. Not only does it help with Google image search, but it also helps with natural SEO. Some systems do this, others you might have to do it yourself. Make sure you are putting in the product name, an not just a generic term. You should also include as many images as you can.
Product description is more than 250 words long
Most ecommerce websites miss out on picking up good SEO points because they write a small vague description. The more you can say about a product the better.
Product description is unique
If you have multiple products that are very similar, then you should do what you can to make sure that each description is as unique as possible. Use the dimensions, the colour etc to make sure there is unique content. Start with the dimensions on one page, and on another start with the features.
Product description has technical accuracies
Some websites have a separate space for technical descriptions. You should build as much into each product page as you can, as people will search for “450w Solar Powered AutoRooter” or whatever it is in your industry, and you will be surprised at what people are actually looking for. The more information you can include about the product’s tech specs, the better.
Product reviews are available
Google “Fresh” has meant that the more information you can include on your site that will update automatically, the better. Product reviews are good, because it will encourage interaction. They are also good from a motivation point of view, because people will be able to see what the real benefits of a product are, rather than just what you say they are.