SEO for Ecommerce Websites and Web Shops

Search Engine Optimisation for ecommerce sites is always a challenge. It is likely that your ecommerce content management software may not be helping much and your other main problem is probably that you are selling the same products as a bunch of other online shops. So how do you get your web shop to have good rankings in the search engines like Google?

First and most important consideration is your website content - how you describe your products

The basic requirements of SEO for the natural searches apply to an ecommerce site as much as any other site. Search engines like:

So if your starting point is to copy content off your suppliers site then you are probably not going to get good search results because your supplier and all your competitors doing the same thing have beaten you to it.

If you are in a hurry to get your products up on your web shop and you choose to slap up the minimum content again you are not going to get good search engine rankings.

There is no quick easy answer - if you want to have any hope of working the natural searches to your advantage you must make sure your web shop products are described comprehensively and uniquely - this means you have to rewrite suppliers product descriptions, you cannot copy the wording provided by the supplier and you cannot skimp on this. Just think about the search engines for a minute - why would they rank your shop highly if your content is virtually the same as 10 or a 100 other sites they are already listing? It takes a lot of time and effort to get this right. Naturally automated feeds or uploads from suppliers data bases or spreadsheets are not going to give you that unique content.

You and your ecommerce CMS system?

I often find online shop owners get their ecommerce software delivered with little help, guidance or training on how to make the best use of the software especially regarding search engines.

Web shop software has improved significantly in recent years. Not so long ago typical online shop software was generally not search engine friendly and often worse than this in that some positively blocked search engines from navigating the sites with complex url's to your products that the search engines could not process. Times have changed and programmers have learnt that they need to build ecommerce systems so:

If you are using a leading shop package then this will probably be fine. I would be more careful if you have a one-off system built for you. But, clearly you need to know how to make the best of the software you have for listing and describing your products.

The important things you need to be able to control are:

These are sometimes completely under your control or they may be generated automatically which may or may not be helpful to your SEO efforts. Personally I prefer complete control as automation often doesn't give the best results.

Then you have the technical means to create a top ranking web site. But what I commonly find is that online shop owners get their (often very expensive) ecommerce system delivered with little help, guidance or training on how to make the best use of the software especially regarding search engines.

Images

If you are using pictures - name them descriptively. This way you are probably adding some useful keywords in the background and you might also get some extra benefit from the Google Image Search. Don't forget to also use the "alt tag" to include a short description.

Some other Ecommerce considerations

Conclusion:

Running a successful online shop requires a lot of time and effort. It isn't a case of - buy an ecommerce website package, slap up some products and away you go. If you want to get good search engine rankings you have to do a better job than the competition to convince google to rank you highly. Copying content from your suppliers isn't going to cut the mustard - you need to craft that content to be unique. Using Google adwords will get your site found but that can be a money pit so you need to control any pay per click campaign carefully.

It is likely that you will have to use every possible marketing angle you can online and offline to be successful.

Regards

Michael Spencer,
michael@epsilis.co.uk
Epsilis - Web Designers and Website Optimisation Specialists
47 Farthing Drive
Letchworth Garden City
Hertfordshire (Herts)
SG6 2TR
UK

If you need help with SEO (search engine optimisation) for your ecommerce online shop give Michael a call now on 01462 674840 or email

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Web Design and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) covering Hertfordshire (Herts) and Bedfordshire (Beds)