Many e-commerce sites have common qualities which make them perform poorly on Google rankings. These include large product catalogs which may run in thousands, shallow product descriptions, duplicate content and focus on search-engine rankings rather than users.
There are many ways you can optimize your site to ensure that it escapes the algorithm updates that may still be a mystery to many. The following are ways you can implement to optimize your site and gain tremendously from Google search.
1.Panda Algorithm Updates
Content has to be unique and top quality your site has to be placed on top of ranking results according to the latest Google Panda algorithm update. This means that, copied content as well as low quality content is disregarded by Panda. The PageRank of your e-commerce site depends on certain factors which are regarded highly by Google. These include the page layout, customer experiences, time visitors spend on the site, conversion rates, bounce rates, diversification of traffic and unique product descriptions. Google strives to offer its customers correct ranking results based on these factors so anyone who creates pages targeted at spiders and not users, is penalized and this hurts business.
One of the best ways to benefit from Google Search is to post unique content that is relevant to users. Another way to make the search engine rank your site on top is to encourage your customers to write reviews, comments, ratings and post photos, videos, Shares and Likes on your site. This type of content will generate more traffic as potential customer search queries based on such findings.
2. Eliminate Duplicate Content
Duplicate content which is a major challenge of many ecommerce sites, should be avoided completely. This is because it weakens your chance of being ranked highly by the search engines. In order to minimize delicate content you should:
- Submit keyword-rich URLs to Google and reference them regularly
- Use Noindex elements on product pages you don't want indexed
- Use canonical tags for pages you want indexed and
- Nofollow elements on links you don't want search engines to follow
- Make use of user-generated content
- Ask Google to cancel reused pages that result to duplicate content
- Let Affiliate sites use alternate pages than the ones on your site
When you control duplicate content in addition to other basic requirements, your site has a higher chance of being ranked on top of search engine results.
3. Experiment with Different Types of Content
Google has made it possible for users to search a wide variety of content so you should utilize this opportunity. Create text and images that are catchy so you can make your website more appealing to online visitors. Use title tags, links and alternative tags that have the relevant keyword phrases in them. Use specific words in the titles instead of general terms.
Today, everyone has a chance of marketing their products and compete with the big guys in the market. The marketplace has been leveled by the internet and if only you can work on those small elements that drive e-commerce sites down, you can gain from Google Search regardless of the size of your site. One of the ways to market your small brand is to make your products appear on local news. You will be lucky if your URL appears in the news results because Googlebot will likely crawl on it in Google News.
4. Prioritize your Products
It is important to focus your attention on products that generate sales and revenue. Even in a brick and mortar store not all products sell and this is the same with online stores. Set priorities and focus your marketing strategies on products that sell most. Place them on the homepage or put direct links that lead to these product pages if they are not on the homepage, to make them visually visible. Putting great emphasis on hot items and optimizing them for Google search will be beneficial.
5. Go Google All the Way
To optimize your e-commerce site for Google search you need to utilize Google products especially if this is where you want your site to be ranked. These include Google Merchant Center, Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Google Places and Google + among others. You can post product feeds on the search engine Product Listing Ads PLAs and link the feeds to your AdWords account and this will generate SERP rankings to your advantage.
6. Adopt the Latest Google AdWords Features
There are many features that you need to adopt to get ahead of the competition since many online merchants have not embraced them yet. Better still, the pay-per-click is still low when compared with traditional text advertising costs. These features include Google Remarketing, targeting and re-targeting, pay-per-click PPC and PLAs among others. Google Remarketing enables you to show ads to people who had previously visited your site as they browse the internet in order to catch their attention. Pay-per-click enables shoppers to pay only when they have clicked your ad. You can also create a PLAs campaign if you have an AdWords account and a Merchant Center Account. Visit Google AdWords Center if you have any questions. They have provided instructions of how to utilize these benefits.
7. Google Places
Google Places is vital especially if you have brick and mortar stores. This is because one-fifth of all Google searches are related to finding a location while the majority of consumers (over 90%) search for local businesses on the internet. For best results, list each physical store individually and include the following details-:
- Location and Map
- Business hours
8. Social Media
The use of social media cannot be over-emphasized. Many e-commerce sites have Facebook and Twitter buttons while several brands are displayed on Facebook Fan Pages. However, the recent "Search, Plus Your World" by Google has enabled the search engine to integrate content, photos and reviews from fans on search engine results. This means that, your site now has a better chance of appearing on a potential customer's search query if you utilize this Google+ opportunity.
You need to use schema.org to enable Googlebot to crawl the data. Users expect correct search ranking results as much as is possible. Most of the data available online is consumer-friendly but may not be search engine-friendly. That is why using Schema.org comes in handy.
In addition to adopting the above 10 ways of optimizing your site for search, you need to utilize other channels that will continue generating sales and revenue if Google drops your ranking. Google changes its algorithms from time to time and a site that was up can drop down suddenly. For those who adopt one channel, this can mean loss of revenue and growth, but for those who have known the benefits of diversification, the impact of such changes will be minimal.