5 Effortless Technical SEO Tips To Enhance Your E-commerce Rankings

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Having a good internet presence is the most important thing for all e-commerce websites to gain business. However optimising your website to rank on the #1 position can often be challenging.  

Usually, an e-commerce site has hundreds or thousands of pages with a wide catalogue and individual pages being build for each product. Applying SEO to every page is practically not possible when you are site is having thousands of pages (products) listed.

A good SEO practice does not start after the website is build but starts from the design phase itself. In reality – SEO is no rocket science! If practised correctly, using the right SEO techniques from the site building phase, it can help you minimise your efforts.

There are some technical SEO tips shared as simple technical SEO strategies that can help your site gain visibility within no time.

Have a look!

1. Solve Faceted Navigation with rel=canonical

Some page looks different but they are having the same content on it and this is how you have unknowingly become the victim of Google Duplicate content penalty. There are some URL Parameters which might attract penalty to your e-commerce site, It’s better to choose right parameters or rel=canonical tag to avoid penalty.

There are generally 3 types of faceted navigation typically used by a large number of e-commerce sites to improve user friendliness—

Sort Orders – Help the users to sort the products from highest to lowest price or vice-versa.

Filters – Checking out the products falling in a particular price range or a product of a particular colour or brand.

Pagination – Showing only 10 products per page from a total of 100 products and splitting it across 10 pages.

Faceted Navigation Example
Faceted Navigation Example

Search engines view these pages as thin or duplicate content. This is what the tag rel=canonical is invented for.

For example, consider these two links from Ethanica, an e-commerce site which sells ethnic wear:

http://www.ethanica.com/collections/kids-wear/kurta-pyjama

http://www.ethanica.com/collections/kids-wear/kurta-pyjama?sort_by=best-selling

Both the links have the same content, the only difference being that the second link is being sorted in the bestselling order. The canonical page should be the one you think is the most important or the one with the most visitors. Here, considering the first link to be the canonical one, you can write the following code in the <head> section of the non-canonical page, i.e., the second link

<link rel="canonical" href=“http://www.ethanica.com/collections/kids-wear/kurta-pyjama”>

This tag will link the page with duplicate content to the main page, thus helping in preserving the link juice which otherwise would have been distributed across the two pages as well as update Google which page search engine should get ranked and not issue a duplicate content penalty.

Some of you may question why not use “no index” in place of canonical. Put simply, it’s true ‘no index’ can also eliminate the problem of duplicate content, but this tag will pass the link juice to all the links on that particular page whereas canonical will pass the rank only to the targeted page, thereby increasing the SEO value.

2. Page Load Speed

Looking at the huge competition in the e-commerce world, page load speed becomes a vital factor. A consumer tends to switch easily if a website does not load fast. 1 to 2 seconds is the average time for TTFB (time-to-first-byte). But this is not all, the whole page needs to load in about 3 seconds in total (including TTFB). If it exceeds, there are high chances of the back button being pressed. Use the following techniques to avoid this situation:

Page Size

The page size is measured in Kilobytes. There are thousands of images on an e-commerce website and using images of a smaller size will make sure that the website becomes lighter and quicker to load.

Lazy Loading

When the next part of the page does not load until the user interacts with it is known as Lazy loading. Only when you scroll down, you will find that that part of the page starts to load. This means that your content which is below the load point are not indexed by Google. Since your content script is invisible to the spider, it will not be indexed hence reducing the load time.

Content Delivery Network

If the customers are from around the world, it is advisable to use CDN (Content Delivery Network). CDN caches the content on the server located in different parts of the world and avoids sending requests to the main server. For example, if the customer is from India, CDN will help to clear his requests on the server located in India rather than using the master server located in the US.

Caching and in-memory technology

This technology temporarily stores the memory of product, customer information etc. on the RAM available on the server, hence avoiding the access of database repeatedly. Accessing data  in memory eliminates seek time when querying the request, which provides faster performance.

3. Mobile Friendliness

Too often we are preoccupied with computers and tend to forget about mobiles. More than 60% of searches are done through mobile devices and so must not be ignored.

responsive-web-design-ecommece-seo

Google on April 21, 2015, has launched a mobilegeddonupdate. According to this

A simple approach to achieve mobile-friendliness is using responsive design. The responsive design makes sure your website maintains its size according to the visitors device. Instead of setting widths for elements, set a percentage. For example, a responsive site could be rewritten as:

#body{

width: 50%

}

Another approach is customising content according to the visitor’s device. In this approach, you will have to code different versions of every page for mobile, desktop and tablet, with the back links pointing to a single URL.

Google now also focusing on AMP pages, People are facing an issue of slow opening sites and they are not able to read is fast so Google launched AMP project and now they are helping brands to get an AMP ready sites, you check this code on GitHub for more insights. Many e-commerce players are opting for an AMP pages for their sites if you want to be one for them check this article, that will help you to understand more about AMP Pages for eCommerce.

4. Page Redirects

Whenever someone accesses your page, that page will send a response of acknowledgement  to the server in the form of redirect codes. The basic meaning of these codes are:

  • 200 – the page works just fine
  • 301 – the page is relocated permanently to a new location
  • 302 – the page is relocated temporarily to a new location
  • 404 – the page does not exist at all

What do you do when a product gets out of stock or expires or is removed from your catalogue and you want to remove that product page from the website? Deleting the page is one option but this will also delete the traffic gained by that page, losing the SEO value. A better option is to redirect this page to a similar product using 301 (Permanent redirect) or 302 (temporarily redirect) depending on your requirement. If you cannot find any relevant product, then deleting the page is the next best option.

If there is a broken or removed link, a 404 Page Not Foundredirect is used. When a consumer sees a basic 404 page, the chances of switching to a competitors website increases.

Now look at the customised 404 page of Tej SolPro. This is built in order to retain the customers.  Though it tells the user that the particular page does not exist, it still provides links to some other pages which the user might be interested in looking at.

404-error-tej-solpro

We will also suggest opting a practice to redirect expired product URL to new product pages or homepage via 301 redirections. This will help you to redirect traffic to new pages as well as retain link juice, ranking and traffic. 301 redirection is always advisable to better SEO.

5. New Products

A new product is added to your catalogue – what do you do? How do you manage it so that it is crawled by the spiders soon and it gets ranked?

Do you resort to bookmarking? Yes, that is one important solution to build faster backlinks. But is that all? No.

To rank new product pages well, a good web and internal link architecture are critical.

Linking the categories from the home page and the product pages from the category levels will ensure that Google spiders crawl and index your content faster.

The bottom line is, E-commerce sites throw unique challenges that are different from other websites, but with proper practices, ranking and visibility can be gained effortlessly. Put these strategies into effect and see your business grow.

If you want all this to happen with your website but it is too much work for you, let us handle this.  

And for those who already know the game, share some tricks which you have implemented by commenting below.

Jaydip Parikh

Jaydip Parikh is Digital Marketer & Founder of Tej SolPro, an Inbound Marketing Company from Ahmedabad, GJ, India. He writes about Blogging, SEO, Social Media, Startup Tips, Digital Marketing insights etc. His Digital Avatar is known as Jaydip Baba. You can follow him @jaydipparikh or connect with him on Facebook.

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13 thoughts on “5 Effortless Technical SEO Tips To Enhance Your E-commerce Rankings”

  1. @jaydip Awesome piece of article that you have written on the Ecommerce Ranking. I have seen people do lots of mistakes in SEO for the Ecommerce.

  2. Hi, Jaydip, very nice article. You have pointed out some good tips to increase the SEO score of a site. I personally follow most of them and really start working on them.

  3. Hey Jaydip,

    We should be conscious of placing appropriate keywords throughout every aspect of our site – our titles, content, URLs, and image names. We need to think about our keywords as search terms, how would someone looking for information on this topic search for it. It’s important for every webmaster their website should be responsive for every browser and compatible with all devices because people can visit our website from anything maybe it can be mobile, tablet, desktop PC, or laptop so make sure of our website should be responsive with all browsers and compatible with all devices.

    People expect some unique stuff that is different from every blog if we will successful in providing unique content or unique product that is different from the others our blog or product will grow up automatically. There is probably no more basic strategy for SEO than the integration of internal links to our site it is an easy way to boost traffic to individual pages, we should make it standard to link back to our archives frequently when creating new content. Social media signals are too much important for SEO. We need to engage our audience on social media group or page as well be friendly with them. A CEO blog is just one element of social media distribution an important SEO strategy according to SEO consult. Eventually, thanks for your great support with your wealthy informative post.

    With best regards,

    Amar kumar

  4. Hello Jaydip,

    Perfect information, and thanks for the connection with resources for reading further.
    Thank you for sharing.

    Cheers!
    Gaurav

  5. Hey Jaydip,

    The page loading time matters a lot from the SEO point of view. Even your visitors won’t like a website with the page loading time more than 2 seconds.

    The use of canonical link is required to avoid the Google penalty. The similar type of the products may consider as duplicate content.

    A mobile-friendly website always wins. Nowadays, people are using mobile phones more than PCs.

    An informative article indeed.
    ~Ravi

  6. Hello kulwant sir I am big fan of you. And daily crawl your blog like google. Sir why you do not write post on regular basis.

  7. Nice listed points to be focused, but what you prefer more site speed or filter functions plugins, because sometimes site speed is really go down because of these kind of features.

  8. Actually I’m working on an e-commerce project lately…
    these tips seem helpful to me…
    I’ll definitely keep them in mind n will try to implement…
    Thanks

  9. your tips are really effective when it comes to rank higher in search engines. There is no doubt that user friendliness which also includes mobile friendliness helps us to not only increase user engagement but also helps to increase search engine ranking.

  10. Hello, jaydip…
    Nice to see your blog with lots and lots of important things covering those blog. I would accept that the page loading time matters more when the user is trying to get about the article.
    I have gone with this problem for a long time and I didn’t get any visitors because of this. After That, I was in the hunt of trying the guide to help out of this. Finally, I found your article which was very useful for me to overcome all my problems during creating my blog.
    I am so great full to you to give a such a post it is really the mobile friendly. Thank you for providing me such blog keeps posting.

  11. First time i learn about “rel=canonical”, now i realise why my post ain’t showing in search engines.
    Thnaks Jaydip Parikh!

  12. Hi,

    Very nice and informatic post. We have developed recently two ecommerce website and we will use your way to promote both site’s on internet.

    Thanking for posting such ideas.

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