5 Essential SEO Features for E Commerce Platform
It has been estimated that by 2020, most of the people will shift from TV to Smart Phones. So it is important for marketers to be online and targets their fastest growing audience online rather than offline. In the coming year, it has also been estimated that the entire movie releases, song’s & products will be launched online.
When we talk about consumers, target audiences, etc. How we can forget about the ecommerce, one of the fastest growing online business in India. This is the first part of a picture, and the second part is one of the most important aspects of ecommerce, especially for the marketers at the time of building and marketing their online store.
Choosing an e-commerce builder or custom made ecommerce website to build your online store, it’s important for marketers to consider SEO – Search Engine Optimization, one of the most important and cost effective marketing techniques.
Though you have an experienced team that is handling SEO for your ecommerce, but it doesn’t matter, if your e-commerce store lacks the essential SEO features which can help your store to rank well on search engines in your website, you will be ended up with empty hands.
Being an SEO Company, we know, what are the issues do marketers faced with their ecommerce store; here we have listed top 5 Essential SEO Features for ecommerce builders or custom made ecommerce platform must have. We hope this post will help and make it easier for the marketers to choose whether to go with the e-commerce builder or developing your own website.
The most important file for an ecommerce website, Robots.txt file allows all the search engine bots to crawl your website properly. It tells bots, which pages and directories to be crawled and the one not to crawl. However, most of the SEO’s feel that robots.txt file is not as important. Simply you can put to allow all and this will solve the issue, but this is not the case.
When it comes to ecommerce, there are lot many pages which are important to track a Goals / Conversions like Add to Cart, Thank You Page, Check Out, etc. But when we have a default robots.txt file, which allow the search engine bots to crawl every page, then these conversion pages also get indexed in search engine. So it is difficult to track the actual users who have actually completed the whole process instead of visiting the page directly from the search engine.
So either you can ask you ecommerce builder to provide solution for this problem or either you can develop your own custom made ecommerce website.
Independent Page Titles and URLs:
For an e-commerce store, it is important to have an independent Meta tag’s element for each Category, Sub-Category and Product. Some of the ecommerce platform lack this function and don’t allows you to control Meta tags for each product & sub-category, which means you will have a common title for every page on your website. This will pull you back your website to get rank your products effectively.
Another problem with the e-commerce platform is URL Structure. Most commonly you will find the URL’s like Women-Dresses-catid-1112720-page-1.html instead of /women-dresses.
For SEO, you need to have proper keywords, which need to be targeted on a specific page. If you don’t have a free hand to put Meta tags for each product, you will be not able to reach your target group.
If you are using an e-commerce platform, then you need to make sure that they have Independent Page Titles and URL features inbuilt.
The best solution to overcome with this problem permanently is building your own e-commerce website, which will be custom made. Though it will be costlier but can be very useful for Long Term. Spending building your own e-commerce website is a good idea.
Having an e-commerce website and compete with the ocean level of competition is not an easy task. Normally, e-commerce website lacks text content, thus it is difficult to provide unique and informative content. Even so, this issue can be resolved with an Integrated Blog within your store. Blogging can be your best tactics of marketing. Businesses that blog 11 or more times per month receive two to three times the traffic compared to those who blog less often or not at all.
It can be difficult to have an Internal Blog in a ecommerce platforms but there are some great providers who have these features. You need to make sure the one you have selected do have this feature or not.
Secondly for Custom made e-commerce website this features you should add in your website with customized design, the same look and feel of your website. Here, word press works best for the same simply you can create a directory as /blog and install a word press in it and start editing and posting your valuable content on your website to boost your rankings.
Canonical Tags are the best buddies of the URL’s. It helps you to re-publish your content on any third party website without creating a Duplicate Content Issue. Canonical tag tells the search engine bots that the content which is published on the third party website is for syndication, and the actual URL for the content is here (The URL where the content has been published first time on a web).
Canonical tags are useful for avoiding duplicate page issue which normally an e-commerce website faced. Like different color of a same product. For e.g. Black, T-shirt can be found on t-shirt category, formal shirt’s category and casual category too. Here we can make use of rel=canonical tag to avoid the duplication.
This feature normally absent from the e-commerce website builder platforms. For this you need to have a custom made ecommerce store.
Fan of a wordpress, then WooCommerce (Free Plugin) is an e-commerce platform which converts your wordpress website into a full fledge e-commerce website with all these in-build features that support canonical URL.
Automatic URL Redirects Feature:
This is one of the most important features which e-commerce website must have. We strongly recommend for e-commerce website, especially to have these features in-build. As in e-commerce product keeps on updating so it is important to change the product and creates a different SEO Friendly URL for the newly added product. However, in this process, the URL or the product which we removed it gets completely removed from the website, here the page is already indexed in search engine, which starts giving 404 error page. You can find this in your GWT – Google Webmaster Tool and solving this issue manually really a TDS job.
Figuring out this redirects can be very hectic and time-consuming for this your website should have an redirect management, which will automate this job for you.
There are e-commerce website platforms, which offer this feature as in-built like BigCommerce and Shopify. It will automatically redirect users to your primary domain.
Here we tried to show you how these Five Essential SEO Features your website should have. And also we have discussed about the difference between e-commerce platforms; website builder’s & custom-made e-commerce website development. It totally depends on your budget what platform you would like to go for but for a long run, having your own e-commerce website will be beneficial. At last, what you choose is totally depends on you, but you need to have a platform which supports SEO, if it’s not doing so, then unfortunately your website will lack visibility and there is no point to set up an online store.