Why is SEO important for Enterprise eCommerce?
General Search Term: eCommerce Software
Long Tail Keyword Query: PCI/DSS compliant eCommerce software
According to a recent report by the respected BIA Kelsey research firm, an astounding 90% of consumers research a product online using search engines
before making a purchase. While it is very difficult for most enterprise eCommerce businesses to compete for general search terms, long tail keyword queries, which make up 70% of all searches
, is a relatively open playing field for eCommerce websites of all sizes.
Additionally, long tail keyword traffic is proven to convert into sales more often than other types of traffic including general search terms. Typically, long tail keyword terms come from prospective customers further on in the buying cycle or consumers with an intent to purchase. Thus, the key to driving new search engine traffic, and therefore high-converting leads and sales, to your eCommerce portal depends on following these 7 steps.
eCommerce Product Page Title Tags, Meta Descriptions and Header Tags
Title tags dictates to search engines what your page is about. Header tags guide search crawlers through the page, telling them what information is contained within each section. This makes them important for search engine rankings and thus it is a good idea to include targeted keywords in these elements, albeit in a way that looks natural (don't keyword stuff!). Meta descriptions aren't really factored into search engine rankings, but are important for increasing click through rates from search impressions.
Title tags, header tags and meta descriptions are explained in more detail along with visual aids here
as well as in the video above.
ECommerce Catalog URL Structures
Many enterprise eCommerce websites have very dirty, search engine deterring URL structures! Search giants like Google perceive a poor URL structure as detrimental to the user experience, and will detrimentally adjust your search ranking score accordingly. Most URL structures follow this path: Sub-domain>Domain>Folders/Paths>Page. In terms of search engine prioritization, Google ranks keywords in the above URL structure in this order: Domain>Sub-domain>Folder>Path/Page. Therefore, it is important to populate these sections, where feasible, with targeted keywords.
Find out more about SEO friendly URL structures for eCommerce catalogs here.
Overall Website Structure
I've included this in addition to the similar SEO friendly URL structures because the structure of the website as a whole is important as well. This means the way you name, place and call files when a page view actually matters to search engines. A SEO friendly eCommerce website structure includes technical and functional layouts are more important for search engine crawlers than they are for the user experience.
You can learn more about SEO friendly site structure here.
Sitemaps and Robot Texts
These two important website documents exist to aid search engines navigating through your site. Generally speaking, a Robots.txt will instruct search engine crawlers from Google which pages to index and which pages they are forbidden from accessing and indexing (note: malicious bots will ignore this, so do not use it as a security measure). A Sitemap.xml file will basically tell Google which pages on your site are the most important and therefore which pages to pay the most attention to.
A more detailed explanation of the use of Robots.txt and XML Sitemaps for search engine optimization can be found here.
ECommerce Product Page Images: Alt Tags and File Names
Alt tags are what we like to call 'Free SEO.' They are crawled by search engine robots but are invisible to human website traffic, so you can place iterations of your targeted keywords here (for example: eCommerce, e-commerce, e commerce). The same can be said of the file names of the actual image itself. This not only helps the overall search rankings of the eCommerce product page as a whole, but also allows you to try and rank your image in Google image search. To see an HTML example of SEO friendly images, click here.
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Schema.org Rich Snippets for eCommerce Pages
Rich snippets are the flair you see next to some search results. These drastically increase CTRs (click through rates) for your product pages and can contain things like ratings, prices, images and more. This article goes into detail on how rich snippets placed within eCommerce product pages can increase your sales.
Resurrect Dead Product Page SEO with 301 Re-Directs
If you stop carrying a product within your eCommerce website, a 301 re-direct is a great way to save the SEO value of the inbound links that the now dead page had accumulated. A 301 re-direct basically tells Google that page A now equals page B, so Google passes the 'link juice' accordingly. From a user experience and sales conversion funnel standpoint, this is also a great way to show website visitors similar products that they might decide to purchase instead of the item for which they were originally searching.
If you'd like to know more about using 301 re-directs to help your enterprise eCommerce web store achieve a higher SEO score, please click here.
Check out the video above or follow the section links to get more detail on each enterprise eCommerce SEO strategy. Using these seven search engine ranking strategies on your online item pages can drastically increase your traffic from organic search, thereby increasing sales and revenue.