If an e-commerce site is built well, meaning it can be crawled and indexed easily by Google, the sky’s the limit in terms of your organic search position. You could find yourself ranking competitively for a range of high volume keywords. But if done poorly, you could find yourself at the bottom of page 10.
Below are 4 key aspects of your e-commerce site you should look out for.
1. Product Filtering
Product filtering is a key tool for large e-commerce sites. It can allow users to easily find the correct size, style or price of the item they’re seeking, improving their overall experience on the site. But, if done incorrectly, it can drastically affect the way Google crawls and indexes your website. Usually, filters will create dynamic URL’s (URL’s that contain a query string). These URL’s must be blocked in your robots.txt file, or Google will crawl every potential filter variation, drastically inflating the size of your site and causing Google to reach its crawl limit.
2. Canonical Links
Canonical links give Google a signal of which page is the true version of a group of duplicated pages. For example, if your product is tagged in four different categories, this will mean your product is effectively duplicated in four areas of the site. A canonical link element pointing back to the true product (usually found off the route domain), will stop Google from indexing duplicated pages, which can often cause keyword cannibalisation, making your position in SERP’s more volatile.
3. Image Alt Text
Often forgotten about, but still important, your images can often be another entry point for users. Whether you’re a store specialising in clothing or tiling, your images can catch the eye of users if they appear at the top of a search result. Often only 5-10 images will be shown, so it’s important to have alt-text included in your images so that you’ll not only appear in organic results but also in image results.
4. Site Structure
As we mentioned at the start of the article, Google prefers websites it can easily crawl and index. This means that it’s vital for you to have a good site structure. Part of this includes ensuring that your most important pages are found off the route folder, rather than buried four levels down where Google may search. Internal links (links that point to other important pages), will also help Google to navigate your website.
If you follow these 4 simple points, you could improve your site’s SEO and overall search visibility.