10 Mistakes In Your Online Store - How To Improve Technical Seo With Semalt!
Do you want your online store to bring measurable profits? You need to take care not only of an attractive offer and a wide selection of products, but also of positioning and technical aspects. Check what technical positioning mistakes are lurking for online store owners and find out what you can do to avoid or eliminate them.
Technical SEO errors
'Positioning' includes several activities aimed at achieving high positions in search results, as well as building traffic and sales from Google's organic results. The scope of SEO works also includes technical optimization of the website in terms of the requirements of search engine robots. It concerns, among others:
- adding a page to the Google index;
- creating a site map;
- title, description, H1 headers optimization;
- URL optimization;
- implementation of canonical addresses;
- implementation of redirects (to avoid technical duplication of the page);
- optimization of loading time and website speed;
- adapting the website to mobile devices;
- 404-page optimization.
Check which technical errors in your online store can negatively affect e-commerce SEO. Below are the 10 most common mistakes you can make and how to fix them.
1. You have not added your store site for indexing
For your online store to be included in Google's organic results, you need to add your website's address for indexing. If you do not do this, your website will not be included by robots in the organic search engine results, and content creation or website optimization will certainly not bring the expected results. The lack of SEO effects may also be affected by various crawl errors reported by the free Google Search Console tool. It informs about:
- deleted subpages;
- incorrect redirects.
Solution: What to do to avoid indexing problems? Use the tips below:
- after migrating the store, add the site for indexing, and carry out the migration with the help of an experienced webmaster;
- take care of the implementation of redirects on removed subpages or optimize the 404-page, e.g. by adding products-bestsellers or an internal search engine;
- remove from the website internal and external links that lead to nonexistent or deleted subpages.
2. You haven't implemented canonical URLs
Specifying the canonical URL allows you to reduce the problem of content duplication in your online store and improve the positioning results. If there are URLs on your site that have the same or very similar content, Google's crawlers may consider them a copy, and this can lead to a drop in rank and traffic. Example? If your store has a desktop version and a mobile version, accessible at two different URLs, for Google robots it is a duplication of content.
Solution: If there are URLs on your site that have the same content, specify one of them as canonical. This way, each of the addresses will be available to the user, but robots will only index one of them, chosen by you. If you don't, the robots won't know which version is relevant to you and, as a consequence, can:
- display the address that is of less importance in the search engine;
- omit your site from search results.
By implementing the canonical URL, you make the best use of the potential of Google robots that visit and index only those subpages that are relevant to you in terms of SEO.
3. You are not optimizing the page title or you are doing it in the wrong way
The SEO title of the website is one of the most important factors in positioning. Its improper optimization or its complete absence may affect the fact that your website, despite the investment in positioning, is not visible in Google's free results and does not generate traffic or generate it lower than expected. Why? Because based on the title, Google robots recognize the content of your website. Users see the SEO title in the search results and decide on its basis, whether they will visit your website or not.
Solution: Optimize your SEO title for positioning. Put a key phrase and a call to action in it. Remember that each subpage should have a unique title informing about the content of a given URL, which includes approx. 50-70 characters with spaces. How to construct a title?
- For the product subpage - put the product name and any additional data (model, size, colour, etc.) in the title.
- For the category subpage - put the category name in the title.
- For a blog entry - put the short title of the entry in the title.
4. You are hiding content in the online store
Are some of your content presents in the page code, but not visible to users? This is one of the technical SEO mistakes in the store that can cause a drop in search results or even a filter being imposed by Google. Remember that you create content on the Internet not only for Google robots, but most of all for users.
Solution: Don't hide content in the store - content should be visible to both Google robots and users. Make sure your content includes not only key phrases, but also useful information for potential customers to encourage them to buy.
5. You are not improving the page speed
Low loading time and low website speed may contribute to a drop in the position in organic search results. If your website is slow, an impatient user will probably choose to leave it and return to the search engine. In this way, the bounce rate and traffic will increase, which can lead to drops in SERPs. A long page loading time may make it difficult for the user to checkout and process the order.
Solution: Regularly monitor your online store speed and loading time. You can do this with free tools - PageSpeed Insights or Semalt's Dedicated SEO Dashboard: Page speed analyzer. Once you've entered your website URL, you'll get a detailed report that:
- will inform you about the status of your website in terms of loading speed;
- will tell you what you can do to improve your page speed.
Among the possible actions are:
- compressing graphic files;
- limiting multimedia files to only those that are necessary.
6. You haven't optimized your website for mobile devices
Running an online store in the era of ubiquitous smartphones requires adapting the store's website to operate on mobile devices. If your store doesn't run smoothly on mobile:
- you lose potential customers who would like to make a purchase via a smartphone, but are unable to do so;
- you lower the SEO effects, because, for Google robots, the preferred version of the website is the one that is adapted to mobile devices - smartphones and tablets.
Solution: To meet the expectations of users and Google robots, take care of implementing a mobile or responsive version of your website. In the case of the latter, your website will be displayed correctly on any device, regardless of the screen size. This is the most cost-effective option for new stores. If you already have a store, decide to create a separate mobile version. Then remember to inform the robots which version of the page is canonical. If you want to check if your online store is adapted to mobile devices, use the Mobile-Friendly Test tool from Google.
7. You do not optimize the store in terms of UX (user experience)
Positioning is not everything. With SEO, you improve the visibility of your store in organic search results and attract visitors to your website, but that doesn't guarantee you a conversion. It is equally important to build a store in such a way as to make it easier for the user to navigate through it, make a purchase and complete a transaction.
- friendly and intuitive menu structure and other structures;
- intuitive and easy-to-use website design;
- presenting the user with similar and related products;
- implementation of an internal product search engine and the ability to filter results;
- supplementing product pages not only with content, but also with photos (contextual, 3D, 360).
8. You are not optimizing your URLs
URLs in your store contain dashes, question marks, and other punctuation marks? This is a mistake that can cost you a lot. Google robots recognize the content of a given subpage, among others by reading URLs. Therefore, they should clearly inform what is on a given subpage.
Solution: Edit auto URL in CMS and use "speaking" URLs. Avoid punctuation marks and specify URLs instead by the:
- name of the product category that you present on a given subpage;
- product name;
- blog entry title.
It is a good idea to include a key phrase in your URLs - it can have a positive impact on the effects of positioning your store.
9. You are not using structured data
Structured data is additional elements in the page code that allow you to display additional information in organic search results. If you do not complete them, your website will not stand out from the rest. If you don't implement structured data in your page's code, you could struggle with product information such as:
- available functions.
Solution: Take care of implementing structured data in the code of the page. They may help you improve your CTR (the number of clicks on your link in relation to the number of views). To verify the correctness of Schema.org implementation, use the Google Structured Data Testing Tool.
10. You are not implementing the SSL certificate
If you want to sell on the internet and achieve good SEO results (high positions, high traffic), you need to ensure data security. Although the lack of an SSL certificate affects SEO to a small extent, it can:
- make it difficult or impossible to make a transaction;
- discourage users from paying due to the lack of protection of confidential data.
Solution: Invest in the HTTPS protocol, which will ensure the security and confidentiality of sensitive data, such as online banking login passwords. You do not have to choose the most expensive certificate - all you need is a cheaper certificate, which, however, will allow your customers to safely carry out transactions and pay for orders.
If you want your store to generate traffic and sales, you should avoid technical SEO errors that can affect your e-commerce revenue. Take care of the credibility of the online store, security, and optimization of the website in terms of technical aspects. If you combine these activities with an attractive offer and a wide product catalog, you can count on success.
Nevertheless, if you need to learn more about the subject of SEO and website promotion, we invite you to visit our Semalt blog.