As any eCommerce SEO manager knows, technical Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is ever evolving. The best practices we lived by 5 years ago might not be relevant today, and in some cases, may actually become detrimental to a website’s rankings and organic traffic.
Basically, if they can’t read it, they can’t rank it.
It’s ok if you don’t believe me. I can prove it. Keep reading…
In a Searchspring implementation, many customers decide to have their category/collection pages powered by SearchSpring.
Behind the scenes, the process is relatively straight forward:
1. When the page loads, the eCommerce platform outputs the HTML for the category page. You can see this content by Viewing the Source of the page.
This method is ideal, as Google will be able to read the content from the existing cart software
output, as a nice fallback solution in the rare case where the script cannot run.
2. Then click on View Crawled Page. Unless there’s something really wrong with your implementation, you will see the HTML rendered by your JS in the right side flyout.
3. Then go to that URL in your browser and Inspect that page using Dev Tools. The output should be the same as what you see in Search Console.
That means Google is reading the correct version, and indexing your pages properly. And that’s great for SEO.
Tip 2: Importance of Part Numbers for SEO on eCommerce Sites
Often overlooked by companies and SEOs alike is part number (or SKU) search. In particular, if you sell parts, machinery, or other items that have GTINs, including them on product pages is a great idea. We recommend putting them at the end of the Title tag.
While they may not get as much search as their name, they will be very high intent searches.
If someone is searching by SKU, they’ve likely copied it from a digital document (like a pdf product manual) or a competitor’s website and are doing some price comparison.
Along with placing them at the end of the Title tag, you may even want to consider wrapping part numbers in H2 or H3 tags for additional SEO juice. Just make sure your designer styles the elements so they don’t look overbearing on the page.
Tip 3: Cross Linking old Content Clusters on eCommerce Sites
Let’s say you have a set of products, or a category, that has acquired a lot of good backlinks over the years. But now, the popularity of that product is waning, margins have declined, or other reasons have made it a lower priority. It happens.
Before we simply delete that group of pages, or a single category page, we should add in some internal links to newer products or newer categories where it makes sense.
Link to products or the collection pages that need a little SEO push. This pushes some of that page’s authority over to the newer pages from the older ones.
Bonus tip: Be warned. It’s almost pointless to 301 redirect a page not needed anymore to something completely unrelated. Eventually Google will likely just ignore those. However, adding links is just fine, and the pages don’t have to have identical content. They just need to be closely related.
Pulling It All Together
Marketing managers need to do their due diligence prior to implementing technical SEO changes on their eCommerce sites. Hopefully the SEO tips in this article will give you the confidence to stand up a test store and implement enhancements to test out.