If you want your customers to find your store on Google, your website should be easily crawled and understood by search engines.
Below are 5 common mistakes that e-commerce websites often fall into when attempting to optimize for SEO. We’re going to give you the short version of them so you can start making changes as soon as possible.
Mistake #1: Linking to canonical product pages
Many stores have product URLs that contain the category the product belongs to. However, one product might belong to more than one category.
This results in many URLs being created and indexed when you need only a single one.
To fix this, remove the category from products’ URLs.
Mistake #2: Keeping outdated pages live
Over time, you might end up accumulating “discontinued” or “out-of-stock” product pages.
This is a bad experience for customers that land on these pages. And it also bloats the number of pages that are being indexed and crawled.
Instead, create a process to manage these page types.
Mistake #3: Legacy redirects and 404
Like “out-of-stock” product pages, “error” pages make it difficult both for customers and search engines to navigate your website.
Identifying 404s is important to prevent slowing down crawlers (thus increasing the time it takes for pages to load).
If not corrected, you’re likely to have higher bounce rates and lower conversion rates.
Mistake #4: Filters generating crawlable parameter URLs
Like the first mistake, this significantly increases the number of pages created that search engines have to crawl. What’s worse is that these pages don’t have much value.
Ensure that parameterized filters are blocked in robots.txt or that internal links to these pages are “nofollowed” to prevent search engines from crawling them.
To fix this, either remove these usually low-value links or “nofollowed” them to prevent them from being crawled.