Uploaded By: Administrator. Added on: 05 February 2011.
Search Engine Optimization for large retail websites (e-commerce) can get complicated with hundreds of thousands of product pages. Even more complicated is the process of getting search engines to index and rank your website content. Amanda Watlington of Searching for Profit shares some of her insights into how to go about optimizing for search engines e-commerce websites.
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Bob Tripathi: Can you tell me how different- I know it is different, but how different is it doing SEO for a retail site versus a regular site?
Amanda Watlington: It's very different, actually. Part of it is the size of the sites. You figure even a small retail site will have hundreds of pages. Most of them are set up where every product has its own page. Therein rests to me, both the biggest challenge and the biggest opportunity for SEO.
Many product retailers do not have adequate content or even have optimized their product pages. They're happy if they can pull specs that are the same specs that you'd find on any other retailer carrying that product. One of the things we focus on, and it has yielded excellent results for my clients, has been building up content strategies for product pages; for product and category level pages.
Very large retail sites also have serious indexing challenges. Here at SES yesterday, I spoke about site maps and how to use them and how to solve some of the indexing challenges, particularly seeing them in large-niche retailers. You will have limited numbers of searches, the packages that they are using, and a limited amount of traffic compared to the huge site. You have a 160,000 page site that is drawing well less than a million visitors a month. That's not a lot of traffic given the size of the site. So you're looking at what I call a "great, trackless dessert" of unvisited pages. But those pages will never sell if they're not in the index. So what do you do with it, and how to you conquer those problems? A lot of it can be conquered through creative use of category-level pages where you drive deeper into the site of the category, but those pages have to be optimized. And sometimes there are problems with the way retail packages are designed; particularly the off-the-shelf retailing packages may not be flexible enough to let you make that kind of customization.
Where I've seen it most effective is where there's the most amount of flexibility and a commitment, frankly. A commitment to creating unique content for every page; keyword-rich content and just managing the volume of keywords for that size of-for those sites. I've recently started using Wordstream just to manage the large volume of keywords and the large volume of keywords we're using on a retail site, and we've seen surprising, amazing traffic results in organic search.