7 Common Ecommerce SEO Errors and How to Fix Them

7 Common Ecommerce SEO Errors and How to Fix Them

If you have received an SEO audit report of your online store or performed an audit yourself using a tool such as Screaming Frog SEO Spider, you have most likely encountered at least one of the errors discussed in this post.

I usually come across the same errors over and over when auditing the ecommerce websites of my clients. I have listed these errors below as well as explained how you can fix them.

Duplicate meta descriptions

A meta description is a summary of a page’s content which enables the search engine to know what the page is about. This is the text that is displayed under your page’s link in Google’s search results. Online store owners usually do not write their own meta descriptions by hand but rather leave the field empty which then forces Google to automatically extract a part of your page’s text content and use it as the meta description. What can happen here frequently is that Google will pull up text from your menu or any other irrelevant text it can find and then use it over and over on a number of different pages. That’s how you usually end up with duplicate meta descriptions on your website. Another way this happens is if there are multiple versions of a product page indexed in Google (e.g., as a result of category or tag pages).

How to fix:

Noindex /category and /tag pages and rewrite meta descriptions by hand.

Duplicate title tags

Duplicate title tag errors occur when you do not manually edit your title tags but rather let Google do its own thing. This issue can also be caused by Google indexing the same product page multiple times which causes a duplicate content issue. By keeping duplicate title tags on your website, you risk getting your site penalized for duplicate content. Duplicate title tags also cause issues for visitors by making them about unsure which page they should use.

How to fix:

To fix this, you need to rewrite the titles to make them unique as well as noindex duplicate pages or any pages that may be causing duplicate content issues such as category pages and tag pages.

Title tags under 30 characters

Title tags under 30 characters do not provide enough information for the search engines and visitors to understand what the page is actually about. By keeping title tags as short as this, you also obviously miss the opportunity to use any relevant keywords to help you rank the page higher in Google.

How to fix:

Rewrite the title tags by hand to fix this issue and make sure to use at least 30 characters and to incorporate your primary keyword in the tag.

Missing image alt tags

Image alt tags tell the search engine what an image is actually about since the search engines cannot see the image itself but rather rely on the textual content present in the alt tag to know what the image is about. By not using alt tags you miss the opportunity to use any relevant keywords to make your images and page easier to find by visitors.

How to fix:

Add alt tags to all the images on your online store. Try to use keywords and phrases that accurately represent the images’ content.

Missing meta description tags

When a page is missing its meta description, the search engine essentially uses any text it can find on the page as the page’s meta description. This text might be either irrelevant or not enticing enough for the users to click on the page.

How to fix:

Add meta descriptions to all the pages and make sure to use at least 70 characters and less than 155 characters. A good idea would also be to include a call-to-action to increase the page’s click-through rate and conversion rate.

Meta description tags over 155 characters

Meta description tags that contain more than 155 characters usually appear truncated in search results. This frequently results in not showing what the visitor wants to see and forces him or her to click on a different search result.

How to fix:

Shorten the description tags until they are less than 155 characters. Try to keep your primary and secondary keywords in the description and incorporate a call-to-action to increase CTR and conversion rate.

Title tags over 65 characters

Search engines shorten title tags that are over 65 characters, essentially cutting them off, which then misrepresents your page’s content and confuses the visitor who is then less likely to click and open your page.

How to fix:

Rewrite the title tags, making sure that they contain less than 65 characters. Try to incorporate the main keyword that you are trying to rank for in each tag.

Fixing these seven common ecommerce SEO issues can result in a number of benefits for your online store including increased traffic, improved click-through rate and conversion rate as well as lower bounce rate.

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