I have been working on several small ecommerce sites of late. One of these sites is less than four months old and presents unique SEO issues due to the lack of domain authority.
In my last post on adding products to the home page of Magento, I discussed manually creating your store’s home page to closely match the Amazon.com store. Using this tactic could seriously improve your conversions and SEO.
Increased Conversion Rates
Studies have shown that the less clicks a user has to make in order to make a purchase, the more likely they are to complete their purchase. By linking directly to the most popular products from your home page you give a lazy user (all of us) a reason to click a link on your home page instead of the back button.
Amazon.com uses a cookie system that remembers the previous items you bought or browsed and delivers related items when you return to their page. Of course, that system is very complex and would not be viable for the average store owner. However, you know what products your customers are looking for and what products they buy on a regular basis.
I also link to popular categories. For example, on one of my equipment sites, replacement filters are very popular. So, I link to the filter category and to several of the highest selling filters.
Improved SEO For Product Pages
In today’s Google, it is important to rank for as many “long tail keywords” as possible. When I rank well for one of the main targeted keywords, I find that only accounts for 20% of the site’s traffic. By focusing on the 80% of long tail traffic, I have also found the real keyword winners easier to score.
With Google’s recent algo shift, many store owners have found it increasingly difficult to rank for the biggest impact keywords. For example, when the algo shift hit my stores, I was immediately contending with Home Depot, Lowes and Amazon.com. None of which were even in the top twenty previously.
I have altered my tactics to focus SEO on the level of the actual purchase, the product page. Most SEO tactics focused on creating domain authority and passing that authority through the category pages to the product pages. In a market where rankings came easier, it would create a theme or silo effect. With enough work, you could even get site links.
Link from the highest authority page
Adding direct links to the top 40 or 50 pages from your home page passes undiluted link authority directly to the product page, bypassing the category pages. Our goal, is to get as much of this authority passed to the lower level product page as possible.
If my product page ranks number one for “blue widgets for sale”, I will convert more of that traffic into sales compared to traffic to the home page where the user has to click through categories to the actual product page.
Secondly, if my home page ranks well for “blue widgets for sale”, I will convert more traffic by providing a one click funnel from the home page to the product page, bypassing the category pages.
Some common ways to pass link juice to the product pages
You can take my approach or you can use some of these ideas.
- A top ten sellers list
- A top ten featured list
- A top ten referral list
- 20 of the best sellers for the last 12 months
- A new product list (will assist in getting new product pages indexed and ranked quickly)
- Featured product reviews with a link
Recent research has shown the further the page is from the base URL, the less authority it is given. For example, www.example.com/page.html will typically rank better than www.example.com/subdirectory/subdirectory/page.html. With mod-rewrite, you can easily make all of your product pages appear in a higher directory.
Magento has a module that allows you to fix this issue. It helps with duplicate content issues as well. Basically, it puts all product pages in the first sub-directory and uses canonical URL for all other product pages found through the category pages.
If you have any tips for boosting sales for small ecommerce stores, let me know