Dave Thorpe Head of Business Growth eCommerce and its SEO Flaws eCommerce – commercial transactions conducted electronically on the Internet. These websites have wonderful popularity due to the convenience of shopping from home and the ease at which they are used. For business they are a great tool also due to the attraction of new customers through search engines and also that they can track customer habits to further allow engagement and targeted marketing. These are some of the many benefits that eCommerce can offer, but there is a weakness that needs to be carefully managed and considered. SEO – Search engine optimization is the process of affecting the visibility of a website on search engine’s unpaid results. This is something that eCommerce has a flaw with and the next 3 points discuss this topic. Using Product Descriptions as Provided by the Manufacturer Lots of people will apply the product descriptions that are given to them with the item they are selling. This may not be a problem if what you’re selling is in a niche market. However, if you are selling someone else’s product on your site and use this description out of ease the chances are everyone else selling this product has done the same. This is, unfortunately, detrimental to your site as Google will treat it as duplicate content and filter out these pages of perfectly good content from its results. You need to write new and exciting descriptions (which admittedly could take quite some time), as this is the only solution to this problem. Here’s some useful tips on how to do that. Indiespring’s Tips – Put ‘no-index’ tags on products such as accessories that you do not wish to rank for. Also don’t have 5 pages of the same t-shirt in different sizes, have one page and allow customers to select their choice of size. Keyword Research (or the Lack of in Most Cases). There is no excuse for bad practice and an agency who doesn’t do Keyword Research isn’t an agency worth their salt. This is, however, often forgotten or neglected, as a reason that people jump into eCommerce is for its speed and ease, but this research needs to be done or you will be badly affected- and it is harder to recover than it is to start well! BEWARE! Pirates (not actual pirates with wooden legs and parrots) will come in giving you outdated advice like the density of your keywords and get you to edit your content. Don’t, and re-evaluate your relationship with these people. Here is a great article of this topic to give you more of an idea on why it is important and how to go about it. Indiespring’s Tips – Use brand names and SKU’s in your title tags. This is a must! Begin with professional help if you can! I will stress once again that SEO is sometimes an afterthought but it should be part of your planning and strategy from the beginning. If you do not, the stumbling blocks can become mountains. Not all developers will code with SEO as part of their strategy. This can cause expensive redesigns or redevelops which are things you thought you had already paid for and moved beyond. If you include SEO professionals from day one in the strategy of your eCommerce work you will be able to avoid basic mistakes and save money. Doing this eliminates the need of creating later work and hopefully boosts revenues from your positioning within the search engines. Here is an article by our very own Elliott Parkinson which tells you where your money is being spent on SEO. Indiespring’s Tips – Consultancy from SEO agencies and freelancers isn’t always ‘mega bucks’ and shopping around so you can find people to help you early instead of panicking and paying over the odds later is a better approach. If you would like to know more about what you should be doing with SEO in mind, or need this service, here at Indiespring we have our services team that offers exactly this. Feel free to get in contact to have one of them get back to you and lend a hand.