5 Ways to Accidentally Hurt E-Commerce Search Engine Rankings

14 August, 2017    |    E-commerce    |    Traff1k D1g1tal

Organic Search is one of the most important customer acquisition channels. SEO can bring in anywhere from 10 to 80 percent of your overall website traffic, therefore it’s paramount that you avoid any potential e-commerce SEO pitfalls. E-commerce sites that lose search rankings risk going out of business.

Don’t let this happen to you. Here are five common ways e-commerce sites can – and have – accidentally hurt or lost their search rankings.

1. Moving Platforms Without SEO in Mind

Launching a new e-commerce website or switching to a new platform are the most common reasons why rankings tank and sales go down. Perhaps the new site isn’t as SEO friendly as your prior version. Or, when you switched platforms, perhaps you deleted pages and changed URLs without doing redirects. As a result, Google can’t find your new content and pages which it had previously indexed and ranked. Make sure you don’t suffer from a decrease in Search Engine rankings.

2. Restructuring Categories

Many merchants continuously optimise their navigational bar for customers — removing categories, re-categorising them, and merging categories. This is an issue with SEO as the links on your navigational bar share in your link authority of links pointing to your homepage. Your homepage generally has the vast majority of links. So, when you remove categories from your navigation bar, you could subsequently hurt your organic rankings. If you delete a category altogether, or merge it with another category, that category can be removed from Google’s index, therefore dropping the rankings for which that particular page ranks. 

3. Removing Pages & URLs

As mentioned above, if you just start deleting content such as products, blogs, or body content, you leave yourself open to the risk that Google will deindex those pages. If you’re going to delete overall pages, such as categories or CMS pages, then reference the above section on categorisation. Make sure it doesn’t rank for many phrases in Google and doesn’t get much search traffic. If it does, redirect it to a relevant page or do not delete it at all. Deleting pages doesn’t have to be the only option. E-commerce businesses are constantly changing inventory, which creates many opportunities for broken backlinks. If you delete the content on your category pages or product pages, you can be at risk for losing Search Engine rankings as well.

If you’re going to do things like delete content or tags, test it with a few pages first. Don’t just roll out such changes to every page on the entire site. Always be cautious.

4. Not Keeping Up With SEO

A good way to lose your organic Search Engine rankings is to forget about SEO and, more importantly, link building. Links are an important ranking factor, so if you aren’t optimising for them, you will most likely decrease in the rankings.

E-commerce websites are also in this perpetual rat race of getting more links than they lose. It can be difficult for an e-commerce site to gain valuable links because they sell products, and products generally receive a much lower number of links than content. You want to make sure that you are keeping up with your SEO competitors – from broken backlinks to link building tactics and more. Letting things get stale is extremely risky. The competition may eventually overtake you.

5. Hurting the User Experience

A good user experience correlates with better rankings. You need to make sure you’re optimising for user experience. Whenever you do a new website design (or if you haven’t done one in a while), it is good to do a user experience audit to evaluate how you’re doing and see where you can improve. 

If you successfully improve your user experience, consumers will engage more with your website. You will most likely increase your sales, reduce your bounce rate and have a better chance of being linked to.

All of the effort you put into optimising for user experience should help you earn higher positions on Google.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of ways you can accidentally hurt your search rankings. However, if you can avoid these five big mistakes, this is a great starting point.

Get in touch with Traff1k D1g1tal today to discuss recommendations on how to sidestep and correct these common errors or get us to audit your website for a comprehensive review. Traff1k D1g1tal has a proven track record in ensuring that your website ranks higher than your competitors in the important search phrases. We will make certain that no one beats you where it matters.

Article Credit: Search Engine Journal