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Why Don't My eCommerce Product Pages Rank on the Search Engines?
By: Justin Palmer, Wed Oct 17th, 2007
It's a question I hear asked over and over again: "How do I make my product
pages rank in the search engines?" Most e-commerce websites struggle with
ranking their product detail pages due to three factors: duplicate content
penalties, poor internal linking structure, and competition. While nothing can
be done about the last issue, much can be said about the first two.
In this article, I'll share some of the tactics I've used to improve product
page rankings for my customers.
- Internal Contextual Linking: Link to your important product pages
internally from a non navigation link. For example, you may want create a
keyword rich link in the product description of one product linking to another
- Allow Product Reviews: Product reviews are a sure fire way to ensure
your pages are rich with unique content that occurs only on your site. Back when
we were able to view supplemental results on the Google SERPs, I found that
pages that had unique products reviews did not end up as supplemental results.
On the contrary, pages without unique descriptions or product reviews did.
- Use Keyword Rich URLs: Because most ecommerce sites are linked with a
dynamic database, they use ugly url's which contain at least one number
parameter. Convert your category product page URLs into friendly, keywords rich
file and folder names. For more info on URL re-writing, check out this Wikipedia
article. For IIS users, you might want to consider this software from Isapi
- Don't Use Manufacturer Descriptions: Resist the temptation to copy and
paste manufacturer provided product descriptions. Why? Because all your
competitors use them as well. When Google sees multiple pages with the same
content, it will likely favor the site in which the content was published first.
In addition, these stock product descriptions often are not the most well
written from a sales perspective.
- No-Follow Tags in Links: Many sites distribute their internal link
juice in such a way that is not favorable to the product detail pages. In order
for your pages to rank highly, they need to receive a decent flow of PageRank. I
would strongly recommend slapping a no-follow tag on your less important pages
from an SEO perspective (e.g. Privacy, security, about us pages). Just be sure
to link to them from your sitemap without the no follow. For more info on this
tactic, check out this post on the no-follow tag.
- Add Keywords to Title Tag and Meta Tags: It goes without saying that
all your title tags must be unique and contain the product name. However, this
is simply not enough. Create an extra field in your product database where you
can add alternative SEO keywords. Then have these keywords show up in the Title
tag for each product page. For example, while you'll likely never rank for a
high volume keyword search such as "Christian
T shirts", you may stand a chance at ranking for "Cool Christian T-shirts"
if you add those phrases to the title tag.
I hope you'll find these suggestions useful. For more
e-commerce website tips, please checkout the
Palmer Internet Marketing Blog.
Justin Palmer is the owner of PalmerWebMarketing.com and the website
administrator for C28.com, which sells Christian clothing, t-shirts, and
Christian Christmas Gift for Teen.
About the Author
Justin Palmer writes an ecommerce and web marketing blog. You can visit his site at http://www.palmerwebmarketing.com/blog