When it comes to e-commerce SEO at scale, many of the traditional tactics used for on-site optimization simply aren’t feasible.
How are you going to write individually optimized titles/meta descriptions for hundreds of thousands of products?
How are you going to perform keyword research for the millions of different keyword combinations your products might rank for?
Because of the large scale of many e-commerce sites, traditional SEO tactics may simply be too time-intensive or tedious to make a top priority.
On top of the time commitment that would be required for traditional SEO, e-commerce sites tend to present a unique set of SEO hurdles that need to be addressed.
Take crawl budget, for example. For an average website — anything under a few thousand URLs — crawl budget isn’t an issue, as these sites will generally be crawled efficiently.
However, we’ve worked with e-commerce sites that have millions of URLs. For sites that large, crawl budget becomes a crucial part of SEO.
Having perfectly optimized pages is much less important than making sure all of your products are being crawled and indexed by the search engines.
From our work with e-commerce clients, we’ve identified five areas for e-commerce SEO that can lead to strong organic traffic and revenue growth:
Main menu navigation
On-page copy for category pages
Let’s dig into each of these now.
1. Site indexation
As mentioned above, crawl budget is a crucial consideration for large e-commerce sites.
All of the on-site optimization in the world won’t help your site if Googlebot and other crawlers aren’t finding your content in the first place.
There are a few tactics you can employ to improve your site indexation. One is to review the number of 5xx server errors your site returns in Google Search Console.
Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes recently wrote a blog post on crawl budget in which he specifically directs webmasters to pay attention to the number of server errors in the Crawl Errors report in Search Console.
This is because a large number of server errors or connection timeouts generally indicates poor site health.
Assuming your site has few to no server errors, the next item you’ll want to review is your sitemaps.
When working with one client, we successfully got Google to crawl more of the site, only to discover that the crawl also increased the number of 404 pages from 10,000 to almost 140,000.