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    Having a nicely designed online store today is not enough to be successful in sales. Despite the fact that we have a beautiful site, for which we paid a lot to the designer and programmer, it may not show up at all in Google search results.

    And what follows? Customers don’t see you and don’t make a profit for your company.

    Customers don’t see you and don’t make a profit for your company.

    And at this point (although it’s a shame that it’s not before building the site), you should think about how your online store’s positioning looks. See what are the biggest mistakes in optimizing an online store.

    Online store optimization - 13 most common mistakes | See!

    #1 Mismatched meta tags

    The first point of contact between your online store and potential customers is the page title and description ( i.e. meta title and meta description).

    Meta title is a hugely important tag for SEO. It is displayed in Google search results (SERP). A potential customer types keywords into a search engine, sees your online store… And at that point decides whether to go to your site or a competitor’s.

    If your site title and description is chaotic or is identical on every page of your store – Be sure to change it! Check if your CMS has not automatically assigned sample tags like the following:

    Online store optimization with meta tags - example

    How to create optimized meta tags?

    From the user’s point of view, the best link to click on will be the one that answers their query.

    From the company’s side – title must include: keywords, brand indication and. CTA.

    It is the CTA that increases sales (conversion rate increases). If the keyword phrases assigned to a category or product are long – just put the keywords, separator and brand name in the meta title.

    More precisely…

    • Meta title should not exceed 600 px, and meta description should not exceed 960 px. You can use snippet simulator to help you create tags of ideal length. Remember that if they are too long – Google will cut off part of it, and if they are too short, it may substitute a completely different title in the organic search results.
    • Use the 1-2 most relevant keywords that describe the page. Ideally, let them be based on a previousphrase analysis for the entire online store.
    • Meta description is the place to entice potential customers to the products you offer. Don’t clog this space with keywords.
    • Meta tags add to the page code in the <head> section. If you are using content management systems, you will definitely find this section in the settings.

    Results from Google search for the phrase: pearl necklaces

    Online store optimization - meta tag example

    Another example of meta title: Company -key phrase – CTA

    Online store optimization example with key phrase and CTA

    #2 Copied product descriptions

    Effective positioning of an online store is high quality content.

    Marketing your products requiresoriginal product and category descriptions. This is one of the most important elements that affect the optimization of an online store!

    A common mistake that can be seen in large online stores is copying product descriptions from manufacturers or from other sites.

    Even if you have a huge assortment of products –try to make the texts of similar products have different content. Assign specific key phrases to each product and create an inviting product description!

    #3 No ALT attribute

    Product descriptions are not just text alone. Lack of good quality images of the product range reduces the likelihood of purchase. And lack of ALT attribute prevents the image from being indexed and positioning the online store in Google’s graphics.

    We can even add the best images, but without this attribute they are invisible to Google robots and potential customers.

    #4 Complicated URLs

    URLs are one of the factors that search engines consider when indexing a site and determining its position. Complicated or unreadable URLs can make this task more difficult.

    It is precisely, simple and easy-to-understand URLs can increase the likelihood that a user will click on a link in search results.

    A good example would be the address – it is simple and allows the customer to find his way to the online store website.

    #5 Keyword stuffing

    Optimizing an online store requires the use of keywords. However, adding too many of them can lead to keyword stuffing‘u, which is a Black Hat SEO technique and as such has been banned by Google.

    Using keywords in an unnatural amount, can lead to your website being penalized with low rankings or even removed from the search engine index altogether.

    Search engine robots are getting better and better at recognizing such phrase stuffing, so try to make your headlines, text and meta tags natural – designed to be best received by potential customers!

    #6 No store positioning strategy

    The process of positioning an online store must be planned. Moreover, the optimization of the store should be based on constant activities that will allow the site to achieve high and stable positions in Google search.

    Without a strategy for optimizing specific product pages, categories, link building’u or adding new content, such as a blog, which will draw traffic from the search engine to the online store, we can unfortunately only dream about the highest positions.

    #7 Chaotic internal and external linking

    Some stores often use the same anchor text’s in internal linking for a clique of specific products. Google may interpret such links as irrelevant, low-value links.

    Additionally, in external linking we may encounter several versions of links, e.g.

    https// and https//

    Link with “/” and without at its end are two different versions! Such actions lower the link authority.

    #8 Failure to watch technical aspects

    Taking care of the technical side of an online store is a must. Examples of errors are:

    • long page loading time (loading speed over 3 seconds)
    • too short meta title and description texts,
    • for redirections from https to http,
    • no sitemap,
    • blocking of important pages in robot.txt,
    • unindexed pages,
    • redirect chains,

    In order to make your online store optimization as beneficial as possible – you can commission an SEO Audit, which will identify areas on the site that need improvement.

    #9 No video

    The presence of video is one of the factors that makes Google rank your site better.

    Videos on the site enable better positioning of the online store.

    You not only increase the ranking in search results, but also the attractiveness of your online store. Video content is easy for potential customers to consume, so it’s a good idea to add it, for example, to product sheets as a way of showing the goods from the best possible side.

    #10 Complicated online store structure

    The structure of an online store is extremely important for Google robots as well as customers.

    Simple website design helps to understand how the site is built and how to navigate through it.

    Optimizing an online store in this regard is to increase authority by Google search engines.

    How should a correct structure look like in an online store?

    • Simple structure based on hierarchy – starting from the home page through categories, subcategories to products. Each level should be easily accessible from the previous level.
    • Menu with links to the most important parts of the site.
    • Internal linking – optimizing an online store requires very good link planning. Hyperlinks are supposed to lead from one subpage on the site to the next page, such as from a category to a product. Search engine robots can then understand how these specific pages are linked.
    • The appearance of the URL should reflect the structure of the site. If the structure of an online store consists of a home page, categories and products, then the URL should have the following structure:
    • Site map (sitemap) – is a file that contains all the addresses of your site and affects the positioning of online stores. The file should be updated when you add a new subpage. Thanks to the links available there, robots can see what structure your online store has and index the addresses they find. Lack of a sitemap can be the reason for lack of visibility in Google search.

    #11 Non-responsive mobile version

    According to the report “Digital 2021: Global Overview Report” from Datareportal, some 76% of internet users worldwide have made a purchase via mobile devices in the past month. Given the ongoing development of technology– now that number could be higher.

    This means that the majority of Internet users are buying online. What is the significance of this in the positioning of an online store? If your online store does not have a site adapted for mobile devices then you may lose a potential customer.

    An intuitive website is also a determinant for Google in ranking sites in the search engine. In 2018, the principle of Mobile First Index has been officially adopted. This means that the indexing of sites begins with the evaluation of the mobile version.

    Optimizing an online store for Mobile First Index is the starting point for Google.

    #12 Structured data and its lack

    Structured data allows you to describe the data content of your online store in more detail, and this helps Google’s search engine better understand what’s on the page. Such information helps with indexing and greater visibility in organic search results. Structured data is otherwise known as microdata, which is placed in the <head> tag in the code of the page.

    The lack of them on store pages is a common mistake – that is, not using the full potential of the site code. While their use does not guarantee an increase in position, they can lead to richer snippets (rich snippets) or other advanced features in the search results that can increase the CTR (Click Through Rate) and attract more traffic to the site.

    It is a common mistake.

    An example is stars and reviews:

    Online store optimization - example using structured data

    #13 Action monitoring

    It’s impossible to evaluate the SEO performance of an online store well without using analytical tools. It’s not just a matter of using them, but also of knowing how to analyze the data that has been collected.

    What analytics tools can’t you do without?”

    • Google Search Console – effective store positioning needs this tool. It is free and you will check in it the positions of phrases, technical errors of the online store, submit the URL for indexation and check how many impressions the site has. You will quickly find the strengths and weaknesses of the online store.
    • Google Analytics – here you will find more data about your online store. You will find out who your potential customers are, how many times and from where they enter your online store. Do they read FAQs, or maybe they just read the site description in your online store and leave? You can find all the data about new customers and their behavior on the site right here.
    • Semrush or Ahrefs – optimizing your online store with at least one of these programs makes the work of checking and planning link building’much easier. In addition, you will check keywords, competition and much more.
    • Senuto – keyword analysis and visibility are some of the best features of this tool. You can review each competitor – what keywords they use on the site, what sections the site is divided into, etc.
    • Surfer SEO – with this program you can already forget what copying content from other sites is. Here you will create high-quality blog texts, category and product descriptions based on the structural data of your competitors’ content.

    If you are trying to position your online store, but do not have these tools – then you already know what you need to do!

    Summary – optimization of online store

    Optimizing online storesis not the easiest task. Increasing sales in your online store is affected by, among other things, page loading speed, product and category descriptions, adaptation to the mobile version, structural data or analysis of keywords by which potential customers can find you. Are you interested in professional SEO optimization of your online store?

    Want your store to start selling? Contact us and increase your website conversion rate by up to 400%!

    We know this from experience – this is the result we managed to achieve for one of our clients. This is not the upper limit. Perhaps in your case the numbers will be even more impressive. Let’s check it out…

    Let’s talk about your online store!

    Let's talk!

    Kamila Dębska
    Kamila Dębska