Top 9 Ecommerce SEO Mistakes: From Pitfalls to Prosperity

SEO plays a pivotal role in driving organic traffic to your website, boosting visibility, and ultimately, propelling sales. However, mastering e-commerce SEO is no easy feat. Numerous pitfalls can impede your progress, inadvertently hindering your website’s performance.

To circumvent these roadblocks, it’s essential to identify and address the prevalent e-commerce SEO mistakes that can sabotage your online business. By understanding these missteps and implementing the necessary corrective measures, you can steer clear of these SEO traps and pave the way for a thriving e-commerce venture.

This blog provides the top 9 e-commerce SEO blunders that often go unnoticed, hindering website growth and potential. By the end of this blog, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and strategies to optimize your e-commerce website for search engines, ensuring that your products reach the right audience and drive the sales you deserve.

1. Slow site speed

The speed of your website is a pivotal factor in online success, influencing user engagement and search engine rankings. A slow-loading site can drive away potential customers, directly impacting your bottom line.

According to a study by Deloitte, 70% of consumers admit that page speed impacts their willingness to buy from an online retailer. At this point, there’s just no excuse to let your website load slowly.

By following these steps and optimizing your website’s speed, you not only enhance the user experience but also bolster your site’s visibility on search engines, contributing to a more competitive and successful online presence.

  1. Utilize browser caching: Enable browser caching to store static files locally, reducing the need for users to download the same resources repeatedly and improving overall performance.
  2. Harness content delivery networks (CDNs): Globalize your site by integrating CDNs, distributing static content worldwide, and minimizing the physical distance between users and your server.
  3. Minimize redirects: Excessive redirects lead to additional HTTP requests and slower loading times. Streamline redirects to eliminate unnecessary steps hindering site performance.
  4. Invest in efficient hosting: Choose hosting that aligns with your site’s needs. Dedicated servers or cloud hosting ensure ample resources for optimal speed, especially as your business expands.
  5. Optimize critical rendering path: Prioritize elements for the initial page load to create a faster perceived loading time. Optimize HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for a smoother rendering process.
  6. Conduct regular performance audits: Consistently monitor and optimize site performance using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix. Address identified issues promptly to maintain optimal speed and user satisfaction.

2. Not optimizing your website for mobile

Mobile devices have become the primary gateway to the digital world, and overlooking the significance of catering to the mobile audience can be a costly oversight. The small screen is not merely an alternative viewing platform but a pivotal arena where businesses either thrive or falter.

If your website is not mobile-friendly, you could be missing out on a significant amount of traffic and potential customers. A study by Google found that 53% of mobile users will abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load.

To ensure your e-commerce website not only survives but excels on the small screen, it’s imperative to steer clear of certain blunders that could hinder your mobile performance.

  1. Overlooking page speed on mobile: Mobile users demand speed. Optimize your website for swift performance on mobile devices, aligning with Google’s emphasis on mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor.
  2. Complicated navigation for touchscreens: Mobile users prefer simplicity. Streamline navigation for touchscreens, eliminating unnecessary complexities that can frustrate users and impact your site’s performance.
  3. Ignorance of mobile search behavior: Understand how users search on mobile devices. Tailor your content and SEO strategy to align with mobile search behavior, optimizing for the on-the-go user.
  4. Neglecting mobile-first indexing: Google prioritizes mobile-first indexing, considering the mobile version of your site as the primary source for ranking. Ensure your mobile site is not an afterthought in your SEO strategy.
  5. Failing to test across devices: Don’t assume your site works perfectly on all devices. Regularly test your website across various mobile devices to identify and address any issues affecting user experience.

3. Not creating a blog for your store

A blog transcends being a mere collection of posts; it’s a dynamic platform to share industry insights, trends, and in-depth product knowledge. According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing generates over three times as many leads as outbound marketing and costs 62% less.

Ignoring this essential component means bypassing valuable opportunities to establish meaningful connections with your audience. A well-crafted content strategy not only showcases your brand’s expertise but also fosters engagement and loyalty among your audience.

Blogs serve as educational resources, addressing customer pain points and providing solutions. Not having a blog means forfeiting opportunities to educate your customers about your products and industry. An informed customer is an empowered one, and a blog becomes a tool for empowering your audience with knowledge that enhances their experience with your brand.

Beyond a transactional space, a blog fosters a sense of community around your brand. The absence of a blog limits your ability to engage customers, build loyalty, and create a space for interaction and discussion. Community building through a blog cultivates a dedicated following that actively participates in the ongoing narrative of your brand.

4. Missing or incorrect structured data

Incorrectly configuring structured data can negatively impact your website’s performance. When implemented correctly, structured data serves not only to assist search engines in comprehending your content but also to enhance your site’s visibility and presentation in search results.

Structured data is a way of organizing information on a web page so that it can be easily understood by search engines. However, if you are missing or using incorrect structured data, it can have several drawbacks. Here are a few of the most common:

  • Decrease the potential search engine rankings: Search engines may not be able to understand your content if you are missing or using incorrect structured data. This can lead to lower search engine rankings, making it harder for people to find your website.
  • Poor user experience: Structured data can also be used to improve the user experience on your website. For example, it can be used to display rich snippets, which are additional pieces of information that are displayed in search results. If you are missing or using incorrect structured data, you may not be able to take advantage of these features.
  • Credible Loss: If you are missing or using incorrect structured data, it can damage your website’s credibility. Visitors may not trust your website if they believe that you are not taking the time to provide accurate information.

In this part, we provide the types of e-commerce structured data in this table, emphasizing the importance of closely examining how this crucial element shapes and influences your online presence:

E-commerce structured data typesFeatures
LocalBusinessProvide comprehensive information about your business, including location and opening hours.
ProductIlluminate your products for Google.
Refer to the structured data documentation for detailed insights.
ReviewAid Google in understanding product reviews on your site.
BreadcrumbListImprove Google’s understanding of your site’s structure, especially on your home page. 
WebSiteImprove Google’s understanding of your site’s structure, especially on your home page. 
VideoObjectRecognize the growing importance of video in e-commerce by appropriately marking up pre-recorded videos or live-stream events. 

Elevate your store’s presence by ensuring that your structured data is not just implemented but implemented correctly, delivering a compelling and informative experience for both users and search engines.

5. Not giving SEO time to work

One of the common mistakes in ecommerce SEO is the lack of patience. SEO is a long-term strategy, not an instant solution. It’s important to understand that significant improvements in search rankings and organic traffic don’t happen overnight.

It typically takes 4-12 months for SEO to work, according to a video by Google.

SEO requires a consistent effort over time. Search engines like Google take time to crawl, index, and rank new content. Changes made today might not reflect in search results for weeks or even months.

Besides, gaining authority in the eyes of search engines is a gradual process. This involves acquiring quality backlinks, creating valuable content, and establishing a presence in your niche. Rushing or expecting quick results can lead to shortcuts that harm your long-term SEO health.

SEO strategies require data to be effective. This data comes from tracking your website’s performance over time. Rushing can lead to decisions made without adequate information, potentially steering your SEO efforts in the wrong direction.

Finally, search engine algorithms are constantly evolving. An immediate change in your SEO strategy might not account for these updates, which can affect how your site is evaluated and ranked. Patience allows you to understand these changes and adapt your strategy effectively.

6. Keyword stuffing

Keyword stuffing is the excessive use of keywords in a webpage’s content in an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings. This practice is often used by black hat SEO practitioners, who are trying to trick search engines into thinking that their website is more relevant to a particular keyword than it is.

Modern search algorithms are sophisticated enough to identify and penalize keyword stuffing. In Google’s Spam Policies, they listed keyword stuffing as one of the practices that violates their guidelines. Websites that engage in this practice can suffer reduced rankings or even be removed from search results entirely.

Even if we only look at it from the UX stand point, overuse of keywords leads to awkward, unnatural content. This can frustrate visitors, increase bounce rates, and decrease the likelihood of conversions. Remember, the primary goal of your content is to engage and inform your audience, not just to rank in search engines.

Instead of cramming keywords, focus on creating content that addresses the intent behind those keywords. What are your potential customers looking for? Provide valuable, relevant information that answers their questions and meets their needs.

Keywords should be used strategically and sparingly. They should fit naturally into headings, titles, meta descriptions, and the body of your content. A balanced approach helps search engines understand your content without compromising readability.

7. Using copied content

Copied content refers to using text, images, or any other creative elements that are directly taken from other sources without modification or proper attribution. This includes both content from other websites and duplicating your own content across multiple pages.

Search engines, particularly Google, prioritize original and unique content. Even though there’s no penalty for duplicated content, websites with copied content are often seen as less trustworthy because they offer little value to users.

That is not to speak of the users’ trust. Users seek authentic and informative content. If they encounter copied material on your site, it can diminish your brand’s credibility and discourage them from engaging with your business.

Using someone else’s content without permission can also lead to legal issues and copyright infringement claims. It’s important to respect intellectual property rights and uphold ethical standards in your content creation.

If you need to use existing content, ensure it’s rewritten in a way that adds value and perspective unique to your brand. Repurposing content is acceptable as long as it’s substantially modified and tailored to your audience.

8. Not thinking about E-E-A-T

Overlooking E-E-A-T principles (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) in your digital content strategy is a misstep with profound implications for your website’s credibility and search engine performance.

Google believes that websites with high levels of E-E-A-T are more likely to provide users with accurate and helpful information. Here are the reasons signifies why E-E-A-T is important:

  • It helps Google identify high-quality content. Google wants to provide its users with the best possible search results, and E-E-A-T helps them identify websites that are likely to provide accurate and helpful information.
  • It can help websites rank higher in search results. Websites with high levels of E-E-A-T are more likely to rank higher in search results, especially for competitive keywords.
  • It can help websites build trust with users. When users see that a website has high levels of E-E-A-T, they are more likely to trust the information that is presented on the website.

Investing in E-E-A-T is like building a rocket ship for your e-commerce store. It may not be the flashiest spaceship, but it’s the one that will take you to the farthest reaches of the internet, where happy customers and overflowing space wallets await when considering these steps:

  1. Building authoritativeness: Overlooking efforts to build authority may lead to missed opportunities for higher search rankings and increased user trust.
  2. Ensuring trustworthiness: Trustworthiness is paramount for user confidence, convey trustworthiness through accurate information, transparent practices, and a secure online environment can erode user trust.
  3. Building expert credentials: By showcasing the qualifications of your content creators, you enhance transparency, reinforcing your commitment to delivering content that aligns with the principles of E-E-A-T.
  4. Showcasing user reviews and testimonials: User reviews and testimonials contribute significantly to trustworthiness. By actively engaging with user feedback and showcasing positive experiences, you not only build trust but also contribute to a positive perception of your website’s E-E-A-T.
  5. Ensuring website security: By enhancing website security, you not only protect user information but also send a clear signal that your site is committed to maintaining a secure and trustworthy online environment.

9. Not Putting the Customer First

SEO should always be customer-centric, aligning with their interests, questions, and pain points. Customer-first SEO means creating and optimizing content with the primary goal of addressing the customer’s needs and preferences. This approach goes beyond just ranking well in search engines to ensuring that visitors find value and relevance in your content.

It’s essential to understand and cater to search intent. Why are users searching for a particular term? What information or solution are they seeking? Align your content with these intentions to provide meaningful and satisfying user experiences.

Instead of overwhelming users with a large quantity of content, focus on the quality and relevance of what you offer. High-quality, engaging content that solves users’ problems or answers their questions is more likely to convert visitors into customers.

Don’t forget to encourage user engagement and interaction as well. This can be through comments, reviews, or social media sharing. Engaging with your audience builds a relationship and helps you understand and cater to their evolving needs.