SEO in the Development of eCommerce Projects (20 Rules)
The project concept and interfaces — it is certainly very important, but other very important things must be considered. It doesn’t matter who will be considered this: UX / UI Designer, SEO Specialist, Web Developer, Project Manager, or someone else, but it is important at any stage of the project’s life. And it must be done before the start of the project at the stage of development.
We need to put in design requirements for SEO, make them a part of the product requirements document, so you don’t need to remake the project with a marketing specialist, as it often happens. Major search engines constantly publish recommendations for the proper optimization of sites, but for web stores here are certain features that briefly considered below:
- Robots.txt. File for rules of indexing by search engines. Create and put in the root of the website. Ideally, the indexation should be open to all search engines and across the website (except closed sections such as personal cabinets).
- File Sitemap.xml. The sitemap for search engines. Create and put in the root of the website. Make an auto-generation with a predetermined weight of the pages, which are divided into types of information (for example, page of product 8, page of categories 9, page of article 7, etc.). Upload a file to search engines.
- Sitemap. Besides Sitemap.xml is more desirable to make a separate page on the site, give a link to it at the bottom of the site and also place links on the main page. On one page there shouldn’t be more than 300 references. If your site has many pages, the problem can be solved through the pagination of the bottom of the page «Site Map».
- Google Webmasters and Yandex.Webmaster. Download the website and confirm the rights. Upload Sitemap.xml and assign the region from the admin panel. Check out errors.
- Domains and subdomains. It should be its own regional domain for each country and ideally subdomains for major cities. Sometimes subdomains are created for individual subjects. This is done to improve the position in the regional search or for individual subjects but entails a strong increase of the budget for promotion. Wherein this content mustn’t be duplicated on subdomains. The task is quite large and expensive and can be solved in different ways. Therefore, it would be a good general recommendation to clarify with SEO experts separately for each case.
- Title, Description, Keywords. Need to make the ability to edit the tag Title and meta-tags Description, Keywords for each page. At the same time provide auto-generated of these tags for unfilled pages by the principle of collecting the whole offer of the right keywords and words of a specific page (for example the product page «iPhone 5» title can be generated according to the formula: SOLD word + brand + product + region and what you get: Buy Apple iPhone 5 in Kyiv).
- Attribute alt. Attribute alt must be used for all images and you can change it using the admin panel. If the field is empty, it is possible to provide an auto-generation of this attribute. This will help to improve the positions of searching pictures and give additional traffic.
- CNC URL. It is necessary to make a human-friendly URL for all pages. The admin panel provides the ability to manually changing the URL for each page. For pages, where the URL has not been set, make auto-generation in Latin. Data for generation can be taken from Title.
- Dynamic pages. Many web stores have dynamic pages, which user creates by actions with the website. For example, a page is selected by parameters. In this case, should be formed clear URL with keywords. Tags for SEO should depend on the user’s settings.
- Noindex tag and attribute nofollow. It is not recommended to apply on the website, except for external links to other websites and closed sections of indexing (for example, personal cabinets).
- Catalog. The menu of the catalog should be indexed. From the main page and all basic pages of the website should be direct links to important pages for SEO, particularly category and subcategory.
- Relinking. It is important to relink pages within the site at each other for good indexing of pages and for transferring the weight of pages.
- Duplicates of pages. Avoid duplicate of pages with the same content, but different URL. They should not be.
- SEO blocks. On the product’s pages, categories, and the main page is important to place special text blocks in which you can place the text for search engines. The text of these blocks must be formatted by the right for SEO tags H1-H6, strong, etc.
- 404 error. It is needed to make an error page with information about errors, links, and website design.
- 301 redirect. Use only 301 redirects for all displaced pages.
- HTML and CSS. The code should be clear and structured, it is one of the factors of good indexing of your website.
- Microformats. In the layout of the pages, you need to use microformats and tag information. You need to use common microformats for proper indexing by search engines. Particularly, there are rules for marking products for web stores. In addition, many common microformats are also applicable. More information you can find by following this link: http://microformats.org/wiki/Main_Page
- JS scripts. All scripts should be separate files.
- Behavioral factors. In recent years, search engines track user’s behavior on the website. So the website should interest them and make as much as possible to view pages and spend much time as possible on the website.
All of these actions will affect the traffic from search engines in the future.