The only way you can ensure that you have time and budget it to plan for success from the beginning. And, in the web world this means instituting Best SEO Practices from design through development.
E-commerce, blogs and other database driven sites pose a special consideration for handling SEO Best Practices. Listed below are the Top Ten Most Common Mistakes affecting SEO and database websites.
E-Commerce, Shopping Carts, Blogs and Dynamic Database SEO MistakesPosted on Thursday, 23 April 2009 14:37
While most business owners by now understand the importance of having an SEO friendly website, few are still implementing it correctly. We SEO specialists spend a lot of time attempting to make existing sites more SEO friendly.
1. Duplicate Content
Each of your shop’s entries, including product descriptions, needs to have a minimum of 250 words and these 250 words need to be distinctly different then any other set of 250 words on your site.
If you have chosen to break out your products into individual offerings for size or color options rather than using attributes or options, then the descriptions for each variant should be different as well.
2. Duplicate Page Title
We keep expressing the importance of NOT using your page’s title for branding. Your URL and logo are branding enough. What’s more since the entire title is not indexed only a varying amount of characters using your title tag for branding pretty much ensures you’ve duplicated page titles which have NO VALUE to search engines and therefore NO VALUE to your customers.
Since most e-commerce applications automatically derive their title from generated content, it becomes crucial that you name your pages and products with optimization in mind.
Which do you think has more value as a product and page title?
a. Red Sweater
b. Style Item 1001
c. Merion Cashmere V-Neck Sweater in Lipstick Red
Of course, C is the answer. Yet repeatedly the desire to rush to market and just get it out there leads e-business owners to make poor decisions that will eventually penalize them.
3. Duplicate Meta Descriptions
Many sites attempt to use a global or categorical meta descriptions. And, again your site is penalized for not providing enough unique information for the search bot to make an accurate indexing of.
4. Not Creating Good Original Content
If you are third party provider of goods and services and use their provided descriptions on your website, you’re working against your own profit. The truth is you are not their only vendor and the chances are all the other vendors have also used this verbatim description.
Think of it this way. If a customer came into your store and asked about a product, would you take out a brochure and read it to them? Of course, not. This would tell them that you are unfamiliar with your products and that you’re not really a salesperson or a customer support representative but merely a talking cash register.
How often do you do a search in Google for a product only to be presented with multiple listings that are identical except for the domain name? And, what do you usually do? Click on those closest to the top. If you’re a new store and haven’t taken the time to consider SEO chances are you won’t be a top return and you’ve now lost that profit opportunity and that customer and that customer’s return business and that customer’s referred business.
5. Pages Created That Are Hidden Behind Scripts
If your actual website requires a log in to view it should not surprise you that your website will not be crawled. After all, a search bot does not have a user name or password.
This is probably the most common mistake made in e-commerce sites. While it’s certainly a desirable action to have a visitor sign up to be a customer by limiting their views and access to information dependent on signing up you are also limiting your SEO opportunities.
6. Extended & Null Query Strings
An all too common problem for database driven sites is the extended query string where the deep level of the page is designated by multiple &id= strings. Poor development can also create null strings which in turn create 404s also affecting SEO.
At the minimum, I beg of you, to upgrade with your web development team a SEO URL rewrite to make SEO and user friendly URL strings.
7. Multiple and Unordered Query Strings
Having multiple query strings where the string changes based upon the level you are navigating is also a bad idea. After all, to a search engine the following are not identical but two different pages, although with the additional penalties applied for duplicate content, title and description:
8. Not Keeping The User In Mind When Creating Pages
If you are on a system that uses words in the query string it’s important to chose words that have meaning to the user and are relative to the page. Strings with the word “category” are less informative then say strings with the word “sweaters.”
9. Meta Data That Can Not Be Edited
Again, since meta data is informative to search engines you need to able to change and refine it and not simply have it auto generated and unable to edit as your site matures.
10. Keyword Stuffing And Auto Generation
Where density and relativity are good things generally, database driven sites present a particular problem in that many of the pages are auto generated. If you’re category is sweaters and your categorical auto generated page lists every single sweater you have in your shop the keyword rich descriptions will trigger a bot to see your page as being artificially stuffed and penalize accordingly.
It’s a better idea to avoid long pages with intense amounts of variable listings. Instead, choose to allow the user to sort by their preference and display navigation.
While these are the Top 10 Common Mistakes of SEO and Databases, many other issues need to be considered. It’s best that you discuss your concerns with your team during initial development.
Read 1163 times Last modified on Thursday, 08 April 2010 09:37