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Five E-Commerce Resolutions to Improve Search Engine Visibility in 2013

by Anthony Piwarun  |  
February 7, 2013
  |  2,984 views

In this article, you'll learn...

  • The impact that a lack of content has on search engine visibility
  • How to eliminate "Google Junk"
  • The benefits of using schema.org and microformats

Online marketers near and far resolved in January to get to the top of search results this year. If you're still stumped, here are a five simple yet effective tactics to employ during the rest of 2013.

1. Eliminate category, subcategory, and product pages that don't have descriptions

The launch of Google Panda in February of 2011 changed the game for e-commerce SEO. Throughout the rest of the year and into 2012, Google Panda significantly hurt websites (including the e-commerce sites) that had "thin" content. By now, we should all know that content isn't only for fueling rankings but also for encouraging the coveted macro conversion that we all salivate over: "buy now."

A lack of category and subcategory descriptions might work for brands like Ralph Lauren and retailers like Macy's and Overstock, but the typical e-commerce site doesn't have a domain authority of 90 like those e-tailers. When developing your SEO strategy, don't just rely on competition and "best-practice"; rather, focus on what your users want.

Impact on visibility: Having category, subcategory, and product pages that lack descriptions leaves you susceptible to future Panda updates, and it's a missed opportunity to explain that mysterious "product grid" (display of available products in a grid format) and to warm up visitors with compelling sales copy.


2. Dance with the devil and accept paid product listings

Well, Google may not be the devil, but it sure as hell seems like it. Even Bing says so. A lot of us were taken aback when Google commercialized product listings, but it is what it is. We had quite a few clients that were using it for years and now it's a commercialized product that favors mega sites with money to burn (pardon the pun).

The fact of the matter is, if you are have a large paid media budget, then this is a power play. With these changes, a hefty chunk of advertisers will go away, giving you more opportunity to increase visibility and, in turn, sales.


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Anthony Piwarun is the founder and chief strategy officer of Butane Digital, a boutique digital marketing agency dedicated to Web traffic acquisition, visitor conversion, and customer retention.

Twitter: @apiwarun

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