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The success of an e-commerce store can be determined by whether it generates enough quality traffic that ultimately turns into sales. SEO can effectively drive traffic for all websites; e-commerce, however, presents unique challenges.

Avoid the most common pitfalls of SEO for e-commerce by learning what those pitfalls are and how to prevent costly mistakes in the future. Our favorite tactic is to turn these weak spots into strengths.

This article will discuss how to identify a few of those issues, along with our best tips on how to make them work to your advantage.

Tip 1: Avoid keyword cannibalism

Though it aptly sounds like the subject of a TV horror show, keyword cannibalism is much more insidious than your average ghost haunting.

If multiple pages on your website feature responses to the same search query, they will compete against each other in search engine results, and you will lose control over which will show for the desired keyword.

E-commerce makes this issue especially tricky to work around—particularly if you have many similar products.

Avoiding keyword cannibalism calls for attention to detail; you'll need to research unique long-tail keywords for which to optimize each of your products:

  • Group together and cross-reference similar product pages. Assign each its own keyword to optimize for.
  • Avoid obvious duplicate-content problems by using canonical links.
  • Track that your site is properly implementing the correct canonical links and unique title tags. There are many tools available for doing so (such as Website Auditor).

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image of Aleh Barysevich

Aleh Barysevich is a co-founder and the CMO of, which makes SEO PowerSuite (website promotion toolkit) and BuzzBundle (social media software) for bloggers, webmasters, and online marketers.

LinkedIn: Aleh Barysevich