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Maximising Ecommerce SEO - #SMConnect

Slides from my talk at Search Marketing Connect 2015 in Milan, Italy, where I spoke about ecommerce SEO.

Maximising Ecommerce SEO - #SMConnect

  1. 1. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Maximising Ecommerce SEO with Advanced Tips & Tricks 21 November 2015 #SMConnect
  2. 2. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Barry Adams
  3. 3. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Agenda 1. Technical SEO  Crawl Optimisation  Faceted Navigation 2. Content & Relevance  Site & page architecture  Structured Data 3. Links & Authority  Link targeting  Tactics 4. International SEO Technology Relevance Authority The Three Pillars of SEO
  4. 4. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams 1. Technical SEO
  5. 5. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Crawl Optimisation • Minimising wasted crawl budget Crawl Budget = the maximum amount of time a search engine spider will spend crawling your website before it gives up.
  6. 6. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Crawl Control vs Index Control • Crawl Control; Maximising crawl budget Main tools: - robots.txt Disallow - <a href=“…” rel=“nofollow”> • Index control; Ensuring the right pages are in Google’s index Main tools: - <meta name=“robots” content=“noindex”> - <link rel=“canonical” href=“…”> - robots.txt Noindex
  7. 7. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Crawl Sources • Site Crawl • XML Sitemaps • Inbound Links • DNS Records • Domain Registrations • Browsing Data
  8. 8. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Identifying Crawl Waste DeepCrawl report
  9. 9. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Crawl your XML Sitemap • Use Screaming Frog to crawl your sitemap
  10. 10. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Optimise your XML sitemap • Ensure your sitemap contains final URLs only • Minimise non-200 status codes
  11. 11. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Use Multiple Sitemaps • Google says max 50.000 URLs Nick Eubanks case study shows 35.000 is optimal Source: http://seoauv.com/increase-traffic/
  12. 12. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Mismatched Canonicals • All URLs in XML sitemap should be final canonical URLs only
  13. 13. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Use Canonicals wisely… • “rel=canonical” is primarily for index issues It is not a fix for crawl waste Search engines need to see the canonical tag before they can act on it Ergo, pages need to be crawled before rel=canonical has any effect Ditto with meta noindex tags
  14. 14. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Minimise Internal Redirects • Find redirects with Screaming Frog or DeepCrawl • Internal links should all be 200 OK • Flat site structure
  15. 15. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Pagination • Potential for massive crawl waste Especially when combined with sorting
  16. 16. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Optimise Paginated Lists • Show more products per page • Use pagination meta tags; <link rel="prev" href="http://www.domain.it/category/?page=2" /> <link rel="next" href="http://www.domain.it/category/?page=4" /> <link rel="canonical" href="http://www.domain.it/category/?page=all" /> Googlebot will deprioritise deeper paginated pages • Block sorting parameters in robots.txt; User-agent: Googlebot Disallow: /*?order=* Noindex: /*?order=*
  17. 17. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams GSC Robots.txt Tester
  18. 18. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Alternative: X-Robots-Tag • Special HTTP status code intended for crawlers • Implemented in Apache .htaccess file: <FilesMatch ".pdf$"> Header set X-Robots-Tag "noindex, nofollow" </FilesMatch> More info: https://developers.google.com/webmasters/control-crawl- index/docs/robots_meta_tag
  19. 19. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Faceted Navigation • Risk of crawl waste & index inflation
  20. 20. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Dealing with Faceted Navigation 1. Block facet URL parameters in robots.txt User-agent: Googlebot Disallow: /*attribute=* Noindex: /*attribute=* 2. Tag facet links with “rel=nofollow”
  21. 21. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams JavaScript & Faceted Navigation • ‘Hiding’ facets in JavaScript does not work Google will execute JS and can follow embedded links Don’t block JavaScript & CSS in robots.txt! • JavaScript can add load time Fast load speed is crucial
  22. 22. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Pre-rendering JavaScript / AJAX Source: http://www.slideshare.net/phaithful/seo-and-js-new-challenges
  23. 23. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams JSCrawlability.com
  24. 24. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Optimise Load Speed • Crawl budget = time • Fast website = more pages crawled in same amount of time
  25. 25. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams WebPageTest.org • Time to First Byte • Lightweight pages • Caching • Compression
  26. 26. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams 2. Content & Relevance
  27. 27. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Content Structure Title Tag Meta Description <h1> headline Body content (with <h2> - <h6> subheaders) Image alt attribute Calls to action Links to other pages on the site Source: http://bada.ms/perfectonpageseo
  28. 28. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Product Snapshot Customer Reviews In-depth Description
  29. 29. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Unique, well-written content • Never use standard manufacturer product descriptions
  30. 30. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Image Optimisation • Filename; photo001.jpg brown-mens-shoes.jpg • Alt attribute; <img src=“/brown-mens-shoes.jpg” alt=“Brown Irish Brogue Men’s Shoes” /> • Caption text; Barker’s Irish Brogue Men’s Shoe
  31. 31. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Hierarchical Site Architecture Homepage Category 1 Category 2 Subcategory 2.1 Subcategory 2.3 Subcategory 2.2 Product 2.2 A Product 2.2 B Product 2.2 C Category 3
  32. 32. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Information Architecture
  33. 33. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Hierarchical URLs Homepage Category 1 Category 2 Subcategory 2.1 Subcategory 2.3 Subcategory 2.2 Product 2.2 A Product 2.2 B Product 2.2 C Category 3 http://domain.it/ http://domain.it/category/ http://domain.it/category/subcategory/ http://domain.it/category/subcategory/ productA.html http://domain.it/category/subcategory/ productB.html http://domain.it/category/subcategory/ productC.html
  34. 34. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Make URLs Human-Readable Apache .htaccess URL rewrites; RewriteEngine on RewriteRule /(.*)/(.*)/$ page.php?category=$1&product=$2 [NC,L] This rewrites parameter URLs: http://www.domain.it/page.php?category=safety- boots&brand=caterpillar To human-readable URLs: http://www.domain.it/safety-boots/caterpillar/
  35. 35. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Products in more than 1 category Duplicate content issue: http://domain.it/safety-boots/caterpillar/cat-holton.html http://domain.it/casual-boots/caterpillar/cat-holton.html Revert to root URLs for all products: http://domain.it/caterpillar-holton-boots.html
  36. 36. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Structured Data • Schema.org Product markup
  37. 37. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams JSON-LD Markup • In the <head> section Separate from body code Easier to implement
  38. 38. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Google Tag Manager JSON-LD • Use GTM data layer macros to inject JSON-LD schema.org code in your product pages Source: http://www.swellpath.com/2015/03/7-steps-to-pushing-json-structured- data-using-google-tag-manager/
  39. 39. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Structured Data Testing Tool https://developers.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool/
  40. 40. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Expired Product Pages • Google’s advice: serve 404 Not Found Downside: loss of link value Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tz7Eexwp_A
  41. 41. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams My Advice • Keep the page up
  42. 42. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams High-churn Ecommerce • Products with a limited lifespan, potentially thousands of new pages every week Online auctions / ‘… for sale’ classified sites / etc  301-redirect old URL to most relevant new URL Minimum 180 days Serve 410 (or 404) on old URL after 180 days
  43. 43. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams 3. Links & Authority
  44. 44. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Homepage Links vs Deep Links • Homepage earns the most links • Category pages rarely get links • Product pages sometimes get links • Linked pages serve as spider entries • Linked pages rank higher (duh) • Link value needs to be spread out Images source: http://bada.ms/mozcrawldiagrams
  45. 45. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Spreading link value • Internal linking is key; Link from your key pages to deeper categories & products Use optimised anchor texts
  46. 46. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Top Linked Pages (Majestic)
  47. 47. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Linkbuilding for Ecommerce 1. Awesome / limited edition products
  48. 48. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams
  49. 49. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Linkbuilding for Ecommerce 2. Blogger reviews & giveaways
  50. 50. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Linkbuilding for Ecommerce 2. Blogger reviews & giveaways Ensure the blog is relevant & authoritive
  51. 51. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Linkbuilding for Ecommerce 3. Competitive Linkbuilding Monitor your competition’s new links
  52. 52. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams
  53. 53. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Linkbuilding for Ecommerce 3. Competitive Linkbuilding Find linked 404 pages on your competitors’ sites
  54. 54. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Linkbuilding for SEO 4. Outsourced link placements
  55. 55. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Linkbuilding for SEO 4. Outsourced link placements Double-check the work Site quality & relevance are key
  56. 56. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Anchor Text Distribution • Exact Match anchor text is still important; “…click here to buy safety boots online.” • Don’t over-optimise; Penalty-risk is real • My advice: 80/20; 80% branded links, 20% keyword links
  57. 57. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Pro-active Link Monitoring & Cleanup
  58. 58. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams 4. International SEO
  59. 59. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams International Domains • Pick the right domain  Generic TLDs: .com, .org, .net, .info, …  ccTLDs: .co.uk, .ie, .de, .fr, .it, .nl, … • Generic domains can be geo-targeted with Google Search Console • Country-code domains will be assumed to target that country It’s almost impossible to get a .it website to rank in google.co.uk
  60. 60. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Google Search Console
  61. 61. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Website Structure • Subdirectories:  website.com/gb  website.com/it • Subdomains:  gb.website.com  it.website.com Verify separately in Google Search Console and set the geo-target
  62. 62. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Country & Language www.website.com/be-fr/ www.website.com/be-nl/ www.website.com/be-de/ Use official ISO country & language codes where possible
  63. 63. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams HTML Language Tag • Use the ‘lang’ attribute: • Don’t forget to change when you launch your international version!
  64. 64. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams HREFLANG Meta Tags <link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/en-ie" hreflang="en-ie" /> <link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/en-ca" hreflang="en-ca" /> <link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/en-au" hreflang="en-au" /> <link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/en" hreflang="en" /> <link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/" hreflang="x- default" /> More info: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/189077
  65. 65. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Google Search Console
  66. 66. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Content • Don’t just translate – localise! • Belgian Dutch is not the same as Dutch Dutch Ditto with Portugal vs Brazil And Austria vs Germany And Switzerland vs France / Germany / Italy Etc… • Don’t be half-arsed – localise everything
  67. 67. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Summary
  68. 68. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams SEO for Ecommerce • Optimise your website’s crawl space Block irrelevant pages Use “rel=canonical” wisely • Optimise your content Unique product descriptions Schema.org Product markup • Acquire links Create something link- worthy Homepage & deep links Variable anchor texts • International SEO Go big or go home Use the right strategy from the start
  69. 69. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Thank You barry@polemicdigital.com www.polemicdigital.com twitter.com/polemicdigital twitter.com/badams #SMConnect

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