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The 5 SEO mistakes holding your ecommerce site back right now

Ecommerce sites are so different from other web platforms that SEO for them can almost be considered a separate branch of the industry.

While many fundamentals are the same, ecommerce, especially of the marketplace variety, introduces complications that could almost be ignored if they occurred on a smaller scale on a different type of website.

Let’s talk about five SEO mistakes that could be holding back your ecommerce site as we speak.

1. Duplicate content

Duplicate content is the bane of the ecommerce site’s existence, and I can almost guarantee you right now, if you have an ecommerce site that you haven’t audited for duplicate content, you have duplicate content. Especially if your site is on a marketplace model.

It doesn’t matter what platform you’re using or how informed you are about SEO – if you haven’t checked for it recently, it’s probably hurting your rankings.

Consider what Ben Davis at Econsultancy noticed happened to pages on three of Sports Direct’s websites. The parent company hosted the same product with identical product descriptions and similar layouts, on three different sub-brands: Cruise, Flannels, and Van Mildert.

What he found is that none of the pages had a consistent presence in the search results. The brand’s strong authority with search engines allowed the pages to rank with some semblance of consistency on the second page, but with a very important caveat: only one page would show up at a time.

Whenever one page did well, the others fell well below position 100 in the search results, effectively impossible to find.

This type of duplicate content is common for ecommerce sites, in particular marketplaces that sell products, which can be found elsewhere. Large marketplaces generally use generic product descriptions provided by the product seller, but in doing so they are creating duplicate content and, unless they are lucky, they almost certainly will not rank consistently on the front pages of the search results.

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