You’d be forgiven for thinking that your e-commerce merchandising strategy wouldn’t have the biggest impact on your site’s SEO performance. But you’d also be wrong. When looking to optimise the performance of your e-commerce business, a solid merchandising strategy has multi-faceted benefits that extend far beyond the obvious.
The following examples may be routinely overlooked, but really can have a significant impact on the way your business does business:
1. Inventory problems and negative reviews
First of all, it’s worth bearing in mind that every time you are unable to fulfil an order due to inventory issues, there’s a good chance the person on the receiving end will not be particularly pleased. They might choose not to shop with you again, they might tell everyone they know to do the same or they might decide to take things to the web in the form of a negative review. Needless to say, the more negative reviews and general bad press there is about your business online, the worst this bodes for you in SEO terms.
2. Product variants
One of the biggest mistakes made by many online stores (at least in terms of SEO) is giving the same product in multiple varieties its own specific page for every example. It could be a shirt in ten different colours and/or sizes, which are given the exact same description, with perhaps just one or two words changed. Even though what you’re doing maybe useful for your customers and logical, we all know how Google and Co. feel about duplicate content. There are two ways of getting around this – one being to entirely rewrite the description for every item, the other being to use just one page with colour swatches or a dynamic, interactive image.
3. Constant sales
So many British companies – particularly those in the furniture retail sector – work the ‘limited time sale’ card to death. There isn’t a single time of year when thousands of companies are not finding any and every excuse to advertise some kind of sale – even if it really isn’t a sale by definition. The result of which is not only a population that is starting to become immune to this kind of advertising, but also potentially detrimental SEO implications. Special offers and sales should be exactly that – special and periodic.
4. Resellers and middlemen
Last but not least, it’s natural to embrace any opportunity that comes your way for resellers to spread the good word about your brand and get your products out into the wild. That is of course, unless you find yourself in a position where they are ranking more highly than you for the same keywords, phrases and products. Not only this, but you also have to be very careful with resellers regarding the issue of duplicate content. The thing to remember is that there’s every chance they will be targeting exactly the same keywords and customers as you, which can immediately make it twice as difficult to hit those higher rankings.