In this article, we will be exploring why you should choose an SEO friendly eCommerce platform for your online store and a few examples according to Sam Fields (Senior eCommerce Manager) and Julian Roben (Senior SEO Manager) at Matter Solutions, a leading Digital Marketing Agency in Brisbane, Australia.

Choosing an eCommerce platform

Following the decision to set up an online store, the next big step is to choose the right eCommerce system to suit your business. The difficult part is choosing from the hundreds of platforms available to you.

There are many things you should consider when choosing an eCommerce platform. You need to decide whether you want to self-host or opt for a hosted solution and ensure it allows easy customization and compatibility with your existing data and resources. Your platform should include a product catalog featuring all your products and must allow for a wide range of payment methods. Ensure that your platform provides you with detailed reports, fulfills your marketing requirements and offers ease of administration.

Don’t neglect to compare the price and services offered against your budget, and make sure you research and read reviews.

The importance of SEO in eCommerce

Consider the following statistics:

  • 70% of links clicked on by users are organic
  • 70-80% of users ignore paid ads; and
  • 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results

From this, we come to two conclusions:

1) Organic links are the most effective for gaining clicks; and

2) Getting onto the first page of search engine results is the best way to get noticed

When you have an online store, you want to make it as easy as possible for potential customers to find you in the first place. According to IPSOS, 44% of every online purchase begins with an online search.

Using SEO to generate more organic traffic and improve page rankings offers the best chance of helping your eCommerce business succeed.

With the competitive nature of today’s eCommerce, chances are there are already thousands of people selling the same product or service as you. So how do you keep on top?

This is where the importance of choosing an SEO-friendly ecommerce system comes in.

In addition to criteria already mentioned above, Moz has compiled a list of features you should look for in an eCommerce platform to ensure that it is suitable for SEO.

Please note that this is a shortened list and the full one can be found here.

  1. SEO-friendly URLs

Ensure the platform supports static, keyword-rich URLs.

  1. Granular Page Title Control

Find a platform that will allow you to edit individual page titles for every page.

  1. 301 Redirects

Your platform should allow 301 redirects, which redirect link juice and visitors from deleted pages to a new page (e.g. changing categories, products discontinued).

  1. Canonicalisation

If your content can be accessed from multiple URLs, canonicalisation is a way of avoid issues surrounding duplicate content. This is done using canonical URLs which tells search engines that similar URLs are one and the same, avoiding harm to your rankings.

  1. Search-Friendly Navigation Structure

Ensure your platform makes it easy for search engines as well as visitors to navigate through your site. Make sure your site can be easily navigated without Flash of JavaScript, you use text for navigation links rather than images, keep redundant and duplicate links to a minimum and ensure you are able to edit navigational menus at the individual link level.

  1. Robust Taxonomy Options

Well-organised brand and category taxonomy will help with site navigation and improve your SEO. Brand pages can be optimised with brand keywords to help drive high-converting visitors.