We have analyzed ~ 2000 e-commerce websites and over 5 milion pages using the Google Lighthouse tool to determine to most common technical and SEO mistakes.
Below, You can read details:
It's important for your site to be crawlable as thing is the only way search engines can index your content. If your content is not crawlable for whatever reason, it will not be indexed and that content will not show up in search engine results.
E-commerce sites are a different breed of website and it is important for them to block search engines from crawling some parts of the site. For example, faceted navigation that allow people to search sites with multiple filters applied can cause duplicate content if no handled properly.
Internal linking helps both users and search engines to find your content, and the fact that 900 ecommerce sites have broken internal links on their websites show how even the big e-commerce companies with large marketing budgets can still get the simple things wrong.
Sitemaps are the way to help search engines find your content and to let them know if the content has been updated. But not every page of your website has a place in sitemap, like pages that redirect or have the noindex tag. You should only be sending search engines information on pages you would like to have indexed.
Google recommends keeping the URL structure simple so both crawlers and humans can read them. Using underscores instead of hyphens, having too long URLs or too many URL parameters adds to the confusion.
The robots txt file is a way for site owners to communicate with search engines before they start crawling a website informing web crawlers about which areas of a website should not be processed or scanned is very important, and the fact that we found 195 ecommerce sites without robots.txt is quite shocking.
It is not advised to use flash content on a website. Whilst it may look great using this outdated technology can cause troubles with the search engine indexing.
Doctype tells search engine which version of HTML or XHTML is being used and it's important for the page's content to load. Unspecified doctype can lead to overlapping content and an increase in page loading time. Give it special attention if you are using an older version of a code.
Security: HTTPS Implementation
Website security is a high priority for online stores, a brower signaling an unsecure connection can scare off your customers.
Migrating to HTTPs can be a challenge, even for the big ecommerce companies. The majority of analyzed websites have pages linking to the old (HTTP) version of their site and pages with mixed content, so the search engines can't tell if the page is secure.
Security: Server and SSL Certificate
Another component of secured connection that gets overlooked is managing the SSL certificate - it should be up to date, valid, and registered to the correct domain.
Implementing HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) is a must for ecommerces as it forces the site to load only the secure version, leaving less opportunities for hackers.
Growing your ecommerce site globally is a great challenge. If your site sells the same product in different countries and languages, you need the search engines to understand that you might have similar content for different languages. In this way, hreflang tags help with this but many of the sites that we audited had them configured incorrectly.
We have the need for speed website performance has never been so important. Your website's loading speed has an effect on your user's experience and your ranking in search engines. Reports show that for every second of delay in load time you can see a 7% decrease in conversions. Most of our zen cart templates used the smart cache to increase the page speed, try to use it for your zencart store.
With over 60% of searchers now using mobile and Google switching over to mobile first indexing providing a good mobile experience is more important than ever before.
Accelerrated Mobile Pages (AMP) is the technology that helps to provide users with much faster loading mobile pages, but in order to do this it puts restrictions on the page's code, and it requires attentive implementation, so not many ecommerce websites use this technology yet.
Inverting time in the quality of your content really pays off. It's as important for ecommerce as for any other site. But ecommerce content is harder, as many shops are selling the same product in different colors and sizes, so duplicated content along with short descriptions becomes a much more common issue.
Take the time to see how you can make your meta descriptions more unique and catchy. Users in search only get to see this snippet of text in the SERP so try to let them know what a good product and deal you're offering.
We found that over 500 ecommerce sites had pages with no title tag, which is crazy as the title is the first impression of a website that search engine users get. Titles should be informative, and as an ecommerce, you can try including price or sale data to increase your CTR. Test and optimise until you get the balance right.
The H1 tag is a page heading that lets the search engine know what the topic of the page is, yet over 1000 ecommerce sites have pages with no H1. Google bots can handle multiple H1's on a page but avoid distracting them it is adviseable to use only one. For an ecommerce page one is usually enough, you wouldn't want an H1 on your pages saying "Add to Cart" or "New Product".
Broken images can cause problems for any site but when it comes to ecommerce no image almost always means no money. Alt tags are extremely important too as they are used to help with image search and are also used by screen readers for the visually impaired. Make sure that your alt tags are descriptive and relevant to the image.
Finally, if you're using zen cart platform for your website, we have integrated all of above features into our responsive zen cart templates 2018. I think it's best important so you should change it for your site if you want to increase your traffic and your sales.