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What advice would you give to someone trying to optimise (SEO) an e-commerce website?

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This question came up in one of the Google+ Communities where I am active, so I thought it would be  a good idea to share my advice here on the blog as well.

The question was originally asked by Lindshay Hopkins in the SEO+ – Search Engine Optimization / Website Design Community on Google+

From what we have experienced, the most important to optimize an e-commerce website is

  1. Make sure the system produces good, keyword rich URL’s and that rel=canonical is in use to make sure you don’t get problems with duplicates.
  2. Never, ever change the URL’s of the category pages. If you do, you will have to start all over again in getting a top position for the key words. This means you have to put a lot of efforts into planning the category structure of the site.
  3. Make sure the category pages are well described with relevant text. At least 200 words of text for each. No repeating texts where the keyword has just been replaced. Unique, describing texts.
  4. Build links to the category pages, not just to the front page.
  5. Make sure you have included social sharing buttons in very prominent and visible places on all pages.
  6. Be sure that the hosting is on a stable and fast server not to far away to keep the loading speed high.

That’s the most important ones that we have seen are repeating problems with our clients. Especially the first one repeats often.

What are your thoughts?

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Bjørn Are SolstadWhat advice would you give to someone trying to optimise (SEO) an e-commerce website?
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