Earlier this week we were talking about the specificities of SEO for eCommerce – so why not do our five point SEO review on an eCommerce site this week? We’ll be looking at all the usual SEO review areas, but with a sector-specific slant on things.
www.ic4uae.com is an eCommerce site for the Carrefour hypermarket chain in the UAE. There’s a huge range of products on offer, from mobile phones to pushchairs; Flash drives to garden furniture; shampoo to subwoofers. With so many products, it’s a complex site. So what can be done, or what’s already being done, to help the site rise to the top?
Covering the Basics
A site: search is clear, with no obvious penalties in place. PageRank is a respectable 5, not too bad at all for a site that’s under 2 years old. However, although I can find an html sitemap, it doesn’t seem to be linked from the front page. The W3C validator is showing up a number of errors, and there doesn’t seem to be a robots.txt in evidence.
SEO Recommendation: There’s some very simple stuff here that can be fixed with good results – top of the list is a robots.txt! This will help the search engine spiders out, essential in a site as big as this.
For eCommerce sites, duplicate content can be a real worry. With so many products, the content often consists of product descriptions which come directly from the manufacturer. And content which is duplicated in many places around the web is Very Bad News indeed. For example: elements of the product description for the Panasonic LCD TV can be found in hundreds of other places around the web. Added to this the fact that it’s in block caps, and you’ve got a listing which doesn’t really engage the buyer.
SEO Recommendation: If you must keep the standard product description, try to encourage more varied content – perhaps product reviews? And definitely get rid of the block caps…
Functionality & User Experience
Social sharing buttons are in place on the products, as well as on the home page, but URL propagation is unintuitive, which lowers the chance of social sharing. The URLs don’t clearly label products or subcategories. Linking to other (deeper) parts of the site not really in evidence – what about “if you liked this, you may like…” links?
SEO Recommendation: more internal links, perhaps in a more systemised fashion?
Behind the Source Code: Keywords, meta descriptions and more
Meta description in place, and it’s pretty good! But the home page has no keywords. Products do, but they’re generic.
SEO Recommendation: Look at longer-tail keywords, and perhaps add microformats to help search results stand out.
This site is fairly hefty, and there are a couple of good things going for it. But there’s a fair bit of work that could be done, especially around site structure, that could make the SEO work much easier…