Importance of Canonical Tags in Ecommerce Store SEO!

By | Date posted: | Last updated: May 19, 2021

Canonical tags are the whole and sole for any website search engine optimization for any issues regarding content duplication. Probably the best part of the decade, thanks to Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo! There are loads and loads of URLs out there. In case if a customer misses a single alphabet, an ecommerce store may face issues like duplicate content search penalties, sales reduction and the list goes on.

For e.g., Look at the following URLs:
www.example.com
example.com
http://example.com
http://example.com/
https://example.com
https://www.example.com
http://www.example.com
https://www.example.com/index.html

Do they look same to you?
Yes, you are right! The URLs look similar; But search engine bots consider these as different URLs!

The same issue applies to URL parameters generated for tracking purposes as well:

https://www.example.com/?utm_source=google&utm_campaign=shopping

They might deal with similar content and hence can easily mislead any customer & consider this as a duplicate content. Search Engine Optimization for an Ecommerce Store is like having an accurate address of your shop on Google Maps; one wrong turn and snap, you end up nowhere or somewhere you did not want to. Any which way the eCommerce store owner has to face it.

Ecommerce Store SEO is the keywords entered by customers that best suits their search and hence provide the perfect internet shopping experience. The store lost its customer with a risk of getting sued for content duplication. This is where Canonical Tags in SEO and Canonical URLs in SEO play an important role.

Online stores gain attention and tremendous sales based on various factors. Albeit this is a tough job because most of them deal with similar content and products. Canonical tags help you separate from this rat race and stand out for best ranking when Google segregates them. The penalty is not an actual problem here, just in case your content matches; it is just that no one likes extra working hours including Google! And you better get enlightened on what happens when the rankings of your page catch a downfall.

So how does all of this work?

The basic job of a Canonical Tag is to resolve content duplication and lead the search engines to capture pages that rank better. All of these somehow revolve around Search Engine Optimization and hence comes the role of Canonical Tags in SEO. As mentioned above, your customer misses an alphabet and whoop! You lost him. So why miss a chance just for the sake of duplication? Also, why mess with Google which at the end of the day would lead you at the bottom of the rankings? Long story short, you can directly convey Google to check a particular page and not its twin. Giving more job to it may get you jobless. If not properly addressed, the SEO vulnerability and a pile of different URLs can create more and more havoc. Everywhere you go, a duplicate URL follows. To save us from all of these, there is a host or a parent URL called Canonical URL.

Ecommerce SEO

Canonical tags for an ecommerce solution

By now it would be pretty clear to you on how this system works and what are the areas to tackle. Canonical tags are of great importance for anyone who wishes to stand tall in the online business. Take an example of any famous online store. Now imagine the case of duplication as discussed earlier. Like there is a similar website or URL with a small difference in the domain. That small change may lead customers of an eCommerce website to something random and ultimately lose their interest. No one sets a goal so complicated. The best ecommerce practice can overcome this issue by setting up few pages with rel=”canonical” tags.

As a prerequisite, the following things should be implemented first:

  • Category pages with pagination
  • Blog/Article/Product Tags pages
  • One Product, Multiple Category
  • Layered Navigation with filter or sorting
  • URLs with search parameters
  • CMS Pages (Informational)

Content Duplication & SERPs

A parent tag is the only solution to duplication. That is why we have SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). By being specific on the canonical tag, you are showing Google the correct path towards the page/website that you wish to give utter value. For this, your page shall consist of the exact keywords to rank at the top.

To guide someone towards the accurate destination and tackle the perfect keyword or SEO, you need to be well versed with the usage of canonical tags. You won’t be master of it all in a day. It is ongoing learning and earning process.

Now the question that arises is, why am I not ranked even after working on the canonical tags and Search Engine Optimization part of my online store? This is where you need to peep at the neighbours. Competitors or perhaps someone who has reached far on what you just started.

Keeping up with the competitors!

How do you know the changes required on whatever you are doing? By comparing it with the best, right? Only when you see your friend earns more, you understand or invest time on enhancing your skills at work! Similarly, how do you know if your eCommerce store is missing on something? Simple. You check on how the competitors are doing it. Always keep a close eye on how they work when it comes to canonical tags or what makes it to the point when it comes to optimization? Begin with the keywords. See what keywords they tackle to gain maximum attention and minimum duplication at the same time. Remember, no duplication! And hence don’t go for the exact keywords but something different and of higher ranking. Check out the complete guide on how to fix duplicate content for Higher Search Engine Rankings.

Also, check how and what strategies the competitors are using in terms of canonical tags. What makes them unique? How come their customers are not directed to anything irrelevant or misleading? Once this is clear then comes the implementation part. Can you apply the same to your online store, to your procedures and especially to your canonical tag? Keep a track of everything. A record on the keywords used for various products or URLs created will be of great value.

P.S – You can check if there is a content duplication on canonical URL checkers available. It will also help you know how to attract the search crawlers. Thank us later!

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Meta Tags – The Ultimate guide for SEO Best Practices

By | Date posted: | Last updated: April 30, 2021

Meta tags, also known as meta elements, are invisible instructions in the area of a website that tell search engine crawlers how to use the page. This technique dates back to the 1990s.

Back then, search engines couldn’t make their own decisions. However, it is still used today to provide important information to Google and Co. We show which meta tags site operators should consider when optimizing search engines in order to improve their position on Google.

Which meta elements are relevant for Google?

In principle, meta tags do not impact the ranking on Google. Any of them, however, may be indirectly relevant to SEO:

Meta Description

An optimal meta description describes what users can expect on a website. It is therefore one of the first points of contact users have in their search in the Google ranking. Based on the meta description (and the title), they decide whether to visit a website. That means: It is responsible for the click-through rate. If this is high, Google knows that a website is particularly relevant for users. This in turn has an impact on the ranking of the page. Therefore, every description should also have a call-to-action.

The length of the meta description is only of limited relevance for SEO. Because: Google only shows between 145 and 160 characters in a search result. However, a longer meta description does not necessarily have an effect on search engine optimization. The restriction to a limited number of characters, as it is now prescribed by many CMS, only comes from a time when search engine optimization was still carried out by programmers. They only wrote the most necessary content. Today a description can be as long as website operators consider necessary. However, a short and concise description helps users to decide in a few seconds whether a search result contains the content and information they are looking for. Check out the guide about On-Page SEO for Ecommerce Website!

However, if site operators have stored a meta description, that does not mean that the search engine also uses this for its search results. If Google considers other content to be more useful for describing the page, then this will be used. Site operators should then usually rewrite their previous meta description. For example, you can include other relevant keywords (no keyword stuffing) or give the content of the description a different focus – in case the topic is broad enough.

Meta descriptions can look different on mobile / desktop.

Title tag

Technically, the title tag is not a meta tag. Together with the meta description, however, it forms the snippet that is important for Google. The title tag acts as a heading in the snippet that tells Google and users (often using the right keywords) what content a page offers. It therefore also decides whether users visit a page. The title tag thus has a great influence on the CTR and thus also on SEO and is part of every SEO optimization.

Robots

The robots attributes show search engine crawlers whether and how they are allowed to use a website. In this way you decide whether a website can appear in the search on Google. There are these values:

nofollow:

If site operators do not want a page on their homepage to appear in the Google ranking, they can use the value “nofollow”. In doing so, however, they also tell the crawlers that no link juice may be passed on to their own linked pages via the affected page. Nofollow is therefore only suitable for login and backend pages.

noindex:

The “noindex” value tells Google that it is not allowed to include a website in its index. However, that doesn’t mean that Google won’t follow the link. This only causes the instruction “nofollow”. Nevertheless, Google has confirmed that after some time it will treat a noindex page as if the page operator had also specified a nofollow.

nosnippet:

The value “nosnippet” shows Google that it is not allowed to use the content of a page for its featured snippet.

noarchive:

The value “noarchive” tells the search engine that it should not display a page stored in the cache.

Basically, if site operators don’t specify a robots value, Google is allowed to do anything. Conversely, this means: You don’t have to add a meta-robot tag to appear in the search results.

Viewport:

The meta-element viewport is responsible for a correct responsive display of a website on mobile devices. If site operators do not use this value, browsers usually use the standard viewpoint of the desktop width (980px). This can have a negative impact on the ranking on Google. Because: The search engine prefers mobile-friendly websites, especially for mobile search queries. So, if site operators specify the meta element Viewport, Google will recognize that a site is mobile-friendly.

How important is the keywords meta element to Google?

The keywords meta element has no effect on the ranking of a page. There is a persistent rumour that website operators can use it to improve their position on Google. However, the search engine has never used this to generate its SERPs.

Conclusion: Meta tags for SEO

Meta elements do not immediately provide a significant ranking boost. However, some of them tell Google how it can use a webpage in search results. And: They directly influence the behaviour of the user. If they click a website particularly often, the CTR increases. Google sees this as a positive ranking signal.

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Top 8 Google Analytics Event Tracking Keys for your ecommerce store

By | Date posted: | Last updated: April 17, 2021

Do you want to know in detail how the traffic in your ecommerce store is developing? A good solution is an extension of Google Analytics: event tracking.

In order to precisely track the performance of the traffic in an ecommerce store and to be able to track certain user actions, the standard implementation of Google Analytics needs to be expanded. Event tracking provides such measurement data beyond the usual performance metrics.

Event tracking is the use of event functions that are added to HTML pages.

With these functions, operators of ecommerce stores and other websites get a precise insight into the use of elements that are below the level of the data measured by Google Analytics.

Without an event tracking extension, analytics only measures activities that relate to entire HTML pages, but not actions that relate to the use of elements within pages, such as videos, downloads, forms, individual buttons and links, gadgets etc. Only event tracking gives ecommerce operators a precise insight into the behaviour of their users. Therefore, a real ecommerce conversion rate optimization is only possible with event tracking.

The technical implementation of GA event tracking

Here and there advisors write that event tracking can also be implemented without programming knowledge. It is true that you do not have to be a specialist to add the necessary components to the page code. General basic knowledge of web programming should be available, however, because the implementation is by no means work for laypeople.

As a prerequisite, the following things should be implemented first:

  • Integration of the source code into the website, which loads the external JavaScript every time the page is viewed;
  • Assignment of all actions to a specific protocol;
  • Reduction of the IPs of the website users in accordance
  • Securing the recording of all page views on Google Analytics through the event tracking function.

The basic function call is made using the parameters:
ga (‘send’, ‘event’, ‘Category’, ‘Action’)

The concrete source code then specifies these parameters and integrates the original code.
In the case of event tracking of a whitepaper download, it looks like this, for example:

<a href = “http://www.domain-name.com/document-name.pdf” onClick=”ga (‘send’, ‘event’, ‘Download’, ‘pdf name’);”>Download</a>.

The implementation can be quite complicated for certain applications, for example for interactions via social sharing buttons, form or mouse scroll tracking.

In the following, we will focus on the possibilities that event tracking opens up for an ecommerce store.

1. Home Page Promotion – How successful are special offers on your ecommerce store home page?

Most ecommerce stores have special offers on their home page. Special offers, new products, specials and other items are presented in certain areas of the page that lead to the corresponding category or product pages. There are of course other ways to get to these pages.

In the standard implementation of Google Analytics, the operator therefore does not know how successful homepage promotions are. Event tracking provides the answer. In daily practice, the corresponding function is used to test different products, categories and placement variants in order to find the most successful in each case, and to identify generally successful products and categories.

2. View product – How often are individual products viewed?

An interesting question for ecommerce store operators concerns the mathematical difference between the number of “product shows” and the number of their purchases. Some products are often viewed without the number of purchases corresponding to them. It is the other way around with other products. It is possible that the detailed description of the products that are attractive at first glance is not optimal and needs to be improved. This important question of ecommerce store optimization only allows the appropriate event tracking.

3. 404 Errors – Find error pages and notify the operator

Error pages are ugly things that are very detrimental to the branding of an ecommerce store in general and the customer journey specifically. For this reason, a corresponding event label should be generated for every ecommerce store, which is linked to the URL of the HTTP 404 error and issues a warning to the operator.

4. Payment Methods – What are the preferred payment methods?

The payment methods are particularly interesting for visitors to ecommerce stores. Some people have one or more credit cards and others do not, some visitors prefer to pay via PayPal, others prefer to pay by direct transfer. For some users, it is the only possible payment method.

Ecommerce store owners respond to the multitude of preferences that they cannot mathematically estimate by setting up as many payment methods as possible. Which payment method is more popular than the other is usually only revealed to the ecommerce store owner after a labour-intensive examination of the accounting department?

Event tracking opens up the possibility of getting a precise and quick answer to the question. On the basis of the result data, they can make decisions about the extent to which the provision of certain payment methods is of particular importance or more worthwhile than others for the operation of the ecommerce store.

5. Internal store search – Which products are searched for in the ecommerce store?

Anyone who tracks the search results in their ecommerce store as an event will also gain important insights.

  • Are certain products searched for in the ecommerce store but not found?
  • So, should they be included in the repertoire?
  • Should the product you be looking for be offered in the event of negative search results?

Search results that are particularly frequent could be specially advertised on the ecommerce store ‘s homepage in order to increase the success of the product. After all, popular search results are used to usefully expand the keyword list of search engine optimization and Google advertising.

6. Checkout – How many users leave the ecommerce store without buying?

The implementation of a function that connects checkout data with conversions enables a quick insight without detours. Has a user who leaves the ecommerce store bought something beforehand? The function provides valuable information for questions about usability such as inventory and general pricing.

7. Continue Shopping – How many users buy how many products?

This event also allows a comfortable insight into a question, which would be much more time-consuming to answer by reviewing the entire order.

When a product has been placed in the shopping cart, a button with a name such as “Continue Shopping” usually allows you to continue browsing the store. If you do not use this button, you go to the checkout with the product placed in the shopping cart.

Some users take a different route on their customer journey, but this is the usual one. The connection of the function with a number of passes enables the counting of the button usage and thus the number of products purchased. If the number of users of the button is low, the ecommerce store operator will try to increase the purchases per visitor in one way or another.

8. Add product to shopping cart – Which products are bought most often?

The question is of course not entirely correct because not every item that ends up in the shopping cart is actually bought. On the shopping cart page, articles can be removed from the product list or their number modified. After all, this is a good approximation to determine which products in the ecommerce store are bought most (or least). With this event tracking, of course, not the name of each individual product, but a variable for all product names is entered in the EventLabel field.

There are many more applications that can be measured by event tracking, such as video and form usage, scrolling through a page, mouse-over activities, downloading documents, leaving a website using certain external links, and many others. The above is only a small selection of events that are of interest to ecommerce store operators. One thing is certain: Anyone who has started using event tracking for their ecommerce store optimization will use the method again and again with great enthusiasm.

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The Effects of Voice Search Optimization on Digital Marketing!

By | Date posted: | Last updated: May 7, 2021

The number of people who use the so-called voice search assistant is increasing continuously. According to estimates and surveys, almost 60% of all young people use this method of Google search very regularly. But even among adults, a good 45% use the voice search function at least once a day, and the trend is growing rapidly. But the use of mobile surfing continues to increase overall. According to study, a good 81% now go online via smartphone – a new record. The question now is what effects these developments have on the workspace of SEOs. The changed user habits due to the voice search function also make new approaches to SEO optimization necessary in order to be taken into account in the result list of Google searches using voice search.

Which voice search assistants are there?

In addition to Google with its system Google Now (“Ok Google”), other industry giants have also followed suit and developed their own language software. Windows Phone owners have known Cortana for a little longer, voice search assistant has been widely used since the introduction of Windows 10.

How does voice search work?

In its origins, voice commands were mainly used to start calls, dictate texts for an SMS, for Word or for an e-mail, or to call up websites directly. In the meantime, the technology has become more sophisticated and complex. In the meantime, the search engine is mainly operated using voice searches.

How does the voice assistant manage to display meaningful and relevant results?

Of course, when it comes to the secret algorithms, Google can hardly be looked into. Nevertheless, the Hummingbird update from 2013 should be mentioned first. The algorithm, which was new at the time, made it possible for the first time not to search for more words and word combinations 1:1, but to recognize the context behind them that the user associates with the input. This so-called “semantic search” revolutionized Google search in the long term and was at the same time a milestone in terms of the accuracy and quality of the search results displayed.

Voice Search independently recognizes the context!

The search on Google differs very much in which respect the user carries out it. Experience shows that typing in search terms only includes 1 to 3 words, while the search using voice search includes 3 to 6 terms. Even complete sentences are sometimes spoken by the users. Of course, that changes the way SEOs work immensely. Optimizing for individual keywords is no longer sufficient here to be sufficiently taken into account in the voice search. The search using voice search differs greatly from the usual Google search in terms of its search technology. It must therefore be made easier for Google to ensure that its own website offers users the required semantic sense in order to land at the top of the hit list in voice search.

How speech recognition works?

The operation of the speech recognition (voice recognition) is performed at all platforms on a similar principle. The text recognition is carried out by recording the spoken words into an audio file. This audio file is then converted into text that can be “read” by the respective software. The second step is crucial. In addition to the correct recognition of the spoken terms, the software must now be able to classify them correctly. The meaning of the search query must be recognized. In the third and last step, the instruction is then executed, i.e. performing the search and displaying the list of results. This shows how well the voice search function has done its job.

What innovations has voice search brought with it so far?

Due to the high level of comfort and ease of use, it is highly likely that voice search will establish itself in the medium term. But Google itself is also doing a lot to ensure that voice search is becoming increasingly important. Here are a few trends on this.

Direct Answers and Rich Answers from Google

With the Direct Answers, Google wants to enable its users to quickly and efficiently provide the right answer to the question asked. For this purpose, the user is no longer only shown links in the list of search results, but also a so-called knowledge box (knowledge graph) in a special form. Around 20% of user inquiries are currently answered in this way, and the trend is rising. So far, information about famous cities, people or places, but also the weather, has been clearly displayed in this way. In addition to the above knowledge boxes, so-called rich answers are now increasingly appearing in the SERPs. Above all, these offer the user useful functions such as converting currencies and measurements.

Rich answer conversion speed

With the help of such rich answers or a so-called quick answer box, Google would like to give users the answer to the search query as quickly as possible. It is astonishing that the voice search is used especially in situations in which the users actually pursue another occupation.

At the same time, however, this also shows Google’s upcoming change. Due to these developments, the search engine is increasingly becoming an answer machine.

Voice search is gaining in importance, especially in local searches

In addition to providing background information, voice search plays a key role, especially for local searches. According to Google, local retailers and service providers in particular benefit from mobile search. According to Google, 50% of consumers who use their smartphone to search for a retailer, product or service provider are actually on site within 30 minutes in a shop that was displayed in the hit list. Frequent searches in this context are the opening times of shops, the search for discounts and special offers, and reviews from other customers.

What effects does voice search have on SEO?

Two good news first. Google does not (yet) penalize sites that are not optimized for voice search. However, this is in all probability only a matter of time. And all those who have already worked solidly in the area of ” content ” over the past few years have little to fear. On the contrary. Good content is once again greatly enhanced by voice search and is rewarded accordingly by Google. Nevertheless, there are some changes in the area of SEO to make your own domain fit for voice search. Check out the guide on how Voice Search Optimization play a significant role in SEO.

The spoken language significantly changes the nature of the search queries

Since search queries in voice search are sometimes formulated in whole sentences, it is now of far less use if websites are only optimized for single or a few keywords. The spoken language is very different from the usual input of terms on Google. Here it is necessary to adapt your own strategy. In this case, long-tail keywords in particular provide answers to complex questions. In addition, headings on websites or in blog articles can be formulated in W-form, for example, and the answer can already be formulated below. Headings That When? How? What? Where? Why? contain, Google offer themselves as a potential source of answers – provided that Google’s own domain is considered authentic (site authority) enough. The classic FAQs, which provide clear answers to previously asked questions, seem to be experiencing a kind of renaissance here – FAQs reloaded, so to speak.

Semantics and content will play an even more central role

Online forums and blogs are likely to be of particular importance here in the future. In these, not only can users ask questions, which are then answered immediately. This also has the effect that user-generated content is created. This, in turn, is particularly appreciated by Google by classifying it as particularly relevant, as there is a clear added value here.

In general, it can also be said that the already increased importance of high-quality content in the course of voice search will continue to increase. Anyone who offers their visitors no or inferior content should not be surprised by low visitor numbers, poor ranking and high bounce rates.

Local SEO is becoming increasingly important

Since the voice search goes hand in hand with the search for dealers, services and entertainment options on site, the area of local SEO will gain in importance in the future. Local SEO means all measures that bring about an optimal placement of your own company or your own products in the local search of a user. Above all, the areas of rating and reviews play a special role. Positive user ratings on platforms and portals have a major impact on the results list in voice search. In addition, of course, the distance to the target, the degree of agreement with the searcher’s request (relevance) as well as the importance or awareness of the company and other relevant influencing factors. If, in the past, large amounts of data on user behaviour were already collected, voice search takes this to a new level. Speech recognition is used, for example, to determine the gender of the user and adjust the results accordingly. Positioning (GPS tracking) also plays a central role in local searches.

Conclusion on voice search and SEO

Voice search is not yet fully developed and is still used cautiously, depending on the age group, but industry experts assume that it is only a matter of time before voice search is fully established. In addition, Google is constantly working on optimizing the voice search function. In the medium term, the results will become more and more precise and voice search will become indispensable. With the increasing number of users, however, all SEOs will have to deal more intensively with the voice search and take appropriate SEO measures.

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