The E-Commerce Column

How to create smart content for your e-commerce site

Each product that your e-commerce site offers is an opportunity to create unique content. Each page contains a unique URL, page description, and many other opportunities to increase SEO rankings, yet so many e-commerce sites don’t take advantage of these opportunities. Creating unique content is great for not only increasing rankings, but also to stand out to visitors of your website.


Get your images found by using ALT Attributes.

A beautiful image can sell your products, but only to customers who arrived at your site to purchase them. Google will not see your images as content unless you add an alt attribute. What can adding an ALT attribute do for you? Well, let’s create a scenario for you. A potential customer sits down at their computer and decides to search for images of “Cervelo” road bikes.

e-commerce tips

Your e-commerce store sells Cervelo road bikes and at a very competitive price point compared to other businesses. But when you created your website you didn’t add alt tags to your images, so when this customer searches in Google images for Cervelo bikes, you don’t show up. They end up purchasing a bike you sell from one of your competitors. What could you have done to prevent this?


alt tag e-commerce

You took the time to take a good picture of your product, so show that image off. When thinking about what to put in your image alt tag, think about what words would be searched for regarding your product. It can be obvious like the above tag shows or it can be a less general such as “beginner road bike” or “beautiful road bike”. This way someone who is just starting to search for a road bike and isn’t set on any particular brand might come across yours and love the look and the price.

Don’t forget to clean the crumbs!

Breadcrumb navigation is often overlooked in the design and development process. Breadcrumbs give users an alternative method of navigation, allowing them to see where they stand in the hierarchy of a website.  Offering breadcrumb navigation limits the number of steps needed to navigate through the site.  

breadcrumb e-commerce

Breadcrumb navigation provides visitors to your website an easy way to backtrack. Primary navigation isnot designed to be followed backwards while breadcrumbs are. Users are able to jump from one level of the site to another without having to visit the main navigation or click “forward” and “backward” buttons on the browser. By providing detailed navigation users are able to back track a few levels within the website with ease and will be less likely to abandon the site. Behavior like this will lower your website’s bounce rate.

Avoid Duplicate Content with Filters & rel=”canonical”.

Despite your best efforts, you will still have duplicate content. Pages that you wish to rank in search engines like “Triathlon Bikes” or “Road Bikes” need to be full of unique content in order to increase visibility. In order to create a good user experience, you are able to filter products by options such as price or ratings, allowing customers to quickly find what they want. By doing this you are creating huge amounts of pages with nearly identical content, which is precisely why this job is handled by filters and not links. Filtered pages are generally not crawled by search engines. Using rel=”canonical” tag on these pages points back to the non-filtered URL of the page and allow the pages to be found.



Share your tips for creating smart content with us.




About the Author

Will StrohlWill Strohl

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