Automated E-commerce SEO – how to kill your competitors that use them.

We recently had the pleasure of working on a seasonal site, in a hectic business! What a fast pace, and then after their peak season, BOOM all traffic falls off, I am still recovering from the mental anguish and long nights but it was a BLAST, now that I can dust myself off a bit, I'd like to share some things that I learned after an automated SEO tool was installed.

What was interesting is that for this client they had an automated SEO tool installed after we did regular SEO to the main e-commerce site with tens of thousands of pages. So I got to see just how these tools perform head to head.

For those of you who are going up against a competitor with an automated SEO tool here's how to kick that things' ass, we did it, and will share with you too:

1 – INVEST in re-developing your site to be SEO friendly, any good SEO company will be able to help here. Some basic things to consider in the re-programming of your e-commerce site from an SEO perspective:

The SEO company working on your e-commerce site needs to understand how to find the fine line between what terms need REAL day to day love and which ones can be done with the right template. This is done by evaluating the competitiveness of individual terms (short and long tail) to understand which can be hit with template-based, scalable SEO best practices. Developing the right site hierarchy is critical here!

Leave space for copy in your templates.

Give yourself control over page titles, meta descriptions, and section headers, so you can overwrite automated copy here if you need to because of competitiveness.

Create search engine friendly URLs (use Mod re-write or ASAPI).

BEWARE: This is the hardest part, I have seen re-developments run in the low 6 figures for highly customized old carts. If you can NOT do this, then call up an automated SEO company to help, but expect that your competitors will eventually make these investments and will likely beat your tail (and I do mean the long tail).

Do not fall for the “do you want to change you programming to keep up with the algorithms” sales pitch. Any good SEO company, with experience in e-commerce SEO, will help you develop a search engine friendly architecture that should stand the test of time.

If you have the resources to re-develop your site, or if it is already SEO friendly according to the few basic requirements above proceed to step 2. (more…)

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Wil Reynolds
Wil Reynolds
CEO & Vice President