If there is something that is clear is that nowadays the creation of an online store without an associated SEO and marketing strategy is no longer conceived. For those who still do not know what it is, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is much more than placing labels and content or keywords; is to come to understand, thanks to data and evolution of figures, how users search the Internet to make profitable strategies and sell more and better. Today, there is no store that has not worked and SEO optimized in their categories. But what about the articles?
One of the great topics is whether you have to continue optimizing the product sheets that go up, even if they have a very marked “expiration date”. It is the example of online clothing stores, which change with the new season or are even able to change the totality of their products biweekly (as do the chains of early fashion or fast fashion).
Is it necessary to optimize the product listings if they change?
If we are clear that the capture of organic traffic to generate conversions is our goal, SEO should never stop. Your product listings must always be optimized to appear on Google (from titles, meta descriptions, urls and images). Unless you are a well-known brand that generates direct traffic thanks to branding actions that have made you known – as is the case in online fashion clothing stores, in which people search by brand and not by product.
You have to take into account Google’s changes that now make the organic results appear in the middle-end of each results page, which makes it difficult to see the categories and products if you have not worked before. We must also add that Google Shopping already has a significant weight and, in most cases, it is much more profitable to carry out campaigns in this application than in the Google Adwords search (where you have to compete with the largest brands).
If we are clear that the capture of organic traffic to generate conversions is our goal, SEO should never stop.
But, leaving aside the payment traffic and going back to the organic …
What do we do with SEO when we have to change whole collections of products?
First of all, common sense. If something we have learned from SEO is that what will end up maintaining a store, in the long term, will be the quality of it at all levels (starting with the technical platform, design, product and customer service). It can be positioned thanks to different strategies but it is common sense that ends up giving priority and will continue to give notoriety or not to an online store.
But, if the store is going to be generating new content or products with stock or without stock …
What do you have to keep in mind so as not to lose your ranking?
The first thing: you should study each case in particular since the removal of the products does not affect the same to each eCommerce. It is not the same to change collections in an unknown online store (which may have fluctuations downwards with a change not studied) than a store with a branding worked and a lot of direct traffic. Similarly, it is not the same for all stores: multi-brand stores that sell products like others have to study their redirects more closely.
Based on this basis, we can cover several points to take into account with each change of season:
To begin, plan the seasonality of each product and understand the rotation to advance to the previous work of searching for keywords and current trends. If it is clear that this is what is going to change and when the change of products will be made, it will be easier to prepare the store so that it does not lose positions in the ranking with each change of season.
Working meta descriptions to be the “showcase” of the store: Between studies and keyword searches there is something that must be taken into account: the description you see will be the one that encourages the click with respect to our competitor. Therefore, it is very important not only the most technical SEO – to place labels, urls and links to the file – but also the semantic part with which we can capture a future client.
Products without stock but which will return to the sale: If that product will be available again and, after an exhaustive analysis of links and positioning in Google, it is best to continue with the operative product card so as not to generate errors 404. To avoid worsening the data of usability and navigation, it is advisable to place a “Leave us your information and we will notify you when it is available” or “Make your reservation”, in order to avoid high bounce rates to the file.
Products that change season: Before performing a redirect to 404 error page should be studied each product in detail: Are you going to have a product similar to the one we are now unsubscribing? Do you place that product on Google? If so, can you think about creating 301 redirects to a related product?
Do not create product pages: In spite of having a good rel = canonical strategy and, in this way avoiding duplicate content, the truth is that it is recommended not to have equal product pages to have a more specific control of the content. If you have a product that may be available in different colors, it is recommended to create a single product sheet with a color selector to avoid duplicities in the content and control.
Quick indexing to changes: Submitting a review of the sitemap through the Google Search Console will help Google track the new changes and new listings that have appeared in the store as soon as possible.
And eliminate all those links that we have left: Once you have analyzed what you do not want to have anymore in the “showcase” of the store, it is important to eliminate 404 errors that have been generated through Google Search Console.
In conclusion, rotating products can be a catastrophe or it can be the gateway to new sales, new customers and greater visibility if each product or category of the store is studied as a separate entity. Taking into account that a high percentage of users will enter your store through product listings (and more if you have a Google Shopping campaign), it is better not to lose any opportunity to position what you sell.