Commerce Cloud By Salesforce (formerly Demandware), have allowed leading retail brands to build online sites and give their customers a superior shopping experience from a comprehensive digital platform. Understanding how SEO works within Commerce Cloud is crucial for maximizing the performance of this robust solution and ensuring optimal long-term health for your ecommerce business.
If you’re in the ecommerce game, you know that getting customers to click to your site begins with helping search engines find your business and get to know you through Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Ideally, the worlds of SEO and ecommerce work together to make your site sing. Keywords and URLs sync up, redirects happen like magic, and metadata ratchet your site to the top of the rankings page. Shopping carts load and transactional details flow back and forth in a gorgeous river of revenue.
Other times, it’s like SEO and ecommerce are speaking two different languages. That’s because understanding how the many complex features of the Commerce Cloud relate to key SEO conventions is an enormous job that requires proven expertise in navigating the ins and outs of this powerful platform.
Even if you have an optimization rock star on your implementation team, Pixel’s Digital Marketing team of SEO, development, and user experience (UX) experts can help reduce ramp-up time, getting your site to market sooner and giving your business a faster return on its investment.
47% of digital marketers say a SEO audit should be conducted every six months.
– SEJ Annual Report: State of Digital Marketing 2017
Site Architecture and URL Structure
SEO success begins with creating a site architecture that determines how different products and pages are related, and ways that constantly changing product lines may be accommodated. For example, keyword-optimized URLs can be automatically created in the Commerce Cloud to allow newly added products to be easily found. Search-friendly rules may be put in place to auto-generate these new, optimized URLs. When desired, the platform also offers the flexibility to override those rules and set highly customized URLs, even in today’s international ecommerce world where SEO is relevant to non-Google search engines such as Bing or DuckDuckGo.
Setting up a proper URL structure also means setting up proper rel canonical links. This convention is used to consolidate the SEO equity of different page variations and reduce the potential for duplicate content issues that may harm your business’s ranking. In the hands of an inexperienced Commerce Cloud user, a canonical URL could be easily edited, damaging its link equity. This type of mistake could directly result in a significant drop in ranking, followed all too soon by serious revenue loss.
Pixel’s Digital Marketing experts know how to navigate the dos and don’ts of the Commerce Cloud to bring all available platform features together with the right site architecture and URL structure necessary to get the search results you intend — and need — for your business to be successful.
Everyone knows that search-friendly title tags and meta descriptions lead to improved click-through rates. When used correctly, these SEO tools result in the enviable chance to sell your products to users directly from the search results.
Commerce Cloud adds gas to the metadata fire by allowing automated rules to be set up according to SEO best practices. It also allows for easy input of custom metadata fields — for example, if you want to include more details of a product description or give a single page priority over others on your site. This means that no page will be left under-optimized, and certain other pages may be custom-optimized as you gather data on your site over time, sharpening your customer focus considerably.
Content strategy and on-page content go hand-in-hand with SEO to influence search rankings of product pages and product categories. Commerce Cloud allows marketers and merchandisers to set up text fields and add optimized content across various page templates, which also influence the metadata decisions that drive ranking.
Pixel Digital Marketing experts help Commerce Cloud clients determine the best way to structure meta descriptions and highlight product feature content or other selling points, like free shipping or promotional discounts. In addition to showing clients how to properly set up these rules, Pixel also understands how to maximize the platform’s flexibility to make custom edits, then test the search results for ongoing improvement.
When moving to any ecommerce platform, 301 redirects are essential for transferring existing rankings from a legacy site page to a relevant new page. Redirects are also necessary for helping search engines understand that a prior page has relocated to a new home.
In an ecommerce environment, potentially thousands of pages have to be redirected. No matter the platform, improperly structured 301 redirects typically result in 404 errors, leading to poor user experience and ultimately, a hit to your bottom line.
Whether your site is relaunching with a completely new architecture or involves a straightforward transfer of files, the Commerce Cloud offers options for one-to-one 301 redirect mapping or “batch” redirects for handling page transfers efficiently and elegantly.
However, these features can also be daunting to set up, and even potentially harmful to your site if the technology is not fully understood. The Pixel Digital Marketing team commonly works with clients during a site transition to educate them on the full extent of Commerce Cloud’s capabilities and ensure they know how to properly use these tools to succeed.
While the Commerce Cloud is equally robust and complex, the online businesses it serves are still pretty focused on the same thing — serving customers and driving revenue. With a dedicated team of Digital Marketing experts behind the SEO wheel, you can be confident your site will rank properly and your Commerce Cloud investment will be rewarded for years to come.
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