Digital Marketing

12 Most Common SEO Issues with E-Commerce Websites

With online shopping becoming increasingly prevalent, the visibility of e-commerce websites in search engine results can significantly impact their success or failure. The stakes are high: a website well-optimized for search engines can attract a steady stream of potential buyers, while those lagging in search engine optimization may languish in obscurity, unseen by the very customers they seek to attract.

However, SEO is not simple, particularly for e-commerce sites with unique challenges. From technical issues to content strategies, these websites face a myriad of pitfalls that can hinder their visibility and performance. Understanding these issues is the first step in crafting a robust SEO strategy, so here are the 12 most common SEO issues faced by e-commerce websites, divided into five key aspects of SEO: technical, content-related, on-page, off-page, and user experience optimization.

Technical SEO Challenges

Technical SEO plays a pivotal role in determining a website’s visibility and user experience. Several key issues often impede the performance of online stores, affecting their ability to rank well in search engine results.

Site Speed and Performance Issues

Speed is a critical factor in both SEO and user satisfaction. Slow-loading pages not only frustrate visitors but also negatively impact search engine rankings. Common culprits include unoptimized images, excessive use of plug-ins, and inadequate hosting solutions. 

To combat these issues, e-commerce sites should focus on optimizing images, leveraging browser caching, and choosing a reliable hosting provider that can handle high traffic volumes. Implementing techniques like lazy loading, where images and videos load only as they enter the viewport, can also significantly boost site speed.

Mobile Optimization and Responsiveness

With a growing number of consumers shopping via mobile devices, mobile optimization is no longer optional. Mobile-friendly websites rank better in search engines and provide a better shopping experience. 

Key aspects include a responsive design that adapts to various screen sizes, fast loading times on mobile networks, and easy navigation on touchscreens. Tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test can help identify areas for improvement.

Site Architecture and Navigation

A well-structured website not only aids users in finding what they need quickly but also helps search engines understand and rank the site’s content. E-commerce sites should have a logical hierarchy, clear categories, and a robust internal linking structure. 

Breadcrumbs, for instance, are not just useful for navigation but also help search engines understand the site’s structure. Additionally, a well-planned URL structure that includes relevant keywords can enhance SEO efforts.

Improving these technical SEO aspects requires a careful balance between technical prowess and user-centric design. An SEO audit of your website from SeoProfy helps ensure that the website remains not only technically sound but also aligned with evolving SEO best practices.

Content-Related SEO Issues

Although content is important in SEO for any type of website, e-commerce platforms have common challenges related to content. Here’s what content issues can significantly impact an e-commerce website’s search engine rankings and user engagement.

Duplicate Content Problems

Duplicate content is a frequent issue for e-commerce sites, often arising from product descriptions, category pages, and canonicalization errors. Search engines struggle to identify which version to index, potentially diluting the site’s SEO value. To mitigate this, e-commerce platforms should ensure unique product descriptions, utilize canonical tags to point out preferred versions of content, and do regular audits to identify and rectify any inadvertent duplication.

Poor Quality or Thin Content

Search engines favor content that offers value and depth to users. Many e-commerce sites, however, suffer from thin content, especially on product pages. Enhancing these pages with detailed descriptions, customer reviews, and relevant information can significantly boost their SEO potential. Moreover, integrating a blog section with articles, guides, and industry insights can add depth to the site’s content profile, attracting both search engines and customers.

Lack of Product Descriptions and Keyword Optimization

Effective product descriptions are vital. They should not only inform and persuade customers but also be optimized for keywords relevant to the products and the target audience. Keyword stuffing, however, should be avoided. The focus should be on the natural integration of keywords in titles, descriptions, and meta tags, enhancing readability while keeping SEO in mind.

Content-related SEO issues, if addressed strategically, can transform an e-commerce website from just another digital storefront into a powerful magnet for both search engines and customers. Regularly updating content, focusing on quality and relevance, and ensuring a keyword-smart approach are essential steps in this ongoing process. 

On-Page SEO Elements

On-page SEO is a critical component in the e-commerce playbook, focusing on optimizing elements within the website to improve rankings and attract more relevant traffic. Several key on-page factors often need meticulous attention to enhance an e-commerce site’s SEO performance.

Ineffective Use of Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

Title tags and meta descriptions play a significant role in influencing click-through rates from search results. A common issue is neglecting these elements or using them ineffectively. Here are some tips for improving them:

  • Titles should be concise, compelling, and include primary keywords. 
  • Meta descriptions, while not a direct ranking factor, should accurately summarize the page content and include a call-to-action, encouraging users to click. 
  • Each product page should have unique title tags and meta descriptions, tailored to highlight the product’s key features and benefits.

Missing Alt Text for Images

Alt text is often overlooked in e-commerce sites. This text not only aids in accessibility, allowing screen readers to describe images to visually impaired users but also helps search engines understand the content of images. Including descriptive, keyword-rich alt text for each image can improve the SEO of product pages, especially since images can appear in Google’s image search results, driving additional traffic.

Poor Internal Linking Structure

An effective internal linking strategy is essential for SEO. It helps distribute page authority throughout the site and aids users in navigating it. E-commerce sites typically fail to leverage this, missing opportunities to link related products, categories, and content. Internal links should use descriptive anchor text, providing clear context about the linked page. This not only improves SEO but also makes it easier for customers to find related products or information.

Off-Page SEO Issues

Off-page optimization focuses on external factors that influence a website’s search engine rankings. Understanding and addressing these issues is crucial for enhancing the site’s reputation and visibility.

Lack of Quality Backlinks

Backlinks are a cornerstone of off-page SEO, serving as endorsements from other websites. Many e-commerce sites struggle with acquiring high-quality backlinks. This deficiency can stem from a lack of engaging, link-worthy content or failure to establish connections with relevant industry influencers and websites. 

To remedy this, e-commerce businesses should focus on creating valuable content, such as in-depth guides, how-to articles, or engaging infographics that naturally attract backlinks. Additionally, reaching out for guest blogging opportunities or collaborating with influencers can significantly boost the site’s backlink profile.

Neglecting Social Media Signals

While social media’s direct impact on SEO rankings is debatable, its indirect benefits are undeniable. Social media platforms are powerful tools for increasing brand exposure and driving traffic to the website. A strong social media strategy, involving regular posting, engaging with followers, and using social platforms to share new products and content, can create a buzz around the brand and indirectly strengthen its SEO.

User Experience and SEO

The symbiotic relationship between user experience (UX) and SEO is increasingly recognized as a vital element in e-commerce success. Search engines like Google continually refine their algorithms to favor websites that provide a positive user experience, understanding that this aligns with the searcher’s intent.

Key UX Factors Influencing SEO

  • Website navigation: A site that is easy to navigate encourages longer visit durations and lower bounce rates, signals to search engines of a valuable site. 
  • Page loading speed: Fast-loading pages reduce frustration and abandonment, further improving engagement metrics.
  • Mobile responsiveness: Ensuring the website is mobile-friendly is crucial, given the growing prevalence of mobile browsing.

Prioritizing UX in e-commerce is not just about aesthetic appeal or functionality; it’s a strategic SEO decision. By focusing on creating a seamless, engaging user experience, e-commerce sites can significantly boost their SEO, attracting more visitors and converting them into customers.


Addressing the multifaceted SEO challenges in e-commerce is crucial for the success and visibility of any online business. These are the most common issues that online stores face in search engine optimization: 

  1. Site speed and performance;
  2. Mobile optimization and responsiveness;
  3. Site architecture and navigation;
  4. Duplicate content;
  5. Poor quality or thin content;
  6. Poorly optimized product descriptions;
  7. Ineffective use of title tags;
  8. Missing alt text for images;
  9. Internal linking problems;
  10. Low-quality or underdeveloped backlink profile;
  11. Neglecting social media signals;
  12. User experience factors.

E-commerce websites can significantly improve their online presence, drawing in more traffic, and ultimately, achieving greater commercial success if they detect and address these issues. Continuous monitoring, updating, and refining of SEO strategies remain key to staying competitive.

To Top

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This