Why eCommerce Needs eCommerce SEO

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quick summary

Yoox attracts 10 million visits a month. Walmart brings in 250 million monthly visits. And both of them have millions of products that can’t be found on Google. If big brands like these can mismanage their eCommerce SEO, how confident are you regarding your eCommerce website?

There are between 12 million to 24 million eCommerce sites in the world. Global retail eCommerce sales double every couple of years.

As the eCommerce industry is growing by the day, it’s no surprise that many businesses are moving their sales online. The trend is expected to grow as more and more customers recognize the benefits that eCommerce provides for them.

When it comes to eCommerce traffic sources, organic traffic is by far the most important. In 2018, organic traffic accounted for 43% of total eCommerce traffic and 38% of the total revenue, surpassing paid search traffic by over 238%.

eCommerce business owners are waking up to the reality that to succeed in this highly competitive area, they need to utilize the organic traffic channel to its fullest extent. 

That’s where eCommerce SEO comes in.

What is eCommerce SEO?

eCommerce SEO is the process of making online stores more visible in Google’s search results. It comes with challenges specific to a particular niche.

As eCommerce websites are structured in a particular way, they have particular needs.

It’s not uncommon for them to have hundreds of product categories and thousands of products on offer. With an unoptimized structure, this often means millions of separate URL addresses that need to be handled by the search engine. 

From a business owner’s perspective, this often means technical SEO problems on a scale that requires true expertise to solve.

What is lost without good eCommerce SEO?

To fully understand the fragile relationship between eCommerce and search engines, we’ve conducted research that reveals the staggering underperformance of even the most popular eCommerce stores. 

As it turns out, despite the eCommerce industry growing by leaps and bounds, many businesses lose traffic and fail to recognize that it’s because of common technical issues that eCommerce SEO deals with.

The indexing problem

Do you know if your website is using JavaScript? It’s used by as much as 80% of the most popular eCommerce websites in the US.

It’s very common that JavaScript is used in eCommerce to inject content into product or category pages. Be it for internal linking, comment sections, or main content, JavaScript is the most popular choice nowadays.

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However, as our data shows, unoptimized JavaScript is one of the primary reasons why your eCommerce website may perform poorly. 

The content that’s injected with JavaScript commonly gets indexed by the search engines with a substantial delay, which can make the pages that use JavaScript rank worse.

Not only that, we’ve found a correlation between JavaScript usage and the delayed indexing of the pages themselves. And when something isn’t indexed, it can’t be found through search. 

Examples of bad eCommerce SEO

There are examples of eCommerce websites that don’t have more than half of their pages indexed. None of these pages will ever be found through search unless they’re indexed. With organic usually the main traffic channel for eCommerce , can you imagine how much revenue is lost as a consequence? 


A perfect case study to show how bad things may get is Yoox.com. This retail eCommerce store, popular in Italy, the United States, and Russia, gets around 10 million monthly visits.

Here’s the bad news: 80.78% of the product pages on Yoox.com are not indexed by Google. 

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Their customers can only find 1 in 4 of their products in Google Search. Because their website is using unoptimized JavaScript for pagination on category pages – as well as for generating product carousels – it’s extremely difficult for Google to discover most of their product pages, and the consequences of that are simply mindblowing.

Yoox.com may not be the biggest eCommerce store out there, so if you think that this has to be an isolated incident, let me give you one more example.


Walmart needs no introduction, even outside the US – it’s simply one of the biggest brands in the world. Their online store sells tens of millions of products and gets over 250 million monthly visits.

Wanna know what percentage of a random sample of their product pages cannot be found in Google? 37%. Millions of Walmart products can’t be found on Google.

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I think the data speaks for itself.

Why you need eCommerce SEO

You need to understand that such problems are entirely avoidable with good technical SEO. 

Paving the way for technical SEO, we set dozens of eCommerce businesses on the right track, helping diagnose and fix technical issues across millions of pages. 

After a technical SEO optimization, eCommerce websites rank better, take full advantage of modern web design, and don’t need to worry about Google and other search engines not indexing their valuable content.