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3 Ways Edge SEO Can Improve the Enterprise Ecommerce Experience

3 Ways Edge SEO Can Improve the Enterprise Ecommerce Experience

Working with and optimizing large e-commerce sites has two major challenges: acquiring users through organic search and then converting those visitors.

While conversion may not strictly fall into the SEO realms unless the traffic we bring to the client’s site converts and helps them reach their goals, it just as well may not exist.

Therefore, it is important that we not only look at traffic and keywords, but also the search experience from the SERP to reach their goal / end point on the client side.

Edge SEO uses edge computing technologies to create new SEO implementation, testing and research processes outside of our current parameters.

In this column, you will learn about how edge SEO can help you automate and scale a range of optimization activities to not only attract more traffic, but also generate more qualified traffic that converts and supports your business goals.

Why Enterprise Ecommerce Needs Edge SEO

SEO can be uniquely challenging for corporate e-commerce sites with large product catalogs and high product revenue and rotation.

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Managing the search experience and maintaining consistent rankings and traffic levels can be problematic with ever-changing content and large-scale user value propositions.

This then becomes more complicated with the expectation of organic “growth”.

If you are not familiar with the concept of edge SEO, I shared a primer here that you would like to check out.

In this piece, we will explore some of these possibilities and learn how they can be implemented through Cloudflare Workers, Akamai EdgeWorkers, various AWS and Lambda services / combinations and Fastly’s Compute @ Edge.

How Edge SEO works at the enterprise level

The principles for implementing edge changes are relatively the same, and there are three treatment phases where you can change your underlying (origin) content:

Incoming – In this phase you can change the URL of the request (for example, a redirect) or add authorization headers and tokens. Outgoing – In this phase you can inject items such as Hreflang and canonics, safety headlines and additional code elements .Response Body – Modification of existing body contents, e.g. Canonical, meta-robots, page headers, div classes and title tags.

Depending on the change you want to start, you will need to change the request / response at different stages. Here are three specific ways you can use edge SEO for corporate e-commerce.

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Generation of dynamic page elements and meta

Title tags have historically been an important factor in our optimization efforts and in enticing user clicks.

Google has recently made a change to the SERPs and now seems to be rewriting more title brands than before. Nevertheless, title brands will still play an important role in Google’s processes, regardless of their SERP appearance.

Since Google is now also looking for other content on the page to inform title tags and meta descriptions, you can also change with the same practice:

Page headings. Text overlays on images. Page-level content.

These are changed in the response phase and can be changed depending on page content to enhance the content and improve the user experience.

This can be especially useful when trying to rank for – and appeal to users seeking – price changes.

Here is an example from my BrightonSEO speech (slide 13) where I shared an example from a travel supermarket. They changed the title tag of landing pages to include [from + {lowestPrice}] elements from the page.

This made it possible to reflect the cheapest price on the page (which changed as the content is loaded API) in the SERP. As a result, users search for [cheap holidays to X] received more information in advance relevant to their query.

2. Waiting room marks

During major sales events or known periods of high traffic, such as Black Friday and Cyber ​​Days, balancing traffic load and user experience can be difficult for some sites (depending on the stack). The last thing you want to do is give a negative experience.

While waiting room signs may not necessarily improve your rankings, you can bring this to the table as an opportunity to help improve conversion and experience around these times.

This works by the CDN / employee assigning “waiting room tokens” to the users to reduce the number of requests to the original server.

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This can also then be changed to filter bot traffic during these times and move your customer-facing traffic management workflows to the edge servers.

The Edge workflow for this would be that:

A large number of users all request the same URL (s), sales URLs, and landing pages in a short period of time to take advantage of the low prices and inventory. Users are given a waiting room token and held edge. This is automatically updated, and if the user continues to update the device and the browser, they will keep the same token and not make any more requests for the origin. When allowed, the user can navigate through to the site and subsequent requests go to the source.

This can be expanded with Fastly’s Compute @ Edge, as a number of companies have done, and can also be expanded using the Amazon API Gateway, Lambda, DynamoDB and a token service.

Change page content based on inventory

It takes user effort to perform a search and navigate to a product page. If they are navigating to a sold out page, it is a negative user experience that could not only harm this specific user session, but also any future interaction that the user may have with the brand.

The first use case I want to talk about is when you have a product that is sold out but that returns.

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Change of content to products temporarily sold out

You will have messages on the page to mark that it is sold out, and Google may mark this in the Search Console as a soft 404. This may cause concern to broader stakeholders, but returns to “normal” when the page’s value proposition is has been restored.

The alternative is to use edge SEO techniques to detect when the template (assuming inventory management is in place) is the out-of-stock template by default.

Here we inject dynamic content on the page to maintain a value proposition for the user. Google does not soften the 404 URL and keeps it ranked so that the site and brand remain in front of the user.

The second use case is to change text on the product page itself when inventory gets low.

Changing page content for low storage

This can be something as simple as changing messages and font color to highlight low availability or adding messages such as Delivery times.

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Or if you offer free delivery on orders over a certain value, highlighting this on a low-inventory item can remove more barriers and factors in users’ minds as to why they would not make the purchase.

Use Edge SEO ie commerce responsibly

Edge SEO offers a great route for implementing changes, whether it is a short-term solution to facilitate the development of queue pressure or a (longer-term) new feature to improve the user experience.

However, it is important that you do not do this in a silo. Make sure your development team is part of and aware of the changes you make through CDN. Follow their implementation and test guidelines.

This communication is necessary as business as usual development can accidentally introduce errors on the website or even cause fake problems in the testing phases.

More resources:

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Featured image: yelosmiley / Shutterstock

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