Why E-commerce Needs E-commerce 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 in Google. If big brands like these can mismanage their e-commerce SEO, how confident are you regarding your e-commerce website?

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

As the e-commerce 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 e-commerce provides for them.

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

E-commerce 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 e-commerce SEO comes in.

What is e-commerce SEO?

E-commerce SEO is making e-commerce websites outperform their competition in search.

As e-commerce 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 problems on a scale that requires true expertise.

Are you in need of e-commerce SEO?

True experts rely on data.


Working with large businesses, Onely has gained first-hand experience of how technical issues may severely impair an e-commerce website’s performance in Google Search and other search engines.


Give us 15 minutes of your time and find out why big brands trust Onely with their major technical SEO issues.

What is lost without good e-commerce SEO?

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

As it turns out, despite the e-commerce industry growing by leaps and bounds, many businesses lose traffic and fail to recognize that it’s because of common technical issues that e-commerce 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 e-commerce websites in the US.

It’s very common that JavaScript is used in e-commerce 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 e-commerce 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 e-commerce SEO

There are examples of e-commerce 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 e-commerce, 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 e-commerce 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 e-commerce 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 in Google.

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I think the data speaks for itself.

Why you need e-commerce 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 e-commerce businesses on the right track, helping diagnose and fix technical issues across millions of pages. 

After a technical SEO optimization, e-commerce 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.