Avoid This One SEO Mistake Involving Discontinued Products
When one of your products is out of stock or discontinued, what happens to it in your online store? Does it disappear? You could be losing valuable SEO power.
If you’re using a search engine friendly shopping cart (like Nexternal) then each of your products has an online presence. Remember when we said broken links can damage your SEO rank? Removing a product is basically removing a web page from your store.
If you are discontinuing a product, rather than removing it from your store, offer shoppers an alternative product. If shoppers manage to locate the page of a discontinued product via search engine, they are obviously interested. Use this as an opportunity to suggest similar products that are currently available.
In Nexternal, products marked as Discontinued will no longer appear in the store. However, products marked as Sold Out still appear in the store. For products that are being phased out, consider using the Sold Out label and then entering relevant availability information in the description, including links to products that are viable substitutes. If you would rather not clutter your inventory with Sold Out products, perhaps using this strategy on the more popular products would be advantageous.
In the sample product listing on the left, the shopper is informed of the product’s replacement both in the product image and in the product description. A link is also available in the description so shoppers don’t have to go through the trouble of searching for it. Alternatively, you can use Nexternal’s Related Products feature to offer items that are similar to the discontinued item.
Great article! I am working on my client’s website, http://www.kidsformal.com, and they have a lot of discontinued products that they want to remove from their website. I was about to remove all these items from the database until I ran across this article. Well, instead, we are going to mark all these items as Sold Out as suggested.