Multistore is a good solution for businesses that want to manage multiple online stores from one panel. How to perform SEO of online stores in this mode? Does the integration of online shops affect their SEO? Today we’ll tell you more about multistore and SEO!
What is Multistore?
This solution is chosen by companies that want to expand the range of services or products provided, without the necessity to manage websites from several separate administration panels.
Within a multistore, it is possible to connect up to 20 online stores, including mobile stores, i.e. e-shops available for mobile users. In the beginning, you should choose one main store (parent store), preferably it should be integrated with the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system so that most of the management work will be automatized.
The rest of the stores are so-called satellite stores, which, thanks to the connection with the parent store, can use one common storage system.
Multistore – Why to Integrate Online Stores?
Multistore is a great option for entrepreneurs who want to save time. By combining multiple online shops into one multistore, the entrepreneur doesn’t have to log in to each e-shop every time; from one administration panel all online stores can be managed – their sales, logistics, and marketing.
What is important, from the point of view of customers, multistore does not introduce any differences. Orders from all stores go to one main store and, although e-shops are integrated, all customers receive only messages from the store they bought from.
Therefore, customers are not aware that the order is handled from another store’s administration panel or that the store functions as a part of a larger parent store.
For whom Is multistore a good option? Multistores are usually opened by those entrepreneurs who:
- want to separate retail and wholesale stores and manage them jointly,
- use different payment methods and shipping methods,
- use one hosting plan to manage multiple websites,
- sell a diverse range of products and want to reach a wide audience,
- sell products not only from websites but also through mobile applications,
- sell their products to many different countries and require stores to operate in different currencies and language versions.
Advantages of Multistore
Multistore provides plenty of facilities for entrepreneurs. Implementation of multistore means, above all, simplified management of e-shops and considerable time saving – having a network of multistores, it is possible to manage all products and warehouse from one administration panel.
More reach and better sales
Multistores are one of the methods to increase business reach. They give a possibility to run online shops with different currencies and language versions – as a result, the entrepreneur can operate in different markets. Reach can also be expanded in the home country, e.g. by creating more stores within the same brand, yet under a different name. Saving time, as well as greater opportunities in targeting and reaching new groups of customers result in increased sales.
Automated Logistics System, Updating Product Database and Stock Level
Thanks to multistore, updating the product database is significantly improved. Entrepreneurs who use multistores have an overview of the stock levels of all their e-stores. They see in real-time everything that happens in different stores and can track new customer registrations, orders, complaints, etc.
Automated logistics, as well as current updates in satellite stores (sales of products in one store means an immediate update of data in other stores), guarantee that the correct stock level will be displayed in each of the online stores.
Large Possibilities of Price Configuration, Discounts, Layouts and Product Descriptions
In multistore, product database is joint, therefore it is guaranteed that product descriptions will be updated in each store. However, the product range display can be modified, that’s why it’s possible to set various prices and separate discounts for different stores. Without any problems, you will also be able to adjust the layout – you can make all your online stores look similar or create a custom layout for each store, tailored to your product range or brand.
The Possibility of Newsletter Customization and Client Accounts Separation
Having multiple stores in a multistore, you can customize the newsletter for each of them. Its visual style can differ depending on which store customers have signed up for the newsletter. It is also possible to create separate accounts for customers in each individual online store.
How Does Online Store Integration Affect SEO?
Multistore can have a positive as well as a negative impact on the SEO of a website. How does the integration of multiple online stores in the form of multistore affect their SEO? Below you will find the answer to this question!
Multistore can influence SEO of an e-commerce website. By using multiple sites ranking on similar keywords but containing their own unique content, you can dominate the search results ranking and get the best positions for a given keyword phrase through different sites. In this way, only your business will appear among the highest search results!
Multistore is also helpful when you have a very rich and varied product range as it can be difficult to rank all-important keywords. A much simpler solution is to create several separate but jointly managed online shops and rank each of them using different keywords, corresponding to the prevailing product range.
In order to rank a multistore store in Google search results, it is recommended to make sure that each website has clear navigation. Products should be precisely described and categorized so that customers can easily find them in the shop.
Category Pages Optimization
Category pages optimization is also important for SEO. When creating category descriptions for the next stores, you should avoid duplication of content – apart from the description itself, it is best to customize all elements which describe a given page, such as title tag, headings, meta description, and meta keywords tag.
Creating a Sitemap.xml File
Sitemap.xml generator is a useful tool for that. This script allows you to generate a sitemap.xml file for the primary store and additional stores, which is used by Google crawlers and enables faster site indexing.
In many e-commerce platforms, this file can be generated and uploaded to the server automatically in just a few clicks, users also have access to easy-to-use XML sitemap generators. The generated map address should then be submitted to Google Search Console. Thanks to this, it will be possible to see useful statistics and information about possible errors in the website content.
301 redirects, which can be used separately for each store, are also important. They provide a signal to robots to redirect each user who enters a particular page address into the search engine to a new specific address.
If you have several subpages that offer the same products and as a result, your content is duplicated, it is worth selecting one principal subpage to which users will be redirected from other sites, with 301 redirects. You may also use 301 redirects when you make changes to the URL structure of a website, which helps to keep traffic on the website you edit or remove.
Multistore and SEO – What to Look Out For?
Multistore and Content Duplication
What to be careful of when doing SEO of a multistore? The biggest potential threat is the risk of content duplication and, as a result, your site may get a Google penalty and rank lower in the search results. If you sell the same products in several online shops, you should avoid duplicating product descriptions – category and product pages should always have unique descriptions.
Descriptive elements, such as title tag and meta description, should also be optimized. Otherwise, you will have a high level of content duplication, which is unfavorable for both search engine crawlers and users viewing product and category descriptions.
Fortunately, you can avoid content duplication, just create unique descriptions yourself or have them created by copywriters. Introducing different descriptions for the same products – for each online store separately – is not considered as plagiarism. Of course, when creating such product descriptions, the most important SEO practices must be maintained.
A good way to avoid duplication is to use the canonical tag (rel=”canonical”, canonical link element) on the websites of satellite shops. This tag indicates to search engines which URL represents the original website and which one is its main copy. The use of a canonical tag prevents problems caused by pages being considered identical or duplicated. A link labeled as canonical will be indexed by the search engine, while subpages will not appear in the Google index.