The importance of building an entity for e-commerce sites

One of the typical oversights we see with many e-commerce stores, and generally with potential customers who ask us to help them generate more traffic and sales, is the lack of identity, or what we consider an “entity”. It’s generally an oversight as many webmasters considers an entity be relevant only to serviced types businesses that provide a service in a certain geo location. Typical businesses that rely heavily on geo-location would be local service industries such as tradesman or bricks and mortar retail stores.

Generally with e-commerce stores, they have the ability and capability to at least ship to customers in the specific country, or in many cases internationally. However with Google and the major search engines continually aggregating data, to provide more relevance for a search query to a user, they need as much information on a website or business as possible. They want to provide trusted results. To do this they want to be sure a website or webpage is a trusted source. Generally, a site that has high level legitimate business identification. There are many sources that a business can use to provide this trusted information, some of which are explained below.

What Is An Entity?

To understand entity, you first need to understand what is the Semantic web.

“Semantic search describes a search engine’s attempt to generate the most accurate results possible by understanding:

  • Searcher intent.
  • Query context.
  • The relationships between words.”

The entity of a webpage, website or person sites within the semantic web. explains it as:

“In the Semantic Web an entity is the “thing” described in a document. An entity helps computers understand everything you know about a person, an organization or a place mentioned in a document. All these facts are organized in statements known as triples that are expressed in the form of subject, predicate, and object.” – Source “What is an Entity”

How E-commerce Sites Can Improve Their Entity

Relevant Third Party Listings

Even though it may not seem important to build a listing such as a Google My Business listing or national citations, it can help Google and the other search engines understand that the store is a real business, has a real business address and NAP information (name, address, phone).

  • Google My Business listing (maps)- Fully built out
  • Citations
  • Yellowpages
  • Yelp
  • BB
  • relevant citation sources within your location

Social Profiles

Most e-commerce stores will use social profiles as a way to generate engagement and discussion between themselves, their customers, and for customers to discuss the product(s). It’s important that social profiles are built out fully and correctly, with correct phone numbers, URLs, and store information. Google wants to see consistency with business information. Social profiles that should be used and completed at a minimum include:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Youtube

Other larger social sites that can be used include Linkedin and Vimeo etc.

Schema is a collaborative, community activity with a mission to create, maintain, and promote schemas for structured data on the Internet, on web pages, in email messages, and beyond.

Schema plays a significant role in providing relevant information to search engines about what a site or web page is about. Below is an example of Offer schema added to an e-commerce store. Aggregate offer schema can be used on category pages to indicate and offer catalogue. It has the added benefit of allowing internal links in the schema code, providing further relevance to those particular products. We routinely see ranking pushes to product pages which have added offer schema. This would be an example of the entity of a page.

Tying It All Together

Schema is also beneficial when linking in the parts of an entity to the entity itself. An example would be using the “SameAs” type to indicate to the machines that the page or site is the same as another 3rd party page. i.e. you provide social profiles, google profiles and citation listings in the “SameAs” schema on the site itself. You can also add in location data by adding in Google map CIDs, Mymap URLs, and Google Earth .kmz files.

What we’ve provided here is only the tip of the iceberg of why creating a strong entity is important for e-commerce store.

Get assistance

Want help creating and promoting your business entity online? Contact Silicon Dales.

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