Yahoo was the first company to bring an eCommerce store platform to the general public in 1998 after purchasing Viaweb and renaming the product to Yahoo! Stores. It was later rebranded to Yahoo Small Business, then again rebranded in 2015 as Aabaco Small Business.
Yahoo has been serving small business customers for more than 18 years with their platform, which should have given them plenty of time to tighten up their eCommerce software in every way possible, including SEO. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Automated Yahoo Store SEO Features
The Aabaco platform does automate some important SEO factors. For example, pages and product images are given URLs based on taxonomy and item name. This structure is maintained if a CDN is used, which follows best practices.
Customizable Yahoo Store / Aabaco SEO Features
Every plan with Aabaco includes very basic SEO functionality, such as the ability to customize titles, descriptions and URLs to target specific keywords. You also have the ability to implement 301 redirects from within the platform rather than having to make changes to your htaccess file, which is a nice plus.
Aabaco also states that they make it easy to create and submit a sitemap to search engines like Yahoo Search, Google and Bing. This isn’t a difficult thing to do, but at least they’re making it easy for someone who has zero website experience.
Having the ability to customize your titles, descriptions and URLs are the most important features you should use. After performing keywords research, you can begin to optimize these areas.
How to Optimize Aabaco, Formerly Yahoo Stores
Although it doesn’t allow for a lot of customizable, advanced SEO tactics, the Aabaco platform does a decent job of covering the basics. And sometimes that’s all you need.
Here’s how to get the most out of your Yahoo eCommerce store’s built-in functionality.
Meta Title General Recommendations
– Use 55 characters or less
– Use the primary keyword at the beginning of the title
– Include other keyword variations if they fit
– Limit unnecessary words
– Make it compelling because it impacts your click-through rate (CTR)
Meta Description General Recommendations
- The meta description is not a ranking factor. Don’t spam with keywords
- Use 150 characters or less
- Make it compelling to improve CTR
- Include keywords (not for ranking purposes, but because they are bolded in the search results, which improves CTR)
- Include a call-to-action
- Promise what the page delivers
Meta Keywords General Recommendations
Aabaco allows you to edit the meta keywords tag, but this tag has not been used by the search engines for years. In fact, including keywords here gives away your keywords to your competitors more easily. Don’t use this field.
URL General Recommendations
- Keep them short (2-5 words for example)
- Include the primary keyword
- Use hyphens to separate words
- Do not include symbols or other strange characters
Mobile usability is one the most important ranking factors today. In fact, Google has announced that they will begin ranking websites based on their mobile search index, rather than their desktop index, as more people are using mobile than desktop to search the web. This means having a mobile-friendly website is essential.
Fortunately, Aabaco Small Business offers mobile templates, which are activated automatically, although they can be turned off manually. If you’ve turned off the mobile template, turn it back on. Or make sure that someone else hasn’t turned it off. When the mobile template is turned on, your site will also have mobile checkout. With so many customers now browsing and purchasing from their mobile phones, these are crucial features to activate.
Plugins and Add-Ons
Aabaco offers several useful app add-ons for their customers.
For example the Web CEO app ($49 per month) lets you perform keyword research, track keyword rankings, review analytics, check backlink quality and spy on competitor metrics. This add-on also performs regular technical analysis by checking your site for broken links, slow pages, missing images, 404 errors, and making sure things like the XML sitemap and robots.txt files are working correctly.
Another useful app is the Live Web Insights mobile app. With this app, you can see what’s happening on your site in real time. You can tell which pages people are using, which products they’re buying and you can chat live with customers as they browse the site. Pretty sweet.
If conversion analysis is important to you (and it should be), another app you may be interested in is Conversion Analytics Pro ($20 per month), which allows you to dig into your conversion analytics, identify trends and find opportunities across customer segments.
And if you’re looking for a tool to grow your email list and convert leads into customers, consider JustUno. (It’s $99 per month for the service, but I’m not sure if the app is an additional cost.) With JustUno you can run contests, exit offers, run promotions on specific pages, and it integrates with all of the major email marketing platforms on the market.
3rd Party Developers Save the Day
Aabaco is a fairly basic platform. It includes practically the bare minimum.
And the add-on store is nowhere near as robust as we would like. The store is seriously lacking in add-ons in the advanced SEO area, which is why you will need to find a 3rd party developer to get some of this functionality.
If you want advanced features, such as rich snippets markup, dynamic content filtering, social sharing buttons, customer reviews and even breadcrumbs, there are developers who specialize in apps for the Aabaco platform. YTimes.com, for example, offers enhancement add-ons to address these issues. (P.S. — We have no affiliation and have never used YTimes.com, although a client of ours has).
Question: How do you outrank sophisticated SEO competitors with your Yahoo Aabaco store?
Answer: Migrate to a new platform. We can help with that.
The biggest benefit to using something like Aabaco is that it’s PCI compliant and can get a store up and running very quickly. Customers have access to a site builder and theme editor that doesn’t require advanced knowledge to use, and for the most part, it’s SEO-friendly.
While Yahoo’s Aabaco Small Business platform isn’t the easiest to work with as far as search engine optimization goes, especially for advanced technical SEO, there are options available. And if you’re just getting started with a new store, your site will be “mostly” SEO-friendly right out of the box.