How to deal with temporarily out-of-stock products for SEO

Posted on November 1, 2021

 

If any products on your site are out of stock at the moment, you may have wondered how to manage this from a search engine optimisation (SEO) perspective. Google has now released four tips for this scenario.

In a recent Google Office-hours hangout, John Mueller fielded a question about what to do with products that are temporarily out of stock, and how you can deal with in an SEO-friendly and user-friendly way.

Due to many merchants being affected by supply chain issues at the moment, some are unable to keep products in stock. That can mean a poor and frustrating user experience if potential customers click through to a product only to find it unavailable.

Mueller gave four tips to use when your products are temporarily out of stock. These were:

Tip 1

Mueller firstly suggested that you should keep the product pages live on the site, but if you can edit the schema in the backend of your site to tell Google that the product is currently out of stock, this is good practice. However, you should make sure that when the product becomes available again, you change the schema to say the product is back in stock.

What is schema?

Schema is code in the backend of your site that can tell search engines like Google more information about the content on the webpage. Schema enables you to get your listings on search engines to show structured data like star ratings, product information and even your frequently asked questions in search results.

Tip 2

By no-indexing the product page and unlinking it from other pages on the website, this will stop Google showing product listings for any unavailable items in search results, and will also stop users being able to click through to the product page when exploring your website.

Tip 3

When your product is back in stock, internal linking from other pages is key as this can help Google to crawl the page and reindex it more quickly, complete with the latest information.

Tip 4

Set up Google’s Merchant Centre to tell Google about any products that are currently in-stock and those that are temporarily out of stock. This can also give you more exposure through search engines.

If you run an ecommerce business and want to increase traffic from search engines like Google, we offer SEO services that can help your business to increase sales through your website. To find out more, speak to our team.

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