SEO Responses to Out-of-Stock Product Pages, Part 2

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the challenges many e-commerce and online-facing businesses are facing during the recent COVID-19 outbreak around the globe. Specifically, we dug into high numbers of out-of-stock product pages that are creating unique issues many business owners and SEO pros have never faced before.

At Be Locally SEO, we’re proud to be continuing all our high-quality SEO, PPC and web design services during this crisis period. We have taken all the appropriate health steps to allow our expert staff to work safely from remote locations, providing the same elite services you’ve come to expect from us. In today’s part two, we’ll discuss ways you can tweak your SEO so these pages continue to provide value, plus internal search factors and options to think about.

SEO out-of-stock product pages

Providing Continued Value

As we discussed in part one of our series, there are some tools you can utilize to attempt to solve this problem – but many of them aren’t too effective. They might only work in extremely specific scenarios, with others presenting too many timing and other risks to rely on. With this in mind, your goal is to do everything you can to keep your pages indexed and ranking, and doing this means providing continued value to search visitors.

The biggest theme to focus on here is giving search visitors alternatives and choices wherever possible when the products they’re searching are out-of-stock. If you have a different retail location where a product is in stock, for instance, make sure your site notes that in the search results. If this option isn’t possible, you can also consider creating a “back in stock” button that creates a notification for the user when their product returns to stock. Finally, you may also consider an “also available” section that lists similar or related products that are in stock.

Internal Search Factors

What about searches within your site for products that are out-of-stock? Blocking these pages may impact your rankings based on internal link equity, for instance. Generally speaking, there are two approaches to take here:

  • Customer filters: One option is to allow customers to filter out out-of-stock products on their end. This allows them to see the full list at first, so they know the products you usually carry, but you can make this option invisible to search bots so your rankings aren’t impacted.
  • De-prioritization: You can also push out-of-stock items to the bottom of internal search results, which accomplishes much of the same thing in a slightly different way.

For more on managing out-of-stock product pages from an SEO standpoint during this crisis period, or to learn about any of our SEO services or web design, social media marketing or other areas, speak to the staff at Be Locally SEO today.