How to Deal With Old Product Pages in an Online Store

How to Deal With Old Product Pages in an Online Store

Each merchant has experienced the situation when certain products are no longer available for some reasons. All products have been sold, there are problems with manufacturers or suppliers and the products can’t be delivered, the merchant changes the priorities in the product range and prefers to sell other products, and there are many other reasons that cause this problem. The question is how to deal with this situation. In this article we take a closer look at some tips and actions that can be done.

Product is not available but will be soon

In case certain products are going to be sold in the future you need to keep their pages in the index of search engines and continue to work with the users who visit these pages.

  • Make a clear message that the product is not available;
  • If you know when the products are going to be available, inform about this as clearly as possible;
  • Try to receive some visitors’ contact information – email or phone, to have a possibility to inform them when the products are in stock;
  • Display related products with similar features, prices, and show the same type of products by other brands.

All products which are not available should be shown on the relevant search pages in such a way:

  • Should be placed at the end of the list (with a clear message that the product is no longer available);
  • It is possible to hide such product pages from the navigation and not to show them in the search results (in this case there are risks that such pages can be dropped out of the index).

The main purpose of such actions is to keep these product pages in the search engines index and when the products are back in stock you can inform users that they are able to make an order.

Product is not available and will never be in the product range

Sometimes there is a situation that outdated products are still in stock. In this case, if the product line is updating but previous versions of the product are available, you need to leave everything as it is. It is possible to organize a special marketing campaign to sell these outdated products quickly.

What to do with the old product pages:

Redirect to the parent category. The main task is to help the customer find needed products and, if other related products which satisfy the same needs are available in the online store, the user can be directed to the parent category.

Leave product pages available. Old pages have a lot of useful information. Reviews and comments can be valuable for the visitors of online store for many reasons. They can evaluate the manufacturer or certain brand. To compare the product features, it is also useful to see the previous models’ characteristics. So, old product pages can help to sell and it may be better to keep them active. In this case, you have to inform your visitors that the product is not available and offer them similar or related products. They can be redirected to the parent category as it is mentioned above.

Remove these product pages. If you have nothing to offer to clients or you stopped selling certain product category, you can completely delete this product page using the 410 status code.

The 4xx server response indicates that the server can’t process the request. 410 errors aren’t absolutely the same as 404 errors which inform that the page is “not found.” 410 status codes are more informative and used to “tell” search engine robots that this link has to be deleted from the index. In other words, 410 status codes mean that the page was removed forever and it will never be restored.

Make a 301 redirect to the pages with new models. It is a popular method in e-commerce because in this way you save all previous SEO results and not lose the traffic.

Change the content on the old URLs. Technical characteristics, manufacturing data or model numbers are not so essential for some products and you can use old pages for new product lines. If the page has high authority, it will work for new items.

In conclusion, there are main recommendations:

  • Firstly, if the page generates the traffic and you’re not sure that this product is no longer available, the best way is to leave this page with the response code 200. Try to optimize the content of the page, keep the users and propose them relevant and similar products.
  • Secondly, if you are sure that this product will not be available, the best way is to do the 301 redirect to the relevant positions.
  • If the old page can’t be used and the item it represents will definitely not be available, then give the 410 server response code.

We hope that our tips are useful for you and help to keep your customers and increase sales.

Have a nice selling!



Source by Irina Kashina

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