E-commerce website owners must pay special attention to the technical aspects affecting their brand’s search presence. Apart from backlinks, technical SEO has an important role in improving your overall ROI from search.
Here’s a complete checklist that e-commerce website owners must use to fully audit their websites.
1. Ensure Search Engines Can Find Your Website
The first step to getting good rankings is to have the site indexed properly. Take the support of the website operator and conduct a search on Google so as to identify the number of pages indexed.
This will indicate the browsers that your web page is responsive and will adapt to all devices.
If your website is still serving m-dot URLs then here is a guide to safely move your m-dot URLs into a responsive website.
Take the webpage Speed Insights test so as to identify the problems that might be impacting the loading time of your site. Address the suggestions provided by the tool and always try to improve your webpage speed.
3. Contain Your Target Keywords in the Main Elements of Your Webpage
The inclusion of key words in the right areas is the backbone of SEO. Add your most important keywords in the below elements can help improve your search engine visibility.
Begin the title with your primary keyword then follow this up with supplies that users can not resist. By way of example, if you’re selling birthday cakes then a title like”Birthday Cakes — Horizontal 30% Discount on First Order!” might help.
Use your main keyword in the beginning sentence and add all your secondary keywords after that. Chocolate, butterscotch, fruit 25+ varieties. Order online.”
Make certain that you have your primary keyword in the H1 tag.
Main Content Body
Add around 400 words of content under the primary heading (H1) and include all of your primary and secondary keywords in it.
Add proper subheadings then use variants of your main keywords in these sections. It’s vital to present an outline of your main content since it helps Google to better understand your page.
Use appropriate alt text for every image used in the page because search engines have an idea about the picture by reading the contents of the alt attribute. For example, if you are using an image of chocolate cake then provide an alt tag”chocolate cake” to it.
Duplicate content is a major concern when it comes to optimizing e-commerce websites. Use tools such as Screaming Frog and Siteliner to prepare a list of all the pages which are having duplicate content.
Once you’ve a list of duplicate URLs then Disallow the affected URL parameters using robots.txt.
There are several URL parameters made during sessions or when internal website search queries are entered. These may create more than one URL having the same content. Consequently, it is crucial to block such duplicate URLs using the robots.txt file.
Disallow: *? dir=*
Also, ensure that you don’t have thin content on your site. Thin content means using two pages on your website on the same topic — one selling birthday cakes on the internet and another selling cheap birthday cakes online. It is better to merge such thin material pages into one page by 301 redirecting one URL to another.
5. Identify & Repair Missing Title, Descriptions & Alt Text
Add appropriate text to the lost tags using the technique suggested in point # 3 above.
Also remember that each one of your pages should have a unique title, description, and H1 tag.
6. Serve High-Quality Content to Users
Do not make the mistake of not having high-quality content on your site simply because you are selling products and not services. Moreover, avoid producing low-quality content that doesn’t address your customers’ problems.
Google strongly suggests producing quality content for users. The content needs to be useful, informative, and must present a special view to the topic compared to what your opponents have.
It should also be engaging and free of any grammar or spelling mistakes. You may make use of these tools for preparing successful SEO content.
If your site provides gated content then ensure you offer flexible sampling for both audiences and search engines.
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An e-commerce site is not complete without a proper CTA. It is necessary to readily distinguish CTA from other elements of the page to improve your click-through and conversion rates.
Here are some best practices when using CTAs:
Maintain the CTA visible and be sure they are mobile friendly.
A/B test the button to identify which text converts the most. You may also take the help of AdWords in this regard by identifying the CTA on pages which are generating the maximum amount of clicks and conversions. Bear in mind, ad impressions aren’t a correct metric to track in this regard because of the rising cases of advertising fraud. Always go after conversions whenever you are testing the effectiveness of your CTA.
Place the buttons in an area that receives the maximum visibility by assessing the In-Page Analytics in Google Analytics.
You should be able to identify the needs of your audiences well in order to have a persuasive CTA.
Create a sense of urgency by adding words like”offer ends today””level 30% off until midnight” etc.. This will persuade the visitors to immediately get the merchandise.
Have appropriate testimonials besides the CTA so as to fade away any confusions in the minds of the possible audiences concerning the product.
8. Maintain the Checkout Page Clutter-Free
One of the most common mistakes you can make is to keep the main menu intact even after the visitor has reached the checkout page.
As a website owner, you need conversions to occur as quickly as possible and among the greatest ways to do this is to have a clutter-free checkout page.
Do not keep the menu visible when the customer has reached the checkout page. Only keep that button visible that takes the consumer to another step in the funnel and don’t present a broad variety of options before the user. Doing this might confuse the users they might not reach the end of the funnel.
9. Optimize the Google Crawl Budget
Go to the Search Console and click on”Crawl stats” to be able to have a notion of the crawl budget.
Google crawl budgetCrawl budget is a measure of the number of pages that Google crawls from your site in a day.
Low crawl budget can lead to indexation difficulties. You can boost the crawl budget by optimizing the overall linking structure of your site and by increasing the amount of backlinks you are having for your domain.
What’s more, it can be improved by eliminating duplicate content pages, fixing broken links, and keeping your sitemap updated.
The internal linking structure is possibly the most significant part an e-commerce SEO strategy.
Stick to a breadcrumb arrangement and join the main category pages in the home page.
Likewise all sub-category pages should be linked from their main category pages.
This creates a pyramid linking structure to permit proper flow of PageRank.
Also, get rid of any broken links and minimize the amount of redirects (if any) as this will consume your crawl budget.
11. Create a Custom 404 Page
It is logical to have a custom 404 page on your site so that the users are able to navigate searchable on the website.
Many times people will type incorrect URLs to see inner pages or any broken internal links may cause your server to return a non-custom 404 page that can possibly confuse your visitors.
A much better solution to the problem is using a properly designed custom 404 pages that have significant navigational links to direct the users to relevant pages in case they are lost.
12. Have Shorter & Cleaner URLs
Make certain you’re not using excessive parameters or session IDs in your URLs. Visitors can shed trust in a site if the URLs are perplexing.
For Instance, if you are selling Adidas shoes then a Terrific URL would be:
On the other hand, a bad URL would be:
Have shorter URLs under 160 characters for better usability and add static URLs from the sitemap. This will enable the search engines to better crawl and understand the contents of the page.
13. Check for Proper Redirects
Use the Live HTTP Header plugin to test for appropriate redirects.
Bear in mind, for a URL that’s not available anymore, you should use a 301 redirect to the closely related page.
Similarly, avoid redirect chains since they can diminish the amount of PageRank value passed.
14. Implement AMP
You can not succeed in e-commerce SEO in 2018 should you not implement AMP.
Here’s a great article by Natalie Hoben that will guide you how to correctly implement AMP for e-commerce.
E-commerce SEO is not an easy task. Standard monitoring via Search Console and Google Analytics is extremely necessary in order to identify issues which may affect the visibility of the site in the search engines.
Following the above checklist can surely help to better optimize your site for more conversions.