Let us first understand ecommerce SEO. Ecommerce is to conduct commercial transactions of business electronically, over the internet. SEO or search engine optimization is a process by which the visible prominence of a website is naturally enhanced in ‘searches’ on search engines. Thus, this ecommerce SEO checklist puts forward pertinent questions you should ask yourself to improve your website’s ranking on search engines.
It goes without saying that it is extremely difficult to conduct ecommerce business and prosper without appropriate SEO. Ecommerce SEO has become so competitive that it is a very complex and challenging task to employ. On one hand, you got to compete with ecommerce giants like Amazon and eBay and on the other, you have to check for new factors- such as site speed, click through rates and user experience which affect ranking.
Luckily for you, these questions below should give you answers to take on your competitors as well as the giant brands and beat them at their own game on Google and other search engines like Bing and Yahoo!. It should also help you garner more traffic for your site and convert them into customers.
Ecommerce SEO Infographics
1. Have you employed tools for tracking and measuring traffic?
Google Analytics along with Google Search and Bing Webmaster Tools will give you an insight on organic search as well as online engagement, when they are installed on your website. Google Analytics gives you a wide angle on web traffic trend letting you know your site’s performance on search results. At the same time, Google Search Console and Bing will let you know of errors if any while evaluating your keywords and the performance of your landing page. They also let you monitor your backlinks test data, detect mobile friendliness matters and also look for other technical issues.
2. Have you chosen relevant keywords?
Selecting the correct keywords to use in your content is of paramount importance. It helps to enhance in organic search, providing better results. Every page needs to have relevant and unique keywords and their variants with good search volume. They should be in tune with your business and line of products as well.
3. Have you provided unique page titles?
It is important that every page has a unique title, not exceeding 70 characters, including spaces. Include your primary keyword in each title and repeat them in the main and secondary headings. With a plethora of products on the ecommerce site, it would be in your best interest to use the product name itself for the page title.
4. Do all your pages have distinctive Meta Descriptions?
Meta Descriptions are of 156 characters or less, describing the contents of your page that a user will see upon search. Ideally, it would also have a call to action appeal. Though Meta Descriptions do not have a direct bearing on organic search, they help to achieve a click to your site by inspiring the user.
It is recommended that each page on your site has a Meta Description. Product pages can contain product descriptions in this area.
5. Have you blocked lesser pages from being crawled?
Pages such as checkout page, thank you page, cart page, and wish list are quite uninteresting and not good as landing pages for searchers. These pages can be blocked from crawling by telling the search engines not to do so. All you need to do is upload a robot.txt file on to your server, listing out the pages you do not want the search engines to crawl.
6. Do your pages have breadcrumb navigation?
Breadcrumb Navigation is a king of ancillary navigation that discloses a user’s position within a website or application. This is extremely useful for visitors as well as the search engine bots. Users find it easy to navigate back to earlier pages or categories. As for the search engines are concerned, breadcrumb navigation lets them understand the structuring of the site in a better way, thereby helping in the creation of cleaner internal links.
7. Is there enough content on your website?
One of the tougher challenges for ecommerce websites is content. However, this issue needs to be addressed if you want better organic visibility. It is imperative that each page must have fresh, informative and unique content. This helps to improve the site quality and at the same time increase the keyword density while avoiding plagiarism.
8. How do you handle ‘out of stock’ pages?
It is quite common to run out of stock of certain products or entire categories in an ecommerce business. However, when these products run out, so do the pages! You can keep the pages active by inserting a note that the product is out of stock temporarily and even ask for a signup to get notified when the product is replenished.
9. Is your content created for informational keywords?
At times a page can rank because of informational keywords or phrases like “how to use your mixer blades” even though the exact words are not on the page. This can create a great bounce rate because the searcher leaves abruptly, not having found what he was looking for. You can capture this traffic by providing answers to these type of questions in a blog or resource center.
10. Have you inserted relevant keywords in your URLs?
Inserting the relevant keywords in the category as well as subcategory pages enhance search results. It helps for easier crawling or indexing by search engines.
11. Have you provided reviews on your product pages?
Having product reviews and ratings not only adds to content but helps the buyer to make better purchasing decisions.
12. How fast is your website?
The loading time for your website is very important for the search engine as well as user experience. The user may not have the patience to wait for a slow site to load and will leave to another site. The search engine too will not consider your site as of high quality, resulting in lower ranking.
13. Is your site responsive on mobile devices?
Search engines like sites that are responsive on mobile devices and give them the tag of “mobile friendly” on searches and this counts for a slightly higher ranking. You could actually test your website for its mobile friendly nature here.
14. How do customers use the internal search on your site?
It is important to optimize your site for internal search as much as you do for Google search! Check and analyze terms used on your site by customers and fix any issues immediately.
15. Did you add canonical tags for the filtered page view?
Ecommerce sites are built allowing one to filter category pages’ results by size, rating, color, price or other characteristics. Often, when a searcher fine-tunes or filters the results, a new page may be loaded with the search factor appearing at the end of the URL. You need to add canonical tags to such pages to avoid duplication of content.
Well, then, the above questions are your checklist for ecommerce SEO’! Ask yourself these questions, and find answers to address generic SEO issues you could be facing. This will help you to create a better user experience as well as more satisfaction for you!
Deepak Wadhwani has over 20 years experience in software/wireless technologies. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies including Intuit, ESRI, Qualcomm, Sprint, Verizon, Vodafone, Nortel, Microsoft and Oracle in over 60 countries. Deepak has worked on Internet marketing projects in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange Country, Denver, Nashville, Kansas City, New York, San Francisco and Huntsville. Deepak has been a founder of technology Startups for one of the first Cityguides, yellow pages online and web based enterprise solutions. He is an internet marketing and technology expert & co-founder for a San Diego Internet marketing company.