How to Conduct a Successful eCommerce SEO Audit
What’s the difference between a successful eCommerce store and yours? Learn how to conduct an eCommerce SEO audit and find out.
With an increasingly large number of people connected and reliant on the internet, eCommerce has become an important aspect of all business. However, what many businesses don’t know is search engine optimization (SEO) and how they may utilize it to increase the effectiveness of their website and attract more traffic.
This article will provide actionable steps for conducting effective SEO audits that can be utilized by online business owners to improve the value of their website and overall performance.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization is the process of increasing the volume or quality of traffic to a website from search engines via organic search results.
What is an SEO Audit?
An SEO audit may be defined as the process of improving or redefining a website to increase its web presence and overall effectiveness. An eCommerce SEO audit will also determine the current ranking of a website within a search engine and identify potentially problematic areas that need to be addressed.
Why Conduct an SEO Audit?
Businesses today are looking for ways to increase their search rankings and build traffic to their websites. Any decent business will want its name out there in an effort to increase sales.
Performing an SEO audit is essential to identifying problems and inefficiencies with your website and strategies for improving them if needed. You can have a website that has amazing content, but search engines cannot index it online. Users will never get to see it which defeats the purpose of running an online business.
How to conduct an effective Ecommerce SEO Audit
There are several steps that you need to take in order to conduct an effective SEO audit before are some of the important aspects and a crucial checklist,
1. Check for Crawlability
One of the primary goals of an SEO audit is to determine if your website will be visible in search engines. To do this you need to ensure that the pages are visible by search engine robots. To do this search engine robots scan your website content to find relevant information or results that they can display in their search engine results. Here are some of the important aspects of the crawling process to take note of:
This is the file that controls which pages of your website are visible by search engine robots. When creating a robots.txt file, it should be configured to allow search engine bots to crawl all pages of your website as well as not to crawl specific pages
Robots meta tags
You must also configure meta tags at the page level and on the page-level tag page. Meta tags information can include title, description, keywords, etc.
Robots Google nofollow
We recommend that you add a nofollow attribute to the rel=”nofollow” tag within your robots.txt file. The label, rel=”nofollow”, is a link that tells search engines not to follow the hyperlink, i.e. link, from your SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
2. Indexation analysis
Once your web content has been scanned by robots it is stored in a large database known as the search index for the search engine you are using. The scanned pages are stored in their latest HTML format.
With the indexed URLs, search engines are able to provide your website with organic results. While doing an indexation analysis there are several issues that you should look out for:
Duplicate content is quite common among eCommerce websites. Duplicate content is when you have more than one URL for a specific page with slightly different content. For example, your website may have three URLs for the same product description but with slightly different wording or additional information. Search engines frown on duplicate content as it can result in increased indexing time as well as diluting your SERPs. The overall impact is the less organic traffic your website will attract. To deal with duplicate content it is important to use canonical tags, which are used to pinpoint the original article. It is also important to ensure there are effective product descriptions in order to minimize duplication.
Internal links are links that are created between pages within a website. These links allow search engines to prioritize the page within their search results. Generally, internal links will increase your organic traffic. Some of the important components to check for internal links include:
- Linking to other pages on your website
- Linking to other websites within your website
- Number of links on a page
- When determining the quality of internal links, you also need to take note if there are any issues with dead/broken links.
Redirects are used when a website is moved from one domain to another. This is an important step in improving your SEO as a redirect changes the URL of where people will be directed when they try to log into the new location of your website. Redirects are one of the most important aspects to consider in eCommerce web design.
A 404 error occurs when a user tries to access a page that does not exist. A 404 error is bad for both your visitors and search engine crawlers. It serves explicit instructions to your web visitors that you have a broken link and also can be seen as spam by search engines. As you do this analysis, ensure that you are checking the server-side of your website as well as on the client-side in case there are any server issues with redirects or 404s.
3. On-page SEO
On-page SEO is important to the overall success of your eCommerce website. It is a compilation of all the aspects of your website that affect SERPs such as content, meta tags, headings, keywords and internal links. The main focus of on-page SEO is to improve the organic visibility of your site in Google search results.
The first step in improving on-page SEO is by creating well-written content or authority site. To ensure that your content is relevant and helpful to your visitors, make sure that you have a list of keywords that you can use when creating content. Keep in mind that it is important to optimize your content for reader experience as well as improve SEO. Write useful and engaging articles that will inform and educate users.
To make the most out of your website, you need to make sure that you have the right keywords. A keyword is a word or phrase that represents a topic. While doing keyword research, ensure that you are able to choose relevant keywords as well as include them in your content. Remember that keywords are not constant and may change over time with changing trends. When doing an audit it’s important to research new keywords that relate to your content and that will attract your target audience.
Title tags are one of the most important aspects of on-page SEO. The title tag is what will be used to identify your URL in SERPs. It is important to choose keywords that are relevant to the product or service you offer. There are also three important things to keep in mind when doing title tags:
- The length of the title tag should be between 55-60 characters long
- Proper use of capitalization and punctuation is important so as to not dilute your SEO
- The most important words in your title should be the first six to eight words within the page title.
To maximize your click-through rate (CTR) it is important to use meta descriptions. Meta descriptions are short sentences that describe your website. Google, Yahoo and Bing all use meta descriptions as search results snippets. Even though they will not directly impact the search results they are critical to user engagement. Make sure that you take the time to write a clear and engaging meta description as this will help you to boost your CTR.
Headings are important as they set the hierarchy for your page. They indicate and define the importance of a page and its content. Headings help to determine which pages are most important based on their content. Headings are important as they will be used by search engines to better understand and organize your content. To improve your on-page SEO make sure you are able to include headings that are relevant to your content.
Links are one of the most important aspects of on-page SEO. Links must be relevant and useful in order to be successful. A website that has no links can have an extremely difficult time getting its content and products seen by search engines. When creating links it is important to ensure that you are linking to reputable sources with relevant and quality content. Make sure that you avoid accidental interlinking as it can interfere with the search engine ranking of your website.
Keywords in content (keyword optimization)
To spur user engagement and improve SEO it is important to include keywords within the content of a page in a natural manner. Using keywords with no organization can be counterproductive as this tends to lead to less user engagement and decreases your chances of Google ranking. Keywords are most effective when used naturally in the content. Attempt to include keywords in your meta tags, headings, and content as this will help to improve your SEO.
4. Off-page SEO
Off-page SEO is an important aspect of SEO as it provides a way for search engines to identify and index your website. Off-page SEO is all about links, social signals, and backlinks that provide value to your website.
One of the most important ways of increasing your search engine rankings is by getting backlinks. Backlinks are all about referring other sites to your site. This will increase your visibility in SERPs as well as increase the amount of traffic that you get. When doing backlink analysis, you are going to be looking for links that are relevant to the website, high-quality and new inbound links. It is also important to include high authority links as these will attract more target users.
Social media engagement
Social media is an important component of off-page SEO. To maximize your online exposure, it is important to leverage social media as an effective way for business growth and branding. Social media allows you to engage with target audiences. There are also benefits to using social media such as seeing what people think of your company and products, increasing brand authority and loyalty, increasing search engine rankings, increasing customer conversion rates and more importantly increasing the amount of traffic to your site.
An eCommerce SEO audit may be crucial to your site’s performance. By conducting an eCommerce SEO audit, you can assess how your site is performing in terms of SEO and what you need to do to improve it. By following our top 4 eCommerce SEO tips your site will be more user-friendly, able to rank better in search results and perhaps even increase sales.