If you’re reading this blog, you probably would have an eCommerce shop online. Congrats!
Before we go to ecommerce SEO checklist for 2019, let us explain some important factors:
1. Search Volume
Search volume means how many people search for a particular keyword. If you are stuck between two keywords for your product, you should check the search volume for each of them, and make the right decision.
There are several tools that can help SEO professionals get the search volume for different keywords. Google Keyword Planner can be used to check the search volume of keywords. It is a tried and tested method for getting accurate search volume.
Understand the buyer intent while choosing the keywords. Step into the shoes of your users, and think what search terms they would use while searching for your products and services. Sometimes, users may not intend to purchase the products online, but they would need to get information. This means that your site should cater to their exact requirements when they visit your website.
3. Relevance and Difficulty
You Have Keywords –– Now What?
Once you have the keywords and search volume, you should look for relevancy and competition of the keywords. Keywords need to not just be included on your page, but they need to be in the right places.
The most important elements of a page to include target keywords are:
- Title Tag
- Meta Description
- Header Tags
- Image Tags
Title Tag: This appears on the search engine results page and also in the browser tab. Use the right title tags of the products and include the relevant keywords in it.
Meta Description: This may not help in direct ranking, but it has a huge impact on the CTR of your website.
H1: Every page should have one unique H1 or main header tag. HTML5 allows for multiple H1s, but that is a whole ‘another story’.
Subheads (H2, H3, etc): As people appreciate subheadings in documents, search engines love subheads and sections on web pages. You should break up the web pages into different sections by adding subhead tags. Make sure that you convey the right message with relevant keywords on different ecommerce web pages.
Alt Tags: Give unique alt tags for all the images used on your site.
When you consider eCommerce SEO audit checklist, start with home page, and then move to the inner pages. Evaluate product pages one by one and ensure that your website offers a great user experience.
After keyword research, check below SEO checklist.
27 Point SEO Checklist to Improving Search Ranking
1. Have you optimized Meta title and description for each page?
Though meta descriptions do not have a direct impact on the organic search positions, they motivate the users to click on your website URL. You can consider them as ad copy for your listings. Every web page should have unique meta descriptions and title and should convey the right message to the users. For product pages on ecommerce pages, you can use product description in the meta titles and descriptions.
2. Have you optimized videos and images?
You need to optimize the images and videos placed on your website to avoid your site being slow. Use the right ALT tags for the images so that they can generate traffic from search engines. Adding descriptive file names can also help you make your website rank higher in the search engines.
3. Have you set up Google Analytics for tracking your website traffic?
Website owners should set up Google Analytics and Google Search Console for keeping a track on your website traffic. You can even use Bing Webmaster Tools on your website to monitor organic traffic. Check the Analytics from time to time and identify the errors and make the changes in the elements on your site.
4. Have you uploaded robots.txt file for blocking unnecessary pages? Or Does your website have robots.txt file?
There may be some pages on your site that may not be a good option for organic searchers. Some of such pages are checkout page, thank you page, contact us, and more. It can be a good idea to ensure that those pages are not crawled and indexed by the search engines. You can use Robots.txt file to avoid unnecessary crawling of those web pages.
5. Does your website have https?
Developers and website owners can use https and secure their stores. Display SSL provider’s security seal. You should renew your SSL certificate every year to make sure that your ecommerce website has a secure checkout process.
6. Do your subpages contain Breadcrumb?
It can be a good idea to use breadcrumbs on your website to improve its navigation and user experience. If your website is structured, you can expect higher search engine rankings.
7. Does your website have valuable content for category and product pages?
Choosing the right keywords and writing unique and valuable content for all the web pages is an essential task. It is rightly said that – Content is the king. You can write informative content on category and product pages to increase its visibility over search engines. Write unique content with the right keywords to ensure that your site ranks higher. You can hire a professional content writer to produce content for all the product pages.
8. How are you handling out of stock product pages?
Merchants need to update the stock on a regular basis and remove out of stock items from their store. A sign up option should be provided to the users where they can enter their email address so that they can be notified when a product is restocked.
9. Does your website URLs contain relevant keywords?
Including relevant keywords can improve organic traffic to your site. Keep the website URL following the same structure and make sure that each and every product page on site contains the right set of keywords and phrases.
10. Add reviews on product pages?
Including ratings and reviews on product pages can help the customers make informed decisions for purchasing products from your ecommerce store. It also improves the organic search engine rankings for your website. You can add product review schema to create eye catchy organic listings.
11. Have you checked your website page speed?
The website page loading speed is an important factor that determines the success of your site. A fast loading site improves the user experience and search engine visibility also. If your site loads slowly, you cannot expect great rankings in Google and other search engines.
12. Is your website is mobile responsive?
It is a known fact that mobile-friendly websites rank higher in search engines. Test your website for all the major leading mobile devices before it goes live. If you haven’t made your site responsive yet, you could be losing a lot of business.
13. Have you added canonical tags for filtered pageviews?
Users may prefer to filter the products on your website according to the size, color, rating, price, and other attributes. It is important to add canonical tags for filtered pageviews. If your website shows duplicate content while the users filter the products, you could be losing a lot of business.
14. Have you added blog section or customer reviews?
Blogging is considered to be an effective method for inbound marketing. Adding a blog section as well as the customer reviews section can help you increase your search engine rankings.
15. Have you added schema (rich snippets) for your product pages?
Schema is a markup language that helps the website owners add an extra layer of structured content to your web pages. This markup can help your users get direct results with rich snippets in Google’s SERPs. Rich snippets may be price, stock availability, product rating, or more.
16. If your website is built in WordPress then have you installed Yoast SEO Plugin?
If you own a WordPress website, you should install the Yoast SEO Plugin to ensure that your search engine rankings improve.
17. Have you set up your site in Google Search Console and Bing?
Google and Bing Search Console can help you check all the important search engine displays and their technologies such as search within website, title, snippet, breadcrumbs, and URLs. Ecommerce website SEO checklist also includes checking out for page errors, checking the site for 404 errors, and site map. A 301 Redirect should be added to expired pages of the website.
18. Have you created a sitemap?
Submit your HTML sitemap and make sure that all the pages are created. User-facing HTML sitemap can help the people navigate through the desired pages easily.
19. Have you added an opengraph and twitter cards?
Adding OpenGraph and making Twitter cards can help your users share your content and web pages on their social media profiles. It can be a great way to increase your website traffic.
20. Pay attention to Voice Search and Answer Box
Voice Search on smartphones is a major trend nowadays. Users prefer to use Voice Search while browsing through different websites. Keep in mind how answer boxes appear when a user searches for specific products on your ecommerce site.
21. What are the payment options?
Ecommerce website owners would not want the users to go through the entire process for checkout and then find out that they cannot pay. Make sure that you provide multiple payment options to the users. Bad user experience may be a bad option for your ecommerce SEO too.
22. Have you built an email subscriber list?
Ecommerce website owners should build an email subscribers list so that they can send promotional emails and offers to the visitors. Collect the email address of the users at the time of checkout process. Some ecommerce websites collect email addresses of the visitors through a pop-up also when the visitor comes to the site for the first time.
23. Have you added search bar?
If you have a huge and varied product catalog, then you should add a search bar on your home page. Users do not like to scroll down through the product pages, and so, you should add a search bar on all the pages of your site.
24. Have you added a call to action?
Generate a good call to action at all the possible places that compel the users to contact you or take the necessary steps. There are 3 different types of calls to action:
- Call to action on the product pages to initiate the purchase.
- Visitors should be able to add products to their cart from the relevant categories.
- Your homepage should promote limited editions or seasonal products.
25. How many options are available on your website to contact you?
You should make it easy for the users to contact you via phone, email address, or IMs. You can also add a live chat option on your website so that the customers’ queries can be resolved instantly.
26. Have you given any offers like free shipping?
If you are planning to add shipping costs on your ecommerce site, then please avoid it. Online shoppers love free shipping and offering free shipping can help you increase your sales.
27. Internal linking
Internal linking can be a great way to let search engines know the importance of pages.
Having an ecommerce website may not be enough in today’s competitive times. You need to pay special attention to ecommerce website SEO checklist 2019 and ensure that your store offers an engaging customer experience. Make your SEO efficient and attractive keeping in mind the target users. You can hire professional experts for ecommerce SEO audit checklist of your site to help you drive more sales.
Are you confused about any of the practices mentioned here? Leave a comment and I’ll be happy to address your concerns.
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