Ecommerce, Marketing 23 Oct 2023
The Simple Step-by-Step Guide to an E-commerce SEO Audit
If you run an online store, you know how important it is to rank well on search engines like Google and Bing. Ranking higher means more traffic, more sales, and more revenue. But how do you know if your website is optimized for search engines? How do you find and fix the issues that are holding you back from reaching your full potential?
That’s where an e-commerce SEO audit comes in. An e-commerce SEO audit is a process where you analyze your website’s health and implement the recommended improvements. It can help you boost your website’s performance, user experience, and ranking.
In this blog, we will show you how to do an ecommerce SEO audit in simple steps. We will cover the following aspects:
- E-commerce technical SEO audit
- E-commerce on-page SEO audit
- E-commerce off-page SEO audit
E-commerce Technical SEO Audit
The first step of an e-commerce SEO audit checklist is to check the technical aspects of your website. Technical SEO refers to the factors that affect how your website is crawled, indexed, and rendered by search engines. Some of the common technical SEO issues that can affect your e-commerce website are:
- Site speed
- Site structure
- URL structure
- XML Sitemap
- Duplicate content
- Broken links
- 404 errors
To perform a website SEO audit, you can use various tools such as Google Search Console, Google PageSpeed Insights, Google Mobile-Friendly Test, Screaming Frog, Moz, Ahrefs, etc. These tools can help you identify and fix the technical issues on your website.
Here are some tips on how to improve your technical SEO:
- Make your website mobile-friendly by using a responsive design, avoiding pop-ups, large fonts and buttons, etc.
- Organize your site structure by using clear categories, subcategories, and filters. Use breadcrumbs to help users and search engines navigate your website.
- Optimize your URL structure by using descriptive keywords, hyphens, lowercase letters, etc. Avoid using dynamic URLs, parameters, or unnecessary characters.
- Switch to HTTPS if you haven’t already. HTTPS is a secure protocol that encrypts the data between your website and the user’s browser. It can improve your site’s security, trustworthiness, and ranking.
- Create and submit an XML sitemap to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools. An XML sitemap is a file that lists all the pages on your website and tells search engines how often they are updated. It can help search engines discover and index your pages faster.
- Use a robots.txt file to tell search engines which pages or folders they can or cannot crawl on your website. It can help you prevent duplicate content issues and save your crawl budget.
- Avoid duplicate content by using canonical tags, 301 redirects, or noindex tags. Duplicate content is when the same or very similar content appears on multiple pages on your website or other websites. It can confuse search engines and hurt your ranking.
- Fix broken links by using 301 redirects or updating them with the correct URLs. Broken links are links that lead to non-existent pages or resources. They can harm your user experience and SEO.
- Customize your 404 error pages by adding a friendly message, a search box, or links to other relevant pages on your website. A 404 error page is a page that shows up when a user tries to access a page that does not exist on your website. It can frustrate users and increase your bounce rate.
E-commerce On-page SEO Audit
The second step of an ecommerce SEO audit checklist is to check the on-page aspects of your website. On-page SEO refers to the factors that affect how your website’s content is understood and ranked by search engines. Some of the common on-page SEO issues that can affect your e-commerce website are:
- Keyword research
- Title tags
- Meta descriptions
- Content quality
- Content length
- Content freshness
- Internal links
To perform an on-page SEO audit, you can utilize various tools like Google Analytics, Google Keyword Planner, Moz Keyword Explorer, Ahrefs Keywords Explorer, and more. These tools aid in discovering and enhancing the keywords for your e-commerce site. Here are some tips to boost your on-page SEO:
- Keyword Research: Investigate what words or phrases your target audience is searching for online. Utilize tools like Google Keyword Planner, Moz Keyword Explorer, or Ahrefs Keywords Explorer to locate relevant, high-traffic, and low-competition keywords for your products and categories.
- Optimize Title Tags: Improve your title tags by including your primary keyword, brand name, and an enticing call to action. The title tag is the clickable headline displayed on the search engine results page, impacting your click-through rate and ranking.
- Enhance Meta Descriptions: Optimize your meta descriptions by incorporating secondary keywords, a concise page summary, and a clear value proposition. The meta description is the text snippet below your title tag on the search engine results page, also influencing your click-through rate and ranking.
- Utilize Headings: Structure your content with headings to make it readable and scannable. Use H1 for the main heading, H2 for subheadings, and H3 for sub-subheadings. Include keywords in your headings, but avoid excessive use.
- Create High-Quality Content: Craft content that is relevant, informative, engaging, and persuasive. Your content should offer value, answer questions, or solve problems for users. It should also include a clear call to action guiding them to the next step.
- Optimal Content Length: Write enough content to comprehensively cover your topic without becoming monotonous. The ideal length varies based on your industry, niche, and audience. Tools like Yoast SEO or SEMrush can help check word count and readability.
- Regular Content Updates: Keep your content fresh and relevant by updating it regularly. Search engines favor fresh content, indicating an active and up-to-date website. Add new information, statistics, images, videos, and more to refresh your content.
- Image Optimization: Enhance images with descriptive file names, alt tags, captions, and titles. Ensure images are relevant to your content, and improve site speed and user experience by compressing and resizing them.
- Internal Linking: Utilize internal links to connect your pages and create a logical flow of information. Internal links lead to other pages on your website, aiding users and search engines in navigation, distributing link authority, and reducing bounce rates.
E-commerce Off-page SEO Audit
The third step of an ecommerce SEO audit is to check the off-page aspects of your website. Off-page SEO refers to the factors that affect how your website’s authority and popularity are perceived by search engines. Some of the common off-page SEO issues that can affect your e-commerce website are:
- Social media
- Local SEO
You can use different tools like Google Search Console, Moz Link Explorer, Ahrefs Site Explorer, BuzzSumo, and more to do an off-page SEO audit. These tools help you check and enhance the backlinks, social media presence, reviews, and local SEO for your e-commerce website.
Here are some simple tips to boost your off-page SEO:
- Build Quality Backlinks: Get links from relevant, trustworthy websites. Backlinks are like endorsements, showing search engines that your website is valuable. You can earn them by creating great content, guest posting on other blogs, or connecting with influencers.
- Enhance Your Social Media: Be active on social media by making interesting posts, sharing useful content, and engaging with your followers. Social media can increase brand awareness, drive traffic, and build customer loyalty. It also indirectly impacts your ranking through likes, shares, and comments.
- Collect Reviews: Encourage your customers to leave reviews by asking for feedback, offering incentives, or showcasing testimonials. Reviews can boost your reputation, trustworthiness, and conversion rates. They can even directly affect your ranking, appearing in Google's rich snippets or local results.
- Optimize Local SEO: Create and verify a Google My Business profile with your business info like name, address, phone number, and hours of operation. Collect customer reviews on your Google My Business listing. Local SEO helps you rank higher for local searches, attract local customers, and increase sales.
An e-commerce SEO audit is a vital step for any online store owner who wants to improve their website’s performance and ranking. By following the simple steps outlined in this blog post (technical SEO audit + on-page SEO audit + off-page SEO audit), you can identify and fix the issues that are affecting your e-commerce website’s SEO.
If you need help conducting an ecommerce SEO audit or implementing the recommended improvements, feel free to contact us. We are a team of experienced SEO experts who can help you take your online store to the next level.
We hope you enjoyed this blog post and learned something new today. If you did, please share it with others who might find it useful too.