This article offers a complete eCommerce SEO checklist to optimize your website for search engine rankings. Suppose you are starting and wondering how to do SEO for an eCommerce website? This article is a compulsory read for you:
E-Commerce SEO Checklist
Read on to learn about the eCommerce SEO checklist:
1. Create a SiteMap
The first thing to include in your SEO off-page checklist is to create your sitemap. Like how difficult it is to reach a destination without a map, Google needs a sitemap to see all your e-commerce web pages and crawl them for indexing. A Sitemap informs search engines where to find content on your website and crawl it for indexing. If you are using eCommerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, and Ecwid, they generate sitemaps for their stores automatically. If you are using WordPress, plugins like AIOSEO or Rankmath help you create sitemaps automatically. Do you want to check your Sitemap? Go to “yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml” or “yourdoamin.com/sitemap.”
2. Connect Google Search Console
Once you think of search engine optimization, your primary job is to connect your site to the Google Search Console. It is a free online tool that helps you track your website’s performance on the search engines for the keywords you have ranked for. You can use this tool to let Google crawl your web pages and get notified of any issues related to page indexing and other rank-affecting factors.
3. Create Google Analytics
After you connect to Google Search Console, set up your Google Analytics account to understand your audience better. This tool informs you about web traffic, like how many people have visited your website, how they interact, where your web traffic comes from, etc.
- Sign up for your Google account.
- Enter your website details.
- Copy the tracking code in the tool
- Paste this code onto the website pages you want to track.
If you have built a website using platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce, they offer options to directly connect to Google Analytics without copy-pasting the code on every page.
4. Create robots.txt.
When creating or editing a website, add a robots.txt file. This file instructs search engine bots on which parts of your website they can crawl and index. Here are some benefits of including robots.txt in your eCommerce SEO checklist:
- It prevents unimportant pages from loading and thus reduces the website’s loading time.
- Prevents search engines from indexing duplicate content and low-quality and spammy pages on your website.
- Directs your SEO efforts on the most important parts of your site.
5. Social Media Setup
If you want to build a brand online without much investment. Social media accounts act as free publicity platforms where you can create high-quality content, share images, Solve problems, and build a loyal follower base online. There are over 4.74 billion social media users in the world. If you are not using social media, you miss billions of opportunities to build a business. A consistent social media presence increases your brand’s credibility resulting in more shares and backlinks.
6. Set Up Direct Listings.
Another essential element in your eCommerce website checklist is listing your business in online directories. It helps you improve your off-page SEO. Online directories like “Google My Business” has the essential information about a company that the audience is looking for. List your store on the online directories with the latest news like name, address, and phone number. This practice is beneficial for local SEO. When users in your vicinity search for a similar service, your website is recommended by the search engines with all the essential contact details, including phone number and address.
7. Research Sites Linked To Your Competitors.
If you are just starting, the best way to get an idea of the industry and what to do next is to assess your competitors. You should know which websites are offering links to your competitors. Because these are the websites, you will have to compete against on search results.
8. Acquire Backlinks from Authoritative sites.
According to a study from Ahrefs, the more backlinks a website has, the more web traffic it gets from Google. Google’s algorithm specifies backlinks as the top 3 factors for ranking. Backlinks are the links connecting other websites to your website. It directs visitors of another website to your site. Each backlink is counted as a vote for your website, increasing authority, relevancy, and trust on your website. Link building is an excellent way to improve your search engine rankings. But, it is equally challenging. Here are some opportunities to get backlinks:
- Guest blogging is one of the famous and standard ways of acquiring backlinks from high-authority websites.
- Podcasts are trending now. Podcasts are similar to blogs. Instead of submitting a blog, you can be a guest speaker in a podcast and acquire backlinks from the podcast website to your eCommerce site.
- Another popular way of improving brand awareness that is gaining traction in recent days is influencer marketing. You can feature relevant influencers in your blog and let them know. They may mention your website, and you get links to your website.
9. Research Keywords
Keywords are a crucial part of the SEO e-commerce checklist. Free tools like Google Keyword Planner help you research keywords or create a keyword list to rank your website. Search intent is why the user searches for a particular keyword. If you identify the user’s search intent, you can refine the keywords accordingly and create content.
10. Optimize URL Structure
It is one of the crucial factors of SEO on-page optimization checklist. A proper URL structure is necessary for the success of an eCommerce site. It allows search engines to understand what the page is about and then index it. By optimizing the URL, you can inform users about the products in the URL itself. It helps search engines determine the relation of one page with the others.
11. Optimize Product Images and Videos
Images allow users to visualize and compare the product. Google Image Search Result pages are excellent sources of organic traffic to eCommerce sites. Optimize your product images and videos to occupy less space and load faster.
12. Add Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, and Image Tags.
These are the essential parts of an SEO eCommerce checklist that informs search engines about your page and helps them rank better. While title tags are the primary factors search engines look at when ranking websites, meta descriptions offer you an opportunity to persuade people to click through your site. The image tags tell search engines about your image and help your page rank higher in search results.
13. Do Internal Linking.
While adding internal links, ensure that these links have a ‘do-follow’ attribute to help Google bots crawl and understand the relationship between pages. Interlink all your web pages and articles such that the google bots crawl continuously between the pages until your full website is crawled. Once done, tick off the interlinking option in your SEO on-site checklist.
14. Add Schema Markup To Your Site
Schema markup is a code you include on your website to let search engines understand the correct meaning behind the data on the page and offer more accurate search results. Adding schema markup to your site improves click-through rates and increases your store’s traffic.
15. Add Breadcrumbs On The Page.
A breadcrumb is a secondary navigation scheme that helps Google understand your website’s structure and the relation between products and categories. Breadcrumbs make it easier for users to navigate through pages and improve user experience.
16. Look for 404 Errors.
Broken links and 404 errors are detrimental to your SEO rankings. You should regularly check for and fix broken website links. You can use free tools like Google Search Console to identify broken links and find pages yet to be indexed by Google. Once you find a broken link, you have three options:
- Edit the link to the correct page.
- Create a 301 redirect, so the broken link is redirected to another page.
- Or you can remove the link from your website.
17. Create Meaningful Content.
Not just creating any type of content will help you top SERPs. You must create engaging, meaningful, actionable content that inspires readers to take action. Ask questions, address their pain points, write how-to guides and listicles, show product demonstration videos, and do all you can to help readers. Make sure that your content is 100% original to avoid copyright infringement. Your eCommerce SEO checklist is not complete without content.
18. Make Sure Your Website Is Mobile-Friendly.
As per the research, 9 out of 10 customers own at least one mobile shopping app. If visitors have a negative user experience, they may abandon your website forever. As an eCommerce owner, your website needs to be mobile-friendly to be ranked by Google and sustain competition in the industry.
19. Ensure That Search Engines Crawl Your Site.
If you are running a website, ensure that search engines crawl and index your content. Otherwise, your website is lost between the search engine pages. Use Google Search Console to inspect your URL. Use keyword-rich titles and meta descriptions on your pages.
Optimizing for search engines is not a one-time project. Your website needs continuous SEO auditing. This article listed the complete eCommerce SEO checklist to optimize your website for search engine ranking. Now that you have a complete checklist, your next step is to follow the best practices to place your website on the top of search engines. Thanks for reading!