How to Conduct an eCommerce SEO Audit: Your Ultimate SEO Checklist
Learn how to conduct a comprehensive eCommerce SEO audit. Your Ultimate SEO Checklist to improve your website's search engine visibility.
eCommerce SEO Audits are essential for spotting issues hindering organic visibility, but executing one can be daunting. This comprehensive guide distills SEO auditing into an actionable checklist tailored for eCommerce sites. Learn technical and on-page factors impacting performance.
Discover how to assess page speed, optimize images, and evaluate site architecture. We’ll cover auditing your backlink profile, competition, and keyword gaps so you can create targeted optimization plans. Whether you sell on Shopify, WooCommerce, or another platform, we’ve got you covered.
Follow along as we break down the methodology for DIY or agency audits step-by-step. The insights you gain will uncover your site’s untapped SEO potential.
So if you’re ready to drive more qualified traffic and sales through search, let’s audit! This is your ultimate toolkit to diagnosticing opportunities to improve visibility and conversions.
What is an eCommerce SEO Audit?
An eCommerce SEO audit involves analyzing and evaluating various aspects of your website, such as its technical structure, content, and backlinks. The audit helps identify issues that could be hindering your website's ability to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) and provides recommendations for improvements. The process typically involves analyzing different areas like technical SEO aspects (such as site speed, structure, etc.), on-page factors (such as content quality and optimization), off-page factors (such as backlinks), local SEO, mobile optimization or any other aspect that could impact visibility on SERPs.
Importance of Conducting an Audit
Search engine algorithms are constantly changing, which makes it crucial for businesses to remain up-to-date with best practices. Conducting an eCommerce SEO audit ensures that you're adhering to the latest best practices by identifying areas for improvement that can help boost traffic and revenue. An audit will also provide insights into how customers are finding your website online.
This information will help you improve user experience by making necessary changes in terms of content or other aspects that may be important for customers searching products or services similar to yours. In addition, a comprehensive eCommerce SEO audit can help identify gaps in your website's technical infrastructure.
Addressing these gaps can improve the user experience, which in turn can lead to higher conversion rates and increased revenue. It also helps businesses stay ahead of their competitors by identifying opportunities that may have been overlooked before.
On-Page SEO: Technical SEO on Your eCommerce Website
Comprehending the necessity of performing an eCommerce SEO audit marks the first step towards enhancing your website's visibility. This comprehension naturally leads us into our primary phase: technical SEO. Technical SEO primarily focuses on guaranteeing your website's structure and setup to be adequately recognized by search engines. In this section, we delve into three cardinal zones intrinsic to any technical SEO audit: website speed and performance, website structure and navigation, and URL structure and canonical tags.
Website speed and performance is pivotal to improving your organic traffic, ensuring users don't abandon your product pages due to slow load times. Ensuring your website's speed and performance should be up to the mark also influences how search engines rank your site.
Next, the structure of your website is crucial for both users and search engines. This includes having a well-organized XML sitemap that enables search engines to find and index all of your website pages efficiently.
Lastly, the URL structure and canonical tags should be coherent and straightforward to ensure each page is unique and doesn't redirect to another page unnecessarily. These elements not only enhance the user experience but also ensure that search engines can effectively understand and rank your pages.
In a nutshell, executing these checks during a technical SEO audit can significantly improve your website's visibility and usability, leading to more traffic and higher rankings.
Checking Website Speed and Performance
Conducting a comprehensive eCommerce SEO audit using tools like Screaming Frog and reviewing your robots.txt file provides visibility into any issues hindering your SEO efforts. Analyze your website's speed using PageSpeed Insights to catch performance problems causing high bounce rates that could negatively impact search rankings.
Review your content architecture and information architecture to identify opportunities to improve SEO. Evaluate past content to see if click-through rates meet targets. Examine your backlink profile for toxic links that should be disavowed. Check for penalties and analyze competitors' strategies. Address technical problems like site speed by optimizing images, improving server response times, fixing coding issues.
By thoroughly evaluating all these facets through a detailed website audit, you gain the insight needed to advance organic visibility and performance through focused SEO improvements. Ongoing audits ensure you never miss an opportunity to boost conversions and revenue through search.
Reviewing Website Structure and Navigation
Your website's structure and navigation not only affect user experience but also impact how easily search engines can crawl your site. Ensure that every page on your site is accessible through at least one text link.
Check for broken links or 404 errors generated when clicking internal links. By reviewing the website structure from a user perspective, you'll identify any areas where visitors might get lost or confused while navigating through the pages of the site.
Analyzing URL Structure and Canonical Tags
URLs play an essential role in defining what a page is about; they not only help users understand where they are on a site but also assist with understanding by search engines what each page covers so it appears in relevant searches. Canonical tags allow websites with similar content to avoid being flagged as duplicate content by search engines.
If you have different URLs pointing to the same content, tell Google which one is the primary one with the canonical tags. By reviewing URL structure and canonical tags, you can reduce confusion for users and ensure that search engines show the right page in their results.
On-page SEO Audit Now that we have covered the technical aspects of conducting an eCommerce SEO audit, it is time to dive into the on-page optimization. In this section, we will be discussing three crucial factors that contribute to a strong on-page SEO foundation: Keyword research and analysis, content optimization, and meta tags optimization.
Keyword Research and Analysis Keyword research is the foundation of any successful eCommerce SEO strategy.
When you conduct keyword research, you are essentially trying to understand what queries your target audience is using when searching for products or services online. Once you have identified these keywords, you can then use them to optimize your website's content.
There are many tools available for conducting keyword research and analysis. One popular option is Google Keyword Planner.
This tool allows you to see search volume data for various keywords as well as suggest related keywords based on your initial query. Once you have identified your target keywords, it's important to strategically place them throughout your website's pages.
Content Optimization Content optimization refers to the process of ensuring that all of your website's content (including product descriptions) is optimized with relevant keywords in a natural way.
This means avoiding "keyword stuffing," or cramming too many target keywords onto one page in an unnatural way. To optimize your content effectively, start by identifying the primary keyword for each page on your website.
Then work to incorporate this keyword naturally into the page's copy so that it reads smoothly while still being search engine optimized. Keep in mind that content should always be written with the user in mind first - not just for robots!
Meta Tags Optimization Meta tags are HTML elements used by search engines to identify important information about a web page.
There are several types of meta tags (including title tags and meta descriptions), but they all serve the same purpose: To provide information about what users can expect from a webpage before clicking through. To ensure effective meta tag optimization during an eCommerce SEO audit, start by auditing your website's title tags and descriptions.
Make sure that each page has a unique title and description that accurately reflect its content. These elements are crucial for both search engines and users, so it's important to take the time to get them right.
Optimizing your eCommerce website's on-page SEO is all about balancing keyword research with creating valuable content for the user. By identifying target keywords, optimizing product descriptions, and fine-tuning meta tags, your on-page SEO will be in excellent shape for improving search engine visibility.
The Off-Page SEO Audit: What It Is and Why It Matters
When it comes to ranking your eCommerce site higher on search engines, off-page optimization is just as important as on-page optimization. Off-page SEO refers to the factors that affect your website's visibility and popularity outside of your own website.
This includes backlinks, social media presence, online reviews, and more. In this section of our eCommerce SEO audit guide, we’ll focus specifically on two key factors: backlink analysis and social media presence review.
Backlink Analysis: Are You Getting Quality Links?
Backlinks are one of the most important factors in determining your website’s authority and ranking potential. A backlink is simply a link from another website to yours.
However, not all backlinks are created equal. Search engines like Google favor high-quality backlinks from other reputable websites in your industry.
On the other hand, low-quality links from spammy sites can actually hurt your rankings. To conduct a thorough backlink analysis for your website, you can use tools like Ahrefs or Moz’s Link Explorer to identify all the websites linking to yours.
Once you have this list, you’ll want to evaluate each link based on its quality and relevance. Look for links from authoritative sites with high domain authority (DA) scores and relevant content.
Social Media Presence Review: Are You Building Your Brand?
In addition to building quality backlinks, having a strong social media presence can also help boost your eCommerce site's search engine visibility. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn provide opportunities for building brand awareness and engaging with potential customers. To evaluate your social media presence as part of an eCommerce SEO audit:
- Analyze the number of followers on each social platform
- Check engagement rates (likes & comments)
- Evaluate the content posted (are they relevant? are they shareable?)
- Check how often the social media accounts are updated
- Evaluate the overall branding (is it consistent with your website?)
By investing time and resources into building a strong social media presence, you can improve your eCommerce site's visibility and drive traffic to your website, while also building brand awareness.
Mobile Optimization Audit Mobile devices continue to be a popular tool for online shopping, and as such, optimizing eCommerce websites for mobile users is crucial.
Conducting a mobile optimization audit will help you identify areas where your website can improve its mobile performance, and ultimately provide a better user experience. Here are two important areas to focus on:
Checking Mobile Responsiveness of the Website
Ensuring your ecommerce website is mobile responsive should be part of your ecommerce SEO audit and website optimization efforts. As Google continues prioritizing mobile-friendly sites in search rankings, having a responsive site is critical for an ecommerce company’s SEO success.
Use Google's Mobile-Friendly test to analyze your website's responsiveness across devices like smartphones and tablets. If the audit reveals issues with mobile optimization, work with your developers or SEO agency to adjust elements like image sizing, font sizes, page layouts and button sizes to improve site functionality on all screens. Having a seamless responsive mobile experience ensures your ecommerce content remains engaging and shoppable across devices.
By making mobile responsiveness a key part of your technical audit and site optimization, you can provide the ideal experience to convert mobile users into customers and keep your website’s SEO competitive in 2023 and beyond.
Analyzing Mobile Page Speed
Site speed is critical when it comes to providing a positive user experience. This is especially true on mobile devices where users expect pages to load quickly even with slower internet connections.
To analyze your site's speed on mobile devices, use Google's PageSpeed Insights tool. Enter your website URL in the search bar and wait for the results.
The tool will provide an overall score of how fast your site loads on desktops and mobile devices. If you score lower than expected or notice that certain elements are slowing down load times on mobile, take action by compressing large images or removing unnecessary elements from pages.
Conducting an eCommerce SEO audit should always include assessing the mobile optimization of your website. By checking the mobile responsiveness of your website and analyzing mobile site speed, you can ensure that your website is providing a positive user experience for customers using any device.
Local SEO Checklist (if applicable)
If your eCommerce business has a physical location or serves a specific geographic area, local SEO is crucial to drive traffic and increase sales. Therefore, a local SEO audit should be an important part of your overall eCommerce SEO audit strategy.
Reviewing Google My Business profile
The first step in conducting a local SEO audit is to review and optimize your Google My Business (GMB) profile. This is essential if you want to appear in Google’s Local Pack or Maps results.
Make sure that all the information provided in the GMB profile is accurate and up-to-date, including business name, address, phone number, website URL, business hours and description. You should also add high-quality images that showcase your products or services.
Encourage customers to leave positive reviews on your GMB profile to improve your local search ranking. Responding promptly to negative reviews can also help build trust among potential customers and improve your reputation.
Checking local citations
Citations are mentions of your business on other websites such as directories, social media platforms and review sites. They play a critical role in improving the visibility of your eCommerce site in local search results. Therefore, checking for consistency across all citations is important.
Start by conducting an online search for mentions of your business name or location. Check each listing for accuracy and consistency with regards to the name, address and phone number (NAP) information provided on the GMB profile.
If there are inconsistencies or errors found during this process then they should be corrected immediately using NAP consistency tools available online. Cleaning up incorrect citations can be time-consuming but it’s worth it since this can have a positive impact on ranking well for locally-targeted keywords while assuring users that the information they find about your business is accurate and up-to-date.
Analytics Audit As important as it is to optimize the on-page and off-page SEO of an eCommerce website, it's equally crucial to track the effectiveness of your efforts.
And that's where an analytics audit comes into play. In this section, we'll discuss setting up Google Analytics and Search Console, analyzing traffic data, user behavior and bounce rate. < h3>Setting up Google Analytics and Search Console
Google Analytics is a free web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. By adding tracking codes to your eCommerce website, you can find out what users are doing on your website including how many people are visiting your site, where they come from, what pages they visit, how long they stay on each page.
Google Search Console (formerly known as Webmaster Tools) is a tool that helps you monitor your site's presence in search results. By using this free service provided by Google, you can see which keywords are driving traffic to your site and which pages are getting indexed by the search engine crawlers. < h3> Analyzing Traffic Data
Once you have set up these tools properly on your eCommerce website, it’s time to analyze the data provided by them. The first thing to look at is the source/medium report which tells us how users reach our site i.e., whether through organic search results or social media platforms or direct access from URLs etc.
The behavior flow report shows us how our users navigate through our site. It gives us insights into which pages have high exit rates or bounce rates; we can then investigate why that might be so: Are there any technical issues with loading times?
Are they not finding what they're looking for? We need to identify and rectify such issues quickly so that we don't lose potential customers.
User Behavior & Bounce Rate
Analyzing user behavior and bounce rates should be an integral part of your ecommerce SEO audit, providing critical insights into website optimization opportunities. High bounce rates often indicate content is not effectively engaging users or matching search intent.
For ecommerce companies, this means missed conversions. Leverage analytics to identify pages with high exit rates. Look for patterns in customer journeys to see where users lose interest. An ecommerce content audit informing SEO strategies should trace user paths from arrival to checkout or exit. By fully understanding motivation and pain points, you can tailor ecommerce content to guide users to conversion.
For example, customers abandoning carts may need additional product information or incentives added to key pages. Optimizing user experience through behavior analysis allows ecommerce sites to transform more traffic into customers and revenue. Making user behavior insights a key part of ongoing audits and SEO activities is imperative for ecommerce success.
Key Takeaways: How to Conduct an eCommerce SEO Audit
Conducting regular ecommerce website audits is crucial for ongoing SEO success. A comprehensive audit examining technical factors, on-page optimization, off-page signals, mobile responsiveness and more provides invaluable insights into issues hindering organic rankings. Addressing these technical SEO issues through fixes like improving site speed keeps your eCommerce SEO competitive.
An audit also informs targeted content optimizations and link building strategies to boost rankings. With frequent Google algorithm updates, auditing your site enables adaptation to new best practices. Essentially, routinely performing thorough SEO audits allows eCommerce businesses to identify problems early and implement solutions quickly.
Whether conducting cost-effective internal audits or leveraging an SEO agency, making audits part of your quarterly or monthly SEO is a wise investment. Ongoing audits empower intelligent decision making to continually improve visibility and traffic quality. In the fluid SEO landscape, audits provide the insights needed to keep your eCommerce SEO plan effective.
Optimize meta tags such as titles and descriptions while making sure they are catchy enough to capture user attention. Off-page factors such as backlink analysis are also important in improving search engine visibility.
Establish a social media presence if you haven't already done so as it is one way to increase backlinks to your site. Don’t forget about mobile optimization!
With more people using their smartphones than ever before to browse websites, ensuring that your site is mobile-friendly will improve user experience significantly. By conducting regular audits using the tips outlined above, you'll be able to get ahead of the competition when it comes to improving search engine visibility for your eCommerce site!