An eCommerce SEO checklist is like a massive cauldron. You need to sprinkle a lot of ingredients to cook the best dish. Because daddy-Google’s bots are hard guests to appease, they want the SEO recipe, which makes them keep coming to your house (eCommerce store) to advertise your brilliant dish on the search engine result page (SERP).
But it’s easier said than done. What if you’re a terrible cook? You have no clue how to get about SEO things? Fret not! We have got the eCommerce SEO recipe ready for you. You simply have to implement it and have your website crowded with shoppers.
So, ready to keep your cash registers ringing? Follow the SEO checklist and quickly hop beyond the curve:
Ecommerce SEO Checklist #1: Your SEO foundation matters! Build it rock-solid.
SEO foundation is the pillar of other SEO efforts. You ignore them, and all your other SEO efforts come scrambling down on your face. So, you must bet all your resources in strengthening these facets. And…here they’re.
Responsive websites are essential…, especially for mobiles & tablets.
Almost half-the earth’s population uses smartphones. Do you see it? Your potential customers are shifting to mobile and tablet touchpoints from desktops and laptops. It, in fact, rings the bell for having an interactive website at your disposal. In each point of their shopping journey, you want them to remember their time is valuable. How do you do it? Build an agile website that taps the positive instincts of shopper-experience.
Is your website secure? No! Secure it with SSL.
Google likes websites that promise security to its users. The necessity of tight-security goes up when you own an eCommerce store. Cyber attackers love small businesses—the reason why they attack 43% of the small online stores in some or the other way. So, as users input their relevant credentials and information in your store, it’s your moral duty to protect their data. You can do it by securing your website with an SSL certificate.
Your webpages are behaving slowly. Make them alive.
Your users can’t concentrate on any website for more than eight seconds. Yes, just eight seconds is what they’re willing to offer you. So, would you rather have a slow-loading website that detests them or have it fast enough to give them what they want? Additionally, Google rewards websites that are fast and respond quickly. So, you have only one way to go— optimize your website for speed.
Make evidence-based decisions with Google Analytics because facts don’t care about your feelings.
Unfortunately, your guesswork or feelings won’t matter when you have a website. Every shopper behaves and interacts with the store in a certain way. You want to have the gist of their behaviour in your hand. How do you do it? By creating an account on Google Analytics and learning your visitors’ behaviours, you can make important data-driven strategies and improvise so when you see the need. Evidence-based decisions = higher engagement = better SEO ranking.
Tap the goldmine with Google Webmaster tool.
Your eCommerce store looks beautiful and brilliant to you. But that may not be the reality! You want to know how it looks to Google; you want to view your website from a search engine’s perspective to fix the issues. Linking your store with Google Webmaster shall hand you powerful insights on the necessary changes that you should do to make your website stomping up on the search results. Data-based personalization reports 5-8x ROI.
Upload a sitemap. Give directions to crawlers.
Your store has a structure or outline. Google prefers sites that have uploaded sitemaps. These maps guide search engine crawlers to move around and know your content better. They’re like pivotal guides. Creating a sitemap and uploading them up on Google & Bing will enhance your SEO and help crawlers rate your page.
Ecommerce SEO Checklist #2: Determine your target industry and audience.
Google is big! It’s in itself a kind of another world. Considering you’re not targeting the world as a whole, you’d have to understand your target industry and segment your audience for specific marketing strategies and targeting. It will improve your SEO & help you rank in your niche. Here’s how you can do it.
Create a fictional persona that resembles your audience.
Your targeted groups have certain traits, personalities, and behaviours. If you have these details on your desk, you have the power of personalizing your marketing and product development campaigns. Knowing them would help you determine persona-centric keywords that help you climb up the search result. Anecdotes reveal that personas help stores 2-5 times more to reach the relevant audience.
Determine and ease up your buyer’s journey.
When buyers get on your store, you want to guide them through. Unless and until you understand what journey they take to make the final purchase decision, you can’t have any order converted. Once you know their persona and their buying journey throughout the shopping-course, you can smartly place crucial keywords as milestones and get them going hassle-free. Focus keywords that make them aware and considerate of your product and compel them to make decisions.
Your competitors are a pain in the neck. Know them good.
You’re not making SEO efforts only to appease bots, but to outperform your competitors who’re also in the hunt. And they’re the real pain points. Listing them up, and assessing their business— either through SWOT or Porter’s Five analysis framework will give you enough data to work on your strengths and weaknesses. When you cover what your competitors can’t (USP), you rank high in the hierarchy page of SERP. Better keyword research is the key to the sailing boat.
Ecommerce SEO Checklist #3: Keywords are the cornerstones. Conduct exhaustive keyword research.
You can’t serve apples when your customers are looking for oranges. Relevancy is the key if you want to boost your eCommerce store. And it comes with exhaustive keyword research. How do you know what your visitors are searching for? You want to show up for the keywords that your customers are searching for. And also compete with competitors who’re doing well with specific keywords or phrases. Here’s what you should do.
Target all types of keywords— high volume-searched and long-tail keywords.
Your audience can search for anything— a very competitive keyword for which many brands fight or a long-tail uncommon keyword that brings more conversion. Include hundreds and thousands of long-tail and head keywords in your website and prepare marketing campaigns around these phrases. example, eye to rank for both— ‘market research’ and ‘market research survey tools in Florida,’ to upscale your SEO efforts.
Find the related keywords as well.
You’d also like to rank for the related keywords around your primary keyword to execute a well-rounded SEO plan. Begin with researching top phrases or search queries that your target audience shoots. Find a little variation around these keywords and use them as secondary keywords. It allows your audience to find your solutions for the related terms.
Find what keywords and phrases your competitors are ranking for.
Maybe, your rivals are ranking for specific keywords, and you want to challenge their traffic. What do you do? Competitor keyword research! The process will let you determine all the keywords and phrases for which your competitors are ranking and getting businesses. They could be paid-keywords too. Go down to the specifics, analyze the gaps in keywords, and execute your SEO plan.
Ecommerce SEO Checklist #4: Every webpage on your website needs to buck up! Optimize on-site content.
Every page on your website needs to do good, if not better. Once you have researched all the keywords for which you want to rank, go ahead with fitting these keywords in your webpages. The surest way to optimize your on-site content is to have or use keywords naturally. Attesting keywords on each webpage will increase their chances of ranking on SERP. Here’s what you should do to optimize on-site content:
Target for at least one primary keyword for all your webpages.
You’ve webpages because you’ll put some content. Right? Whatever content you put, make sure that you assign at least one primary keyword so that it gets easier for crawlers to understand your webpage. Don’t use the same primary keyword in multiple webpages. It will confuse the bots when they index your page for that particular phrase.
Find 4 to 5 relevant secondary keywords and implement them on your pages.
To add more context and substance to your content, use secondary keywords. Secondary or LSI keywords are close, varying relatives of primary keywords. By adding these, you’re signalling search engines about the details of your content. When these extra signals reach Google bots, they combine primary and secondary keywords and rank your page based on that.
Write quality content of length 300 to 2000.
Blog posts and web contents are magic wands that magnet search engine’s bots. But do you have matra to make it work? Well, here’s it. Create contents that at least, have 300 words. Honestly, recent studies show that many blogs compete on that length. So, making contents that go beyond 1800 words can rank you more quickly than catering a small blog post. And yes, make sure your content is unique and informative. Google penalizes your SEO efforts for plagiarised content.
Avoid keyword stuffing. Keep keywords composed at 2-3%.
You may feel tempted to use your primary keyword a lot of times in your content, but over-filling your posts with targeted phrases may not work the way you want. In fact, search engines don’t like pages with unnecessary stuffing. Maintain your keyword density around 2-3% and send a strong message that you’re up to offering quality content with your website.
Secondary keywords have different density. Use them at least once.
Primary keywords density != Secondary keywords density. Your secondary keywords are contextual guides that inform crawlers about the information in your content. You got to use them at least once on your webpage. It’s absolutely fine to use them multiple times, but a healthy SEO practice is about using primary keywords various times and secondary keywords once. The practice allows bots to differentiate between primary and LSI keywords.
Fit primary keywords on the page and meta-title that you wish to rank
Create a page with the primary keyword. Add meta-title to it. A meta-title is the title of the HTML document that’s visible on a search engine result snippet and the page’s tab in the user’s browser. Apply the same keyword to it. For even stronger SEO-action, try putting the primary keyword at the beginning of the title.
Apply the primary keywords in the meta description of the page you wish to rank.
Your web pages have meta-descriptions that help search engines understand the content of the page and give searchers a brief-overview on what your content is about. It’s a compelling copy that invites click. Use the primary keyword in the starting of the meta description and boost discoverability.
Assign the primary key to any subheading on the page.
Texts over 300 words need subheading so that your post doesn’t look like a giant clipboard. But one of the subtitles needs to have a primary keyword to improve online visibility.
Use the primary key in the image alt tag.
Consider bots as blind. They only understand braille and not images. So, you don’t use graphics and pictures anymore? No! Attaching alt tags to your images help bots identify what your image says. Add at least one image in all your web pages and assign primary keywords in these alt tags.
Change the image and video file names and replace them with the primary keywords.
The image and multimedia files that you’ll use for the assigned page should have names that resonate with the purpose of the page. Change the names of these multimedia files and have them replaced with primary keywords. It will build a connection with the assigned page and the primary keyword.
Apply the primary keyword in the URL of the page to be ranked.
SEO-friendly URLs, please search engines and visitors alike. Last but not least, apply your primary researched keywords in the URL or permalink too. To optimize your URL, try shortening the length of the URL and ensure that you have your keyword in it. If it takes to remove a word or two to use the primary keyword, do it.
Make an SEO-friendly URL.
A URL is a small piece that often gets neglected. But it needs as much attention as any other facet of your website. An optimized URL must be readable by everyone. Avoid upper-case letters. Choose hyphen over underscore. Don’t forget to add mobile URLs to the sitemap. Block unsafe URLs and canonicalize them. And last but not the least— you’d like to redirect to 301 for broken links.
Add content on product pages.
As mentioned above, the content below 300 words is not doing any favour on you! The same theory applies to your product pages. Have content that describes your products accurately and solves user-queries at real-time. Don’t just add a picture or a title in the product page and expect users to understand it. A short description or blurb should also help search engine bots to identify product pages. Add SEO product keywords to help internet searchers find what you’re selling.
Repeat the process in category pages as well.
Category pages are nothing but the pool of individual web pages that have the same theme or characteristics. They offer quick and useful insight while shoppers search for their desired products. To deliver a hassle-free sales channel, create and add content in category pages too. Research category keywords and add them in useful category copies.
Create an editorial calendar.
Updates! Google loves them. You’ve to act on your website regularly so that it doesn’t look dead to them. How do you make your store look dynamic? Updating categories and products regularly. If you can’t do that, create an editorial calendar for posting regular web blogs or content. New blog posts and timely updates increase the authority of your website and make you a reliable source for information and awareness.
Interlink the webpages.
We call crawlers, the crawlers because they crawl through links. So, your web pages must be linked with each other. Connecting one with the other will help bot and users navigate through your site quickly and understand the semantics of your content. Also, link underperforming web pages with the ones that perform well. Create a content silo that allows pointing most of the web pages to the most important pages.
Talk to bots in their native language. Add schema markup.
English is the secondary language of search engine bots. You want to interact with them in their native language. Schema markup or semantic vocabulary helps your page interact with crawlers in their mother tongue, i.e., code language, and that attracts more clicks on search engine result pages. These schema markups are known for offering rich results, including photos, pricing, and reviews, hence, inviting more clicks.
Ecommerce SEO Checklist #5: Build authority with the off-page SEO plan.
While technical and on-page SEO efforts are the primary ways to deal with Google’s algorithm of ranking, adding off-page SEO tactics in your plan will build domain authority. To talk out straight, an authority means your relevance in the particular industry. Here’s what you need to do to get going for off-page SEO tactics:
Begin with setting social media accounts.
Apart from searches, you also want to have traffic from other sources. And what’s better than social media? As more people spend time on social media, linking your social media profiles with your eCommerce store will give them a medium to reach you. Also, your presence on multiple platforms builds your digital authority, implying you have a serious business to conduct. And yes, you can link all these accounts to your website— an essential factor for determining the rank.
Get into the books of online directory listings.
Like telephone directories, you want to get into the books of online directory listings. Your presence on these directories will mean another link that you can connect with your website. It’s a method that also passes the criteria of the local SEO checklist. So, anyone in your proximity will be able to find you, and they’re most likely to convert as local searches see 78% of the conversion. Set up your feet in the business directory and listing sites that are relevant to your niche. That shall get you business authority and credibility.
Check where your competitors are getting links from.
Your competitors are getting quality backlinks. The backlink is the key SEO-practice to climb up the stairs of SERPs. One easy way to get backlinks is to analyze where your competitors are getting these links from. You can reach out to these websites and have yourself pointed. Please ensure that you have backlinks from the relevant websites that are linked with your niche industry.
Make use of guest blogging tactics.
You can write content as a guest blogger for other websites and link your site with it. It’s one right way to gain links back to your website and build authority. Make sure that you’re writing blogs for the websites of a similar industry. Guest posting attracts target audiences of the same niche.
Ask customers to review your product and business.
Google wants everyone to enjoy seamless business-experience. Reviews give users a powerful insight into your businesses and services before new searchers make any purchase decision. That’s one part of the story. A lot of reviews can also help with ranking your page in searches. So to execute a well-directed SEO plan, motivate your users to drop ratings, feedback, and reviews to your product pages. Ensure that you aren’t buying these reviews. Search engines don’t take purchased reviews very sportingly.
The conclusive argument
SEO is a recipe that takes time to cook! Maybe six months or even more. All you have to do is work around these strategies and wait for it to cook. Keep patience and avoid blackhat SEO techniques. Focus more on improving the quality of your website and content.
eCommerce stores have come out with blazing guns because they tend to solve the problems that brick and mortar businesses fail to do! That is— simplifying the purchase! And that’s what you have to do. If we wanted to add to the problems of the existing traditional customers, why would we have websites? So, follow the Ecommerce SEO-checklist to truly accomplish your goals and have traffic and sales at your will.