How to Perform an eCommerce SEO Audit

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Ever wonder why some online stores seem to magically appear at the top of search results, attracting customers constantly? The secret weapon behind their success might be something called an eCommerce SEO audit – which is different than a regular Website Audit.

While “audit” might not sound as thrilling as browsing new products, it’s a critical tool for the health and visibility of your online store on search engines like Google. Think of it as a checkup for your website, revealing areas for improvement that can unlock significant sales potential.

Understanding the Importance of an eCommerce SEO Audit

An eCommerce SEO audit is more than industry jargon; it’s akin to a comprehensive health check-up for your online store, pinpointing how visible your site is amidst the vast expanse of Google Search.

The digital marketplace is fiercely competitive. It’s not just about outmaneuvering other players; it’s about adapting to the ever-evolving search engine algorithms. This is where the crucial role of an eCommerce SEO audit emerges.

Conducting an audit of your eCommerce site reveals valuable opportunities — identifying gaps that, when addressed, can significantly enhance traffic flow and conversion rates. Utilizing tools for a thorough SEO audit puts you in a position of advantage, allowing you to proactively improve rather than reactively adjust to technical mishaps or overlooked content enhancements.

Steps to Perform an eCommerce SEO Audit

Ready to take your store’s visibility up a notch? Let’s walk through the crucial steps of conducting a comprehensive eCommerce SEO audit, starting with an eCommerce SEO checklist.

Technical SEO Audit

The first step is to lay down the foundation. Here’s your eCommerce SEO audit checklist:

  1. Review Your Analytics Setup: Start by making sure that tools like Google Analytics are properly set up.
  2. Gather Your Tools: Arm yourself with essential tools such as Google Search Console (GSC) and SEMrush or Ahrefs.
  3. Crawlability and Indexing Check: Your site needs to be easily crawlable by search engines; use GSC to spot any indexing issues.
  4. Duplicate Content Scan: Avoid confusion among crawlers with duplicate content checks using tools like Screaming Frog or Siteliner.
  5. XML Sitemap and Robots.txt Review: This file tells search engines and search engine bots which pages are important in your site structure. Make sure they’re clean, current, and correctly formatted.
  6. Pick Up on Mobile Webpage Speed: Nobody likes waiting, especially not Google’s bots (or users). Use PageSpeed Insights for quick fixes on loading times, especially for your main category page.

On-Page SEO Audit

Moving inside our hypothetical house now – let’s decorate each room so guests can’t help but stay a while.

  • Title Tags & Meta Description Optimization: Each page should tell both users and search engines what it’s about at just one glance.
  • Keyword Usage Checks: Are we speaking our customer’s language? Use SEO strategy.
  • Internal Linking Strategy Revamp: Keep visitors engaged longer by guiding them through related topics within your website, with both internal and external links.
  • Anchor Text Analysis: Crafting the right anchor text boosts the coherence of internal links, making them more robust.
  • Image Alt Text Optimization: Because even images need good labels so that crawlers understand what they see.
  • URL Structure Evaluation: Shorter URLs tend to perform better – keep them neat.

Identifying and Addressing Technical Issues

Let’s face it, folks. Your eCommerce website might look fabulous, but if search engines can’t crawl or index it properly, you’re basically throwing a party no one knows about. Not cool, right? So, let’s dive into some of the technical gremlins you may find during your eCommerce website audit that could be sabotaging your online store’s performance in Google’s search rankings.

Crawlability and Indexing

First off, crawlability. If Google can’t find its way around your site because of complex navigation or poor link structures… Well, you get the picture. A comprehensive SEO audit should find the holes and optimize content for search engine crawlers.

And then there’s indexing. You want all those shiny product pages to show up in searches, don’t you? Relevant keywords are vital for fixing technical SEO issues.

Solution: Use tools like GSC to ensure your pages are not only visible but also accessible by search engines. Check for open issues on GSC.

Page Speed and Performance

Site speed isn’t just about keeping visitors happy (although super important); it’s also a ranking factor for Google. A sluggish website is like telling your customers to go shop somewhere else.

Actionable tip: Compress images and leverage browser caching to shave off those precious milliseconds from load times.

Duplicate Product Pages

Duplicate pages can significantly confuse Google and other search engines. If you have different URLs for pages that show essentially the same content, it might weaken your SEO effectiveness and dilute your visibility in search engine results. This occurs as search engines wrestle with determining which page should be prioritized in rankings.

The solution involves generating unique content for products that are similar and employing canonical tags to direct search engines effectively. Enhancing your site’s organic search performance is crucial, and remember, conducting eCommerce SEO audits is essential for maintaining the health and effectiveness of your SEO strategy.

Optimizing On-Page Elements for Better Ranking

Tweaking your site’s on-page elements can be a game-changer. It’s like giving Google glasses; suddenly, everything is clearer and easier to understand. Let’s break it down.

Keyword Targeting and Cannibalization

First, target keywords are the secret sauce for search results. But too much of a good thing? That’s keyword cannibalization – when multiple pages fight over the same keyword, confusing both search engines and users.

  • Audit your content: Identify where you’re competing against yourself.
  • Redefine your strategy: Assign unique primary keywords for each page.
  • Merge or redirect: Sometimes, combining content or guiding visitors through redirects makes more sense than competition.

And as always, keyword research and keyword strategy take the cake! Local SEO is even better for eCommerce businesses.

Site Search Optimization

Your site search isn’t just about finding products; it tells you what users want. Think of it as an ongoing conversation between you and your customers without saying a word. Delving into search inquiries, keyword research, and search results offers a live snapshot of consumer desires and the popularity of items.

  1. Analyze search terms regularly.
  2. Incorporate the gleaned understandings into your SEO approach.
  3. Elevate user experience by ensuring accurate results are returned every search.

Meta Tags: Capturing Attention in Search Results

Meta tags, including title tags and descriptions, are the first impression your web pages make in search results. Think of them as clear and concise headlines and summaries on a crowded shelf. Compelling meta tags can entice users to click through and learn more, while weak ones risk getting overlooked.

  • Title Tags: You’ve got around 60 characters (spaces included) so make them count. Make sure they’re descriptive yet concise enough to spark interest. If possible, “include the main keyword,” but don’t force-fit. Your brand name should typically close out this tag unless branding takes precedence in which case start with it.
  • Meta Descriptions: While they might not bump your site up the search rankings, meta descriptions play a crucial role in boosting click-through rates for relevant pages. You’ve got 160 characters at your disposal—make every meta title character count.

Off-Page SEO Audit for eCommerce Sites

On page SEO audits seem practical, but an off-page technical SEO audit? Yes, it’s a big deal. Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of backlink profile analysis and how to integrate social media like a pro.

Backlink Profile Analysis

Backlinks are essentially incoming links from other websites that point to your online store. They act as a signal to search engines about your website’s credibility and relevance. In simpler terms, the more high-quality websites linking back to you, the more trustworthy you appear in Google’s eyes.

However, it’s not just about the quantity of backlinks; quality is paramount. Here’s what matters most:

  • Quantity: How many sites link back to yours?
  • Quality: Are those sites trustworthy and relevant?
  • Diversity: A mix of sources is key.

To start, tools like Ahrefs or Moz Link Explorer are gold mines for peeking at your link health. Find toxic links? Reach out and ask for them to be removed or disavow them through Google Search Console. It’s clean-up time.

Social Media Integration

Social media does more than just showcase cat videos and memes; it boosts your site’s visibility too.

  1. Broadcast Your Brand: Show off what makes you unique across platforms – Instagram stories, Facebook posts, tweets – make some noise.
  2. Increase Engagement: Create content that sparks conversations. Polls, Q&As, behind-the-scenes peeks – get people talking about your brand.

The trick isn’t just being present on social media but weaving these platforms seamlessly into your marketing strategy. And don’t forget the importance of mobile friendliness!

The Need for Regular Audits

Imagine your online store as a finely tuned race car. It needs regular maintenance to stay competitive on the track. SEO audits are like pit stops for your ecommerce website, ensuring everything is running smoothly under the hood.

Here’s why scheduling regular SEO audits is crucial for driving sales:

  • Continuous Improvement: Search engine algorithms and user preferences are constantly evolving. Audits keep your SEO strategy on the cutting edge, ensuring you stay ahead of the pack.
  • Proactive Problem Solving: Broken links, slow loading times, and outdated content can create a frustrating user experience and stall conversions. Audits identify these issues before they cause damage, keeping your sales engine humming.
  • Optimizing Every Gear: Every aspect of your website, from mobile-friendliness to meta tags, plays a role in search ranking and user experience. Audits ensure each element is finely tuned for maximum performance.

Think of SEO audits as an investment in your ecommerce success. They’re not just about fixing problems; they’re about proactively optimizing your website to attract more organic traffic and convert visitors into loyal customers. By staying ahead of the curve, you’ll ensure your online store remains a top contender in the ever-competitive race for online sales.

Let the Digital Neighbor Experts Help

eCommerce SEO audits aren’t a chore or mere necessity; they’re your stealth weapon in the digital realm’s ongoing battle for attention. Search intent, meta titles, website structure, search engine rankings, and search volume all matter, not to mention compatibility with mobile devices. Sites like Google Analytics and other SEO tools can be fantastic for evaluating your eCommerce websites, but a more in-depth eCommerce SEO audit takes a higher level of expertise.
Still feeling lost in the world of technical SEO, eCommerce SEO strategy, and eCommerce SEO audits? Contact the experts at Digital Neighbor – we can help!

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