According to a 2018 SEO survey, 35% of the product searches are conducted on Google, which makes search engines one of the best channels to boost traffic on your website and hence, increase your revenue. An excellent SEO foundation helps search engines in finding and understanding your site content and assists users in navigating your webpages.
If you are observing a significant decrease in traffic on your ecommerce website or your search engine rankings, there’s a significant chance that the technical SEO for ecommerce website is lacking. In this article, we have identified the ultimate technical SEO checklist that will help you in optimizing your website. Before we move on to the checklist, let us understand what comprises technical SEO and why it is important.
What is Technical SEO for Ecommerce?
It involves website and server optimizations that facilitate the search engine spiders to effectively crawl and index your site and thereby improve your organic rankings. The primary goal of technical SEO strategies is to boost your rankings on relevant search engine result pages (SERPs) and to ensure that your target audience easily finds your content online. Technical SEO for Ecommerce is primarily centered on boosting your website’s indexability and crawlability.
Crawlability is the search engine’s ability to access and crawl through your site pages, whereas indexability allows search engines to analyze and store the content of your page in a huge database for displaying it as a result of relevant search queries. If your website is lacking in technical SEO, it will have crawlability and indexability issues that may hurt your rankings.
To ensure that you secure high rankings on SERPs, you should invest in optimizing the Technical SEO for your ecommerce website.
Importance of Technical SEO for Ecommerce Websites
Apart from choosing high-ranking keywords, acquiring relevant backlinks, and optimizing the content of your page, it is equally important to optimize the technical SEO of your website to achieve the best possible search engine rankings. It will make your web pages more responsive, relevant, and navigable, which will make search engines prioritize your web pages. Ignoring the issues in your Technical SEO might lead to missed opportunities in conveying the message of your brand.
To help you take a proactive approach in optimizing the technical aspects of SEO for your website, we have carefully curated the ultimate technical SEO checklist that will ensure your website gets the highest rankings in SERPs.
Technical SEO Checklist for Ecommerce Websites:
The importance of Technical SEO compels everyone to pay much heed to it. Enlisted below is the ultimate checklist for technical SEO for ecommerce websites along with the key components that should be looked into in your optimization process.
- Site Speed
Also known as page load time, site speed has been a ranking signal for search engines for a long time. It refers to the time the browser takes to display your website content from the point the server receives the initial request. Faster site speed results in better rank on search results. Studies have shown that 53 percent of the users abandon the site if the webpage takes more than 3 seconds to load.
Improving your server response time will facilitate faster site speed. Using a content distribution network (CDN), optimizing your images and content, and making your website mobile-friendly will ensure faster site speed and better Technical SEO.
- Schema Markup
Schema markup or structured data is a kind of code embedded on your website that helps the search engines in delivering more informative and relevant search results to the users. These are usually in the form of rich snippets, which could be reviews, recipes, prices, events, or product markups.
Schema Markups are essential as they tell the search engines what your website is about. By embedding structured schema markups to your website, the chances of you gaining higher organic click-through rates (CTRs) increase by manifold.
- Site and URL Structure
Your website should have a convenient site structure that makes the content on your website easily accessible. Important pages should not be more than 3 clicks away.
An ideal site structure is: Homepage > Categories > Subcategories > Products
In the same way, your URL structure should be consistent and clear. It should be easy to read and should give a clear idea about what the webpage is about.
A better organization of the elements on your website encourages users to spend more time and search engines to easily crawl on your website.
Google has switched to the mobile-first index since July 2019 and sees the mobile version of a website as a baseline to determine rankings and indexing. Therefore, your website must be mobile-friendly for better search rankings.
Robots.txt files indicate whether a page or section of a website should be crawled by search engine bots or not. Using robots.txt blocks non-public pages containing sensitive information, such as login pages, so that they are not visible to random people. They also maximize your crawl budget by blocking unimportant pages and prevent the indexing of resource pages like images or pdfs.
Although most websites don’t use robots.txt files, ecommerce websites can use them on certain pages such as login, cart, and checkout.
- Crawl errors
Crawl errors are responsible for preventing users from finding the information they are looking for on your website. The presence of 404 pages may negatively affect the credibility of your website and decrease traffic to your page. To resolve this, 301 redirects are used to eliminate 404 pages and redirect users to a new landing page.
Metadata is a summary of your webpage in an HTML document. It is embedded in the website itself and not displayed to the users. It allows web crawlers to understand the content of your page better and thereby display snippets in search results. Metadata includes title tags, meta title, meta description, canonical tags, structured data, and keywords.
- Title Tags
Title tags signify the title of your webpage. The blue text on SERPs that a user clicks on is a title tag. These should be eye-catching and keyword-centric, ensuring that the webpage is displayed on a relevant search result. Title tags should be below 60 characters for better performance.
- HTTPS Encryption
The secure version of HTTP is HTTPS, which is the primary protocol for sending data between the website and the browser. The encrypted HTTPS ensures secured data transfers. A Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol is used, which is also known as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), that encrypts communications between two parties. Without an SSL certificate, search engines will label your website as not secure which will decrease the reliability of your website, affecting site traffic.
- HTML or XML Sitemaps
HTML and XML sitemaps help search engines in finding out the most crawlable and searchable web pages. This is important as it enhances SERPs rankings and helps in understanding the website structure.
An HTML sitemap is user-accessible and permits users to conduct searches. It offers several navigation platforms that enable better rankings.
On the other hand, an XML sitemap increases the visibility of your website in various search engines. It is a text file that lists all the important pages of your website and helps search engines find essential pages and index your website quickly.
- Call to Action
A call to action encourages the visitors of your website to make a final decision or perform a specific action such as signing up or placing an order. Call to action is more convincing than ads as they strategically create a path for a prospective customer to follow and successfully convert into a customer.
These are navigational elements that provide the best UX and improve site crawlability. Breadcrumbs provide easy access to essential pages on your website and facilitate users in tracking their location on the website. Mobile-friendly, hierarchical breadcrumbs ensure that users spend more time on your website, thus increasing site rankings.
- Canonical Tags
Ecommerce websites sometimes may have a product page reachable from multiple categories. This results in the creation of multiple URLs having the same content. The best way to find duplicate content is by using canonical tags on your website. These are simple HTML elements that point out duplicate content and manage them. They guide the search engines on what version of the URL should be crawled and shown in the search results.
Conclusion: I hope you got a ton of value from this Ultimate checklist, the above mentioned 13 points are more than enough to start with your technical SEO for an eCommerce website, If you have any doubts feel free to ask in the comments, I will try to answer each of your doubts. Now it’s your turn.