Ecommerce is highly competitive. Unless you regularly audit and optimize your marketing strategies, you aren’t keeping up with your competitors.
Moreover, your site’s SEO health is directly linked to traffic, conversions, and sales. So, before you plan to push more product categories on your site, it is better to do a detailed Ecommerce SEO Audit.
Along with the status of these metrics, these tools display suggestions on resolving redirects, crawlability issues, performance, etc.
Moreover, ecommerce sites are most likely to have a long list of product and category pages. So, a vital measure is to scrutinize your crawl budget and protect it for the crucial pages.
Some of the crucial tips for ecommerce sites include:
Next, if you have a small ecommerce site, you can scrutinize some indexation issues manually. Search “site:yoursitename.com” on Google to check all the indexed pages.
If you find some of your product pages missing, here are the possible issues:
Moreover, if you witness any spam pages in your site’s indexed list, you need to remove them. Use Google’s Disavow Tool to request the removal of these pages.
Here’s a screenshot of the Google Search Console:
The robots.txt file comes in handy to set the site indexing instructions for search engine bots. Using the robots.txt file, you can apply the Disallow tag to the non-indexable pages using the robots.txt file.
For an ecommerce website, some of the most common non-indexable pages include – Thank You page, Cart Page, Order Summary Pages, etc.
Locate and assess your robots.txt file using the root folder (https://domain.com/robots.txt). Or you can also locate the file using SEMrush’s Site Audit Tool.
Follow these tips to find and fix any possible errors related to the robots.txt file:
Here’s an example of a robots.txt file:
An XML sitemap helps search crawlers comprehend your site’s structure. It ensures that these crawlers do not miss out on any crucial pages on your site.
Check your XML sitemap via the root folder (https://domain.com/sitemap.xml).
You can also use Google Search commands like “site:domain.com inurl:sitemap” or “site:domain.com filetype:xml” to locate the sitemap.
An XML sitemap is highly crucial for large ecommerce sites with a vast number of pages. These include the product pages, filter pages, several listing and category pages, etc.
Moreover, these are rich media pages with product images, videos, etc. Thus, an XML sitemap helps you explain the structuring of these pages to search engine bots.
The XML sitemap becomes all the more crucial for ecommerce sites as they do not have a definite internal linking structure. Cross-category internal linking and content-embedded internal linking aren’t common with ecommerce sites.
So, take a good amount of time to create and structure your sitemap for your ecommerce site. After submitting it through Google Search Console, you can check your sitemap’s status.
The Sitemap report in the Search Console must display the “Success” status. Meanwhile, you must check for errors or resubmit the sitemap if the report shows “Has errors” or “Couldn’t fetch” status.
Also, a large ecommerce site is likely to have an extensive size. However, try to make it smaller than 50MB.
Further, some recommended practices include:
Here’s a screenshot of the Yoast SEO’s sitemap configuration section:
Ecommerce sites are most likely to show duplicate content. However, most of this content isn’t manipulative or malicious. And so, Google does not roll out a penalty for this type of content.
Ecommerce pages generally have filter pages, which allow users to filter by a variable such as size, color, brand, etc. So, these filters make product information appear for multiple instances. Moreover, there can be cross-category pages for the same product.
Now, Google understands that these types of duplications are natural and non-manipulative. And the search engine wouldn’t drop you any penalty.
However, you must highlight the original page with the canonical tag to avoid any indexing confusion.
The rel=canonical attribute alongside the original page’s URL tells Google that this is the page that it must index. And now, Google will not index any other page that shows similar content.
Another type of content duplication evident on ecommerce sites is in product descriptions.
A common practice is to copy & paste product descriptions directly from the manufacturer’s site. Avoid this type of duplication, and instead, you must create original product descriptions. This content is also crucial for your site SEO.
Here’s a screenshot of how you can add canonical tags using SEMrush:
One of the most important assets of an ecommerce site is the product pages. Errors in your product pages directly affect your ecommerce sales.
Some of the main product page optimization parameters to scrutinize:
Here’s an example of an “out of stock” product page showing related products:
Your SEO audit report will likely offer you some performance optimization suggestions.
Site speed and web vitals remain highly crucial for ecommerce businesses. Online shoppers are quick to bounce from your page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
Moreover, Google takes a closer look at the ecommerce site performance parameters. And your site’s loading time can grow your shrink your ranks in the search results.
Google’s Page Experience Update further focuses on the Core Web Vitals. Therefore, your ecommerce webpage performance becomes a significant ranking factor.
Google recommends a web page must not take more than 3 seconds to load completely.
Meanwhile, this recommended load time is less than 2 seconds for ecommerce websites.
Maile Ohye, in the Google Webmaster video, mentioned:
“2 seconds is the threshold for ecommerce website acceptability. At Google, we aim for under a half-second.”
So, scrutinize the load speed of your ecommerce web pages with the Google PageSpeed Insight tool.
Also, scrutinize the 3 Core Web Vitals on your page using the Core Web Vitals extension.
Further, use the performance error reports from these tools as a reference for your speed optimization tasks.
Follow some of these speed optimization practices:
Here’s a screenshot of Google PageSpeed Insights:
Google places high value on the mobile-friendliness factor for search rankings.
So, scrutinizing your mobile site performance is something that you cannot ignore.
Use Google’s Mobile-friendly Test tool to assess if your ecommerce site meets the mobile compatibility parameters. Also, use the error report from this tool to fix site responsiveness.
Also, you may consider creating Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) to enhance mobile performance.
Google fetches these pages from the cache memory, so they take less time to load.
However, these AMP pages are likely to appear different on desktop and mobile devices.
Moreover, if you use AMP for your site, you must check SEMrush’s SEO Audit Tool for AMP issues. These can be errors associated with AMP HTML, template issues, and layout differences.
Ask your web developer to fix any such AMP issues.
Ans. Some crucial factors to check during an ecommerce SEO audit include:
Ans. You can always take care of some crucial SEO optimizations like:
Ans. An Ecommerce SEO Audit can be an extensive task depending upon the size of your website. Moreover, tasks like sitemap optimization, crawlability issues, product page optimizations, etc., require expert assistance.
Here are key parameters to analyze and optimize during an ecommerce site audit:
Brice has been handling marketing projects for more than 12 years and he is providing consulting services on SEO, Social Media and PPC. He has a huge expertise in working at large corporations including Accenture Interactive & PwC Digital Services.
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