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eCommerce SEO Audit: Increase Organic Visibility and Sales

05 Feb 2024
Mini shopping cart holding wood block with magnifying glass symbol in front of laptop on ecomm site.

eCommerce is one of the most competitive spaces on the Internet. With so many similar shops selling similar or the same products, gaining visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs) and in Google Shopping can be a real challenge.

To get more customers and outperform competitors, your website must align with search ranking factors, and be optimized for search engines like Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo. An eCommerce SEO audit is the first step in increasing online visibility, conversion rates, and revenue.

What is an eCommerce SEO Audit?

Imagine an eCommerce SEO audit as a thorough checkup for your online store. It explores technical health, on-page optimization, best practices, and missed opportunities, both on-site and off. An eCommerce SEO audit analyzes site health, performance, site structure, and search engine friendliness, and covers three crucial areas:

  • Technical SEO: Examines the underlying infrastructure of your website, ensuring it's crawlable, mobile-friendly, and loads quickly. Think of it as building a sturdy bridge for search engine bots to easily access and understand your pages.
  • On-page Optimization: Focuses on the content you present to users and search engines. On-page audits look at your content structure, keyword optimization, meta tags, images, image alt text, internal linking, and more.
  • Off-page SEO: Analyzes your online reputation and how people view your brand outside your eCommerce websites. Healthy backlinks from sites with high Domain Authority increase credibility and trust with search engines.

Benefits of eCommerce SEO

Not optimizing your site for search makes it next to impossible for people to find your products and online store without having prior knowledge of your brand. A well-conducted eCommerce SEO audit uncovers hidden potential within your website, unlocking the following benefits with proper strategizing and optimization:

  • Higher Organic Rankings: Improve your search engine rankings and attract customers who are looking for products like yours.
  • Increased Website Traffic: Attract a steady stream of qualified visitors who are genuinely interested in what you offer.
  • Increased Conversions and Sales: Turn website visitors into loyal customers by optimizing your checkout process and providing a seamless shopping experience.
  • Enhanced Brand Awareness and Reputation: Build a strong online presence that establishes your brand as a trustworthy and reliable source in your niche.
Person using laptop on ecommerce site but using cell phone to complete purchase.

eCommerce SEO Tips

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a long game. It doesn't provide instant results, but it increases your website's ability to rank well in search over time.

To improve your website, you need to be aware of the common errors that can harm your online store's visibility. These errors can lead to a Google Manual Action, a penalty that can seriously diminish your visibility in SERPs.

Keyword Issues:

  • Keyword Stuffing: Overloading your content with unnatural keyword placements throws search engines off course. Sprinkle target keywords wisely and naturally for optimal effect.
  • Targeting the Wrong Keywords: Chasing high-volume terms with low relevance provides poor results. Optimize the content for the user and ensure it aligns with the targeted query.
  • Keyword Research & Intent Issues: Conduct thorough keyword research to identify terms related to your products and target audience. Understanding keyword intent is crucial for choosing keywords. If search terms have informational intent, users are not ready to buy yet. In contrast, if a search term has commercial or transactional intent, users are nearing the end of the buyer journey and are close to making a purchase.
  • Ignoring Local SEO: If you have a brick-and-mortar store, don't forget local SEO! Optimize your site with your city and region in mind, attracting customers right at your doorstep. This includes optimizing Google Business Profiles, Bing Places for Business, Apple Maps, and others.

Content & Content Marketing Issues:

  • Content Duplication: The same content on multiple pages confuses search engines and dilutes your SEO power. Create unique and informative product descriptions, blog posts, and website copy to stand out from the crowd.
  • Thin Content: Offering shallow descriptions and uninspired content leaves users and search engines unimpressed. Dive deeper, provide detailed information, and showcase the value of your products. Provide images and links to related products.
  • Lack of Personalization: Users expect some form of personalization from an online store. It shouldn’t just be a site to purchase products from, but a place where users can get recommendations for other products they may want or need based on their shopping and internal search behaviors. Focus on personalization strategies to increase engagement, loyalty and retention, and drive revenue.
  • Neglecting Blog and Articles: Your blog is a powerful tool for attracting non-branded organic traffic and showcasing your expertise. Regularly create high-quality content relevant to your niche and link it to your product pages.

Technical Issues:

  • Slow Page Speed Load Times: Web pages that don't load quickly provide a poor experience to the user and hurt your ability to rank well in search. Core Web Vitals became part of Google's ranking algorithm in 2021. Optimize your images, compress code, minify JavaScript and CSS, and invest in good hosting to ensure a smooth experience.
  • Mobile Neglect: Google places emphasis on mobile-first optimization. Ensure your website is responsive, user-friendly, and visually appealing on all devices. Mobile users should easily explore your website, find information and products, and make purchases without any difficulties. Since eCommerce sites tend to be large, create a less bulky menu (navigation) for mobile users.
  • Broken Links: Regularly audit your website for broken links and ensure all paths lead to valuable content. Fix broken links promptly to guide visitors along a smooth journey and avoid discouraging them with unexpected 404 errors.
  • Poor Meta Tags: Confusing or inaccurate meta tags are misleading and often result in high bounce rates. In other words, users didn't land on the page they expected when clicking through from search, and left immediately without interacting. To get noticed by search engines and attract customers, improve your meta titles and descriptions with keywords and language that entices a user to click through to your website.
  • Duplicate Content: Canonical tags are always an SEO best practice, but they are even more important for eCommerce sites that use filtering and URL parameters to display similar or the same content in different ways to users via internal search. Using canonical tags tells search engines that you understand the content is the same across multiple pages but to give the SEO juice to only one specific page. Without them, your pages will compete against each other, which typically decreases your position in search.

Adjust your strategies based on new data and trends. Stay updated on SEO best practices and algorithm changes to maintain optimization in the constantly evolving digital landscape. By improving your online store and avoiding mistakes, you'll achieve more visibility, higher sales, and a successful digital business.

Full mini shopping cart on laptop with eCommerce SEO growth chart.

Ready to Increase the Visibility of Your Online Store?

Are you struggling to gain organic traffic and drive revenue to your online store? An eCommerce SEO audit is your first step in understanding how to improve your site to align with Google's ranking algorithm to increase visibility.

If you need help with search engine optimization, the eCommerce SEO experts at Sagepath Reply have extensive experience auditing and optimizing online stores to strategically help our clients increase rankings and drive organic traffic.

Contact us today to get started with a free high-level eCommerce SEO Health Check*.

*eCommerce SEO Health Checks are completed by a human, not through AI or ML. Upon form submission, we will contact you to get more information about your website and eCommerce goals.

About The Author:

Dylan Goldman, Sr. SEO & Web Content Manager | Sagepath Reply

Dylan is a search engine optimization and web content expert with over 15 years of experience successfully optimizing websites to increase their organic visibility and drive organic traffic.

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