How to Perform an Ecommerce SEO Audit

In the fast-paced and ever-evolving world of e-commerce, staying ahead of the competition requires a strategic approach to search engine optimization (SEO). Your online store’s success hinges on its visibility to potential customers, and a crucial step in achieving this is through regular ecommerce SEO audits. These audits serve as a diagnostic check-up, allowing you to uncover hidden opportunities, address technical issues, and fine-tune your website for optimal performance in search engine results. 

In this article, we’ll guide you through a comprehensive process on “How to Perform an ecommerce SEO Audit,” providing step-by-step insights and actionable tips to ensure your online presence remains finely tuned and primed for success in the digital marketplace. Let’s dive into the essentials of optimizing your e-commerce website to enhance visibility, attract your target audience, and ultimately drive online sales.

What is Ecommerce SEO?

Ecommerce SEO, or search engine optimization for ecommerce, refers to the process of optimizing an online store’s website and product pages to improve its visibility in search engine results. The ultimate goal is to increase organic (non-paid) traffic to the ecommerce site, attract potential customers, and boost online sales. Key elements of ecommerce SEO include:

  • Keyword Research: Identifying and targeting relevant keywords that potential customers might use when searching for products online.
  • On-Page Optimization: Optimizing individual product pages and other website elements, such as meta titles, meta descriptions, headers, and product descriptions, to make them more search engine-friendly.
  • Technical SEO: Addressing technical aspects of the website, such as site speed, mobile responsiveness, and ensuring proper indexing by search engines.
  • Content Marketing: Creating high-quality and relevant content that not only attracts potential customers but also helps in building authority and earning backlinks.
  • Link Building: Acquiring high-quality backlinks from reputable websites to improve the ecommerce site’s authority and credibility in the eyes of search engines.
  • User Experience (UX): Ensuring a positive and user-friendly experience for visitors, including easy navigation, clear calls-to-action, and a seamless checkout process.
  • Local SEO: If applicable, optimizing for local searches, especially important for ecommerce businesses with physical stores or those targeting a specific geographic location.
  • Product Schema Markup: Implementing structured data markup to provide search engines with additional information about products, potentially leading to rich snippets in search results.
  • Monitoring and Analytics: Regularly tracking and analyzing website performance using tools like Google Analytics, and adjusting strategies based on the data.

Ecommerce SEO is crucial for online retailers as it helps them compete effectively in the crowded digital marketplace. By optimizing for search engines, ecommerce businesses can increase their online visibility, drive targeted traffic, and ultimately improve their chances of converting visitors into customers.

What is an Ecommerce SEO Audit?

An ecommerce SEO audit is a comprehensive assessment of an online store’s website and its overall search engine optimization performance. An audit aims to identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement to enhance the site’s visibility in search engine results and ultimately boost online sales. 

The audit process involves a detailed examination of various aspects of the ecommerce website. Here are the key components typically covered in an ecommerce SEO audit:

  • Technical SEO:
    • Check for crawl errors and ensure that search engines can properly access and index the website.
    • Examine the site’s URL structure, ensuring it is logical and optimized for both users and search engines.
    • Verify that the website is mobile-friendly and has a responsive design.
    • Assess site speed and identify opportunities for improvement.
  • On-Page SEO:
    • Evaluate meta titles and descriptions for product pages, ensuring they are compelling and contain relevant keywords.
    • Check header tags (H1, H2, etc.) for proper usage and keyword optimization.
    • Review product descriptions for uniqueness, clarity, and keyword relevance.
    • Confirm the use of alt tags for images to improve accessibility and provide additional context to search engines.
  • Keyword Analysis:
    • Conduct or revisit keyword research to ensure alignment with current industry trends and user search behavior.
    • Assess the integration of target keywords in product titles, descriptions, and other relevant content.
  • Content Quality:
    • Evaluate the overall quality and uniqueness of the content on the website.
    • Check for duplicate content issues and address them to avoid potential penalties from search engines.
  • User Experience (UX):
    • Assess the website’s navigation, user interface, and overall user experience to ensure a positive journey for visitors.
    • Confirm that the checkout process is smooth and user-friendly.
  • Backlink Profile:
    • Review the website’s backlink profile for the quality and relevance of incoming links.
    • Identify opportunities to acquire high-quality backlinks and address any potential issues with low-quality links.
  • Local SEO (if applicable):
    • Verify that the site is optimized for local search, especially if the ecommerce business has physical stores.
  • Analytics and Conversion Tracking:
    • Ensure that analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, are properly set up to track key performance metrics.
    • Review conversion tracking to monitor the effectiveness of marketing efforts.
  • Competitor Analysis:
    • Analyze the SEO strategies of competitors to identify opportunities for improvement or differentiation.

Once the audit is complete, the findings are typically compiled into a report, and actionable recommendations are provided to address identified issues and improve the overall ecommerce SEO strategy. Regular audits are essential to adapt to changes in search engine algorithms, industry trends, and the competitive landscape.

Why is it Important to Regularly Audit Your E-commerce Website?

Regularly auditing your e-commerce website is essential for several reasons, as it helps ensure that your online store remains competitive, user-friendly, and optimized for search engines. Here are key reasons why it’s important to conduct regular audits:

1) Identify and Fix Technical Issues

Technology and web standards evolve, and issues can arise over time. Regular audits help identify and address technical issues such as broken links, crawl errors, page speed problems, and mobile responsiveness issues. Fixing these issues improves the overall user experience and search engine performance.

2) Stay Current with SEO Best Practices

Search engine algorithms are constantly changing, and best practices for SEO evolve. Regular audits allow you to stay current with the latest SEO trends and algorithm updates. This ensures that your website continues to meet search engine requirements and remains visible in search results.

3) Optimize Content and Keywords

Conducting regular keyword research and analyzing your content helps ensure that your product pages and overall website content align with current search trends. This enables you to optimize product titles, descriptions, and other content to better match what users are searching for, improving your chances of ranking higher in search results.

4) Improve User Experience (UX)

User expectations and preferences change over time. Regular audits help you evaluate and enhance the user experience on your website. This includes assessing navigation, page layout, checkout processes, and overall design to ensure a positive and seamless experience for visitors.

5) Enhance Conversion Rates

Regularly reviewing your website analytics and conversion tracking helps you identify areas for improvement in your sales funnel. By optimizing product pages, calls-to-action, and the checkout process, you can work towards increasing conversion rates and maximizing the return on investment (ROI) from your e-commerce efforts.

6) Address Security Concerns

Security threats and vulnerabilities can impact the trust users place in your website. Regular audits help you identify and address security issues, ensuring that sensitive customer data is protected and that your website complies with security standards.

7) Keep Content Fresh and Relevant

Regular content audits help you identify outdated or irrelevant content. Keeping your product descriptions, blog posts, and other content up-to-date ensures that visitors are presented with accurate information, and search engines recognize your website as a reliable source of information.

8) Adapt to Market Changes

E-commerce is a dynamic and competitive environment. Regular audits enable you to stay informed about changes in your industry, monitor competitor strategies, and adjust your own tactics accordingly. This adaptability is crucial for maintaining a competitive edge.

9) Monitor and Adjust Marketing Strategies

Analyzing the performance of marketing campaigns, including SEO, paid advertising, and social media, allows you to identify what works and what needs improvement. Regular audits help you refine your marketing strategies for better effectiveness and ROI.

In summary, regular e-commerce website audits are crucial for maintaining optimal performance, adapting to changes, and staying ahead in a dynamic online marketplace. They provide valuable insights that enable you to make informed decisions and continually improve the overall effectiveness of your online store.

14 Steps to Help Perform an Ecommerce SEO Audit

Performing an e-commerce SEO audit involves a systematic review of various elements on your website to ensure it’s optimized for search engines and user experience. Here are steps you can take to conduct a comprehensive e-commerce SEO audit:

  • Keyword Research and Analysis

Review and update your keyword strategy. Identify relevant keywords for your products and ensure they are strategically placed in titles, descriptions, and other on-page elements.

  • On-Page Optimization
  • Check and optimize meta titles and descriptions for product pages.
  • Ensure proper use of header tags (H1, H2, etc.) and keyword inclusion in headings.
  • Review product descriptions for uniqueness, clarity, and keyword relevance.
  • Confirm the use of alt tags for images.
  • Technical SEO
  • Check for crawl errors and ensure proper indexing by search engines.
  • Verify the website’s mobile-friendliness and responsiveness.
  • Assess site speed and address any issues affecting loading times.
  • Review URL structures for clarity and optimization.
  • Content Quality
  • Evaluate the overall quality of content on your website.
  • Identify and address any duplicate content issues.
  • Ensure that your content provides value to users and is unique and engaging.
  • User Experience (UX)
  • Assess website navigation, ensuring it’s intuitive and user-friendly.
  • Confirm that the checkout process is smooth and streamlined.
  • Test the overall user experience on different devices and browsers.
  • Backlink Profile
  • Review the website’s backlink profile for the quality and relevance of incoming links.
  • Identify and address any toxic or low-quality backlinks.
  • Seek opportunities to acquire high-quality backlinks.
  • Local SEO (if applicable)
  • Optimize your website for local searches if you have physical stores.
  • Ensure accurate business information in local directories and Google My Business.
  • Analytics and Conversion Tracking
  • Confirm that analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, are properly set up.
  • Review conversion tracking to monitor the effectiveness of marketing efforts.
  • Analyze user behavior data to identify areas for improvement.
  • Security Check
  • Assess the website’s security to ensure the protection of sensitive customer data.
  • Implement secure socket layer (SSL) certificates if not already in place.
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Analyze the SEO strategies of key competitors.
  • Identify areas where you can differentiate or improve your own strategy.
  • Content Marketing and Blog
  • Review and update your content marketing strategy.
  • Evaluate the performance of your blog content and identify opportunities for new content creation.
  • Social Media Integration
  • Ensure that your e-commerce site is effectively integrated with your social media channels.
  • Optimize social media profiles and leverage social signals for SEO.
  • Structured Data Markup
  • Implement or review structured data markup, especially for product schema.
  • Ensure that search engines can better understand and display information from your website in search results.
  • Monitoring and Reporting
  • Set up regular monitoring and reporting mechanisms for ongoing SEO performance.
  • Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) and benchmarks for future assessments.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to conduct a thorough e-commerce SEO audit, identify areas for improvement, and develop a plan to optimize your website for better search engine visibility and user experience. Regularly revisit and update your SEO strategy to stay competitive in the evolving online landscape.

Get Started with Ecommerce SEO!

At Summit Scout, we practice what we preach. Call us for a free consultation with our SEO experts — no strings attached! Get insight into our ecommerce SEO approach and how our organic SEO company has helped countless other businesses like yours increase their online presence.

Ansley Merrill

Ansley is the Content Marketing Manager at Summit Scout. Since graduating from Utah State University with two degrees in Communication Studies and Journalism: Public Relations, Ansley specializes in creating engaging and informative SEO content for readers, customers, and partners through different marketing channels. Along with creating new content, Ansley works to keep content organized and creates and executes new content strategies. When she’s not writing, she loves to travel, visit National Parks, and loves all things Disney.