Ecommerce SEO Audit

An 11-Step Checklist for Beginners

In the incredibly saturated world of ecommerce, standing out amongst the competition can be an uphill battle. Conducting a regular ecommerce SEO audit helps ensure that products can be easily found by customers.

However, with countless similar products and competitors vying for the same audience, this can be challenging. This comprehensive guide will explore the ins and outs of ecommerce SEO, how to prioritize it, and how to enhance your ecommerce SEO strategy with this 11-step checklist.



What is Ecommerce SEO?

Ecommerce SEO is optimizing an ecommerce website to rank in the top 10 positions on Google’s SERPs (search engine result pages).


Ecommerce SEO targets relevant keywords that will attract your target customer to increase website traffic and online purchases.



What is an Ecommerce SEO Audit?


An ecommerce SEO audit evaluates an ecommerce website’s organic presence by analyzing the on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO performance.


An audit identifies areas that need to be optimized, potential threats and problems that require immediate action, and opportunities to feature products and information that aren’t displayed currently.


By performing consistent ecommerce SEO audits, businesses can improve their online presence and increase traffic, leading to better brand recognition and sales.


Why is Ecommerce SEO Important?

44% of people begin online shopping on Google. That’s a major opportunity for ecommerce websites to capture potential customers.

Ecommerce SEO plays a vital role in helping businesses succeed online; here are some of the main benefits:

  • It increases brand exposure to new audiences.


  • It attracts target customers in all stages of the buyer’s funnel, not just those ready to purchase.


  • It improves product conversions using Bottom-of-Funnel (BoF) keywords.


  • An effective ecommerce SEO strategy continues to build traffic and conversions over time.



  • It achieves a higher ROI since SEO does not require ad spend.

Ecommerce SEO Audit: 11-Step Checklist

If you’re new to ecommerce SEO, knowing where to start or what strategies are best can be challenging. Use this 11-step checklist to help guide your ecommerce SEO audit so you remain focused on the most critical ecommerce SEO elements you need:


1. Audit the Keyword Strategy

Keywords are the foundation of a robust ecommerce SEO strategy. The first step is to audit the keyword strategy to identify high and under-performing keywords and new opportunities. Analyze the use of the site’s short-tail and long-tail keywords.


What are Short-Tail Keywords?

Short-tail keywords are search terms that have the following characteristics:

  • Broad terms consisting of 1-3 words


  • High search volume


  • High keyword difficulty (competition)


  • Lower conversion rate


Short-tail keywords play a role in building brand awareness and gaining exposure to more people. The challenge is ranking for short-tail keywords, considering how competitive they are. Achieving top rankings for such terms will take time.


What are Long-Tail Keywords?

Long-tail keywords are the opposite of short-tail keywords. The name speaks for itself — a long-tail keyword is a search term that strings together several words.


Other characteristics include:

  • Not as high of search volume compared to short-tail keywords.


  • More specific and detailed.


  • Lower keyword difficulty.


  • Higher conversion rates.


An effective keyword strategy boosts your website's exposure and conversions. Targeting short and long-tail keywords is important to reach people at various stages of the buyer's journey.


Analyze the site’s keyword performance using tools, like Semrush and Google Search Console. You can use your preferred keyword tracking software, but those are the two our SEO experts trust (along with our proprietary software).


Look for terms that have been dropping in keyword performance and dig deeper:

  • Are the keywords dropping due to expected trends?


  • Does the keyword search intent match up with the web page?


  • Is the keyword relevant to the web page and business?


  • Is the keyword highly competitive?


  • Does the keyword have enough search volume to justify targeting it?


  • Is the web page optimized well enough for the target keyword?


  • Are there other pages targeting the same keyword, creating cannibalization?


It’s essential to match the page content to the user intent of the keyword to achieve the top 10 rankings (most importantly, the top three). An article is considerably less likely to rank for a keyword that delivers product pages in the search results.


Pro Tip: Enabling a search bar on your ecommerce website and collecting data on site visitor searches give you insight into what products people are searching for.

It gives you insight into:

  • New keywords to integrate into your strategy.
  • Products to prioritize due to customer demand.
  • Improvements to make your website easier to navigate and find products.

2. Audit the Top Organic Competitors

The next step in an ecommerce SEO audit is to run a competitive analysis on the site’s top organic competitors. Organic competitors are the websites competing on Google SERPs for your business’s primary keywords.


By auditing your organic competitors, you uncover strategies and specific keywords that are helping them reach coveted online rankings. It gives businesses insight into improving their SEO strategy, the types of keywords to target to capture customer attention, and niche opportunities to pursue with less competition.


If you’re not familiar with who your organic competitors are, run a Google search in Incognito Mode for products you sell.


Analyze the top-ranking organic competitors for the following:

  • Messaging and tone of voice


  • Keywords targeted on the main pages


  • The type of content published on the site


  • Call-to-actions used on the site to encourage conversions


  • Running promotions


  • What the design looks like


  • The organization and navigation of the website


If you have access to the necessary tools, dive even deeper into your competitor analysis by checking:

  • Site speed


  • Backlinks


  • Keyword gap analysis (a mixture of results showing keywords your site outperforms competitors and vice versa)


  • Identify the top-ranking pages and keywords


During your competitor analysis, note what your competitors are doing well. Compare this with your website and identify the areas that need improvement to be more competitive.


In addition to this, a competitor analysis can uncover what you should avoid. That can include design elements that are not user-friendly, imagery, or anything inhibiting the user experience on the site.


3. Audit the Image Optimization

Optimizing product images for SEO is crucial to enhance visibility and increase the chances of your products being discovered through image searches and featured snippets.


By following best practices for image optimization, you can improve your website's search engine rankings and attract potential customers searching for products using visual search queries.


Here's a detailed section on where to start your image optimization audit and how to optimize them for image SEO effectively.


Image File Names

Before uploading images to your website, save the file using a descriptive name that includes the keywords for that specific page. Computers will default to a generic image file name, like "IMG1234.jpg." Renaming the image file to something descriptive and optimized for the keyword will help increase your image SEO efforts.


For example, if you're selling a blue men's t-shirt, a proper file name could be "blue-mens-t-shirt.jpg." This practice helps search engines understand the content of your images and improves their chances of appearing in relevant search results.


Image Alt Text

Image alt text provides a description of what the image is, which is crucial for individuals who are visually impaired and rely on screen reader software. Additionally, Google search requires some form of text or description to identify pictures on a website.


Incorporate relevant keywords naturally within the alt text while ensuring it remains descriptive and useful for visually impaired users. For instance, a suitable alt text for the blue men's t-shirt image could be "Blue men's t-shirt with crew neck."


Image Size and Compression

Large image file sizes can negatively impact your website's loading speed, affecting user experience and search engine rankings. Optimize your product images by compressing them without sacrificing quality.


Numerous online tools and image compression plugins can help reduce file sizes without significantly losing the visual quality. Aim for an optimal balance between image quality and file size to improve website performance and user satisfaction.


Image XML Sitemaps

Including your product images in an image sitemap helps search engines crawl and index them appropriately. An image sitemap is a specialized XML sitemap that lists all your website's images.


Submitting an image sitemap to search engines increases the chances of your product images appearing in image search results. Ensure the image sitemap is regularly updated to include new products and remove outdated or unavailable images.


Image Captions and Surrounding Text

Optimize your product images surrounding text and captions. Include relevant keywords and descriptive information in the captions or adjacent text. This helps search engines understand the context and relevance of the image.


Additionally, descriptive captions encourage users to engage more with the image and the product, potentially increasing the chances of conversions.


User-Generated Images

Encourage your customers to submit and share their images of your products – this is considered user-generated content (UGC). User-generated images, such as customer reviews with product photos, can be valuable for SEO. These images provide authenticity and social proof, helping potential customers visualize your products in real-life settings.


UGC can contribute to a slower page speed if the images aren’t sized and compressed correctly. Ensure you have a process to moderate and review user-generated content to maintain quality and relevance.


By implementing these SEO optimization techniques for your product images, you can improve their visibility in image search results, increase the likelihood of appearing in featured snippets, and drive more organic traffic to your website.



4. Audit the Ecommerce On-Page SEO

On-page SEO consists of optimizing specific page elements for the primary keyword to increase search result rankings. The following on-page SEO elements must be audited to ensure the keywords are used in the right spots and often enough.


Page URL

URLs are a ranking factor in SEO, which is why it’s essential to feature your page’s primary keyword in it. That should be the first thing to check in your on-page SEO audit.


Some best practices to remember when optimizing your page URL include:

  • Use the primary keyword of the page in the URL.


  • Avoid using random numbers, letters, and symbols.


  • Avoid using anything that can cause the page to become outdated (e.g., dates).


  • Make the URL contextual so people know what the page is about before accessing it.


  • The length of the URL does not impact keyword rankings, but a long URL could affect featured snippets.


  • Organize URLs and pass along page authority using subfolders.


  • All URLs should be individual and unique (more details on this below).


Ecommerce Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions

The next item in the ecommerce SEO checklist is to audit the page’s meta titles and descriptions. Meta titles and descriptions should include the primary keyword of the page.


The meta title holds weight as a ranking factor for keywords, so the primary keyword should be placed at the beginning of the title or as close to the beginning as possible.


Placing it at the beginning reduces the risk of search engines cutting the keyword off if the meta title runs too long.


Character Length Rules:

  • Meta Title – 50 - 60 characters
  • Meta Description – 150 - 160 characters


Beyond that, maximize your organic listing's click-through-rate (CTR) by using action words, like:

  • Sale
  • Buy Today
  • Promotional Offers
  • Free
  • Buy Now
  • Shop
  • Order Now


It takes more than a bland title and description to entice people to click your organic listing over a competitor’s. Really work on making your titles and descriptions eye-catching and unique.


Your meta description is also a powerful tool to persuade searchers to click on your organic listing. It gives you more real estate to create an engaging description to grab their attention. Using a call-to-action (CTA) in your meta description is a great way to initiate a response from the searcher.


Additionally, including the keyword in your description, even though it does not affect keyword rankings, has been shown to increase the click-through rate (CTR). Remember to utilize the space given to you in the meta description to create a compelling description that will encourage searchers to click on your listing.


Structured Data

While structured data falls into Technical SEO, it also applies to on-page SEO. Structured data is a script of code that enlightens Google about the theme and purpose of your website or webpage, which optimizes your chances of appearing for rich snippets. It’s also known as schema markup.


Google SERPs display rich snippets in various ways, including product reviews within the organic listing, People Also Ask FAQs, product carousels, and Google’s Knowledge Graph.


Although the schema markup is not a direct ranking factor, it can still positively impact your rankings. For ecommerce sites especially, Product schema is vital as it allows website owners to display detailed information about specific products, improving click-through rates and ultimately producing more sales.


Below is an example of how Product Schema reflects on a Google SERP:

ecommerce seo audit includes Product schema markup


This information demonstrates a business’s credibility and enhances the user experience by delivering key product information right from the start, making the potential customer’s search process easier.


Internal Links

An effective ecommerce SEO strategy includes internal linking, which is simply linking to another page on your website. Internal links can be as simple as including a hyperlink within the text or using a call to action (CTA).


In an ecommerce setting, an example of an internal link can be a "similar products" area that customers can click on and be taken to another product they might like. Internal linking is important for several reasons:

  • Improves user experience by providing easy-to-find information.


  • Keeps potential customers engaged on the site longer.


  • Provides access to valuable information.


  • Transfers value to other pages.


  • Helps increase keyword rankings for SEO purposes.


Your ecommerce SEO audit should include auditing internal links to identify where improvements can be made to the anchor text or the internal link itself. If a page doesn’t receive many internal links, search engines can deem it insignificant and reduce its visibility on search results.


Keyword Placement and Frequency

Another crucial ecommerce SEO audit item is to analyze how well your web page is optimized for the primary and supporting keywords.


Start by assessing the H1 tag (the main header tag on the page). There should only be one H1 tag on the entire page. Search engines consider this the main header that speaks to the page intent. Therefore, it should contain your page’s primary keyword in it.


The H1, H2, and H3 tags hold more keyword ranking value than the regular paragraph text, so place your keywords in headers first. In addition to the H1, use the primary keyword in the H2 tags as close to the top of the page as possible. Supporting keywords should be used in H2s lower on the page and H3 tags.


How long the page is determines the amount of keywords to target in its content. If the page is short, like a product page, stick with one primary and one supporting keyword. If it’s longer, like an ultimate guide, you can incorporate more keywords throughout the content without the risk of keyword stuffing.


Keyword stuffing is a technique search engines consider to be spam, and it’s when a page overuses keywords in the content to rank higher. It’s considered spam because it doesn’t create a good user experience.


There’s no ideal number for how many times a keyword should be used on a page, so you must test it yourself. Remember that search engines also count the keywords used in the URL, meta title, and image alt text as part of the total keyword count.


CTAs (Call-to-Action)

Last but not least, audit the CTAs on the web page. If your product pages aren’t converting at the rate you expect or want them to, analyze the conversion process.


SEO and CRO work closely to increase both organic website traffic and conversions. Audit the following items:

  • The number of CTAs used on the web page.


  • The messaging in the CTAs (is it active or passive?).


  • The destination of the CTAs (read more about the 3 Click Rule).


  • The design of the CTAs (does it stand out enough?).


Sophisticated software isn’t required to analyze and test site visitor behavior. Start simple with minor adjustments and monitor the changes. Continue to make adjustments that will enhance the user experience, simplify the purchasing process, and create actionable, guided messaging to encourage people to become paying customers.



Recommended Meta Title & Meta Description Character Length

  • Meta Title – 50 - 60 characters
  • Meta Description – 150 - 160 characters

5. Audit the Content Strategy

Let’s address the necessary web pages every ecommerce site must have first:

  • Contact page
  • Terms and Conditions
  • Shipping and Return Policy
  • Privacy Policy


Whether it’s a legal requirement or simply to enhance the user experience through transparency, the pages listed above are an ecommerce website standard.


Your ecommerce SEO audit must include auditing the site’s content strategy, starting with the most important pages featured below. In your audit, follow the On-Page SEO Auditing steps outlined above.


This next section will explain why these pages are essential for Ecommerce SEO and best practices to increase your performance.


Home Page

Your ecommerce home page is the gateway to your online presence. It is the central point where all your users begin their journey to your site. As such, it is imperative that your home page accurately reflects your business and the primary keyword for SEO purposes.


The home page is the most authoritative page on the site. The page design must be user-friendly, giving people immediate value while not overwhelming them with too much text. It also needs to guide them to the most valuable products you sell or want to increase sales for.


Jump to the next section to understand how to internally link to product pages from the home page in ways that will increase ecommerce keyword rankings!


Product Pages

The key to an effective ecommerce SEO strategy lies in optimized product pages. These pages serve as the storefront of your online business, showcasing your products to customers worldwide.


Avoid using generic or duplicated product descriptions. Each product should have its own distinct and original description. Doing so provides valuable information to your customers and avoids potential issues with search engines regarding duplicate content.


Make sure to highlight each product with the following:

  • Relevant keywords to show up in front of potential customers.


  • Unique product features and benefits they won’t get with competitors.


  • Certifications, warranties, or special considerations.


  • Use persuasive language to evoke emotions and create a sense of desire.


  • Images and videos showcasing the product fully and building trust with potential customers.


Overall, when it comes to product descriptions, you should remember these important factors:

  • Monitor and analyze the performance of your product descriptions regularly.


  • Track conversion rates and engagement metrics to determine what resonates with your audience and adjust accordingly.


  • Continuously refine and optimize your product descriptions to create a compelling shopping experience that drives conversions and sets your business apart from the competition.


Additionally, positive product reviews are vital in developing strong E-E-A-T (experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) on your product pages. Ecommerce sites that demonstrate E-E-A-T achieve higher rankings and attract more business.


Encourage your customers to leave honest reviews, upload product images, and share their experiences to create an engaging ecommerce platform.


FAQ Page

FAQ pages are your secret weapon to providing exceptional customer support. They allow you to anticipate and answer your customers' most popular queries, easing their concerns and increasing their satisfaction with your business.


FAQs offer a valuable resource for new and returning customers whether they're wondering about specific products, shipping processes, or general business inquiries. By implementing this helpful content on your ecommerce site, you'll demonstrate your commitment to providing top-notch customer service and support.


It’s also a helpful tool in keeping people on your site for longer and guiding them to product pages they will likely purchase through internal links.


Informational Content

Adding a blog to your ecommerce website and implementing a pillar/cluster content strategy can significantly boost your SEO efforts and drive organic traffic. You can establish your brand as an industry leader by creating valuable, informative, and engaging content. You can also attract potential customers searching for relevant information.


Additional SEO benefits include:

Content Variety

A blog enables you to diversify your website's content. While product pages focus on showcasing and selling your products, a blog can cover various related topics. Such topics include industry trends, how-to guides, product comparisons, gift ideas, and customer success stories. This informational variety helps attract a broader audience and provides more opportunities for engagement.


Keyword Targeting

Research relevant keywords that align with your business and audience interests. Incorporate these keywords into your blog posts to increase the chances of ranking in search engine results. Focus on long-tail keywords with moderate search volume but lower competition. They can be easier to rank for and attract more targeted traffic.


Internal Linking

Use your blog as an opportunity to interlink with your product pages strategically. You can enhance their visibility by linking relevant anchor text within your blog content to specific product pages. Internal linking also helps search engines discover and index your product pages more effectively.


Shareable Content

Blog posts are highly shareable, and social sharing can significantly amplify your reach and brand exposure. Incorporate social sharing buttons on your blog posts to encourage readers to share your content across their networks. This can increase traffic, brand awareness, and potential backlinks from other websites.


Implement a Pillar/Cluster Strategy

A pillar/cluster content strategy effectively structures your blog and maximizes its SEO potential. This strategy involves creating a pillar page, which serves as a comprehensive guide on a broad topic and supporting cluster content that delves deeper into subtopics related to the pillar page.


Here's how to implement this strategy effectively:


Identify Pillar Topics

Determine the main topics or categories that align with your business and audience interests. These should be broad topics that cover the core aspects of your industry. For example, if you sell fitness equipment, your pillar topics could be "Cardiovascular Fitness," "Strength Training," and "Nutrition."


Create Pillar Pages

Develop in-depth pillar pages that provide comprehensive information on each topic. These pages should cover the broad topic holistically and act as a hub for the cluster content. Include relevant subheadings, internal links, and multimedia elements to enhance the user experience and SEO value.


Develop Cluster Content

Create cluster content pieces that revolve around specific subtopics related to the pillar page. Each cluster post should link back to the pillar page. This establishes a content cluster that signals to search engines the relevance and authority of the pillar topic. Optimize each cluster post with appropriate keywords, headers, and internal links.


Interlinking and Navigation

Ensure seamless navigation and interlinking between pillar pages and cluster posts. Each cluster post should link back to the pillar page, and the pillar page should link out to relevant cluster posts. This interlinking structure helps search engines understand the relationship between your content pieces and strengthens the overall authority of the pillar topic.


Continual Expansion

Regularly expand your cluster content by adding new blog posts that cover additional subtopics or provide updated information. This continuous expansion helps to solidify your authority on the pillar topic. It provides fresh content for search engines to index.


Adding a blog to your ecommerce website and implementing a pillar/cluster content strategy can enhance your SEO efforts.



6. Audit the Site Organization and Navigation

User experience is an integral part of an SEO strategy, and site navigation falls under both. Your ecommerce website must be strategically organized to make it easy for people to navigate while passing authority to the most important pages for ranking purposes.


Review the following site navigation factors in your ecommerce SEO audit.


Abide by the 3-Click Rule

The 3-click rule states that a conversion should take no more than three clicks to make.


Mega menus are a great way to create an organized and seamless site navigation. They deliver a lot of content without the clutter.


Strategic thought must go into the design of the mega menu to ensure that people can navigate your website intuitively. And ultimately, access your products or services to make a purchase.


Below is an example of a well-organized site navigation.

example of good site navigation in ecommerce seo strategy


Internally Link to Important Pages from the Home Page

The same applies to your most important web pages. Identify the pages you want to send the most traffic to and internally link to them from the home page.


The home page tends to be the most authoritative one on the site. Internally linking to other valuable pages from the home page will transfer its authority and help boost the significance of those pages.


Search engines will interpret those pages as being important since they’re so close to the home page. Utilize the mega menu and the footer to achieve this, not just the body of the home page content!


Organize Products in Product Categories

When optimizing your ecommerce website, organization is key. One effective way to do so is by categorizing your products. Categorization helps customers easily find what they're looking for, as it eliminates the need to sift through multiple pages.


For example, a suede chair can fall under categories, such as Living Room Furniture, Arm Chairs, or Suede Chairs. Placing the item in all applicable categories increases the product’s exposure to potential customers.


However, you must be mindful of the URL strategy to avoid creating SEO issues when a single product can be found in multiple areas on the website. See what our SEO experts recommend in the next section!


Optimize the URL Structure for SEO

Ecommerce websites must pay extra attention to their URLs, especially if multiple products can be accessed from multiple spots on the site. Duplicate content issues can quickly arise if URLs are not properly planned.


Here’s a better explanation – we will use the furniture website example listed above and focus on the suede chair.


Your suede chair product can be accessed from three different categories — Living Room Furniture, Arm Chairs, and Suede Chairs. Most CMS platforms will create individual URLs for each category if you don’t specify otherwise.


Three different URLs also translate to three different web pages in a search engine’s eyes. The same product has three separate web pages all containing the same content. As a result, you now have duplicate content on your website.


Duplicate content goes against SEO best practices because search engines can interpret this as a malicious or spammy tactic.


The SEO best practice is to assign one URL per product that’s clean, contextual, and contains a keyword. Contextual, in this case, means that people should be able to infer what the page will be about before they even access the web page.


Additionally, optimizing your URLs with relevant product keywords will boost your SEO performance. Be sure to keep your URLs clean and easy to follow, as multiple pathways can create duplicate content issues.


By implementing a consistent and optimized URL structure for all of your products, you'll set yourself up for success in the long run without having to add canonical tags to avoid duplicate content problems in the long run.


Organize with Breadcrumbs

A crucial aspect of your ecommerce SEO strategy is to pay attention to the breadcrumbs you use in your website's structure. Doing so can greatly enhance the user experience and make it easier for customers to navigate your platform confidently.


When users are able to understand and easily navigate your site, it provides them with a sense of ease and familiarity that fosters long-term loyalty and repeat visits. So, stay mindful of the breadcrumbs you implement and how you structure them, and reap the benefits of a strong ecommerce SEO strategy.


7. Audit the Technical SEO

The eighth checklist item is to conduct a technical SEO audit. Along with keywords, technical SEO is the foundation of a search engine optimization campaign.


The complexity of technical SEO depends on the website and how many issues are present. Some issues are easy to fix, while others are more advanced and require a developer’s help to resolve.


Ecommerce websites can have a lot of pages and moving parts running behind the scenes to make the site function properly. The following items are essential to audit regularly to ensure they’re optimized and working properly:



Robots.txt is a file that resides in the root directory of your website and instructs search engine crawlers on which pages or sections of your site should or should not be crawled and indexed.


Robots.txt is used to communicate with search engines and control their access to specific areas of your website. The robots.txt file uses a particular syntax to specify directives like "Allow" and "Disallow" to indicate which pages should be crawled or blocked from indexing.


This file is essential for managing and optimizing how search engines interact with your website.


Website Indexing

Website indexing refers to the process by which search engines discover and analyze web pages to include them in their search results.


Mobile Indexing

Mobile indexing refers to Google's focus on analyzing and ranking the mobile version of a website's content for search results, as mobile devices have become the primary means of internet access for many users.


Secured Website (HTTPS)

HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. You will notice that a secured website will contain “https://” at the beginning of the website URL.


The standard is for all websites to be secured HTTPS websites. It’s also crucial for SEO because search engines deem unsecured websites as untrustworthy.


If your website’s SSL certificate has expired, contact your domain registrar or web developer to renew the certificate. Otherwise, you must purchase and install it on your website if you don’t have one already.


To ensure no unsecured URLs on your website, use Google Search Console to identify any HTTP instances.


Additionally, you will need to implement 301 redirects from the HTTP URLs to the new HTTPs URLs once the certificate is in place to avoid broken pages.


And lastly, update the XML sitemap to show live, secured URLs. Remove any instances of outdated, redirecting, or broken URLs from the sitemap.


Broken Links

Broken links are 404 errors or broken web pages. These are problematic for SEO for several reasons:

  • It disrupts the user experience on the website.


  • People cannot access or find the page they are looking for.


  • There is a disruption to transferring link juice throughout the website.


Link juice stands for the transfer of value or equity from one page to another page on the site. This can apply to internal links and backlinks from a third-party site.


In this instance, a broken page that once generated a lot of value and equity has suddenly been disrupted because there is no redirect to transfer the value to another web page. When there is value to transfer, a 301 redirect is the best solution.


When a broken web page does not or never has had any equity built up, there’s nothing to transfer. Therefore, a 410 redirect is the right solution to indicate a permanent page removal.


Duplicate Content

As mentioned earlier, duplicate content will have a negative impact on SEO performance. The best practice is to create unique content for every page to avoid duplicate content. However, there are times when canonical tags can be implemented to prevent negative consequences.


A canonical tag is an HTML element that can be added to the website’s header code, telling search engines which URL is preferred for them to crawl and index.


Pages can have a self-referencing canonical tag, meaning the preferred URL is the same page. Every page should have a self-referencing URL unless you want to canonicalize a different URL.


Self-referencing URLs come in handy when parameter variations of the same URL are created. For example, a parameter URL has a “?” in it. Parameter URLs are common with ecommerce websites that apply filters when searching for products and reflect in the URL.


Instead of treating each filter URL as its own page, the self-referencing canonical tag tells search engines that the preferred web page is the one without the parameters or filters included in the URL.


Suppose an ecommerce website has several pages that are either the same or too similar to one another. In that case, it can apply a canonical tag specifying which URL it wants the search engine to look at and ignore the rest.


While this is a prevention tactic for the harmful effects of duplicate content, search engines are not guaranteed to follow your rules. Therefore, it’s vital to be strategic with your content strategy and URL structure.


Pagination Options

Pagination refers to a technique used to sort and organize content into multi-page lists. In ecommerce, pagination involves dividing a series of products into several pages instead of presenting them all on one page.


For larger sites, deciding how to deliver all of your products to existing and new customers in ways that will appeal to rather than overwhelm them should be a top priority.


There are three ways to organize multi-page lists: Pagination, “Load More” button, and Infinite Scroll.


Google created a pros and cons list for each one to help guide your decision-making:


ecommerce seo audit pagination options


Visit Google’s documentation for more details on pagination and how to implement it properly!


XML Sitemap

A vital component of any successful ecommerce SEO strategy is ensuring that your website is easily navigable and indexable by search engines. One essential tool to achieve this is a sitemap, which acts as a blueprint for your website and tells search engines which pages are important, how to find them, and how to read your website.


XML sitemaps are particularly crucial for ecommerce sites and other large websites with a significant number of web pages. Without a sitemap, pages on the site can be difficult to find and index, leading to reduced visibility for relevant keywords.


Luckily, most large CMS platforms will generate a sitemap for you as you build out your ecommerce site. Submitting your sitemap into Google Search Console is essential to allow faster indexing for your site. If you need to create a sitemap manually, it is best to work with your web developer.


XML sitemap best practices state:

  • Feature your most important pages in the sitemap file.


  • Only feature URLs returning a 2xx status code.


  • Do not include broken, canonicalized, redirect, and nofollow / noindex URLs from the file.


  • Organize images and other page types into separate XML sitemap files for better organization.


  • Audit and update your sitemap file regularly to catch and resolve issues quickly.



8. Mobile Responsiveness

One of the most important user experience factors is mobile responsiveness. Mobile responsiveness determines how well your website looks and functions across all devices, including mobile devices and tablets.

ecommerce seo strategy mobile responsiveness

Following Mobile First Indexing, websites are first discovered and indexed from the mobile experience rather than the desktop. You're in trouble if you focus on the desktop experience more than mobile. It’s mostly important to understand how your audience is utilizing your website.

Simple rules to follow to create a mobile responsive site include:

  • There should be no overlapping or cut-off site elements (images, text, etc.).
  • Space out clickable elements so people can easily click on buttons, text, and anything else on mobile devices.
  • The minimum font size for mobile devices should be 16px.



9. Optimize Site Speed

Along with mobile responsiveness, site speed is equally important for user experience. Websites must load quickly to keep site visitors interested, compete against online competitors, and increase keyword rankings.


Site speed goes beyond just how quickly a website loads. It should encompass all Core Web Vitals metrics:


  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): LCP measures the loading performance of a website. Aim to have an LCP register in the first 2.5 seconds of the web page starting to load.
  • First Input Delay (FID): FID measures interactivity on the site. Strive for a score of less than 100 milliseconds.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): CLS measures the visual stability of the website. Aim for a score of less than 0.1.


Have you ever encountered a website where you click just to have the web page shift at the last second, resulting in you clicking something you never intended? That’s what CLS measures and aims to avoid.


Core Web Vitals metrics are advanced compared to other ecommerce SEO strategies, so you should work with your web developer to improve your scores.


There are things you can start doing now to improve your metrics:

  • Websites should optimize images to be 100 KB or less.


  • Compress your images before publishing them on the site.


  • Host videos on YouTube rather than directly on your website.


  • Remove unused scripts or code, like CSS and JavaScript.


  • Compress heavy files like Javascript, CSS, and HTML.


  • Remove unused or outdated visual asset files (images, videos, GIFs, etc.)



10. Ecommerce Local SEO

If you have a brick-and-mortar store or serve specific geographic areas, implementing local SEO strategies can help drive targeted traffic to your ecommerce website. Here are some key tactics to improve your local search visibility and attract customers to your storefront:


Create and Optimize a Google Business Profile


Previously known as Google My Business, a Google Business Profile is a free business listing provided by Google to display in the Google Map Pack.


Use this Google Business Profile (GBP) audit checklist:

  • Check the NAP (name, address, phone number) for consistency and accuracy.


  • Website URL


  • Hours of operation


  • Accurate images of your storefront’s exterior and interior. Include images of your team and products as well.


  • Optimize the business description for the primary keyword.


  • Set your location or radius to attract your local target audience.


  • Manage and respond to customer reviews. Attempt to resolve a poor customer review (don’t just delete it).


Pro Tip: Your business listing information must be accurate and consistent across ALL ONLINE BUSINESS LISTINGS, not just Google Business Profile. Keep a database of your information so you can quickly copy and paste the same information across all listings.


Encourage Customer Reviews and Ratings on Google

Positive customer reviews and ratings on your GBP profile can significantly influence local search rankings and attract potential customers. Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews.


You can encourage this by providing exceptional service, sending follow-up emails, or including CTAs on your website. Respond promptly and professionally to positive and negative reviews to demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction.


Utilize Local Keywords and Location-Specific Content

Incorporate local keywords throughout your website, especially in page titles, meta descriptions, headings, and content. Conduct keyword research to identify relevant terms that include your location and incorporate them naturally into your website copy. Create location-specific content that caters to the interests and needs of your local audience.


Build Local Citations and Listings

Local citations are mentions of your business on other websites or directories. Ensure your business is listed accurately on popular online directories, such as Yelp, Manta, and industry-specific directories.


Consistency in your NAP information across these listings is crucial. Building local citations helps establish your business's online presence. It also provides additional avenues for potential customers to discover your ecommerce store.


Optimize Your Website for Local Search Intent

Consider the search intent of local customers when optimizing your website. Optimize your landing pages, product descriptions, and meta tags to include relevant local keywords.


Create location-specific landing pages if you serve multiple areas or have physical stores in different locations. Include clear calls-to-action and local contact information to encourage customers to engage with your business.



11. Ecommerce Link Building

It's important to understand the concept of backlinks if you want your ecommerce site to rank higher on search engines like Google. A backlink is when another website links to your ecommerce site.


However, not all links are created equal. The more authoritative the linking site, the more trustworthy your ecommerce site appears. In fact, with a strong backlinking strategy, your ecommerce site has the potential to outrank even the biggest players in the game.

Ecommerce SEO Audit FAQ

Yes! An ecommerce SEO audit is essential to increase your online presence. SEO evolves quickly, and websites involve many moving pieces.


When left unchecked, things break, and problems can significantly hurt your SEO performance. Not to mention that algorithms constantly change, resulting in changes to SEO factors and strategies. An SEO audit can be the most helpful tool to help find out where improvements need to be made.

Let Our SEO Experts Manage Your Ecommerce Website!

Get in touch with our team today for a free ecommerce SEO consultation! Our professionals are equipped with years of experience, proven track records, and the necessary tools and resources to enhance your ecommerce SEO performance.