1. Make the site structure simple
The objective of a good site navigation plan is to enhance the accessibility of the content to the users. Important pages must not be farther than three clicks from the Home page. The best site structure you can think of for an ecommerce website is
Homepage > Categories > Subcategories > Products
Also ensure that the products do not belong to only one category or subcategory. Maintain consistency and clarity across the URLs.
2. Make URL structure easy to read
The URL of a page must be easy for anyone to read and must also give in nutshell the idea of the corresponding page. As a general advice, keep the URL as short as possible and maintain the consistency of their format across the entire site. Let them also focus on keyword and suggest the site hierarchy. Use hyphens and hot underscores to separate words.
3. Understand that sitemaps can help in internal linking
HTML sitemaps are very easy to interpret. They enable the users with more options to navigate the platform and explore more of the site. Therefore, sitemaps can help further the SEO efforts. The pages that are linked to the HTML sitemap are crucially important and will require a link that can be more visible on the support pages, and FAQs for instance. We can say HTML sitemaps are one another kind of internal linking. Though the benefits can’t be immense, to have a sitemap on your site will really help.
4. Analyze the log file for useful insights
Log file analysis is done by downloading the files from the server and importing them to the log file tool. Log file analysis throws enough light on all the interactions with your website. Therefore, this process can help you make better decisions related to SEO and also get to know unknown issues. The biggest advantage of log file analysis is to understand how the website’s crawl budget is used. Optimize the URLs that are crawled very frequently. Remedy the client errors. Speed up slow loading pages and find our orphaned pages that are invisible during site crawls.
5. Learn from crawl budget
In any given day, the number of pages crawled by Google search bots is known as the crawl budget. It is important for ecommerce site to increase the crawl budget by optimizing the link structure of the site, increasing the bank links, remedying duplicate content, fixing the broken links and making updates to the sitemap regularly.
6. Rectify the different HTTP errors
The different tools that can help identify the different HTTP errors include Screaming Frog, Ahrefs, SEMrush, and DeepCrawl. Some of the most common HTTP errors are 3XX redirection error, 4XX Client errors and 5XX server errors. These tools can also help in identifying missing or duplicate page titles, H1 tags, Meta Descriptions, and image alt text.
7. Understand the role of canonical tags
On larger ecommerce sites, the product pages can be reached from different categories and therefore, there could be many URLs with the same content. This can be avoided by using the canonical tag, which is a simple to interpret HTML element that can show the search engine which URL must be shown in search results and must be crawled. When using canonical tags on the home page, use it judiciously since homepage duplicates are a common occurrence in ecommerce sites.
8. Use the Robots.txt rightly
Robots.txt can be explained as files that tell the search engine bots that a given page or section of the website must not be crawled. Some of the crucial functions served by the robots.txt are blocking non-public pages such as forms, login pages and those that have sensitive information, maximizing the crawl budget and preventing the indexing of resource pages like images and PDFs.
9. What to do with the out-of-stock product pages
There could be some out of stock pages on your ecommerce site. Such pages are usually taken down. However, if this is done, 404 errors will show up which can adversely impact your search results. Also, majority of visitors find 400 errors annoying. Therefore, a better idea is to set the URL of these pages to lead to the next most relevant page. This will allow Google to go with indexing the URL.
10. Resolve duplicate or thin content issues
Ecommerce SEO can face serious troubles from duplicate content and pages with thin content. This is because search engines are continuously improving themselves to reward the websites offering high quality and unique content. While it is highly possible for duplicate content and thin content to exist on an ecommerce website, use canonical URLs so that the search engines can know that they have to index only one version of the page.
11. How to fix 3xx, 4xx, and 5xx errors
Three lines of error messages 3xx, 4xx and 5xx can be highly concerning as they can talk about the health of your website. Google bots approach these codes in different ways depending on how your pages are crawled and indexed. Therefore, attend to these error messages on top priority.
12. Proper rendering is important for indexing by search engines
13. Optimize the page speed
For quite long, page speed is one of the most important ranking signals. Faster pages rank higher on search engines. Google’s PageSpeedInsights tool can be very useful to test the page loading speed. This tool will give you a thorough information on the load times and what issues are slowing them down. From this learning, you can make the necessary adjustments to the pages.
14. How structured data helps in ranking
Structured data can help in enhancing the ecommerce products in search results. Therefore, it can give a better chance to rank higher. Some of the most common components of structured data are product name, price, aggregate ranking, and availability. When you add these schemas to your product page, those pages will automatically show the mark-up to the search engines to improve the ranking of the page for a related query.
15. Enhance the security of your website
HTTPS and SSL govern the security of your website. These tags can indicate that the website is secure and the connection is encrypted well. The SSL certificate of a website is indicated by a green lock symbol in front of the URL. Since more than 50% of the results found on the organic search results are HTTPS websites, getting the SSL certificate for the ecommerce website really pays.
16. User experience on mobiles
From 2019, Google has been doing mobile-first indexing. In other words, this practice refers to Google looking for the mobile version of the website and using them as the baseline to index the site and decide on the rankings. Therefore, mobile usability is a crucially important factor you must definitely focus on for the success of SEO.
17. Does your ecommerce site comply with AMP?
AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages is a standard framework offered by Google to suggest the developers that delays in loading times will impact the site’s ranking. Since Google loves sites that load faster, a proper use of AMP can help boost up your page rankings. However, since AMP is not found to work well with ecommerce sites, it is better to hold of this for the time being and focus on other aspects to increase the loading speed.
18. Invest in the latest technology
Cybercrimes are on the fast rise during our times. Unless you update your systems, ecommerce websites can be highly vulnerable. Update your systems with performance updates and security protocols on a regular basis. Though you may have to invest a good amount on this by investing in the cutting edge technology, the outcome can immensely benefit you.
19. Follow the right protocol for the platform migration
When you attempt platform migration, be careful as you might lose the SEO value. The precautions to keep in mind in this connection are making a list of the existing URLs, noting down the changes that are anticipated during migration, creating a new list of URLs to implement on the new site, generating a redirect map, noting down the links built manually, make a list of the top performing pages, and keeping the tabs on search engine rankings.
20. How to benefit from Google Search Console?
Always keep checking the Google Search Console for data regarding your best performing keywords, best and worst performing pages, and the number of inbound links you are getting. The most important trend to watch is to monitor how people find your ecommerce site and how many conversions are happening. If you get enough visitors, but the conversion rates are low, it can mean that the SEO efforts are not tuned in the right direction. Use these insights well to grow your ecommerce website’s visibility and performance.