Part I of our SEO checklist for eCommerce companies covered keyword considerations, social media integration, internal links, and page descriptions. It may seem insignificant, but over time, even the smallest optimization tips can help you rank higher on Google search engine results pages (SERPs), which will only help boost your traffic and sales. eCommerce companies can tend to be very product-focused and sales-focused, but SEO often falls to the wayside. Following a checklist like the one below can help you chip away at those SEO goals bit by bit.
Your page content is the text that is actually visible on your web page, as opposed to your page titles and descriptions that are only visible in SERPs. This does not refer only to blog posts, but any text that is found on any page of your website.
- Your primary keyword should be included 2-5 times in your page’s content.
- You should also include your secondary keywords, where relevant.
- Keep your content interesting and engaging by getting creative with content types. Include infographics, videos, interviews, surveys, case studies, etc. whenever possible.
Oh the URL – It’s something we say all the time, but did you know it stands for ‘uniform resource locator’? Think of it this way, the URL of your page is yet another way for search engines to index the content of your page. In consideration of SEO, it is important to make sure your URLs are structured in a way that makes them search engine optimal.
- Your domain name should include your brand name if possible.
- Each word in your URL should be separated by a dash (check out the URL of this blog post to see what we mean!).
- Your URLs should be structured in a logical and consistent way. In other words, avoid the random scramble of numbers and letters by structuring your website with different categories and filters. Learn more here.
The titles you assign to pages are another important area for search engine optimization. Their value is twofold. First, they affect where search engines rank you. Secondly, they are great for grabbing the attention of online consumers and prompting them to click. A few basics about page titles include:
- Your page titles should be under 70 characters long.
- Primary keywords should be included in the page title of each page.
- Page titles should be as unique as possible, and specifically, unique to your website.
- Like other aspects for SEO your page titles should be free from keyword stuffing—they should flow and sound natural.
Page Load Times
This is increasingly important in terms of mobile optimization and overall user satisfaction. Poor load times result in a negative user experience, and for eCommerce businesses, this means losing customers just because they aren’t happy with your website. Additionally, Google and other search engines want their search results to be as useful to the user as possible, it tends to penalize websites with poor load times.
- All of your pages should load in less than three seconds.
- Your images should be a size that means they don’t take too long to load. You want to focus on resolution and pixel sizes, and while this will differ based on your website and the bandwidth, a good rule of thumb is around 325X550 pixels.
- Use the correct types of images: .gif, jpg, or .png are your best options.
- Check that you don’t have too many plugins installed that are slowing your site down.
- Turn off pingbacks and trackbacks to speed up your load time.
- Use the Google PageSpeed Insights tool to help you identify how to improve.
Google and other search engines look unfavorably upon websites with errors because of the impact they have on user experience. This includes broken links, 404 pages, outdated statistics, and more.
- Sign up for Webmaster tools and check it regularly for any page errors.
- Set up and submit a sitemap.
- Set up necessary redirects for pages that no longer exist.
If you are an eCommerce company looking to optimize and revamp your SEO, this list is a great place to start. To recap Part I and Part II: keywords, social media integration, internal links, page descriptions, page content, page URLs, page titles, rich snippets, page load times, and website errors can all help you exceed when it comes to an eCommerce SEO strategy. Let this year be the year you finally start checking off these items and seeing the returns!