Welcome to this giant ecommerce seo checklist, it will guide you to some basic but effective tips for ecommerce websites. Approximately 65% of the searches end up being organic. This means that the organic search is not something that should be left under the rug even if you have a paid campaign running. Imagine all the potential customers who could visit and buy on your website if you were first on a Google search. That’s why you need to take all the necessary steps in order to have a successful Ecommerce business

1. Use of keywords

Before doing anything, do your research! I can’t express how important it is that the website or a blog post has its keywords! Research takes time and it’s very important not to skip this part. In the world of SEO and digital marketing being lazy will not pay off to you. This is the most important step in ecommerce SEO.

Two great SEO tools that you can use to get those juicy long tail keywords and suggestions are UberSuggest and Google Keyword planner

2. Don’t overpay the SEO tools

I’ve seen loads of people spend hundreds of dollars monthly on various tools that limit you in every possible way. Being limited to a single campaign, not unlocking all the features even when you pay $99.99+

Paying a lot of money as somebody who just started can have a negative impact on your moral. It might slow you down, make you stop. Use all the free ones when starting, they can do almost the same job and sometimes you can barely tell the difference between paid and free ones!

image of a set of tools

3. Page Speed

A very important part of every SEO optimization is the loading time of the websites. The bounce rate goes higher with every millisecond spent loading. You should get a good hosting, good CDNS, absolutely have to optimize those images on your website. Avoid front-end plugins that you don’t need if you’re on WordPress. Minify your JS, PHP and CSS.

4. SEO Backlinks

You want the traffic, right? You should invest some time in building a backlink network that leads to your website. Visit popular influencer blogs that have a similar theme as yours and beg, yup I said beg, them for a backlink to your website. If your content is good they’ll do it and you’ll get traffic by people visiting your website from theirs. In case you’re, let’s say, selling cars you should get a backlink on a blog that talks about car parts or tires.

blue sky with white clouds and a black and white road sign that says 'backlinks' that are a part of SEO

5. Page URLs

This is not something you want to mess up, avoid using dynamic URLs for the product pages. Stacking URLs with keywords doesn’t work anymore, it was a very popular thing to do a couple of years ago.

You’re not going to get a good rating if your URL is a mile long and can’t be understood when you look at it. It should be short and it should be easy to understand by the customers and Google’s spiders.

How an URL should not look like
Example how URL should not look like

Keep it short and tidy. Your website will get indexed faster and Google will more easily understand what is the thing that you’re selling and you’ll be getting more organic visitors in no time.

How URL should look like on an ecommerce SEO optimization
Example how URL should look like

6. Meta descriptions

Simply adding meta descriptions to pages can improve your Google rank enormously. Meta is a short description on what is the page about. The length changes from time to time and right now the optimal is between 150 and 170 characters. I’ve had a client and on his website adding the meta description moved him from page 2 to page 1 on Google. Google scans your website for the meta description, if Google can’t find it the first sentence that is on the page will be used as a meta description.

Amazonia PPC appearing on a Google Search
This is a meta description on a Google search

7. Optimizing image size

Make sure your images are top notch quality but also, make sure you losslessly compress them. Blurry or low-quality images can chase away the customers.

Medik8 product on a white background on an perfectly optimized ecommerce SEO website.
Great quality product image that’s small in size.

8. XML/HTML Sitemap

XML Sitemaps matter, they really do. It’s a file on your website hosting that allows Google to index the pages.

  • They improve indexation of your website.
  • You can set importance of each page
  • It prevents duplicate contenet showing up on Google

HTML sitemaps matter too!
Every page on your website must have a link to all the other pages. If there are no links, how do you think people will access the pages?

  • HTML sitemaps provide an easily navigable view for website users.
  • In addition, they provide a page that can evenly distribute equity to deep and less crawled pages on your website.
An HTML sitemap
An HTML sitemap

9. Social networks

You should use social networks full potential. Implement the share buttons on your website, people will share your products. Your products will spread everywhere. Any ecommerce SEO specialist will tell you that this is important.

Social network icons
Social network share buttons on a product page

10. SSL certificate

You should definitely invest in buying an SSL certificate. Google is giving priority to the https:// websites. SSL is the thing that changes your http into https. SSL certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization’s details. When installed on a web server, it activates the padlock and the https protocol and allows secure connections from a web server to a browser.

CloudFlare provides a free SSL certificate when you register on their website. You should upgrade if you can however. Along the SSL it’s a great DDOS protection of your website.

11. Implement tracking

You want to see your website improving, right? Well, how are you going to see it? – Analytics is the answer.

Simply by adding a small code or via Google Tag Manager, you’re getting the metrics that you need for seeing your growth. Being able to see the paid traffic, organic, who the converters are, what age groups, what browsers, what devices – just one of the amazing features of the Google Analytics.

Google Analytics dashboard showing active users which are important to ecommerce SEO
Google Analytics Graph

12. ALT Descriptions

Write those ALT descriptions for the images. Alt descriptions play an important rule in optimization. As Google can’t see the images it searches from the descriptions of them trying to index them properly and show them up for the related keywords.

13. Internal Linking

Always link all of your website pages so Google indexes them properly.
The further a page is from the home page, the less important it may be considered to be in Google’s system.

14. ChatBot

You can implement a chatbot into your website and program it to answer to some questions that users might ask, along with a possibility that you grab the conversation and continue live chat if the bot can’t answer.

15. Breadcrumbs

Through breadcrumbs, visitors can navigate between the numerous product lines, categories and information pages of your website. You don’t want people leaving, right?

16. 301 redirects

When a product or page is discontinued, use the permanent 301 redirects. Instead of a dead page, users are redirected to a live page. It also lets search engines know that the page has moved, so you don’t lose any of your backlinks.

17. Make changes

Change pages that rank poorly frequently, experiment new meta descriptions, keywords, and the URL slugs. Leaving your website stay for months the same is the biggest mistake you can make. Ecommerce SEO is not something that is done within a day, it takes time and patience.

18. Be patient

SEO changes are not instant. Wait carefully before making another change to see whether the first one had any effect. Don’t rush into decisions and changes, plan your moves carefully.

19. Keyword stuffing

Be careful when using keywords, stuffing your pages can have a negative effect on your website.

Examples of keyword stuffing include:
Lists of phone numbers without substantial added value
Blocks of text listing cities and states a webpage is trying to rank for
Repeating the same words or phrases so often that it sounds unnatural, for example:
We sell custom cigar humidors. Our custom cigar humidors are handmade. If you’re thinking of buying a custom cigar humidor, please contact our custom cigar humidor specialists at custom.cigar.humidors@example.com.

20. Link quality > quantity

It’s better to have fewer backlink from popular websites than more from the less popular. This has proven over time as a more popular website is worth more than a lot of less popular ones.

21. Hyperlinks

Don’t hyperlink generic text like ‘buy now’ or ‘click here’. Use keyword content in your links. Search engines appreciate when you use keywords in hyperlinks.

22. Item descriptions

Use descriptive content, don’t be lazy or just give the items a generic description. A description is what sells your product, a creative and descriptive can yield high conversion percentage. Ecommerce SEO specialists state that a more detailed description can show the difference within 2 days.

23. Add new content

If you want your website to maintain in the top you have to add new content frequently. Fresh websites rank better on search engines than the old ones without any changes.

24. Avoid flash

Don’t use a pure Flash or graphical home page. Always make sure you have a healthy amount of content and solid navigation. These types of websites seem empty and sluggish and prevent search engines from indexing correctly.

25. Google Search Console

Link your website it Google Search Console and index your pages. Send those crawlers your way. The fresher your page is the better SEO rank you’re going to have. Remember to re-crawl the page every time you do some visual changes on your website.

26. Save money in PPC

You can save money by not bidding on keywords that you rank greatly for, it would be just a waste of money to bid on your brand name for example if your brand is well known. Ecommerce SEO can also save you a ton of money by not advertising.

27. Domain time owned

The time of you owning the domain greatly impacts the SEO rank. The longer you own it, the higher the rank. Try buying a domain that existed before your company and that has reputable backlinks.

28. Keyword influence

Keywords should influence your page names, content and tags/attributes. The narrower your focus is the better results you’re going to get from your optimization.

29. 404 errors

Never allow 404 errors. Implement error handling to bounce 404 errors back to your website.  Don’t look unprofessional in front of the customers, handle errors with style.

30. Don’t stick to Google

There are other search engines, you should submit to them too as they too bring traffic. Other search engines can yield a lot of valuable customers, don’t forget about that.

31. 15%+ for the SEO pages

For the pages that you want to rank, your text to HTML ratio should be at least 15%. A page without content is not appealing to the customers and will raise your bounce rate.

32. Backlinks from homepage

You don’t want to backlink other competitive websites from your homepage. Instead, pick a blog page or something similar in the same niche in order to yield most from it.

33. Narrow focus

Don’t try to optimize a lot of words on the same page. Keep it focused on a single theme. Wide SEO pages get a bad score and are unlikely to rank good. You want all the steps of ecommerce SEO done correctly, trust me on that.

34. Polish your content

Regularly polish and change your content. Tell the search engines that your stuff is active and publishing something new. Along with search engines, you’re letting your visitors know that you care about your website and about them.

35. Write so people can understand

Writing in a highly technical level proves nothing. It will just make people harder to understand. The best SEO friendly content is written for an eighth-grade reading level because it is easy to absorb and understand.

36. Update your CTAs

Your call to actions should be updated frequently, especially when there’s a holiday season around the corner. A good call to action can make a customer convert on your website instead of competitors.

37. About Us

Create an About Us page that briefly tells the customers about you or your company. It will psychologically make them feel like they know you raising the chance of a conversion.

38. Use long-tail Keywords

Long tail keywords are not targeted as much as the shorter ones and they can yield high-quality traffic. Long-tail keywords can yield thousands of monthly searches if done properly.

39. Suggest Popular Products

Your homepage should contain some of the most popular products. This way you engage in a sale as soon as the customer visits your website.

40. Out of stock items

If an item is out of stock, create a form that allows the user to get a reminder on their email when the item is back in stock. Avoid the loss of conversions by implementing this simple, yet effective form.

41. Use urgency method

Make customers buy by implementing timers or stock availability. The pressure of an urgency psychologically makes people convert more likely. Be careful when using the urgency though, if you’re too pushy you’ll have the negative effect.

42. Seasonal Trends

Take advantage of holidays and sell products easier that are tied to a specific season. Use Christmas, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc.
This is one of the easiest ways to boost your ecommerce SEO.

43. Use Videos

Use videos for product demos or reviews of the product. That way there’s a higher chance of a customer converting. Customers are 144% more likely to purchase after seeing a product video.

44. Funnels

Create funnels for the customers. Almost no customers convert on their first website visit and because of that you should create a detailed funnel and do everything in your power to make them convert.

45. Reviews

Implement a review system and allow users to write reviews. Future customers will see the reviews and they can sway into purchasing. The review system is great and it really can make a big impact on your website.

46. Yelp

Get your company listed on Yelp and implement the Yelp badge on your website. Customers who see that you’re well reviewed will convert more likely.

47. Use Reddit

Reddit is very powerful. Participate in subreddits similar to your product and promote your product there. There are detailed guides on how to promote on Reddit correctly.

48. Use Google Trends

Keyword trends tend to change over time so you should change them frequently. A powerful tool for this is Google Trends. Frequent changes show Google that you’re constantly updating your website which will rank you better.

49. Spy on your competitors

There are a lot of tools that can let you spy on your competitors and see what they are targeting. Use it to your advantage, as this can really turn the tides of war the other way. Ecommerce SEO isn’t just about optimizing your websites and products, it also includes seeing what the competition has to offer and being better than them.

50. Email Newsletter

This is a must-have, get some kind of newsletter on your website and get visitors to sign up! One of the best ways to get more people to visit your eCommerce website by providing them something interesting on a monthly or a weekly basis.

Hopefully, this eCommerce SEO Checklist has been useful for you. If you just don’t want to hassle yourself with all this complicated stuff, you can contact our agency and we’ll do everything for you. Claim your free SEO audit today!