Stay in Tune: SEO Checklist for Ecommerce Companies

Checklist for a Webshop
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Every website is like a living being. It requires attention, care, and constant improvement. No SEO advice or best practice is forever set in stone. Our most used search engine is tweaking its algorithm often, trying to improve its performance.

The same stands for webshops, there is always something to do.

The amount of maintenance depends on the quantity of your merchandise and the size of your website.

While it’s not the same if you sell software as a service, or you have a thousand different products, we are bringing a few one-size-fits-all tips you can use.

Page Title

Starting off with the most basic item on our list, the title of your page should be simple as possible, but speak volumes.

It needs to convey as much information in just a few words.

Direct communication, easy explanation.

  • What is the name of your brand?
  • What are you manufacturing or selling?

If the name of your brand isn’t obvious enough and doesn’t explain what you do, you need to add a short tagline to your page title, just to make sure people get no wrong ideas and know what your business is all about within the first three seconds of landing on your front page.

Page Description

Also known as meta descriptions, this is the info that is listed below your page title on SERPs, and, as the name shows, should describe what your page is all about, but not in too many words.

It’s an appropriate summary.

In e-commerce, pay as much attention to your page description as you do with the descriptions of the products available in your store.

Good URL Will Make People Find You

Another key aspect of SEO is your URL, and in case you didn’t know what that abbreviation stands for, it means Uniform Resource Locator.

The URL of your page is another way for search engines to find, rank and list your page.

What makes a good URL title?

It’s not so hard to explain, and your main focus should be to keep it simple (much like with everything else).

Your URL needs to feature the name of your brand.

When using a group of words, separate them from each other with dashes. Make sure everything makes sense, you shouldn’t use random words that have nothing to do with your business or just a bunch of generated numbers.

If you structure the URL in a simple, logical way, then search engines can easily index it, and you can consider it optimized for search engines.

Loading…Loading…

In the digital world, there’s no time to waste. And there’s no time like the now.

You want people visiting your site to act now, rather than later, you want to showcase your products and services quickly, so they can also decide on spending money on your brand ASAP.

This is where loading time comes to play, and it’s a key element to building a successful e-commerce web shop.

In case you’re not too familiar with the term, loading time is how much time it takes for a page to load. Pretty straightforward, right?

  • 3 seconds = OKAY
  • 5 seconds = WILL YOU ALREADY?
  • 8+ seconds = I’M OUTTA HERE

This is why loading time needs to be quick, and that also implies that your page layout needs to be simple.

You don’t need flashy, heavy pages that load for ages. Your e-commerce web shop needs a simple layout with the most important elements clearly visible.

Simple design, quick loading time.

Keywords, Tags and Product Categories

These three terms are connected and are equally important, and all refer to descriptions.

Accurate keywords give way to good SEO, and that’s what you want, for search engines to list and rank your page easily.

Think about it – how would you describe your business and your products in as few words as possible, but still get your message across?

That’s how you have to deal with keywords.

product description - SEO checklist

A screenshot from cottonon.com – their product descriptions could be longer, and multiplied – so every category has one.

Think of the terms that are most important to your business and products, those with the strongest connections, and focus on such keywords.

Tags are also important but on another level. They describe each product on their respective page. Tages can be related to brand names, materials used, colors, prices, etc.

Product categories serve a more general description and relate to the actual content of your store and its products and services.

For example, if you’re selling sporting goods and you have a category for running shoes, you need an adequate and general description of running shoes.

Now, one important thing to consider is that product descriptions need to be general, so you shouldn’t get into specific details about each product in a category.

Why?

Because if you remove an item from your store you mention specifically in your product category description, you need to change that description. So, it’s best to keep it general, otherwise, you might have to edit your product category descriptions too often, taking time away from other aspects of SEO you should be building.

The King of The SEO Checklist: Content

When talking about content, we’re speaking of about the actual text visible on your page, or to put it another way, in your e-commerce store. Unlike page titles and descriptions that appear only in SERPs, this content appears on your page.

It can be anything from product descriptions to blog posts or even comments, depending on the layout of your page.

Content is King’ is a saying often used by SEO experts, and it’s something that should guide you, too.

What sort of content do you want to promote on your page?

Will you stuff it with fluff, or will you focus on delivering relevant, interesting content that brings in new customers?

That’s up to you, but it’s pretty much obvious that the more effort you put into your content, the more feedback you will get, and over time, this will cause long-term profit.

Remember those keywords we mentioned before?

Here’s where they also come in handy; use keywords in your content, both your primary and secondary keywords.

Publish original content, blog posts, use infographics and videos, conduct surveys and publish results – if you work hard on delivering good content, people will notice.

Search engines, too.

Q&A or FAQ Section and Reviews

This is tough, because not all feedback is positive, and you have to prepare yourself for negative comments, even trolls with nothing better to do but discredit you. But, if you want to engage and reach out, doing Q&A sessions, having an FAQ section and allowing users to write product reviews are a must.

Q&A sessions are a great way for your customers to get to know you better and learn more about your brand.

Engagement like that leads to brand loyalty, which contributes once again to your ultimate goal-making a profit.

Reviews are also useful, but this is where you have to be careful because not every review will rave about how great your products and services are, there will be harsh critics.

Still, having a review section presents you as possessing honesty and integrity, and your mode of conducting business is transparent.

Responding to comments and reviews can be useful, but don’t respond to every one of them.

Your Website: Interlinked

Linking is crucial in so many ways. It’s a baseline test for webshops.

It affects your page optimization, online visibility, and ranking. Within your own e-commerce site, you need to know how to link back to other pages and sections of your site the right way.

Placing internal backlinks strategically should make visitors spend more time on your site, lead them into checking out other products, and making more sales.

RB Internal Links Screenshot - Tool to help you with your SEO checklist

You can use WordPress plugins to make internal linking easier. This tool gives you a clear overview of all posts, pages, or categories.

Internal backlinks might make your web shop more profitable.

How to link back?

Make sure your links are relevant.

If you’re selling running shoes, for example, you might add a backlink to other brands offering the same product type in your webshop, or you could add a link to related items, such as sweatpants, socks or other sporting equipment.

Website Layout

The design of your page, it’s basic layout is what can make or break your business.

  • Clear
  • Informative
  • Easy to navigate
  • Easy to understand
  • Direct

Those are your guidelines.

Your business needs to be understandable to first comers, which is why your descriptions need to be direct and engaging. Show everything important to your business, and hide everything that won’t be used right away. You should also include a visible search tab so that visitors can track something down by themselves if they don’t see it on the front page.

Signup and login buttons, shop buttons, links, tags, contact info, social media links, newsletter buttons, search options, a chat box – if you have customer service, a guestbook… But, most importantly, your products need to be heavily featured and making a purchase shouldn’t be over two clicks away.

Errors Happen

Don’t ignore the possibility of errors, be ready for them. Sometimes, your server won’t work. You might have a power outage, and even your backup generators won’t last long enough for you to update your site. Your comment section might not work, social media plugins could fail, or the links on your page won’t work.

404 Error Page Screenshot

Pixabay.com did a nice job with this matter.

Don’t panic when stuff happens.

One good way of dealing with errors is to have a neatly designed 404 page that will at least entertain those visiting your page, even for a little bit, to take off the edge of things not working right.

Remember, errors can be fixed, so don’t waste your time on stress.

Most Important Element: Branding

Your business is your brand and your e-commerce page promotes that brand.

Be consistent in your branding, and use your brand name wherever it’s useful.

Page title, page description, product category descriptions, tags and keywords, content – all should relate to your brand name.

Branding Quote

Used often enough, this will cause irreconcilability, it will create trust among visitors and potential customers, it will build brand loyalty and in the long run, create a strong brand.

However, you have to remain focused, engage and implement the actions listed in this article.

This checklist is a quick walk-through of all the key elements of effective SEO for e-commerce companies and their pages.

Keep it close by, learn from it, come back to it every now and then and use the advice given here.

The advice is free, you’re only investing your time and you will profit if you follow these guidelines.