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A Checklist of Technical SEO for eCommerce Website [ 7 steps to keep in mind]

When you’re designing an eCommerce site, your goal is to appeal to customers and help them find what they need. An appealing site can make all the difference in the world even if your competitor is offering a similar kind of product.

While creating a good-looking website is important, your site’s technical aspects should not be overlooked. Technical SEO is essential for driving traffic to your website. By optimizing your site’s backend you can make a positive impact on users’ overall experience. Follow the 7 key steps discussed below.

1. Increase Site Speed

When you’re working on improving the technical SEO of your eCommerce site, you want to be sure to prioritize creating a fast site. Site speed site cannot be overlooked. A site that takes too long to load will drive visitors away.

Studies show that 53% of users will leave a site if it takes more than three seconds to load. Another research shows that slow-loading webpages lead to $2.6 billion in revenue loss annually. If you want to make sure your site doesn’t lose visitors, you should speed up page load time.

You can get a rough estimate of your site’s current load time by using Google Page Speed Insights. This free tool gives you information about your site’s load time, as well as suggestions for how to improve your load speed. You can increase your site’s load speed by implementing the following.

  • Compress image file
  • Minify coding (HTML, CSS, and JS)
  • Enable browsers caching
  • Reduce the number of unnecessary redirects
  • Host videos on an external platform

By implementing all the points mentioned above you can drastically improve your eCommerce website’s technical SEO. Making changes to your website’s backend can subtly improve site speed, which can positively affect how visitors experience the site.

2. Add structured Data

Another eCommerce SEO best practice is perhaps considering structured data. Using structured data, you can create better product descriptions that improve your search rankings. This data helps search engines figure out what a page is about. You can also add product information like product name, price, availability, and rating.

These eCommerce SEO tips help improve your product page rankings. It can also bring you more customers if people see that you have their desired product in stock at a good price. Through this you get more targeted traffic which will reduce your site bounce rate, making you stable in ranking. 

3. Add Breadcrumb Navigation

Breadcrumb navigation shows you the path that you took to get to a particular page. It helps the visitor find their way around a website. It also allows site visitors to retrace the steps necessary to get on your website.

Ideally, a website’s navigation should be easy for visitors to understand. For instance, you have an online clothing store, in this case, your breadcrumb navigation would look something to this

Home > Men > Shirts > Sweatshirts

Breadcrumb navigation creates a path to help visitors find the product they are looking for. This setup helps both users and search engines to navigate the site fast and understand it more eloquently.

4. Use Clean and Simple URL Structure

A clean URL structure is one where the navigation path makes sense and doesn’t contain random numbers or letters. Keep your navigation simple and clear so users and search engines will be aware of where they are on your site.

A Messy URL

http://nike.com.m/?79sjkslL%226890+89&@2021

A Clean URL

https://nike.com/Men/sport-shoes/tennis-shoes

Now you can notice the difference between a good and bad URL. In a bad URL search engines and visitors can not define where they are on the site. In contrast to that, a good URL provides the best experience to the visitor indicating their clear position on the website.

When you create web pages, optimize the URLs so that users and search engines can read them easily. In addition, one of SEO’s best practices for eCommerce sites is that you can use keywords in your URL to increase your site’s overall SEO. It will boost your site’s relevancy and you can rank higher. 

5. Use SSL Certificate

One of the most important aspects of SEO for eCommerce sites is site security. When a user purchases something from your site, they’re sharing their personal information—so it’s important to protect their privacy. You need to secure your site so people feel safe making transactions.

You can integrate a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate into your website to allow for the highest level of encryption and security. This certificate will help to make sure that data is encrypted, so your sensitive information will be protected. Users will know that they are protected by the green “Secure” button and the “HTTPS” in the URL.

6. Sitemap and txt File

Another key point you should note in your technical SEO checklist for an eCommerce website is Sitemap and robot.txt. To understand them properly read below about them individually.

XML sitemap

An XML sitemap is a file that lists your site’s pages. It makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index your website. It is important to have a sitemap so that search engines can easily find your important pages.

Robots.txt

A robots.txt file tells search engine bots what parts of your site are not to crawl or index. Anyhow this solution does not completely block bots from crawling your pages, it can decrease the bots’ load on your server and reduce server lag.

To appear in search results, your pages need to be discovered, crawled by Google’s web crawler, and added to Google’s index. These instructions will help you to ensure that Google indexes your site effectively without slowing it down.

7. Implement Canonical Tags

Canonical tags let search engines know that a certain version of a page should be considered the primary, the main one. Moving, deleting, or replacing pages is one of the many tasks that fall to you as your website grows and scales. In this process, you may create duplicate content.

Duplicate content can be found on the same domain or across multiple domains. Having duplicate pages on your site can cause issues with search engine optimization as it does not know which page to rank or in the worst-case scenario competing with your own pages.

You can use canonical tags to show search engines which page of your site is the “main” page. That page will rank in search results for your website as well as subdomains of your site. Below are three conditions in which canonical tags should be implemented.

  1. When the color and size options of your product have individual URLs, your best bet is to create a canonical tag to ensure that search engines will always link to the primary listings.
  2. When your product is listed in multiple categories, choose the page that is the most appropriate for your product and use the Canonical tag so search engines know which page to display.
  3. When you have a product category page that spans multiple pages, you can use a canonical tag to set a preferred page.

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