An Ecommerce SEO Checklist for 2021: Best Practices Guide
E-commerce sites are nothing new in this era of online shopping and internet-based services. A big chunk of revenue comes from online shopping only to business houses and enterprises. And thus, business owners, having an e-commerce site needs to conduct an SEO for the same with the help of e-commerce SEO checklist.
Today, about 89% of the end-users place their purchase decision through queries in search engine. Hence, it is equally important that your e-commerce site must appear on top and come to the notice of the visitors to browse through. An e-commerce SEO checklist is essential to build such a powerful e-commerce SEO strategy.
An essential outline of the best SEO e-commerce sites reveals that it assimilates a lot of factors to develop a proper SEO strategy. The notable features include:
- Optimizing the e-commerce site
- Estimating and understanding the external forces
- Executing the keyword analysis
- Iterations for improvement
These are the essential factors that are needed to invite traffic to your e-commerce site, gain more shoppers, and generate quality leads, followed by successful business conversions.
Here is a comprehensive glimpse of the essential factors of an e-commerce SEO checklist for 2021:
- Establishing a strong SEO foundation for e-commerce portals
- Analyzing and identifying the competitors
- Understanding the target audience
- Executing the keyword research and analysis
- Performing on-site optimization for e-commerce website
- Optimization for shooting up sales and revenue
- Building up the website authority within the search engines
- Monitor the site for SEO issues and glitches
The pointers above thus provide a brief insight into the steps that need to be followed for a useful e-commerce SEO checklist for 2021.
Establish a Strong SEO Foundation for E-Commerce Portals
The basic principle of an e-commerce SEO checklist is to establish a strong foundation. There are several e-commerce sites that lag at this very beginning. Using trial & error and quick-fix practices may be useful for the time being but extremely detrimental in the long run.
While launching a website, it is crucial to ensure that the following SEO practices are followed:
- Make the design responsive & mobile friendly: A responsive website is essential to cut down the bounce rates. Moreover, most of the searches nowadays are made on mobile devices, on the move. Therefore, an e-commerce site must be easy to navigate and compatible with all mobile devices. It, in turn, leads to pulling in traffic by increasing the visibility of the brand, in SERP results to a great extent.
- Make sure to install an SSL certificate: Securing your website is extremely important. Especially in an era, where data discrepancy and cybercrimes are overwhelming, it forms an essential constituent of an e-commerce SEO checklist to secure the portal with a layer of SSL security. An SSL certificate adds a layer of security to the portal, which ensures that all the sensitive information exchanged across the internet remains encrypted. Also, an SSL certificate acts as a ranking factor for e-commerce sites.
- Ensure a rapid loading speed for the site: Visitors browsing through a site never likes to wait for long. Hence, the pages on the site should load fast and provide a smooth browsing experience to the visitors. So far, an e-commerce portal is concerned, 40% of the visitors exit a website if the pages take more than 3 seconds to load. And 79% of the consumers who leave an e-commerce portal never returns. So, to sustain and stay ahead in the competition, it is vital to ensure a rapid loading speed for the website. Also, the sites with a faster loading speed get a better ranking in Google’s search results.
- Get Google Analytics & Google Webmaster account: An efficient e-commerce SEO checklist in 2021 demands to have a Google Analytics & Google Webmaster account. Google Analytics facilitates to evaluation and track how the users are engaging themselves to the website. It assists you to know your progress, and identify the scopes of improvement. Google Webmaster tool, on the other hand, helps to track the performance of the site and optimize visibility.
- Creation & Submission of Sitemap on Google and Bing: Sitemap helps in fetching information about videos, pages, and other files that are present on your e-commerce portal and the relationship between them. It also informs the search engine about the URL, which are available for crawling. Hence, it is essential to create a Sitemap and submit it to Google and Bing. It acts as a significant factor in ranking.
- Set the Conversion Tracking Metrics: Conversion Tracking Metrics, like Enhanced e-commerce, can provide essential details about shopping trends, merchandising metrics, abandoned carts, views on the page, transactional details including initiated and completed ones and so on. It helps to prepare the e-commerce strategies, for further improvements toward practical conversions.
And thus, the following components, as mentioned above, facilitate building a robust SEO foundation for e-commerce portals via a useful e-commerce SEO checklist in 2021.
Analyze & Understand your Competitors and Target Audience
If you look back to the shopping trends, even a few years ago, you’ll see that the market out there has experienced a massive paradigm shift. With progressive advancement in technology, competition has increased in the market and has infused a considerable adrenalin rush to the entire business scenario.
Therefore to sustain and stay ahead in the competition. And thus, knowing your competitors and target audience constitutes an essential part of an ideal e-commerce SEO checklist in 2021.
Some key points that facilitate to analyze and understand the competitors and target audience can be briefed as:
- Assimilate the key things like demography, age, sex, behavioural, and psychographic features of the specific target segment, to create the buyers’ persona.
- Evaluate and develop the content accordingly, which the target audience will find engaging, followed by generating purchase impulse.
- Anticipate the thoughts, psychology, questions, and concern that your buyers will have. According to estimation, place offerings in a way, that the buyers may have a smooth and soothing experience at every step of the purchase.
- Create an SEO strategy as per the competitive landscape. Also, you need to understand that whether you want to draw the local traffic or take it to the national crowd. Your e-commerce SEO packages and strategic plans should be selected and developed accordingly.
And by applying these methods, you can understand your competitors and analyze your target audience, followed by bringing traffic to your website.
Always do On-Site Optimization for E-commerce Websites
An essential part of an ideal e-commerce SEO checklist in 2021, it is vital to do an On-Site Optimization of the e-commerce portal you have. It helps to improve the pages on your website and makes them more appealing to search engines. In this section, we will discuss some crucial On-Site Optimization techniques that need to be followed by every e-commerce portals.
- Mandatory Meta-description for Pages: An e-commerce website contains pages like ‘Category,’ ‘Products’ etc. along with the ‘Home’ page. And it is equally important to have a meta-description for each of these pages. Meta-description is a piece of text with 155 characters, within the HTML code. It summarizes the content of the page and facilitates the search engine to understand that. For on-page SEO, it is mandatory to optimize this meta-description. Also, it essential that the primary keyword must be present within the meta-description.
- Optimizing the URL Structures: A useful URL should always be short & crisp, SEO friendly and must contain the primary keyword. Also, the URL’s must follow a consistent structure and should always be devoid of unnecessary phrases and numbers, which bears no relevance.
- Product or Service Page Contents: If you observe, best SEO e-commerce sites always update their product or service pages with quality contents. The contents must include a relevant textual description of the offerings, attractive images, highlights, and so on. Quality contents always intrigue a purchase impulse amongst the visitors. Also, SEO friendly content facilitates the web pages to rank on the top of the search results.
- Category Page Contents: Category Pages happen to be the artery of a website. It facilitates drawing an enormous and consistent flow of traffic on your website. SEO optimized descriptions and well-written banner copies are not only useful for the visitors to read, but also efficient for the search engines.
- Blog Content Calendar: The quintessential component of an ideal e-commerce SEO checklist is a blog post. A well-researched blog post with informative contents facilitates creating engagement on your website. Simultaneously, it also assists in fulfilling the SEO goals, with properly optimized content. It is advisable always, to design and maintain a blog content calendar with consistent publishing timelines. Blog contents that align with the interest of your visitors let them visit your website again and again for new reads, which helps to maintain a consistent footfall.
- Internal Linking: Internal linking is another important factor for SEO. Once your site is enriched with quality contents, it is important to maintain internal connections and relationships between the relevant pages. And this can be done by internal linking. The search engine crawlers can understand your web pages better, which contains internal linking. Also, the users can navigate through multiple relevant web pages by clicking on the internal links.
- Schema Markup: Schema Markup is a unique code added to a website. To follow the latest ideal e-commerce SEO checklist in 2021, adding Schema Markup to your website is extremely important in terms of SEO. It can help the search engine return more productive results. It results in rich snippets in the Search Engine Result Page (SERP) and also contains added information like photo, reviews, pricing, and so on.
- Breadcrumb Implementation: Breadcrumb navigation is a pathway that allows the visitor to track the location of your website. It helps to retrace the path of the site and also allows the reader to find engaging contents and understand the logic behind your website. From an SEO’s point of view, breadcrumb implementation improves the quality of the internal linking structures and waives out the chances of bounce rate.
- Image Alt Tag Optimization: Images play a pivotal role in any website. An appropriate and attractive image can revamp the user engagement to a website, to a vast extent. Notably, in an e-commerce site, the image often acts as the virtual product that adds to the cart for checkout. Hence, nothing can beat the importance of image application on a business website. Therefore, applying image alt texts and optimizing it forms a crucial parameter. It facilitates the search engine to display it in the image search results. Image alt tags happen to be an HTML attribute and constitute an essential component of an ideal e-commerce SEO checklist.
Following the points discussed above, you can conduct On-Site SEO Optimization for your e-commerce website seamlessly. With the help of the techniques as discussed, the web pages of your website can be easily reached and accessed by the visitors looking for it.
Optimize Your E-Commerce Website to Boost Up the Sales
If you are an e-commerce merchant and looking to boost your sales, then optimizing your site counts as a principal criterion, as per the latest e-commerce SEO checklist. You need to remember that every e-commerce site is driven by the revenue it generates. Therefore, to shoot up the sales and keep the revenue consistently flowing in, you need to optimize your website. The following discussion will guide you through the essential tips for the same.
- Product Pages: The product page is the backbone of any e-commerce site. Hence, to optimize your product page, and increase the traffic in the same, you need to enrich it with engaging contents. The contents include product description, images, videos, and so on. Every content should be optimized well, to make the page SEO friendly. Also, it should intrigue the purchase impulse amongst the buyers.
- Price Optimization: Consumers are prone to compare prices. Therefore, a compelling Call To Action (CTA), with price comparison is significant to retain your loyal customers and acquire new customers simultaneously. As per the new e-commerce SEO checklist in 2021, price optimization bears a special mention to pursue. Prices get optimized by highlighting the product benefits, offering giveaways & free trials, exclusive customer service, chat sessions, and so on. Exclusive price benefits for loyal or membership customers can also render added benefits.
- E-Commerce Personalization: With the help of social analytics and browser behaviour, it is elementary to predict the buyers’ intentions. Based on their future behaviour, you can offer them appropriate choices, product suggestions, etc. Also, you can make offers based on geo-location targeting and segmented campaigns.
- Niche Targeting: Targeting a particular niche segment and offering your premium products and services is an excellent way to boost your sales. Display the offerings in the key pages, and figure out what works correctly for your brand. Your niche consumers are always looking for the product they want. Keeping it visible increases the chance of conversion by several times. Hence, niche targeting happens to be an essential tool of an ideal e-commerce SEO checklist in 2021.
- Urgency Alerts: Alerts like ‘Limited Stock’ or ‘Running Out,’ can create urgency among the target consumers, to grab it before it sells out. It is an effective way of shooting up the sales volume. Intriguing CTA’s, slashed price, displaying competition in the limited stock levels and other relevant parameters can act as an essential strategy, in this segment.
- Mobile Optimization: Most of the purchase decisions are taken by the consumers, on the move. And in the era of smartphones, a big chunk of the purchases are made from mobile devices. Hence, an optimized e-commerce site should be mandatorily optimized with all leading smartphones and mobile devices. An optimized website always makes the shopping experience smooth and waives out the chances of bounce rate. And while the consumers can take purchase decisions on the go, it helps to tap that segment of the end-users as well, who depend a lot on phone-based services. Also, a mobile-friendly e-commerce website waives out the cost of a separate mobile application. So, mobile optimization is considered a crucial pillar while discussing an ideal e-commerce SEO checklist.
- Reduce Cart Abandon: Consumers are prone to abandon the cart if he/she faces a glitch. Hence, easy checkout is always considered as an essential component in the best SEO e-commerce sites. Also, it is better to keep the payment gateway enabled with all leading modes of payment, and devoid of any glitch leading to payment failures or accidental fund debits.
- Specific Objections: Learning about the specific barriers or objections to purchasing is very important for an e-commerce business owner. The complaints may include price, barrier, fit, services, and competition, and so on. Always keep your ears on the buzz and whispers about your brand to understand the scopes of improvement and overcome the objections with a targeted plan.
- E-Mail Database: As an e-commerce business owner, a rich e-mail database is quintessential. A database of prospective e-mail addresses can act as a goldmine to generate quality conversions through e-mail marketing campaigns. An e-mail database can be prepared through online and offline surveys and several other data mining methods. And talking about the best SEO e-commerce sites, everybody maintains a consistent database and update the same from time to time.
- E-mail Marketing Campaigns: Once the list or the database for e-mail is ready, it is advisable to run e-mail marketing campaigns. It is a time tested phenomenon and proved to be extremely effective in generating sales. An effective e-mail marketing campaign uses relevant emails with catchy subject lines, personalized mail body, and an intriguing approach to generate purchase impulse. The mails are segmented as per consumer profiling, which facilitates better click-through rates and successful conversions. Hence, while discussing an ideal e-commerce SEO checklist in 2021, the role of E-mail marketing plays a crucial role and constitutes a pivotal component of the same.
- Automated E-mails: Another important factor, which adds benefit to every e-commerce business is computerized e-mails. The e-commerce business owners can successfully benefit from automated emails, to create specific touchpoints with the end-users. The noted touchpoints include the welcome note, notifications from abandoned cart, a reward program for frequent and loyal consumers, and notifications to re-engage the dormant customers.
- Fix the Glitches: Consumers never want to visit a website full of glitch and troubles. And importantly, once they exit your site, they eventually land up in your competitor’s site. Therefore, this bounce rate can be harmful for your business to sustain. Hence, an ideal e-commerce SEO checklist always suggests troubleshooting all such errors from the site. Some common such errors include the broken link, slow loading speed, poor content, and other miscellaneous glitches.
- Listen to Your Audience: Know what your audience says. Listen to your customers’ voice and collect feedback to understand the scopes of improvement. After all, it is the customer who makes a purchase decision and let your sales shoot up. So working on your business based on customer feedback is quintessential to sustain in the long run. Communications for feedback can be established through Live Chat, Social Media, and Focus Groups.
And thus, an effective and latest e-commerce SEO checklist must include the discussed parameters, to boost up the sales and revenue. In a competitive business scenario, competitor brands are not lagging in applying modern-day strategies. To compete for the fellow methods deserve a special mention in the long run.
Build Your Website Authority in the Search Engines
With the help of off-page SEO techniques, it is easy to build website authority within the search engine, for your e-commerce site. And as per the latest e-commerce SEO checklist in 2021, the following steps should be considered while building a competent website authority.
- Social Media Accounts: The world today thrives on social media. Billions of users are there in the social media platforms, who get influenced by the promotional activities in the same. So setting up social media accounts for your business is the need of the hour. It can draw traffic and build a secure website authority for your site.
- Directory listings: Relevant profiles and directory listings facilitate to development of credibility of your e-commerce site. Listings with sites and Google My Business can draw traffic to your portal and develop credible website authority.
- Competitor Analysis: Another essential component of the latest e-commerce SEO checklist is to understand the competitors properly. It is advised to understand and analyze the strength and weaknesses of your competitors. Taking needful strategies helps to build persuasive website authority. Also, it facilitates to leverage of benefits from the scope of backlinks and exposure opportunities.
- Guest Posting: Guest posting is an interesting way of building backlinks with credible and relevant guest blogs or sites. Moreover, it exposes your brand name and link to a lot of new audiences, and bring traffic to the site, for quality leads. It also facilitates to build of reliable and robust website authority.
- Reviews: Always remember that consumers are the best marketers. So, always encourage them to review and share their feedback. Apart from getting marketing benefits, this also facilitates gaining a competent website authority.
And following these steps, you can easily let your e-commerce website flourish with a brilliant website authority.
Monitor Your E-Commerce Site For SEO Issues and Glitches
As the discussion about the e-commerce SEO checklist in 2021 proceeds toward a conclusion, we will now get an insight on how to fix SEO issues and glitches in an e-commerce site. The points can be briefed as:
- Keyword Cannibalization should be avoided at any cost. Only one primary keyword should be assigned for each page.
- Keyword stuffing is a strict NO. It is a black hat technique and considered a crime.
- Plagiarized and duplicate contents should be eliminated immediately and replaced with fresh contents.
- On-page SEO for each of the pages need consistent check and errors should be fixed.
- All the broken links and crawler issues should be fixed.
- Always do tests and trials to ensure the payment gateway and the navigation of the site is working correctly, across all browsers and devices.
And thus, as the discussion proceeded till now, it provides a general idea about the e-commerce SEO checklist in 2021 that needs to be followed. Following the article carefully and applying the needful strategies as discussed will facilitate let your e-commerce site grow and sustain in the long run.
So, act before it is late, and stay ahead in competition with targeted plans and strategic implementations. Prepare your checklist today.