Search engine optimization (SEO) is a practical and effective tool of digital marketing if done properly However, once you start to implement SEO practices, it is vital to regularly assess the outcome for optimum business benefits.
This is where SEO audits can come in handy. Auditing your website allows you to define its online presence and ranking as compared to the competition and know what areas can be improved for better performance. Read on to learn the basics of an SEO audit so you can optimize your eCommerce site for better performance and increased sales.
Why SEO matters
Search engine rankings are paramount when it comes to driving organic traffic. While there are various sources of traffic, irrespective of your company size, budget, and experience, gaining organic traffic must be a crucial part of your strategy.
Organic traffic can help your eCommerce business in a number of ways. For starters, 81% of users search for products and services online. In fact, most people leverage search engines to shop or look for answers daily. And with shopping being the most common online activity, eCommerce revenue is expected to reach up to $54 trillion by 2022. This means the industry is becoming fiercely competitive.
This is why it is essential for your eCommerce website to rank higher on search engine result pages (SERPs). But your ranking is not about your product quality, it’s about the quality of your site. For example, according to web developer Alexander Williams from Hosting Data, it’s imperative to ensure that your web host of choice has minimal downtime, so it ranks higher for SEO.
“Fair or not, Google indexers will judge you by the company you keep (or use),” says Williams. “Hosting services with excessive downtime and a high percentage of hackable or spammy websites don’t score well or rank high in the SERPs.” This is why in addition to quality products and customer service, SEO is one of the deciding factors in the success of your online business.
Important facets of an SEO audit
Here are some of the highest-priority areas to consider as you undertake a comprehensive SEO audit of your website:
Improve your sitemap
Site architecture is one of the predominant ways to enhance your website’s SEO. A better architecture is a surefire way to provide a better experience in terms of actual visitors or website crawling bots that determine its ranking.
It is vital to have an organized, logical, and clear structure that is reflected by an accurate and complete sitemap. Keep in mind that if you make changes to your structure, you need to maintain your URLs so you don’t bring down any pages.
Find interesting ways to link
Proper link building is another step to increasing your site’s authority. Internal links are placed within the web pages that you create and are of prime significance in the development of the website.
The traditional way to create internal links is to generate new and unique content through research to look for the previous content that has covered similar types of topics as yours. Once you find the old content, find an appropriate place and create internal links to your newly generated content inside old content.
The other way to create links is to join your content link with the resources list to feature your content while providing a simple external link. Most website owners depend on guest posting to get these links. That way, when you get SEO guest posts, the links will channel back to your website.
Identify weak content
When it comes to solid website SEO, weak content isn’t helpful in getting your visitors. Therefore, it is imperative to optimize the search engines to rank your content quality higher and better. These days, video, interactive storytelling, and other rich media are considered top content performers.
Unengaging content doesn’t meet the demands of the average user. So if your content doesn’t accurately and succinctly provide the details of the topics searched, most search engines will consider your content weak. Your SEO audit tools should help you flag poor quality content to make appropriate corrections.
Get rid of duplicate content
Advanced search engines are intelligent enough to figure out whether your website’s content has been duplicated purposely or through some malicious acts. If there is duplicate content, your content management system may automatically generate web pages that have similar appearances without you realizing it.
It is essential to test consistently and get rid of duplicate content as soon as you find it during the SEO audit. Otherwise, you can get penalized by search engines for plagiarizing other sites or trying to misrepresent your own content to beef up your site.
Enhance web security
Today, a secure and safe website is of utmost importance, especially if you are accepting online payments or storing user data (which almost all eCommerce shops are). A site’s level of protection and security is a significant consideration in determining the ranking.
For instance, HTTPS is more protected and quicker than HTTP. This, in turn, will help you drive more traffic because of the accessibility of a secure connection.
To avail of HTTPS, it is necessary to go with an SSL certificate. Before going with any SSL, a site owner should assess site requirements. For example, a site should have multi-domain SSL like comodo multi-domain SSL to secure different levels of domains and subdomains. There are other types of SSL certs available in the market.
Optimize for appropriate keywords
Another substantial step while conducting the SEO audit of your eCommerce is to ensure that you optimize all your web pages for keywords that will allow your content to get maximum organic traffic. It is imperative to carry out successful keyword research to detect weak and irrelevant keywords and recommend more useful and relevant ones.
Optimize meta tags
Meta tags usually include meta titles and meta descriptions. They help search engines figure out the topic and quality of your content for a particular web page. They are one of the significant components in the SEO audit as this is what the search engines take into account when defining the ranking order of your eCommerce site’s web pages. Make sure your tags accurately represent your content and prioritize the right keywords.
If you utilize Shopify, you’ll be glad to know that they provide a plethora of SEO tools and functions. You may complete all SEO parts in seconds, saving you time and allowing you to focus on other aspects of your eCommerce business.
Keep an eye out for errors
Generally, damaged images and links on the website cause errors that negatively impact site performance. Some of the most recurrent ones include the “404 error” and “Page not found” messages. With SEO audit tools, you can easily detect all the 404 errors on your website. Once you identify them, it will be easier to improve the quality of your link structure and, ultimately, the user experience.
An eCommerce website SEO audit might seem like an overwhelming task, but it’s essential to see it to completion if you value long-term success. Once you begin to audit your site systematically, you will see positive results while also getting a deeper understanding of what your site needs to succeed. And remember, SEO efforts come down to developing a trustworthy website for your prospective and current customers, not just for search engines.