Being able to outrank your competitors is one of the most important aspects of growing an eCommerce business. To do so, you need to constantly monitor and refine your SEO so that all aspects of your website adhere to certain standards.
If you are ready to get serious about dominating the Google search results, it may be time to perform an SEO audit on your eCommerce store. A full audit of your on-page and technical SEO will reveal what’s holding your website back and what changes you need to make in order to build brand recognition and start getting more organic traffic.
What does it take to fully audit your website properly? That’s what we will be taking a look at below, along with some insight on why getting your online store audited by eCommerce professionals might be the best choice for you if you want to ensure that you have a proper gameplan.
Staying on Top of Your SEO
Every year, SEO gets more complex. Google’s algorithm continues to evolve, and it seems that user experience is becoming more relevant. This means that the metrics Google uses to determine what is worth ranking are becoming more nuanced and detailed.
No longer can you simply include a focus keyword on a page and hope to rank for it. Search engine optimization involves a wide array of different technical updates, a solid content strategy, backlinks, on-page optimization techniques, and much more. If you are not a professional digital marketing expert, chances are you are missing key elements in your approach to SEO.
One way of potentially managing your eCommerce SEO is to simply forge ahead with a plan that you develop based on your business goals and particular keywords. While this might yield some decent results, it may not be the best long-term strategy for your business, and here’s why:
There could be massive blind spots in your plan that you aren’t addressing because you haven’t combed through your website thoroughly enough. Maybe you aren’t even aware of certain areas of SEO that have become important over the years, or perhaps there are user experience issues holding your site back that could potentially be corrected with a little expert direction.
Either way, an SEO audit will help you understand exactly what you need to do in order to augment your marketing efforts and build an SEO campaign that generates better results. The old saying, “you don’t know what you don’t know” certainly applies here. How can you build a successful SEO strategy if you aren’t even fully aware of what your store’s problems are?
For instance, you may be targeting the right keywords but could be utilizing them in the wrong way. Alternatively, your core content strategy might be sound but you have a bunch of broken links peppering your site that is creating a bad user experience.
Blind spots like this can drag your website down more than you think. Just because you have a great brand, an older website, and a popular product doesn’t guarantee that you will rank. Google looks at everything from bounce rate to abandoned carts. You need to take a close look at your online store to make sure that everything is running smoothly for the user and that all aspects of the technical SEO are being implemented correctly.
Performing an Audit Yourself Requires the Right Tools
So how do you actually perform an SEO audit for your eCommerce store?
As mentioned above, everything involving SEO has become quite complex. So complex in fact that numerous tools are typically required in order to properly analyze a website and determine where its weaknesses lie, as well as the best course of action to take in order to improve rankings.
A comprehensive eCommerce SEO audit may require the use of all of the following:
- Google Analytics and Search Console
- Google Page Speed Insights
- SEMrush SEO Tools
- Web Page Word Counter
- WordPress SEO Plugins such as Rank Math and Yoast
- SERP Simulator or SerpStat
Using all of the features of the above SEO tools will yield most of the data you need in order to proceed with an informed SEO strategy.
However, one issue you may quickly encounter with this method is that it is highly confusing. Trying to collate and make sense of the different results you get from using these tools might require you to take a course in digital marketing just to weed through the jargon. Professional tools like Ahrefs might be effective at what they do, but they also offer a ton of options and ways to analyze data, which can be a pain if all you want to do is uncover what is wrong with your website and act on it with a concise plan.
Another issue here is price. Not all of these tools are free and if you are simply looking for insight into the health of your website without necessarily pulling the trigger on any big investments without knowing what you are getting into, the cost of these tools can feel a bit steep. Of course, if you want what’s best for your online store you have to make the appropriate investments, but the idea that you might pay for these tools and not even know how to make sense of the data is somewhat discouraging.
Instead of wasting time with these tools, a manual approach might be more appealing. While there are quite a few bases to cover in terms of all of the different areas of SEO, it’s not impossible if you have a bit of direction.
The most important areas of your website that you will want to look at include the following:
- The keywords you are using and your overall keyword strategy. Are you targeting enough long-tail keywords and do these keywords match user search intent?
- Meta titles and descriptions. Every page of your website should include optimized titles that utilize a focus keyword and supporting copy.
- Content hierarchy, or proper use of H1 and H2 tags. Headers provide correct information to Google and also help the user experience.
- Your overall approach to navigation and internal linking. Your website should be intuitive and include plenty of links that point to important products, categories, and pieces of content. This will greatly enhance the user experience and therefore help your rankings.
- Crawl errors and server issues. Make sure that everything is properly configured on your platform so that your site can be properly crawled by Google’s spiders. You can check these errors for yourself in Google Search Console, which is free.
- Load times all over your website. A slow website will not offer a great user experience. Make sure you are using a solid eCommerce platform like Shopify or BigCommerce, and check to see if your images and other media files are properly compressed. Large file sizes are often the main culprit to slow loading times. Too many apps and add-ons can be another reason for slow load times.
- Broken links. You need to comb through your website and take care of any instances where a link leads to a dead or previously existing page. While you might not think anything of such issues, Google places a lot of weight on these kinds of user experience issues and will penalize your site for offering a poor user experience.
- Your blog and overall content strategy. Keeping your site updated with fresh content indicates to Google that you are relevant and an authority in your niche. You have to be utilizing the right keywords and actually providing value, however.
This might seem like a tall order but it is actually the core of even the most basic eCommerce SEO strategy. It also can be somewhat of a chore trying to figure out which of these areas you need to focus on the most if you are not tech-savvy or don’t have a background in SEO.
Let The Professionals Take a Look at Your SEO
These days, the best way to perform a deep dive into your store’s SEO is to let a team of professionals handle it. If you are thinking about how to get an SEO audit that will point you in the right direction in terms of your website’s health and what you need to do in order to rank higher in Google, we have just what you’re looking for here at 1Digital®.
Our eCommerce SEO Audit Tool will help you uncover all of the weak points of your website and take action through useful data that would be difficult to come by otherwise.
Here is just a sample of the useful data that our SEO audit will uncover for you:
- Pages with server issues
- Number of broken links
- Organic users visiting your website
- Which keywords you are currently ranking for as well as potential opportunities
- Keyword placement on-page and where you can make important optimizations
- How many pages on your website are indexed by Google
- Page Speed scores
- Image optimization recommendations
- Duplicate content analysis
- Much more!
If it’s relevant to eCommerce SEO, our special audit tool will dig it up and provide you with specific data points and recommendations that can help you put together a more effective digital marketing strategy for your online store.
Here at 1Digital®, we are a team of eCommerce experts that know what it takes to rank online businesses and get them more organic traffic and sales. Our sophisticated and agile approach to SEO has helped numerous eCommerce stores improve their brand and rank ahead of their competitors.
It’s not worth your time to try and figure out how to audit your website entirely on your own. This crude method will only result in missed opportunities, especially if you don’t have every professional SEO tool at your disposal. Let a team of SEO gurus and eCommerce marketing experts analyze your website for you and help you develop a powerful strategy based on hard data that will finally get you the results you are looking for.
Click here to receive your free SEO audit report, or contact us by calling 888-982-8269 to speak with a professional and get your website analyzed properly.
- Matt Lovett
- March 31, 2021