An Ecommerce SEO Audit that WINS

Many times, it is not the surface items that are leading a website to not rank on Google. Typically, it is because of items that are underneath the surface that need to be discovered. This is why an Ecommerce SEO Audit is so important. 

The underlying issue that is blocking a website from ranking on Google could be caused by a number of problems.

Including:

  • Crawl Issues
  • Javascript Errors
  • Content Duplication
  • Canonicalization
  • And much more

Luckily, we’ve developed the 20/180 Principle, and we use this as a basis for our Ecommerce SEO Audit.

Transcription

Hey there and welcome to the elements of an e-commerce SEO audit. I’m Shawn the SEO geek. And in today’s video, what we’re going to be doing is using the 21/180 principle to help you get more SEO results. Now, before we dive in and we are going to dive in and just get right to it. But I did want to set aside some time to explain and define what an e-commerce SEO audit is. So what makes this type of audit that we’re going to be talking about today? Different is that this isn’t going to be a technical checklist. It’s more really about the questions that you ask. So in this video, I’m going to share with you what those questions are, so that you can fully audit your website. Like I do get you some great e-commerce results and get you really some good SEO performance on that end.

At the end of this video, I’m going to share with you two additional free resources that you can use to really enhance your SEO success. So I do feel that it is important to outline what an e-commerce SEO isn’t. So an e-commerce SEO audit is not just a quick run of an analysis, and you’ve got all kinds of flashing red mornings that really does nothing but enhance your anxiety, make you feel that there’s a whole lot more wrong with your website. Most of those one click audits are really designed by folks like myself that are a little bit unethical. It’s really designed to scare you and trigger you to open up and schedule a consultation and hire somebody. I really feel that an e-commerce SEO audit is really more about getting to the bottom of what Google is looking for within your website, and then creating a roadmap to have that created for you.

So there are some tools that I do recommend that you do consider all the ones that you have on the screen right here are free, or at least super affordable. Screaming frog is free for the basic version. You’re going to answer a lot of questions by using that version. Google search console is free just a little bit of knowledge of search operators, and we’re going to get into what that means. It’s just a couple minutes here. And so the public, and [inaudible] both free great resources keywords everywhere is a very minuscule fee. I believe it’s $10 for basically lifetime access. This gets you 10,000 searches and results. So you really get a big bang for your buck there. Then GT metrix is also free. And again, we’re going to dive into what the true benefits of each of those are.

And I’m also going to sprinkle in some more paid in premium audit tools to help you really enhance things. If you want to go that route, but they’re not 100% necessary. So what makes an e-commerce SEO audit different is it goes beyond just the basics of SEO. We’re going to dig into crawlability concerns duplicate content. And then we also have to make sure that we’re addressing our customer’s concerns as well as they’re clicking through and considering purchasing from us. You might be surprised to learn that the way that somebody interacts with your website is a key element in determining where they re where you rank, because Google looks at that information. But again, we’re getting into that in much more detail momentarily here. So understanding that e-commerce is just such a different world, and that’s why we created what we call the 2180 principle.

This is designed to accelerate your rankings while also creating a great user experience for your customers. We look at elements like your overall strategy. This includes your keyword strategy, as well as your website strategy. In a nutshell, you’re on page optimization content, the backlinks that you’re getting to your website, technical considerations, your user experience, your mobile experience and social segments. So we’re going to dig into each of those specifically. So let’s dig right into element number one. So your SEO strategy goes way beyond the keywords that you optimize your website. For sure. Keyword research is a very important element of this. And we can look at the key terms that we optimize for both long tail and head terms by looking at tools like [inaudible] and keywords everywhere. Now what’s going to happen when you use both of these tools and, and I’m not going to dig into the specifics of how to use these tools but go ahead and utilize each of these to see what are the best terms that you can go after.

But basically what we’re going to want to look at is what is it that people are searching for? So if you’re selling blue widgets and you can confidently say that you want to rank for the phrase blue widgets, okay, that’s one term that you can go after, but what are the other things that people are searching for? So using blue widgets as a starting point could be okay, but what kind of questions are people asking? They may be asking what is the best sized blue widget to use for XYZ purpose. So figuring out what are those questions that people are asking is going to be another layer of getting the right keywords and strategy implemented into your website, another element to consider as latent semantic indexing. So that’s not just getting content onto your website, and we’re going to dive into content really deep in just a couple of seconds here, but this is implementing content that is optimized to tell the whole story and what that leads to is Google understanding what your website is about on a more holistic level.

(05:51):
So that means, so that means getting Google’s natural language processing in the works with your, with your website. And that’s when you get into some really, really powerful optimization. So on page optimization is of course critical. We have to get the basics right before we can get anything else done in our website. So this is really a basic, I’m just going to breeze through this. But we want to make sure that the page title elements of our website are in line. So basically asking, are your title tags under 65 characters? Are we using keywords in a non spammy way? So meaning we don’t just stuff, a bunch of keywords in there, again, pretty basic stuff here. Meta descriptions, again, keep that under 156 characters in natural language, and then H tags; H1, H2, H3, just utilizing really one of each, especially the H1 tag.

If you utilize multiples of the H two and H three, it’s going to be okay overall, but really just making sure that you are giving the proper weight to these tags. And again, as always with everything keywords need to be included in the non spammy use. So then we’d have to look at your content. So the first question and I like to ask is, are we using the same language in quotes as your customer? One of the things that I learned early on is that the way that I talk to my customers really needs to be in line with the words that they’re using. Again an example of this is do your customers use words like revenue or do they use words like money? So just thinking of it that way is going to create a stronger impression for both your customer and also Google at the same time.

Then it’s also important to make sure that you’re answering their questions. So use a tool, like answer the public. So you can plug in a phrase like blue widgets in there, and it’s going to give you all the questions that people are answering. So as you’re creating content, you want to make sure that you’re answering those public, those answering those questions. Then it’s also important to make sure that you’re able to reverse engineer your competitors to a certain degree ranking on Google is all about the math of what everyone else is doing. So if you see that the person that’s ranking at position, number one maybe has 1400 words on your, on the page, and you only have 300 words. You know, that there’s a little bit of a gap there, and this is the kind of thing that Google is looking at.

So this literally means just Googling your top keywords for your specific landing pages and seeing how much content your competitors are using. Element number four is backlinks. And this is of course the most controversial SEO strategy, but you’re going to want to make sure that you are getting the most relevant links possible to you. So if you’re getting links for the sake of getting links to your website, that aren’t really that’s consideration that you’re going to want to make. Is this something that you would want to do with a representative from Google was looking right over your shoulder, some paid resources for analyzing this are [inaudible] again, that is a paid subscription tool. SEM rush also has a great backlink auditing tool, but if you really want to keep it free, you can look at search console, the data isn’t as in-depth there. However, it’s going to be at least a good starting point for you.

So just keeping an eye on how and who the links are coming to your website is going to be a critical way of making sure that you don’t get yourself in trouble. So next is technical considerations. Crawlability is a huge consideration for e-commerce SEO. Crawlability is really where most of e-commerce websites get tripped up this. So some fixes for this are proper page conomical realization. And what I like to use is a tool called screaming frog. It is a software that you download to your computer and you can basically identify that if there are a series of pages with say, duplicate page titles, you can then use that knowledge and look at the URLs of those. And if you just see that over and over again, it’s just basically duplicated because the, you have multiple pages that include products under the same category.

For example, this is a way that you can create identification to Google that, Hey, we understand that these pages all have these same content. But by using the canonical REL next, or the canonical REL previous tags, it basically ties all of those pages together, eliminates duplicate content and gets a Google in line with what it is that you’re looking to to show to them. Again, I’m not going to dive into the technical nitty gritty of that. You can you know, research that on your own, but it’s, it’s really a great way of eliminating some of that duplicate content challenge that, that exists in the world of e-commerce. And then next is load time. Images are typically a big culprit of why a website takes a long time to load. So I like to use GT metrics spelled out on the screen here for you, but GT M a T R I x.com.

This is a great way of identifying opportunities to reduce your page, load time. Remember, people are moving fast. These days, I’m recording this in 2020, and people are moving faster than ever. They want to make decisions fast. So if your website is not loading fast, you’re going against what it is that they’re looking for. So take a look at your images, take a look at your JavaScript, take a look at different elements that are causing your site to load slowly, and then go ahead and trim all of that up to make sure that your website just loads as fast as possible. Element number six is user experience. So Google looks at how your users are interacting with your website, despite the fact that they say that they really don’t. So you’re going to want to look at elements like how, how much traffic is coming to your website, and then when people get there, what are they doing while they’re there?

So if you see that some of your critical landing pages have a very high bounce rate, meaning they land there and leave right away. You’re going to want to make sure you clean that up because Google is looking at that analytics data, and they’re determining the quality of your website. Based on that information, you can also look at elements like time on site. So the key here is making sure that you are basically keeping people on your website in a way that is most relevant to them. And they’re also having a great experience just by being on your website, element number seven is mobile experience. So now Google being mobile first is a definite game changer in the world of SEO. So some of the questions that you want to make sure that you are addressing is your text easy to rate meaning is the text large enough?

If somebody has to click and zoom in to make sure that they can read your website, that’s going to be a challenge. A Google search console will give you a lot of this information. Plenty of clickable clickable element space. So if you have buttons is a completely surrounded by stuff and that it’s going to make it very hard for somebody to to really have a great experience with your website scroll versus swipe. So if somebody has to, you know, swipe to the right, to see the rest of your content on your site, that means that the elements really aren’t fitting on your screen, all that well. And you’re going to want to make sure that you fix that up, because again, Google wants to make sure that the user experience is as good as possible. So really pay attention to your mobile because again, Google is mobile first and then social signals.

Google understands that is if a piece of content is being shared, it’s probably pretty decent quality. So you want to make sure that your content and the elements that you’re sharing, the pieces of content that you’re sharing are really worthwhile. If you’re just creating content for the sake of creating content, it’s probably not going to resonate well with your customer, thus not going to resonate well with Google. So that was just a really quick overview of what an e-commerce SEO audit looks like. And I really just kind of rush through it real quick, just to give you a high level overview. But the idea here is that we really don’t want to pay attention and fall into the trap of the the, get that, get the red flashing buttons that scare you types of tactics, a true audit really gets under the hood and identifies what’s truly going on with your website.

So at this point, and here’s the freebies come in, you have two options. Option one is a DIY audit I have on this page, depending on where you’re watching this, it could either be on Shawnee SEO, geek.com, or it could be on YouTube, but either way, there is a link for a DIY SEO audit checklist. It basically takes you through with the questions that I asked in this video and gives you the opportunity to go through and, you know, just basically clean things up on your own or option two is a deep dive SEO audit. Now this requires that we have a conversation first because this audit is not for everybody. You should see another link on here. That’s gonna allow you to schedule some time to get on my calendar and chat. And in this discussion, what we’ll see is if the type of audit that I provide is the right fit for your business.

If it is, we can review what the process looks like and get started right away. If not, you’ll at least have the blueprint of actionable items that will help you get more SEO traffic. At the end of the day, my goal is to make sure that this call is valuable to you and that, you know, the things that you can do to get yourself more SEO traffic. If you want to schedule your one-on-one session, visit talk to the geek.com and this is going to get you right to my calendar. It’ll, it’ll have a quick survey for you to fill out, and this will really be the starting point for getting an audit underway. So the types of results that this audit has produced one client that I was working with, they outranked Amazon home Depot and Lowe’s, and they got themselves ranked at position number three on Google for the phrase, Christmas lights. And we did that in about two and a half months. So fairly quick results for a term that has lots and lots and lots of search volume behind it. Another client saw a 13% increase in revenue within one month and that’s year over year. So this isn’t seasonality stuff here. This was an increase in revenue after declining for a serious amount of time from implementing what our audit uncovered.

So this, As you can see works well for folks that are competing with big brands, big box stores and people that just really want to win against some highly competitive folks. But those, this work for B2B businesses, the short answer is yes. And an example of this is an online printing company that they increased their sales by 43% and outranked outranked Vista print, but using this exact audit. So they got 43% more sales and revenue by implementing exactly this. So if you’d like to schedule your one-on-one session, head over to talk to the geek.com, we’ll get you scheduled and then fill out the quick survey. So I can, you know, just basically get to know a little bit more about your business, and then we’ll go ahead and go from there and see if this is the right fit for you. But at the end of the day, I want to a moment and thank you for watching this video. I hope you feel as though you’ve learned more about an e-commerce SEO audit. If you have any questions, feel free to use the contact form on this page, or feel free to just get in touch at Sean, the SEO geek.com till next time. We’ll see you later. Happy optimizing.

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An SEO Audit Discovers the TRUTH

Part of the reason our SEO Audit is so effective is because it gets right to the root cause of issues that prevent great website rankings. This way, you are not dependent on months of “sifting” and trial and error. 

With our process, within a month, you are able to see the direct issues that are holding you back from ecommerce profitability. 

Is there an Ecommerce SEO Audit Checklist?

While there certainly are ecommerce SEO best practices, it is hard to break down a one-size-fits-all audit checklist. This is because of the numerous nuances that each ecommerce platform brings. 

However, Google does have ranking signals that are known to hold more weight than others. In fact, this is where the initial premise for the 20/180 principle came from.