SEO Friendly Checklist When Choosing an eCommerce SoftwareMarch 10, 2022
SEO refers to optimizing a website for search engine ranking – what does it have to do with ecommerce sales? The answer is quite simple – traffic!
Statistically, we know that 97% of buyers research products and services online before purchasing. This means, when someone searches for a product that you sell, your website must appear as one of the top results.
Apparently, search engines provide 1000% more traffic to shopping websites than Social Media. It almost makes it inevitable to leverage SEO for driving traffic to your ecommerce store.
Now, you might ask – how to optimize my ecommerce website as per SEO standards?
The good news is, you don’t have to do it manually.
You can go for an SEO-friendly ecommerce software that does the job for you. Such ecommerce software products not only automate your ecommerce activities but also offer SEO advantages for better ranking.
But not all software products are SEO-friendly! To help you find the best one, the following is a checklist of SEO features that you must look for in your ecommerce software.
Good Speed Score:
Speed Score refers to the average time your website takes to load completely. It’s one of the strongest factors for good SEO ranking as visitors drop off rapidly if your site is slow. The margin for error is quite narrow.
A Pingdom study found out that,
In case your website loads under 2 seconds, the bounce rate is expected to be around 9%.
If it takes 2-5 seconds to load, the bounce rate jumps to 38%.
You can lose 4X the traffic for a 3-second delay! In order to avoid this, you must check for the site speed score of the ecommerce software you’re going with.
PageSpeed Insights is a free and easy-to-use tool for analyzing the speed score for any website.
CMS to manage content and visuals:
Ecommerce websites have heavy content requirements. From product images to the SEO copy, to blog articles – there’s a ton of content to be managed.
Therefore, make sure the solution comes with a Content Management System which allows you to upload, edit and publish content with ease. This will empower you to create landing pages quickly and reduce your reliance on web developers for content updates.
Easy to use navigation structure:
It should be dead simple to find a product and navigate through the shopping pages on your website. If the users can’t navigate easily, they’ll never discover what they want to buy, let alone purchase anything.
Hence, make sure you can set up a custom navigation structure using your SEO-friendly ecommerce software. It should allow you to group your products into customer-friendly categories that are easy to navigate. This will increase “Time on Page” and lower the bounce rate, both of which are essential for SEO health.
Additionally, it should support XML sitemaps that improve URL indexing.
Meta tags optimization:
The meta tags are a list of identifiers used for correctly indexing your website in the eyes of the search engine. Following are a few most used meta tags;
- Meta Title
- Meta Description
- Publish Date
- Canonical Tag
The ecommerce software you end up using must allow you to create, edit and update these meta tags for accurate indexing. Although most CMS products already have this option, you must check for it once. Remember that meta tags are added to the <head> section of your website.
OG tags optimization:
An Open Graph (OG) tag is another type of meta tag that shows information about a URL whenever it is posted on a Social Media platform. When used correctly, OG tags improve the visibility of your links, making them SEO-friendly.
OG tags can be implemented with the help of a plugin or by simply including them in your source file. If you have a WordPress website, there are a lot of options to add these tags without any hassles. Matter of fact, any SEO friendly ecommerce solution will provide you with the OG tags feature.
Heading tags optimization
Heading tags comprise the H1, H2, and H3 tags that play a vital role in optimizing how the content is structured on your website. Your ecommerce product should be able to assign the right heading tags to your website content.
This extends to product pages, custom landing pages, and blog articles. Using these tags makes the content-rich and easy to index for SEO purposes.
Upload XML site map:
A sitemap is a hierarchical structure of the URLs present on your website. This map is composed in XML structure which is ingested by the search engine for better SEO. The sitemap describes all the URLs present on your website for efficient crawling.
Although you can create a sitemap manually, your ecommerce platform can automate this function. Modern ecommerce solutions actively update and submit XML sitemaps for minimum site crawl errors.
Structure data optimization:
Structured data makes it easier for the Search Engine to understand the content on your ecommerce website. It comprises certain content orientations defined by schema.org that offer semantic meanings to the Search Enginer’s crawlers.
For instance, if you’re using the schema for “Blog Articles,” the search engine will automatically figure it out and place you among relevant search results. You can do this for ecommerce listings and product descriptions. Look for JSON-LD compliant ecommerce software.
Robots.txt file optimization:
Robotx.txt is a text file that guides the search engine as to which URLs to crawl, and which ones to ignore. It’s a standard SEO practice to block technical URLs from appearing in the search results. This prioritizes the more valuable URLs to appear ahead of unnecessary SERPs.
Ensure that you have access to the robots.txt file for making this customization.
Choosing the right ecommerce software upfront makes it easier for you to stay ahead in the SEO competition. It will save you from the hard work of optimizing the technical end of SEO and boost your SEO strategy. Remember that SEO has a huge role to play in creating a recurring traffic stream. If you’re able to capture and convert it successfully, your sales will consistently improve month-over-month.