What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO is essential for enhancing the technical components of your website. It aids in making the website faster, easier to crawl, and more intelligible for search engines in order to boost the visibility of the most relevant web pages in SERPs during a search.
Why Is Technical SEO Necessary for E-commerce Websites?
In this blog, we will provide a definitive technical SEO checklist for e-commerce websites for 2023
Site architecture and Navigation
Site architecture and navigation refer to the way a website is organized and how users navigate through it. It involves the layout and design of the site, the placement of content and features, and the overall user experience. The goal is to create a logical and intuitive structure that helps users easily find the information they’re looking for.
(a) Site structure and hierarchy
Site structure and hierarchy refer to the way a website’s content is organized and grouped. This can include categories, subcategories, and pages. The structure and hierarchy should reflect the site’s content and help users easily navigate through it. A clear and organized site structure can also improve search engine optimization (SEO) by making it easier for search engines to understand and index the site’s content.
(b) URL structure
URL structure refers to the format and organization of a website’s URLs (Uniform Resource Locators). A well-structured URL can help users and search engines understand what the page is about. Ideally, URLs should be short, descriptive, and contain relevant keywords. They should also be consistent across the site and follow a logical hierarchy.
( c) Navigation menu and internal linking
The navigation menu and internal linking are both important components of site architecture and navigation. The navigation menu is usually located at the top or side of the website and provides links to the main sections or categories of the site. Internal linking refers to the links within the content of the site that connect related pages and sections. Both of these elements help users easily navigate through the site and find the information they’re looking for. They also help search engines understand the site’s structure and content.
Website speed and performance
In 2023, mobile optimization is more important than ever. With the majority of online shoppers using mobile devices, your e-commerce site must be optimized for mobile. This means having a responsive website design that adapts to different screen sizes, fast loading speeds, and easy navigation.
(b)Server response time
Server response time, also known as server-side response time or time to first byte (TTFB), refers to the amount of time it takes for a web server to respond to a request from a user’s browser.
When a user requests a webpage, their browser sends a request to the server hosting that webpage. The server then processes the request and sends a response back to the user’s browser, which then renders the page.
Server response time includes the time it takes for the server to receive the request, process it, and send a response back to the user’s browser. It is influenced by a variety of factors, including the server’s hardware and software configuration, the complexity of the requested content, the number of requests the server is processing at any given time, and the network latency between the server and the user’s browser.
In general, a faster server response time means a more responsive website that loads more quickly for users. Slow server response times can lead to longer page load times and a poorer user experience, which can negatively impact a website’s search engine rankings, user engagement, and conversion rates. As a result, it’s important for website owners and developers to monitor and optimize server response times as part of their ongoing efforts to improve website performance.
(a)Keyword research and optimization
This refers to researching and selecting the most relevant and high-performing keywords related to your website or business. It involves understanding what phrases people use to search for your products or services and optimizing your website content accordingly. This helps improve your website’s search engine ranking, making it easier for people to find your website when searching for related keywords.
(b)Title tags and meta descriptions
These are HTML elements that provide brief descriptions of your webpage content to search engines and potential visitors. Title tags are used to define the title of a webpage, which appears as the headline in search engine results pages (SERPs). Meta descriptions, on the other hand, provide a brief summary of the content on the webpage, appearing below the title tag in SERPs. Optimizing these elements with relevant keywords and persuasive language can increase click-through rates and improve your website’s overall search engine ranking.
(c ) Header tags
These are HTML elements that help structure your content and make it easier to read. Header tags, such as H1, H2, and H3, are used to define the hierarchy of headings on a webpage. They can also help search engines understand the structure and context of your content, which can improve your website’s ranking.
(d) Image optimisation
This refers to optimizing images on your website to improve load times, enhance user experience, and improve search engine ranking. This can be achieved by compressing images to reduce their file size, using descriptive file names and alt text, and adding relevant keywords to image captions and descriptions. Properly optimized images can also help your website appear in image search results and drive additional traffic to your site.
Technical SEO fundamentals
Robots.txt is a file placed at the root of a website to instruct search engine robots (also known as crawlers or spiders) on which pages they are allowed to crawl and index. It’s a tool for website owners to control which pages of their website are visible to search engines and which aren’t. A robots.txt file can help prevent duplicate content issues and stop sensitive pages from being crawled.
(b) XML sitemap
Canonicalization is the process of selecting the best URL for a webpage when there are multiple versions of the same page. It’s essential for avoiding duplicate content issues that can negatively impact a website’s SEO performance. Canonicalization helps to consolidate all versions of a page into a single version, making it easier for search engines to understand the website’s content and index it correctly.
(d) HTTPS and SSL
HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) are security protocols used to encrypt data transmitted over the internet. HTTPS ensures that all communications between a website and a user’s browser are secure and private. It’s an essential tool for protecting sensitive data such as passwords, credit card information, and personal details. HTTPS is also a ranking factor in Google’s algorithm, so it’s important for improving a website’s search engine visibility.
(e) 404 Error Pages
404 error pages can negatively impact user experience and SEO. To avoid this, customize your 404 error page to provide helpful information, redirect users to relevant pages, and ensure that there are no broken links on your site.
(f) Analytics and Tracking
Analytics and tracking are essential for measuring the success of your ecommerce site. Ensure that you have implemented Google Analytics or other tracking tools to monitor site traffic, user behaviour, and sales performance. Use this data to inform your future SEO and marketing strategies.
A collection of HTML tags known as schema markup enables Google to show information about a product’s price, rating, availability, and other details directly on the search results page.
(h) Broken Links
The website will produce a 404 HTTP error when a resource cannot be found, which causes a broken link. Too many broken links may have a detrimental effect on search engine performance. Yet, this offers a subpar user experience and does not distribute link equity. This problem affects many websites, but consider the impact it would have on your eCommerce site’s user experience if a consumer searching for a product ended up on a 404 page. This could lead to lost sales.
Review all of your website’s broken links and redirect them to relevant pages with a 200-status code and indexable content to avoid this. Checking any broken links on your website with the ScreamingFrog tool is a smart place to start.
(i) Crawling and indexing
A search engine cannot rank your content if it cannot crawl your website.
It cannot rank your products in search results specifically.
Technical SEO must take into account your site’s indexability, crawl ability, speed, content, schema markup, and general user-friendliness.
The other components of your ecommerce SEO plan will come together if these are properly set up.
(j) Duplicate content
Websites containing duplicate material will suffer as a result of Google’s ongoing promotion of original, high-quality content.
Google may view a page as duplicate if 60% of the content is same on two different pages.
If you have different product pages for the same item in various sizes or colours, such pages may be considered duplicates from an e-commerce perspective.
This problem will be resolved, and your site will be responsive and user-friendly, if you combine all of these options onto a single page.
Lastly, keep the following in mind when you leave this article:
- Never undervalue the impact technical SEO has on your website’s rankings. Your success depends on technical factors like crawlability and schema markup.
- Thin or duplicate content on your website should not be ignored as it might significantly reduce its chances of ranking well. For Google’s mobile-first indexing, the mobile version of your website should also be appropriately optimised.
- Avoid mistargeting your SEO keywords. Be aware of the distinction between informational and transactional search phrases, and aim for terms that will boost sales.
FAQ Related to the Technical SEO Checklist
Q: What is Technical SEO?
A: Technical SEO is the process of optimizing a website’s technical elements to improve its ranking and visibility on search engines.
Q: Why is Technical SEO important for Ecommerce websites?
A: Technical SEO is crucial for Ecommerce websites because it ensures that the site is structured correctly, runs smoothly, and is easy for search engines to crawl and index. This, in turn, helps to improve the website’s search engine rankings, increase organic traffic, and boost sales.
Q: What is a Technical SEO Checklist?
A: A Technical SEO Checklist is a set of guidelines and best practices that help Ecommerce website owners and developers to optimize their site for search engines.
Q: Why do I need a Technical SEO Checklist for my Ecommerce website?
A: Having a Technical SEO Checklist ensures that your Ecommerce website is optimized for search engines and is more likely to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This, in turn, helps to increase organic traffic to your website and boost sales.