The Importance of an SEO Audit
Why eCommerce Brands Should Use an SEO Audit Service
Many eCommerce brands overlook the importance of search engine optimisation (SEO), instead relying on paid and social media ads to drive sales. Whilst these two strategies are less time-consuming and more likely to give you a higher short-term ROI, a great SEO strategy takes a lot of time, effort and money to perfect. In turn, however, it provides permanent value to an eCommerce brand.
Once you have invested in your SEO strategy, it is the gift that keeps on giving. You will be able to reap the rewards of high organic search traffic, generate leads, and create a constant stream of income. In fact, nearly a quarter (23.6%) of all eCommerce orders are directly linked to organic traffic. An SEO audit could be key to getting your brand to where you want it to be.
What Is an SEO Audit?
An SEO audit is a comprehensive evaluation of your current search engine strategy, thus determining how well a website relates to SEO best practices. It evaluates numerous factors that affect a site’s ability to rank on search engine results pages (SERPs), including on-page, off-page, and technical SEO performance. The knowledge acquired from this deep dive will then inform a detailed action plan to help boost organic traffic, leads, and sales.
SEO Audit Services for eCommerce Brands
You run the risk of remaining invisible to new online leads if your site is not fully optimised. Given the rapid and constant growth of the eCommerce industry, this is not something you can afford to do. Although fine-tuning your SEO strategy is something that you can do yourself for free, the comprehensive detail and scope of a high-quality SEO audit are very hard to rival.
Trafiki is a London eCommerce agency that provides SEO audit services to businesses looking to grow. This is fuelled by years of digital marketing experience and a wealth of specialist SEO knowledge. The ultimate goal: to skyrocket you up the Google rankings.
Why Do I Need an SEO Audit?
An SEO audit should be regarded as a form of ongoing digital maintenance. Just like your car needs regular servicing, your SEO strategy needs to be frequently examined and tweaked to ensure that your website is delivering the best results possible. Here are two reasons why your website may be crying out for an SEO audit:
Changes to the Google Algorithm
Whilst the inner complexities of the Google Algorithm is shrouded in mystery, we do know that it is constantly being updated to produce search results that are as closely aligned with user intent as possible. You should be making frequent updates to your website in accordance with these changes.
Google’s advancements in natural language processing (NLP) – the technology they use to understand what users are searching for and what the content of a page is about – is a good example. Now that NLP can understand your content more deeply, writing it is less about quick and easy tricks (e.g. cramming in an exact keyword as many times as possible into your content). It is now more about writing unique and valuable content for users. For instance, Google’s NLP algorithms are now smart enough to understand synonyms and various other related terms.
In more recent times, Google’s introduction of Passage Ranking in 2021 now means that your content can more easily rank for separate queries. As with NLP advancements, this should directly inform the way that you write and structure your content. For example, there is an opportunity to focus on related question-based keywords in H2s and H3s to rank for other keywords beyond your primary keyword.
Outdated content on your website is another big reason why you may need an SEO audit. Your content needs to be useful and relevant otherwise it will be effectively ignored by Google. In 2016, the web was made up of around 130 individual trillion pages, whereas the Google Search index only contained hundreds of billions of web pages, a comparatively small percentage of the overall tally. In other words, Google is smart and it will filter out what it deems no longer relevant.
There are various reasons why outdated content could negatively affect your SEO efforts:
- New information on the topic may become available, displacing yours
- The competition around a certain keyword could grow
- Your content could be left with broken links
That is why the process of updating old content is so beloved by SEO professionals around the world!
How Is eCommerce SEO Different from SEO for Other Sites?
Although the fundamentals of SEO apply to all websites, there are also significant differences between SEO for eCommerce sites and SEO for other types of sites. Optimising an eCommerce site is all about getting more leads and conversions. Naturally, therefore, an SEO strategy for an eCommerce site looks different to a strategy for a news site that is not selling a service or a product. Here are a few key considerations that are specific to eCommerce SEO:
Keyword Analysis for eCommerce
If eCommerce SEO is all about generating more leads and conversions, this should be directly reflected in the keywords that eCommerce brands choose to target. Namely, they should be targeting keywords with commercial or transactional intent.
Keyword intent simply refers to the intent behind a query. Commercial intent describes a user looking to investigate a product or service, whilst transactional intent describes a user looking to purchase a product or service. The latter is particularly easy to spot because they include terms like “buy”, “purchase”, and so on. Your eCommerce brand should target these search terms where it makes sense (e.g. “buy white t-shirt” clearly does not make sense as a product title) because they are the ones most likely to end in a purchase.
Optimising Your Product and Collection Pages
The keyword(s) that you are targeting should always be included in the product title, as this is typically also used as the SEO title and URL of your product page. Product Images are similarly important for SEO. Ensure that you use the product name and main keyword for the filename when you are uploading the image; for example, save the file as “patterned-white-tshirt.jpg”. The same logic applies to the image’s alt text, which is used within an HTML code to describe the appearance and function of the image. These little tweaks will give your product a chance of appearing on Google Image Search!
You should also be aware that any images you use will affect your site’s load speed. Namely, the larger your images, the longer a browser takes to load them. Pay close attention to any large collection pages with many product images on them, as these images may be having a detrimental effect on your page’s load speed. Given that Google has stressed that page speed is a ranking factor, this could impact your ability to rank. Therefore, you should remove any unnecessary images and/or reduce image sizes (e.g. from 1,000×1,000 pixels to 500×500 pixels).
Canonical tags are snippets of code that tell search engines that a specific URL is the “master” copy of the page. Canonicalisation refers to the use of these tags.
If your company sells a specific t-shirt in various colours, but the white version of it is the most popular, you can create a master page for the white t-shirt and then offer the different variations of it on the same page. This can be done using canonical tags, which tell the search engine that you want the white t-shirt variation of the URL to be the master page and, thus, to appear in search results. On their website, Google states:
“If you have a single page that’s accessible by multiple URLs, or different pages with similar content (for example, a page with both a mobile and a desktop version), Google sees these as duplicate versions of the same page. Google will choose one URL as the canonical version and crawl that, and all other URLs will be considered duplicate URLs and crawled less often.”
Canonicalisation gives you control over your duplicate content, ensuring that your master product page is prioritised as the “canonical version”.
An SEO audit service specially designed for eCommerce brands like ours will take all these considerations into account and much more. A high-quality SEO audit is multifaceted, covering your off-page, on-page, and technical SEO performance. Grow your business and get an SEO audit today!