How To Succeed In A Technical Optimization Of The Online Store? - Hints From Semalt
In the recent past, we wrote a very detailed article about online store positioning. We gave a lot of recommendations to implement in order to get more traffic on your online store. Today, we will approach in the same direction by talking about the technical referencing of an online store.
Indeed, technical SEO is one of those things that are important for all websites. But it is especially more important for the positioning of online stores. The simple reason is that e-commerce websites have multiple pages. Each of them requires updating and technical optimization for proper positioning.
Technical optimization can determine the achievement of top positions in a situation where we are fighting for strong competition. This is why regular SEO audits are crucial.
In the rest of this article, we will talk in detail about the technical audit of an e-commerce site and the proper tool you can use to perform such an audit.
Now let's get started!
SEO audit of the online store
SEO audits have recently become a very popular topic. Every store owner dreams of having their website perfectly optimized.
Although there are many tools on the market that help in conducting an SEO audit, experience is essential in this matter. A proven e-commerce agency will perform the audit very effectively and, more importantly, present an action plan that will be a big step towards positioning your online store.
On the other hand, be wary of free or non-performing automated audit programs that you find on the web or anywhere. If the SEO audit is not analyzed by a proper tool, the actions implemented may sink the website instead of helping it to reach the top positions in Google.
So, which auditing tool to use to avoid plunging your business site into chaos?
Let me introduce you to a latest-generation SEO tool that has gained the approval of SEO experts due to its effective performance and accuracy in results. This tool is called the Dedicated SEO Dashboard.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the audit, let me give you a brief overview of the Dedicated SEO Dashboard.
The SEO Dedicated Dashboard: a tool you absolutely need!
The SEO Dedicated Dashboard (DSD) is a complete web analytics and SEO auditing tool that can be run on your domain at zero cost. It will provide you with advanced analysis results under your brand.
It has several features including the following:
• Google SERP Analysis
This DSD feature allows you to know the exact position of your website in the Google SERP. In addition, you can know the TOP pages and the keywords for which they rank.
The special thing about this feature is that it allows you to do an in-depth analysis of each of your competitors. It reveals to you the main competitors in the niche you are looking for. Making you aware of their traffic-generating keywords and allowing you to have an idea of their promotion strategy.
• Technical SEO audit
One of the competitive advantages of the dedicated SEO dashboard is that you can perform complete website analysis. Everything from technical audits and speed tests to plagiarism checks is now under one roof. Give it a try and you'll love it for sure!
The Dedicated SEO Dashboard has other features that can help your site occupy the top spot in search results. I'll let you know in depth the performance of this tool through a 14 days free period offered by Semalt who is the developer of this tool.
Please note: during the trial period, you will have access to all the features included in the standard package. This will allow you to appreciate the performance of this tool before making a financial commitment.
Now that we know the right tool to use to perform an audit, let's see the parameters to take into account when performing the audit.
SEO audit - what to look out for
Here are the different factors you need to take into account to perform a thorough audit of your site:
Removal of links with error 404
Look for 404 errors in the store and try to redirect or fix them. They are troublesome for both users and search engine robots.
Meta titles and meta descriptions
Care should be taken to fill in the meta titles and meta descriptions with optimized content. This is crucial not only for achieving high positions in the search engine, but also for encouraging customers to enter the website. The value proposition can change a lot, and every visitor to the website is a potential customer.
Duplicate and thin content
If the subpages contain repetitive content or if it is in an insufficient quantity, this should be fixed as soon as possible. Repeated content causes the robot to treat it as of little value and they are unable to properly index subpages for specific phrases.
If there is too little content, the website automatically becomes less attractive to both the user and the search engine. Of course, it is not about creating low-quality content "by force", but valuable content that will allow the search engine to "understand" what the selected website offers is always worth its weight in gold.
The quality and length of links on the website
It is worth paying attention to the links that lead to our category or product subpages. We've covered this issue before, but it's worth mentioning again. The link should be simple, legible and understandable for both the user and the search engine. Let's get rid of all kinds of unnecessary numbers, codes or characters.
Speed of the online store
Every customer would like to make purchases efficiently and quickly. To enable this, the online store should load its resources as quickly as possible. Optimized files, such as photos, a properly configured database and an efficient server will be of key importance in this regard. It is also worth investing in the so-called CDN.
How to solve common SEO problems in an online store?
After performing an audit of the site, the next phase is the procedure to follow to solve each problem related to the site's malfunction. Discover the basis of these problems and how to solve them!
Problem 1: Too Many Pages
Having thousands of pages in your online store can be a technical optimization nightmare. Creating valuable content for each of the subpages, which, in addition, will not be repeated, can be a real challenge.
• Why this is happening
Some online stores just have tons of products for sale. Since each site requires its own sub-page, the site gathers many separate pages. Sometimes, each small variation of the same product (for example, 15 different shoe sizes) has its own unique URL that can strain the total page count of your e-commerce website.
• How to Fix It
First, identify the pages that you can remove or give them a noindex tag without affecting your bottom line. Note the sales in your store in the last 12 months. If a product sells, it's worth optimizing it even better. If the product doesn't sell at all, consider removing it. A good option can also be a noindex tag or a combination of products that do not generate sales into one super-page that will be easier to optimize and generate more sales.
Most of the CMS of online stores allow you to find products that haven't generated any revenue recently. If your product is not generating sales, you may want to consider removing it. Before you delete anything, however, check Google Analytics to make sure these pages aren't generating traffic.
If a page is not attracting visitors to your site or generating traffic, it may be pointless to keep it in the shop. Now that you have removed the excess pages that are causing problems, it is time to fix and improve the remaining pages.
Problem 2: Duplicate Content
Duplicate content is one of the most common e-commerce SEO issues in the world and can cause a page to be hidden in the depth of search results (Google Panda influences this). Fortunately, with the Dedicate SEO Dashboard, you can check the uniqueness of each page. This will increase your commitment to creating unique content on each page of your store and with SEO, you can generate great results and high rankings.
• Why does it happen?
There are many reasons why duplicate content appears in online stores.
Here are the two most common reasons:
First: the website creates unique URLs for each version of the product or category page.
Second: content that repeats on each subpage as the basis for more product or category descriptions.
Of course, it's perfectly fine to use the same content on each page (e.g., "We only offer natural honey and organic products in our apiary"), but if your main content exceeds 100 words, it could be considered duplicate content in the eyes of Google.
• How to fix it?
The first option is to select pages that do not generate search engine traffic but have duplicate content problems and assign them to noindex.
For example, if category filters generate unique URLs, they cannot be indexed. This will reduce the amount of duplicate content. Another way -if addresses are generated by, for example, many pages in pagination-, is to assign a canonical tag ("rel = canonical"). The canonical tag tells search engines that some pages are exact copies or slight variations of the same page. When a search engine sees a canonical tag on a page, it knows that it shouldn't treat it as a unique page.
Tip: Canonical tags can be difficult to implement. For this task, it is worth using a professional SEO agency that will improve this element of technical website optimization. Google's tutorial may also be helpful.
Finally, it's time to write unique content for all pages that you haven't indexed or configured with canonical URLs. We know perfectly well that this is hard work (especially for an e-commerce site with thousands of pages), but also an absolute must if you want to compete with the big online stores that dominate the first page of Google.
Remember that to some extent you can use your own templates to describe categories or products.
Problem 3: Thin content
Thin content is another common technical SEO problem that affects the positioning of online stores. Even after resolving the duplicate content issue, there may be an issue with content length. Too little content is a problem that occurs in many online stores.
• Why does it happen?
One of the main reasons why online stores suffer from insufficient content is that it is difficult to write a lot of unique descriptions about similar products. If you've already written a description for one running shoe, what can you say about 25 other models?
While this is a legitimate concern, it shouldn't stop you from writing at least 500 words (or preferably 1000+ words) for all your important category and product pages.
Thanks to this, you will significantly facilitate the positioning of online stores.
• How to fix it?
First of all, it's worth identifying pages that suffer from poor content. The more unique your content, the better. Describe your impressions, take your own product photos. This will make your descriptions stand out among users and search engines.
Problem 4: Website Speed
speed is one of the few factors that Google indicates as one of the elements of its algorithm. The speed of the website has an impact not only on the positioning of online stores but also on the financial results.
Research by Radware has shown that slow page load times can increase cart abandonment by 29.8%!
• Why does it happen?
These are the three most common reasons for the slow loading of store pages:
• Bloated e-commerce platforms
If an online store is poorly built or the platform is not properly matched to the number of products and variations, its performance drops noticeably. That is why it is so important to choose the right e-commerce agency.
• Large Image or File Sizes
-resolution product images are extremely important. If they are not properly optimized, they will significantly slow down your online store.
• Slow hosting and servers
You get exactly what you pay for. A poorly chosen hosting plan can inhibit your site's top speed.
Fortunately, all three of these website speed problems are fairly easy to fix.
• How to fix it?
Optimize images sizes with compression.
Choose appropriate file sizes and, if possible, compress them. As a result, off-screen images will not be loaded unnecessarily. This is a great solution for longer pages.
Make sure that website resources are loaded using the Cache. This will directly affect the faster loading of the page, once it has been rendered.
We are at the end of this series of information that will allow you to perform a good audit and solve any problem that is related to the performance of your e-commerce site.
I invite you to put into practice all the recommendations of this guide and you will see that your online business will do very well.
If you need to learn more about the subject of SEO and website promotion, we invite you to visit our Semalt blog.