You know that SEO is important; you track your keywords positions from time to time, earn some links but see minimal or no changes in organic traffic. As you may know, traffic doesn’t equal sales but let’s be honest: the more traffic you get, the more potential customers you have. So driving relevant traffic to your store is one of the most important tasks and Google can greatly help with it.
If you’ve stuck at some point and don’t know what to do next, check the following things on your site. Remember that even small changes can give you visible results.
You may say that you already have a list of keywords and track them every month, there’s nothing more you can do. It’s wrong thinking as there is always room for improvement.
Have a look at your keywords by page, observe ranking changes over a few months – this can give you an idea of what’s going on and what you can change. Also make sure that each keyword is targeted by only one page. This is important; I’ve seen examples of great ranking improvements of one page once another page targeting the same keywords have been removed.
Of course, in the modern SEO world you can’t rely on keywords only but still they are very important as they help to measure site performance.
Each page of your site should have unique and relevant meta tags. Too obvious? Go and check your Google Console, you can find out that some pages have duplicate titles or descriptions. You will be surprised to know that many people who know all these simple things about meta tags still fail to implement them.
Each page of your site is related to other pages in this or that way. Why not show this relation? Internal linking helps to build seamless site navigation and ensure better indexing by search engines. There are 3 main ways of natural internal linking in an eCommerce store:
- relevant links from product description to other products on this site;
- up-sells and cross-sells which also help to increase average order value;
- breadcrumbs which help your customers and search engine spiders understand your site hierarchy better.
Make sure that all your redirects are in place, and what’s more important – that right redirects are used.
While 302 redirects are best choice sometimes (e.g. redirect to sign in or checkout pages), 301 redirects are used in most cases. For example, your store homepage can be opened with /index.php (or .html, .htm, etc.), this is a mirror of your site and it should be redirected to the canonical page without this /index.php using 301 redirect. The same is applied to site pages that you no longer need: use 301 redirect to point them to the most relevant places of your store.
By using 302 redirects when you really mean 301 ones you miss many opportunities and link juice.
It’s not enough to set canonicals tags, you should set them right. I’ve seen many examples of how not to use canonicals:
- don’t put a self-canonical tag on the pages that should canonicalize other pages. For example, you have a page A and a page A1 which should canonicalize page A. The right variant of canonical on page A1 is
<link rel=”canonical” href=”URL of Page A” />
<link rel=”canonical” href=”URL of Page A1″ />
- make sure the spelling is right:
<link rel=”canonical” href=”URL” />
<link rel=”canonical” herf=”URL” /> or anything like that.
Many online stores suffer from various types of duplicate content. Check if you are one of them. Make sure that all your URLs with parameters for sorting and filtering have right canonicals; your paginated pages have rel=previous and rel=next; and each your product has a single URL indexed by Google.
CSS and JS files
Not long ago Google announced that blocking CSS and JS files on your site can negatively impact your rankings. So you should give Google crawlers an access to those files on your site.
Under Fetch as Google feature in Google Search Console you can see which CSS and JS files are blocked by your robots.txt files. Find them and allow them once and forever.
PDF files optimization
Did you know that PDF files have great ranking potential? You just need to optimize them by adding title, subject, author and keywords. You can also add alt tags to the images in your PDFs.
I see PDF files ranking on the first page quite often, so if you have some product specification or other PDF files, don’t neglect this ranking opportunity.
Everybody knows that SEO is important but not all merchants really apply best practices in their store which leads to losing traffic, conversions and money. Don’t be lazy; the secret of success in any sphere is to do more than the majority. Try new things and refresh old ones: a good SEO and marketing plan should be constantly revised and polished.
Author: Kristina Azarenko (https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristinaazarenko)
Author Bio: Kristina pays careful attention to the latest digital marketing trends while developing detailed strategies for site performance improvement and conversion optimization. She is a marketing manager and SEO specialist at Amasty, a company that develops high-quality Magento extensions which make the lives of Magento store owners easier.