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Using Technical SEO to Architect Your eCommerce Site


Rasbor_Using_the_technical_SEO_to_architect_your_eCommerce_siteIn the previous parts, we have observed the role of SEO to improve the search ranking of your website. Using proper keywords and optimizing the content are the important elements of a successful SEO strategy. However, the SEO strategy’s success goes way beyond only keywords and content. Of course, these are vital steps in ensuring a good ranking in the search engines. There are other things to be considered while planning the SEO strategy for your eCommerce website as well.

In order to eliminate the dead ends which eventually tires out the search engines before they crawl your ecommerce site, some important technical SEO tips might be useful. These are listed below:

1) Keep an eye on Page load time

Nobody likes a slow site. With plethora of browsers available, the speed of the site matters. As the users are moving towards the mobile devices, optimizing the pages for the mobiles should be a priority. Analyzing your overall site’s speed to clear out the glitches is essential for successful conversions.

Some recommendations by which page load times can be improved is by:

  • Optimizing the ecommerce site with CSS sprites
  • Separating the CSS and JS files
  • Compressing the images
  • Minimizing the code  

Recommended tool

GTMetrix (https://gtmetrix.com/)

2) Make it mobile friendly

If you search anything in Google from your mobile, you will notice a tag of Mobile friendly among some results. It is highly advised to use responsive design and use a mobile friendly version of your site. Google continues to emphasize on mobile friendly websites while ranking them.

Recommended Tool

Google search console

3) Block useless content through Robots.txt

There is lot of content on your site. From this, there are certain folders or content that is of no use of Google. You can easily use your Robots.txt file to block Google from accessing these folders and content. This will enable Google to use its limited bandwidth while crawling your site. In this way, it will only index the content that provides true value.

Recommended Tool

Google Search Console

4) Make best use of Sitemaps

Ensure that the sitemaps you submit to Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. are simple. The sitemaps should contain the images, videos, feeds, news etc. This will ensure that Google will index all the pages of the site rather than stopping after just few pages.

Recommended Tools

Google Sitemaps

Screaming Frog ( http://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/)

5) Check duplicate content using Rel Tags

There are high chances of having duplicate content on your website. If Google is indexing your content, it needs to steer clear away from this duplicate content. rel=prev/next tags allow Google to crawl first of many product pages. The rel=canonical tag is used to identify the duplicate content. This prevents Google to use its precious bandwidth from indexing the duplicate content.

Recommended  Tool

Screaming Frog ( http://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/)

6) Watch out for Crawl Errors

There are some of the pages with dead links (404’s) or not accessible from the server (503’s). Google will not put a penalty for having these pages but it will affect the bandwidth with which Google is crawling your site. It is advised to analyze and fix the 404’s and 500’s errors.

The best approach is to design custom error pages – for the 404’s and for the 500’s. Ensure that the error pages provide a polite message apologizing that the page does not exist or there is some kind of an error preventing the page from getting displayed properly.  

Recommended Tool

Google Search Console

7) Review the Site Structure/Taxonomy

Keeping your site structure shallow with maximum three to four clicks is recommended. Categorize the content on the site based on similar topics. This will enable Google to reach all the pages with ease.

Recommended Tool

Screaming Frog ( http://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/)

8) Redirects should be in place

There might be possibility that some of the pages will need permanent redirects (301). A perfect redirect will tell the search engines that it should drop the old page from the index, replacing it with the new URL. It is also needed to ensure that the users are directed to the most appropriate page. Mistakes are common in redirects.  It is recommended to use permanent redirects if the new page has the same information as the redirected page. It will also help in preserving the SEO efforts and provide best ever user experience.

Recommended Tools

Http header checkers

Google Search Console

Screaming Frog (http://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/)   

9) Eliminate Duplicate Content

Using the rel=canonical tag is useful if your site has duplicate content. It is advised, however to remove the duplicate content, whenever possible. Prevention is better than cure; so remove the duplicate content to save Google’s bandwidth for the other useful pages of the site. Follow a routine check of the content at regular intervals to make it easy.

Recommended Tool

Google Search console

10) Check the Code or Entity Markup

If you are a local organization, you can use scema.org to help Google understand the same.  Similarly, if you have images, videos, products, events et cetera, you can use Open Graph for Facebook and Twitter cards for Twitter whenever your brand or product is shared by someone. This will generate a similar user experience.

Recommended Tools

Google Search Console (schema.org),

Facebook Debugger (open graph markup)

Twitter Card Checker (Twitter Card)   

11) Avoid Cloaking at all costs

Cloaking means showing different versions of same page. It is sometimes possible to show one version of a page to the users and different version of the same page to the search engines. Search engines are spying on you like detectives. They want to see the identical results as the users see. Otherwise the search engines will get suspicious.

These kind of deceptive web practices should be avoided at all costs to prevent heavy penalties.  

12) Use Href lang Tags for multi-language pages

If you have multiple pages for different countries, href lang tags are very useful. The Href lang tag identifies similar pages on the site but is primarily used for different geography. It will help Google to segregate it on the basis of the region. It will also help the search engines to rank the pages depending on the region to which it belongs.

Recommended Tool

Google Search Console

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Using Technical SEO to Architect Your eCommerce Site