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3 Essential Resources for Conducting Ecommerce SEO Audits

Whether you're unveiling a new ecommerce website or have been trying your hand at ecommerce SEO for some time, a thorough audit can reveal help get you on the right track to success. 

Here at ClickCentric SEO, we conduct ecommerce SEO audits on the reg. Whether for new prospects or existing clients, providing SEO audits is an integral aspect to the service programs that we offer.

In this article, I will share three essential resources that we use to conduct ecommerce SEO audits. These resources are available to anyone and should be well-respect assets in your SEO arsenal.

1. Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Ttools is one of the best resources for a number of SEO-related insights. Below are a few key places to look when conducting a SEO audit for your ecommerce site. Webmaster Tools SEO Audit

Optimization -> HTML Improvements

Ecommerce sites are often common culprits of duplicate content. Under the HTML Improvements section, check for duplicate and/or missing Page Title and Meta description tags.

Health -> Crawl Errors

Page errors can hinder the crawling and indexing process of your ecommerce site. Take a look at the Crawl Errors section to pinpoint any ailments that might be diminishing the SEO-value and crawl-ability of your pages.

Traffic -> Search Queries

Take a look at the types of queries (keyword phrases) that are generating organic search traffic to your website. Keep in mind that this data is a bit loose and not the most accurate (queries account for phrase matches - which are difficult to define.) Nonetheless, you'll be able to understand which keywords your site is most relevant about.

Traffic -> Links to Your Site

Get an idea of who is linking to your ecommerce site. Backlinks are huge factor for SEO, so the more quality links you can earn, the better SEO potential your ecommerce site will have.

Optimization -> Sitemaps

Under the Sitemaps section, check to see if any XML sitemaps have been submitted. If not, this is a good opportunity to take advantage of. An XML sitemap submission tells Google of the pages on your ecommerce site that are ready to be crawled and indexed. The submission, which is simply a notification to Google, accelerates the process.

2. W3C Markup Validation Service

Ecommerce sites are often very deep domains with hundreds and thousands of pages. This makes it difficult to ensure that no code errors and warnings are present on the website. W3C SEO Audit

The Crawl Errors section of Google Webmaster Tools is sometimes not enough. This when the help of W3C Markup Validation Service can help you pinpoint HTML code errors and warnings present on your ecommerce site.

After you submit your domain at validator.w3.org, the service will tell exactly which lines of code are problematic to your site's health. You can then work with your webmaster see that these errors and warnings get fixed.

3. Pingdom for Site Speed Testing

Parallel to minimizing HTML code errors is ensuring the load speed of your ecommerce website is fast and fluid. A slow loading website can hinder both SEO and user engagement.

Test the speed of your ecommerce site using a free tool like tools.Pingdom.com. If your site takes longer than one second to load, then it probably can be optimized.

There can be a number of reasons for a slow loading website. Often times it's the HTML coding structure of the site that correlates to load speed. So if your using an ancient CMS software platform to run your ecommerce site, then chances are it's inhibiting SEO performance and usability.

Diagnosing a slow ecommerce site is best when done with tech-savvy individual who can troubleshoot why things are slow going. The remedy can range from a simple website optimization tune-up or complete overhaul onto a new CMS platform.

Bonus: Tools for Backlink Portfolio Audits

Assessing a site's backlink portfolio takes ecommerce SEO auditing one step further. The tools needed to conduct a backlink scan of a website (as well as provide data about the sources' anchor text, Google PageRank, etc.) typically require payment to use.

A backlink portfolio audit is essential if your ecommerce site has been penalized by Google Penguin (which targets over-optimized backlinks with too much exact keyword match anchor text.) Two tools that I personally favor are:

  • Open Site Explorer - Created by SEOmoz, Open Site Explorer is web-based tool that offers a wealth of data regarding a website's backlink portfolio. Test it out for free by visiting OpenSiteExplorer.org.
  • SEO Spyglass - SEO Spyglass is an advanced software platform that's apart of the SEO Powersuite by Link Assistant. For search marketers, this tool is ideal for client management and auditing.

 

Tyler Tafelsky PPC EcommerceAbout the Author:
Tyler Tafelsky is the lead SEO analyst at Click Centric SEO. Tyler is well-versed in multiple facets of digital marketing and branding, including organic SEO, PPC advertising, social media and content marketing. Tyler spearheads most of the ecommerce SEO audits at Click Centric SEO. You can k0eep in touch with him by following Tyler on Twitter.

3 Ecommerce SEO Tools Employed by the Pro's

Ecommerce SEO is long-term endeavor that demands a solid set of SEO tools and resources. In essence, having the proper SEO tools can reveal a world of insights and make process far more efficient.

Ecommerce stores can be extremely deep, making it challenging to prioritize SEO tasks as well as pinpoint SEO weaknesses. As a result, investing in the right arsenal of tools can be complete game-changer.

In this article, I will share with you three ecommerce SEO tools that can make optimizing your online store much easier.

Open Site Explorer

Open Site Explore is a web-based tool that was developed by the reputable team at SEOmoz.org. The emphasis of Open Site Explorer centers on link data, or information surrounding the backlinks of a particular domain. This includes metrics based backlink sources (such as the authority of the domain and the link). Open Site Explorer also offers insights on social signals stemming from Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.

As these off-page SEO elements continue to grow in importance, the data surrounding backlinks and social signals is immensely valuable for SEO's. Open Site Explorer is very popular tool that's free (with limited access to information) and very easy to use.

SEO PowerSuite

As one of the most advanced tools for ecommerce SEO, the SEO PowerSuite offers four different software programs that each target a specific sub-set of SEO. The programs included in the SEO PowerSuite help facilitate both on-page and off-page SEO, as well as keyword reporting and analysis. Below is a brief summary of each software program.

  • SEO SpyGlass - This program will perform a scan of all of the backlinks directing to a particular domain. SEO SpyGlass will generate a report that includes valuable link data metrics about each backlink (such as the sources of backlinks, Google PageRank of the sources, backlinks' anchor text, etc.)
     
  • Rank Tracker - Rank Tracker helps make keyword reporting much easier by seamlessly checking a domain's keyword rankings. The program compiles the results in a clean report that serves as wonderful deliverable to share with others.
     
  • Link Assistant - Although any form of link building is now viewed as “gray hat SEO,” Link Assistant helps make your SEO link building hat a bit whiter. This program makes the effort of pinpointing relevant and quality link partners much easier.
     
  • Website Auditor - Website Auditor will scan and evaluate the content and overall on-page SEO quality of a specified domain. This audit can help find issues of duplicate content, broken links, and other problems that may be hindering SEO performance.

SEMRush

SEMRush is a handy web-based resource designed for both SEO and paid search advertising. In addition to helping with keyword research and analysis, SEMRush is also a powerful tool for competitive analysis and developing sound SEO strategies.

After submitting a website's domain at www.semrush.com, you can view a wealth of metrics surrounding the site’s keyword rankings and overall presence in the SERPs. The tool offers valuable keyword data about each search query (or keyword phrase), such as the keyword's competition rating, average monthly search volume, and overall search trends.

Paid search advertisers can learn which keywords a competitor is bidding for in AdWords and the position of the competitor’s ads in the SERP (per keyword.) Similar to the other Open Site Explorer, SEMRush offers both free and paid versions. It's great SEO tool to do quick analysis on the fly and we highly recommend bookmarking the tool for easy reference.

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