Here’s a simple, step-by-step eCommerce SEO checklist.
Many SEO checklists get bogged down in hundreds of technical data points—many of which don’t even apply to eCommerce stores.
This list is different.
We’ve created it with eCommerce stores in mind, so you can get super clear on what will deliver the best results for you right now.
Let’s get started.
Step 0: Decide your goals
Before you start analyzing your site’s SEO, you need to choose which goals matter most.
Chances are, you want more sales. But you might also want to grow your email list, attract Instagram followers, or even get tracking data for retargeted ads.
Before you move on, decide what goals matter most.
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Step 1: Find out what’s getting indexed
There’s a common misconception that Google lets you search every page on the internet. But that’s not true.
When you search Google, you don’t search “the internet.” Instead, you search Google’s index of the internet—which doesn’t include everything.
Searching Google for pages that aren’t indexed is like flipping through a telephone book to find an unlisted number.
So before you do anything else, see what Google is indexing.
The best way to do this is by using Google Search Console and clicking on “coverage.” You’ll see a report of what Google is indexing.
Green means the page is indexed. Red means there’s an error. And gray means Google skipped the page.
To fix errors and get more pages indexed, review Google’s suggestions.
But the problem may just be that Google doesn’t consider your site to be “high quality,” as explained in this video:
Having a poor-quality site doesn’t (necessarily) mean your site has a bad design or boring content.
It often just means you need more sites to link to yours.
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Step 2: How can you boost results on high-traffic pages?
Want to know the lowest-hanging fruit for eCommerce SEO?
Here it is:
Get better results with what’s already ranking.
It takes months to get a poor SEO performer to rank well. But you can boost conversions on a high-traffic page in a single afternoon.
So start by getting more sales, subscribers, or conversions on pages that are already bringing in lots of traffic.
Some strategies include improving product placement, optimizing the sales tone of your content, and linking to high-converting pages.
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Step 3: How can you optimize your hidden gems?
Every eCommerce website has some hidden gems.
These are pages that other sites have linked to but that don’t do well in search engine results.
The more links a page has, the stronger it is to search engines. So if you’re not getting traffic, it usually means Google can’t figure out what topic it should rank for.
Our job is to give Google a little help.
First, refocus the article on a clear topic and keyword. For example, a piece you wrote called “how we want to change the tennis shoe industry” might be reframed around “eco-friendly tennis shoes.”
Then, you’ll want to show Google that the page matters for your site. Include links to this page in your menu or footer.
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Step 4: How can we grow traffic on high-converting pages?
Up next is getting more visitors to pages that convert well.
(I’ll reference product sales in this section, but remember that your goals might be different.)
Typically, the best-performing pages on eCommerce sites are product and category pages. But these pages usually don’t get much traffic.
We’re going to fix that.
To start, find your top performers—the pages that sell more than any other destination on your site.
The first step is to make sure they contain high-quality content. Product and category pages are often light on text, so we’ll want to do some keyword optimization from the previous step.
If applicable, improve the images. Use original images, and add descriptive alternative text.
You can also use link building to grow your authority on these pages. As with your site in Step 1, backlinks have a huge impact on how well your product pages do.
Finally, you can “borrow” traffic from other parts of your site. Include teaser links on other pages that send visitors to your top performers.
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Step 5: What new content do you want to rank for?
You might be surprised to see that creating new content is last on the list.
But let’s recap. So far, we’ve:
- Gotten more sales from high-traffic pages
- Gotten more traffic to high-quality “hidden gem” pages
- Gotten more traffic to high-converting pages
Optimizing existing content is almost always faster and more effective than creating new content.
But once you’ve optimized everything—or if there isn’t much to optimize—your biggest growth will come from new content.
So the last step on this SEO checklist is deciding what content you want to rank for.
There are plenty of sources for good ideas. Start with topics your competitors are ranking for. Study keywords. And see what’s popular with your social media followers.
Start with content you think offers the best opportunities; test, improve, and keep learning.
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Looking for a team to help you rank?
The eCommerce SEO checklist we’ve shared here is the basic summary of how we help our clients rank better.
You’re welcome to follow the checklist yourself. But if you’d like an experienced team to come alongside you and help, consider working with Grow Atom.
We’ve helped eCommerce stores grow traffic, keyword rankings, and SEO-based sales by as much as 10x.
If those kinds of results might be something you’re looking for, talk to us.