How to do SEO for an e-commerce that just got started

09/28/2017 - Jordi Ordoñez

On-page SEO should be applied from the beginning of development. Unfortunately, this sentence is as clear as uncertain but we’ll tell you everything you need to keep in mind about SEO when it comes to launching a new e-commerce.

Is SEO really that important before going to production?

Yes, it’s critical. Many of the problems that slow down pages come from not having correctly planned the site from a SEO perspective.

There can be various mistakes but the most common ones are usually identified as poorly designed architecture or indexing useless or potentially harmful content.

The first one occurs when categories are created “by intuition” and business needs don’t match the correct names. It’s essential to start with a keyword search that can guide us.

If you’re indexing irrelevant or repeated content, it’s not unusual to find the classic subdomain dev., or something similar, indexed.

If you don’t restrict the access to the search engine crawler through the robots.txt file or through a password, even better if you use both, you’re allowing all the content to be indexed and duplicating the entire site. This is a huge problem.

Create a hierarchy and prioritize

If you want to prepare the SEO to launch a new e-commerce with the greatest possible guarantee, the key is planning. Not every task is equally critical nor should they all be done at once. Therefore, it’s important to take a good look at how long each task will take and when you have to start.

Tasks associated with the server

Though the server might not always be under our control, it’s critical in some aspects. First of all, the loading speed, and that’s not a minor issue.

You should make sure that the page loads as fast as possible to be competitive. This is essential, both for users and to boost the crawl.

Also, be sure to have an IP of your target audience’s country of origin. If the data center is there, even better. You’ll also lighten the load times if you’re using Gzip compression and activating the cache.

Performance

Not everything is the server. Some parameters need to be controlled on the page to optimize the WPO.

Some tasks are relatively simple, like controlling the number of Js and CSS requests to be as low as possible (combining and minimizing). The same thing happens with DNS: try not to search in more than four domains to avoid slowing down loading the site.

Be careful with too many redirections and loops! Sometimes we find pages that redirect to 301 or 302 when loading, five, six, or seven times. It’s a waste of time for users and for bots.

Another incredibly important aspect to improve performance is to upload the compressed images using the lowest possible weight, without losing quality. You’ll save yourself having to change thousands of photos in the future.

Architecture and structure

Once you’ve done your keyword search you’ll be able to translate it into the web’s design. You need to create as many categories as words with representative search volume given by the keyword search.

In many cases, you’ll be faced with the dilemma of deciding between two similar terms or synonyms. Here, the business is in charge, prioritize the term with more monthly search volume. Use AdWords Keyword Planner to get estimates.

In addition to planning the “skeleton” of the website, the chosen words should be used to optimize the rest of the elements and contents of the landings. Start with urls; they must be SEO friendly, include the main keyword, and avoid special parameters or characters like tildes, cedillas, and apostrophes.

It’s also important that the structure is reflected in the levels of the urls and, in turn, that the three levels per url aren’t exceeded, if possible. Pages that are too complicated don’t have as much authority and therefore are more difficult for crawlers to access. As such, and thinking of the user, I would recommend using breadcrumbs.

From now on, we have to define the inner link and control it; this is key at the structural level.

Layout

This phase is critical to SEO on your e-commerce page. Here the famous meta tags come into play, from the title to having the right hierarchy of the H1 headings onwards.

Make sure you don’t go over the extension limits for each of these. It’s also important that they’re not repeated on different pages or products.

If you’re doing SEO to launch a new e-commerce, the same thing happens as with any other type of page, the code structure needs to be correct.

Index and Track

You have to register the property with Google Search Console in order to have control of what happens at any time and for any potential incidents. It touches on two basic SEO allies, the robots.txt and the XML sitemaps.

It may be a good time to decide on the page number policy that is usually the Achilles heel of many online stores. It’s a duplicate content source like a few others, so make sure you’re indexing only what you really need.

Be careful with internal search engines, contain certain risks. In general, I would tell you not to index your searches to avoid problems.

I know I’m leaving some things unattended, but at least this post will help you draw up your own checklist.

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