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How to do Technical SEO for your E-commerce Website?

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How to do Technical SEO for your E-commerce Website?

What is technical SEO?

Technical SEO refers to the practices and optimizations that are made to a website's backend to improve its ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). This includes optimizing the website's structure, code, and content to make it more easily crawlable and indexable by search engines, as well as making sure that the site is fast, mobile-friendly, and secure. Technical SEO can also include implementing schema markup, optimizing page titles and meta descriptions, and creating an XML sitemap. The goal of technical SEO is to make sure that a website is technically sound and can be easily understood by both search engines and users. 

Website Architecture & URL Structures

Website architecture refers to the organization and structure of the pages and content on a website. Good website architecture helps search engines understand the hierarchy and organization of a website's content, making it easier for them to crawl and index the pages.

A good website architecture should have a clear hierarchy, with the most important pages (such as the home page) at the top level, and sub-pages organized under them. The URL structure should also be intuitive and reflect the website's hierarchy, with clear and descriptive URLs that accurately reflect the page's content.

An effective URL structure is one that is easy to read and understand, making it clear what the page is about. It should use words that accurately describe the content and be easy to read for both users and search engines. Additionally, it should be consistent and use hyphens to separate words.

 For example:

a bad URL structure would be: example.com/pageid=1234

a good URL structure would be: example.com/category/sub-category/product-name

Using this methodology, search engines can understand the content of each page, the hierarchy and categories and ultimately the relevance of the site in relation to the search query.

Sitemaps (XML & HTML) And Google Search Console Setup

An XML sitemap is a file that lists all of the pages on a website, along with their URLs, and other metadata such as the date they were last updated. XML sitemaps are written in XML (eXtensible Markup Language) format and can be submitted to search engines, such as Google, to help them understand the structure and organization of a website's pages.

An HTML sitemap is a webpage on a website that lists all of the pages on the site, along with links to them. Unlike XML sitemaps, HTML sitemaps are designed for users to navigate and browse, and are usually placed in a website's footer or sidebar, making it more user friendly.

Submitting an XML sitemap to Google Search Console can help Google discover new pages on your site, and can also provide information about any crawl errors, broken links, and other technical issues that might affect your website's ranking in search results.

To set up your website in Google Search Console, you will first need to create an account, then add your website, verify ownership and finally, you can submit your XML sitemap. The process of submitting sitemaps will vary depending on the platform you are using, but most content management systems have plugins or modules that will automatically generate an XML sitemap for you, and submit it to Search Console. Additionally, you can check regularly the Search Console for any errors, performance issues and other alerts, that can be found on the dashboard.

 Stock Handling And Soft 404s

Stock handling refers to the way in which a website deals with products or items that are out of stock or no longer available. There are several ways in which this can be handled, depending on the type of website and the product.

One way to handle out of stock products is to remove the product page from the website altogether. However, this can cause problems for both users and search engines, as the product page may have been indexed and could still be linked to from other pages, resulting in a broken link.

Another way to handle out of stock products is to show the user a message saying that the product is out of stock, but allow them to sign up for notifications when the product becomes available again.

A third option is to use a "stock status" attribute to indicate that the product is out of stock in the schema markup. This way search engines can understand the product state, and will likely not penalize for this kind of "soft error"

A soft 404 error happens when a page returns a 200 OK HTTP status code, but the content was not found or the page should have returned a 404 status code. In other words, it's a page that appears to be working but doesn't actually have any content. These pages often occur when URLs change, or when a page is temporarily unavailable. Soft 404s can make it hard to crawl and index pages and give users a bad experience. To avoid these problems, it is important to find and fix these kinds of mistakes.

 Tips for Improving Your Ecommerce Technical SEO

 Here are a few tips for improving your ecommerce technical SEO:

  1. Optimize your site structure: Make sure your site has a clear hierarchy and that your URLs accurately reflect the page's content. This will help search engines understand the structure of your site and improve crawling and indexing.

  2. Create an XML sitemap: An XML sitemap can help search engines discover new pages on your site, so be sure to create one and submit it to Google Search Console.

  3. Use schema markup: Schema markup is a way to annotate your HTML with structured data that can help search engines understand the content of your pages. This can include information about products, prices, and ratings, which can help your pages rank better in search results.

  4. Optimize your images: Large images can slow down your pages, so be sure to optimize them by reducing their file size and using descriptive file names.

  5. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN): A CDN can help distribute the load of your site across multiple servers, which can help improve your site's speed and performance.

  6. Optimize your pages for mobile: With the majority of online searches coming from mobile devices, it's important to make sure that your site is mobile-friendly. This means that your site should be responsive and all the elements should be clearly visible in smaller screens.

  7. Fix broken links: Use tools such as Google Search Console to identify broken links on your site and fix them to avoid crawling errors and possible penalties.

  8. Use Analytics: Use tools like Google Analytics to track your site's traffic, identify which pages are the most popular, and get an idea of how users interact with your site. This data can help you understand which areas of your site need improvement, and can help inform your SEO strategy.

  9. Pay attention to the checkout process: The checkout process is crucial to e-commerce sites as it is where customers complete their purchase. Make sure that the checkout process is fast, secure and easy to use, including clear and simple language, intuitive design and secure payment options.

  10. Monitor your performance regularly: Technical SEO is an ongoing process and you should monitor your site's performance regularly to identify and fix any issues that might arise. This can be done by regularly checking Google Search Console, analytics and crawling your site.

Technical SEO, as a subset of total eCommerce SEO services, is a thorough method that, when correctly completed, allows the possibility of transmitting essential information to potential buyers. However, if you lack Technical SEO know-how or finesse, we can assist you.

DMA specializes in managingSEO services for various businesses. We offer many different SEO services, such as keyword research and optimizing landing pages. 

If you are interested in having DMA review your existing landing pages or in having us create winning landing pages for your SEO services, feel free toschedule a call with one of our web engineers.

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