Online store optimized for SEO - checklist

SEO

In today's world, the competition for your business is enormous. Online store owners try to win the customer's attention in every possible way. One of the main areas of this race is SEO. Today we will talk a bit about what SEO is and how you can start implementing it in your online store in a simple way.

What is SEO and why do I need it?

To discuss the topic of building a store that is built under SEO, we should start with what SEO actually is. SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of increasing traffic to our site through appropriate actions that increase the visibility of our website in search engines. These actions are measured by complex algorithms that constantly analyze web pages found on the Internet and based on this, determine the positions in the search results for specific keywords.

SEO in an online store is crucial. The position in which we will be found in the search results of our potential customer can determine whether they will make a purchase from us or our competition. According to MOZ, a company specializing in SEO, only 6% of users visit the second page in Google search results. For this reason, the higher the position in the search, the more visits to our website, which translates into more potential customers. We can therefore assume that SEO increases sales in an online store.

Now that we have discussed what SEO is and how it can increase sales in an online store, we can talk about how to deal with it. Positioning pages on your own is a complicated topic to the extent that many companies specialize in this process. However, before we outsource this task to an external company, there are many simple ways that can be implemented in your online store at a low or zero cost. Below we have prepared a checklist that makes it easier to check the structure of your online store for search engine optimization. Let's get to work!

Online Store Performance

The speed of the website is one of the most frequently mentioned elements that matter in SEO. A professional website should load very quickly. Users don't like to wait for the website to load. The people behind search engines know this well, which is why the speed of loading a website is important in search engine optimization. According to Google, the loading time of an online store should be less than two seconds.

The loading time of a website may depend on many factors, starting from the server on which our website is located to the size of product images. The tool we recommend for checking the performance of your website is GTmetrix, which will show the overall state of the website and potential areas for improvement. Important - the tool itself is free, but after creating a free account, we can perform a test in a location other than Canada. For online stores operating in central Europe, we recommend choosing London because a test performed in Canada may not be reliable (the store may load differently for a user in Poland, for example). Let's try to choose a test location as close as possible to the location of our customers.

Image Optimization

Optimizing and preparing images for the website directly affects the ranking of search results. It is important to use images that are not too large, have a relevant name and alt tag, and are properly compressed. An image that is too large can significantly slow down the website. The alt tag should contain a relevant description of the image content. Properly optimized images not only improve the position of the website in search results but also improve the user experience on the website.

Title and description of subpages

A good title and description of subpages is a crucial element for search engines and users alike. A few sentences of description will help you stand out from the competition and encourage users to click on your link. In the description, you can include information that distinguishes you from the competition and a call to action that motivates the user to visit your website. The title should describe what the page is about. It's important to make sure that the title is different from other subpage titles on your website to avoid cannibalization, which means mutual competition for positions of your subpages. The subpage title should be between 30 and 65 characters, while the length of the description should be around 120-320 characters. If you want to easily check how your titles and descriptions look on your website, we recommend using the SEO META in 1 CLICK plugin for the Chrome browser.

Poor content or duplication

Search engines pay attention to the content of websites. It's important that your website provides value to users, meaning that it provides information. Therefore, detailed descriptions of products or services that you offer can improve your position in search results. You also need to make sure that the texts you have on your website are unique. Copying texts from your competitors will not only not improve your position, it may even lower it as a penalty for plagiarism. That's why it's important to create the content on your website yourself or to commission an agency that specializes in this. It's also worth remembering to use headers (Hx) correctly, which are hierarchically arranged according to the logical structure of the text and contain targeted keywords.

Link structure

The structure of links matters. If a customer visits your product on the website www.your-store.com/products/asdfe234sdfewf, it means that the structure of your links leaves much to be desired. It's best if links are descriptive and indicate what's on a particular page, for example: www.your-store.com/products/basic-t-shirt. Depending on the eCommerce system you're using, changing links may require only one setting switch or rebuilding the entire system from scratch.

Website indexing

When building an online store, during the implementation stage, the server platform and domain provider add a special tag, noidex, and nofollow to exclude the indexing of the website, which means that it won't appear in search results. This operation is aimed at avoiding the potential display of the store to customers when it's not fully functional yet. It's important to check whether these tags have been removed when the store is fully operational. All our efforts can be in vain if we forget about such a trivial element.

SSL certificate

In today's internet, an SSL certificate is considered standard. However, we still come across online stores that operate without it. An SSL certificate ensures the security of data exchange, website credibility, and overall greater trust in the website. It also has a significant impact on the positioning of the website. Its cost is a few dozen zlotys per year, so it's an element that is definitely worth implementing on your online store. A website that has an SSL certificate implemented can be recognized by the small padlock that appears next to the website name:

Domain with SSL certificate

Summary

We hope that these few simple points will help you enter the world of SEO with your online store. Implementing them on your website will definitely increase your search engine ranking.

Jakub Zbąski

Jakub Zbąski

Published April 6, 2023

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