Ecommerce SEO Checklist

by Rebecca Wright June 8th, 2010 

Keyword – Success!

Ecommerce web hosting is the modern day equivalent of building a better mousetrap. A
well-run, well-maintained, secure ecommerce web presence is part of the key to a
company’s success. The other part of the equation is attracting customers to your site.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a proven, effective tool to help build that
mousetrap. SEO tools make your site more visible to the various search engines used by
customers to look for products like yours. The following checklist will increase the
power of your ecommerce web site:

Keywords – These are words that appear in the content of your site. Brainstorm a list
of words that you would search if looking for your product. Use the keywords
often in the text of your site, but do not obviously overuse them, or the search
engine will ignore them as spam.

Research – Though not a tool in and of itself, research will tell you if you are on
the correct path. Once you determine your keywords, run a search for each word
or phrase to see if the content of the pages generated matches the content of your
page. If not, try new keywords until you are confident that consumers searching
for your product will find your ecommerce website.

Code to Text Ratio – Search engines calculate the percentage of text that appears
on a page in order to determine whether or not that page is relevant to the
requested search. A higher text ratio places a page higher in rank. Search engines
prefer text to images, and prefer HTML to other formats.

Titles – Title each page descriptively as this title will appear as the link when the
search engine returns its results to the consumer. Keep your title interesting, keep
it to the point of your site, and keep it brief – no more than five to eight words.
Do not use words such as “Title” or “Introduction” or “Main Page” as titles. Title
each document on the site appropriately so that they will be searchable by
keywords pertaining to the content of the site.

Document Properties (Meta Tags) – Most programs automatically complete
some of the information listed in the document’s properties. Manual completion
of the fields results in greater document searchability. Fields may include subject
matter, category, and keyphrases. While some search engines now ignore
keyword meta tags, many use the description meta tag to elaborate on the title.

Image Tags – Use “ALT IMAGE” tags to specify an alternate text for an image.
This tag will be read as text (increasing your code to text ratio), and should
contain your keywords.

Linking – Link the pages within your site using keywords and phrases. Such
links will increase the natural usage of the keywords on your site, and generate
more interest in your site.

Site Maps – Site maps were originally used to enable customers to navigate a site
with ease. Now they also increase the crawability of a site. The site map should
be simple, in text format, use keywords, and link to every page within the site.

Frames – This tool is actually a “don’t”. Do not use frames on your site. The
search engine may see the frame only and ignore any of the text contained within
the frame.

While no list can completely guarantee a perfect mousetrap, using these simple SEOs will
increase a site’s ranking, generating interest, and guiding consumers. The most important
tool of all, though, is “repeat”. Constantly test and re-test the site and don’t be afraid to
make changes as needed to keep up with consumer trends and increased technology.

Rebecca Wright

Rebecca Wright is a 34-year-old native of Florida. She has a knack for details on web hosting and anything about it. She works full time as a Senior Web Copywriter for one of the country's leading web hosting provider.

The Hosting Nerds' Speakeasy

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4 Responses to “Ecommerce SEO Checklist”

  1. This is a pretty all inclusive list, great for beginners! Another big one is the use of keyword rich heading tags to seperate copy.

  2. Roko Nastic says:

    One additional way to enhance SEO efforts for e-Commerce sites is by enabling product reviews by customers. Amount of content can be dramatically increased that way and end up in a site being returned for a lot of long tail queries.
    .-= Roko Nastic recently posted: What Defines the Best DotNetNuke Hosting Solution =-.

  3. Mark says:

    The most common problem I see in ecommerce sites, especially large ones, is horrible URLs. Amazing that it's still a big problem, but it is.
    .-= Mark recently posted: Split Tests on Shopping Carts and Content Management Systems =-.

  4. Make sure your content is useful. Ok, search engines aren't that smart, but visitors are. another way to optimize site is by allowing guest posting which will increase your authors and posts and indirectly traffic.