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eCommerce SEO Audit in 5 Steps: How To Do It Right in 2024

By Аivаrаs Rаmoškа
We're at the point when almost every digital marketing niche is brimming with competition. No matter your product, you'll find that you're up against a handful of competitors. How could you get your eCommerce website ready for every challenge in the market? You can do that by optimizing your site and diagnosing issues before they cause a large impact on your site search rankings. Fixing these issues through regular SEO audits can make your main category page and other product pages more visible. Be guided by these five crucial steps when doing a comprehensive e-commerce SEO audit for your online shop.
eCommerce SEO Audit in 5 Steps Here’s How To Do It Right in 2024

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Step 1: Setting Goals and KPIs of the Audit

With thousands of product pages and technical SEO issues to optimize, there are just so many moving parts in an e-commerce website.

Plot specific goals or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) on your eCommerce SEO audit checklist to make life easier for you and your audit team. Here are the most common KPIs that eCommerce SEO audits should assess:

  • Website speed and mobile-friendliness
  • Local SEO visibility
  • Click-through rate (CTR) and bounce rate
  • Backlink quality and referring domains
  • Conversion and cart abandonment rate
  • Title tags and canonical tags

Of course, these are just some of the KPIs for e-commerce sites. The key here is to look at the current goals of your business and then align them to the KPIs you can readily measure and evaluate.

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Step 2: Keyword Research and Initial Analysis

You’re positioning your eCommerce site on the right path when you reach the right audience and target the right keywords.

Identify relevant keywords for your products

Uncover new avenues for conversion when you do thorough keyword research for your eCommerce website. Discovering the right target keywords and niche audience boosts your chances of ranking on the first search engine results page (SERP).

Keyword usage is crucial in search engine algorithms, so you must be deliberate but patient with the process. Take note of these helpful tips to get started:

  • Think like your customers when brainstorming seed and long-tail keywords
  • Leverage free keyword tools like Google Search Console and Google Trends
  • Optimize titles, meta descriptions, and image alt tags

Continuously monitor the performance of your keywords and readily adapt to the trends to ensure you’re not missing out on potential leads and conversions.

Analyze competitor strategies to understand market trends

Your competitors, whether they’re doing well or not, could guide what you should do (or not do).

This is particularly true when doing keyword research, as you can monitor the keywords your competitors rank for. Here are several tips that you should follow closely:

  • Identify your direct and indirect competitors
  • Use keyword analysis tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, or SpyFu to discover competitor keywords
  • Take note of how competitors are optimizing on-page elements, content length, and format
  • Identify the keywords that your competitors are not using

You shouldn’t do keyword targeting on your own. If your competitors’ keyword strategy is effective in the current state of the market, then there’s no shame in getting valuable ideas from it.

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Step 3: Check On-page SEO Elements

Your eCommerce website will stand out when you do an on-page SEO audit, especially on all your relevant pages.

Title tags and meta descriptions

Enhancing title tags and meta descriptions may be a basic component of an eCommerce SEO audit, but that doesn’t take away its significance.

Your meta titles and descriptions describe your page content to search engines. When search engine bots crawl your website, they use your meta tags as a guideline to include your content in search results.

For your reference, here are the most important tips when optimizing your meta tags:

  • Conduct an SEO audit to identify issues in your titles and descriptions
  • Stay within the standard character length of 60 characters for titles and 160 characters for descriptions
  • Make sure that keywords are included, but don’t overdo it
  • Use strong Call-to-Actions (CTAs)

URLs and their structure

Don’t you want all your web pages properly crawled and indexed?

Optimizing your URLs is another crucial component of an on-page SEO audit, as it helps you avoid broken links and duplicate content issues. When conducting an audit of your eCommerce site, prioritize these URL-related tasks:

  • Check for missing or duplicate URLs
  • Shorten very long URLs
  • Maintain a consistent URL structure
  • Use canonical tags to pinpoint the main pages

Here’s another recommendation: tools that prioritize URL monitoring can also be used. SEO tools like Screaming Frog, Semrush, and Ahrefs can help you optimize your URLs.

Check header tags (H1, H2, H3) and content hierarchy

Keyword relevance, crawlability, and readability — your content headings greatly contribute to these three eCommerce site characteristics.

Header tags make your content structure flow smoothly, especially if you have many subsections within product pages or category pages. Here are some useful tips for optimizing header tags on eCommerce websites:

  • Focus on guiding users through the information they need
  • Maintain a consistent and logical content hierarchy
  • Make sure that your H1 tag reflects the gist of your content
  • Include relevant keywords but prioritize uniqueness in your headers

Like other aspects of an on-page audit, you can also use tools to monitor your header tags. Screaming Frog, Google Search Console, and Moz Pro offer optimization solutions for content hierarchy.

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Check image optimization

Image and multimedia optimization is often overlooked in maintaining a sound website, but it has a huge impact on search engines.

First, multimedia elements are heavy content that could slow down page speed. However, most eCommerce sites make use of images on their product pages.

So, here’s a quick guide to make sure that images are not leading to slow-loading pages:

  • Compress images using tools such as TinyPNG and ShortPixel
  • Submit an image sitemap to search engine crawlers
  • Use the right format (JPEG, PNG, or WebP) for your images

Furthermore, you can also insert keywords to your multimedia elements through descriptive filenames, alt text, and captions.

Structured data

A large percentage of SERPs have featured snippets today, which means that structured data is a must-have for eCommerce sites.

Google implemented rich snippets into search results to give users more information right from the get-go. These snippets come in structured data displayed in search results, including product ratings, prices, images, and availability.

An eCommerce SEO audit will help optimize your structured data, making sure that you have accurate information on these elements:

  • Product name
  • Description
  • Image
  • Brand
  • Category
  • Price
  • Sale prices
  • Customer ratings and reviews

You can use schema markup generator tools like Schema App, Merkle Schema App, and Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper to boost your chances of displaying rich snippets on search engines.

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Step 4: Audit the Quality of Your Content

Engage users and drive more sales when you regularly audit the content quality of your eCommerce site.

Evaluate content relevance and quality

Content marketing is projected to reach $107 billion by 2026, which says all you need to know about how valuable content is today.

For eCommerce sites, content is more than just product descriptions and images. You can also dive into helpful content like blog posts, buying guides, tutorials, and comparison charts.

To ensure the relevance of your content, there are certain steps you could follow, including the ones below:

  • Understand your niche audience and identify their pain points
  • Conduct a keyword analysis around search intent and market trends
  • Align content ideas with business goals and products

Your SEO strategy should also include leveraging content marketing tools Clearscope, Yoast, Semrush, and even Google Analytics.

Look for duplicate content issues

Duplicate content presents all sorts of search engine rankings issues. It would eat up your crawl budget, dilute your rankings, and reduce organic search traffic.

Why waste sales opportunities when you can fix this through an eCommerce SEO audit? While you can manually review obvious cases of duplicate content, you’ll save a lot of time through automation tools like the ones below:

  • SEO crawlers like Screaming Frog, Semrush Site Audit, and Ahrefs Site Audit
  • Dedicated checkers like Copyscape and Siteliner

Moreover, you can also use 301 redirects, canonical tags, and unique content planning to avoid any issues with the same content.

Identify content gaps

About search engine optimization for e-commerce sites, content gap refers to missing product information, lack of FAQs, and untargeted keywords for helpful content.

Common causes of content gaps are technical SEO issues, weak content strategy, and incorrect keyword usage. To address these content issues you might have on search engines, try following these steps:

  • Analyze content feedback through customer reviews, surveys, and polls
  • Use keyword tools and analytics software to identify missing keywords
  • Develop a content strategy that optimizes new and existing content

Regular SEO audits could pinpoint more content gaps, potentially boosting your ranking on Google and other search engines.

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Step 5: Dive Deeper with Technical SEO Audit

Is your eCommerce site technically sound for search engines? Conducting a technical SEO audit will help bring in more organic traffic to your online store.

Check core web vital on Google Search Console

Even if you think you’ve carried out the perfect plan for your website, you might be surprised that you’re still underperforming on search engines.

This is where your Core Web Vitals (CWV) data becomes even more important. CWV refers to the three sets of metrics that evaluate your site’s loading speed and User Experience (UX). You can see these metrics below:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): Measures how fast your content appears on the screen
  • First Input Delay (FID): Measures how fast your website responds to an interaction from a user
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Measures the number of layout shifts while your page is loading

Your CWV is easily accessible through Google Search Console, giving you ample opportunity to monitor the health of your eCommerce site.

XML Sitemap

You can increase your visibility when search engine bots find it easy to crawl your website. The idea is very simple: make the work easier for search engine crawlers, and you’ll find yourself in the good graces of these search engines.

To do this, you need an XML sitemap. This sitemap serves as a roadmap for search engines to understand your site structure, discovering every important element of your website.

When generating a sitemap, always include these crucial components:

  • URLs
  • Last modified date
  • Change frequency
  • Higher values for more important category pages

You can manually generate an XML sitemap through a text editor. Still, online tools like Screaming Frog, SEO Site Checkup, and XML Sitemaps automatically generate this for you.


If you’re tired of dealing with duplicate content occasionally, there is quite an easy solution for your troubles. That is the use of canonicals or canonical tags.

Essentially, canonicals are embedded pieces of code that pinpoint search engines to the “master copy” of a page. Doing this will help you counter different URLs pointing to the same or very similar content.

If you want to do it manually, here are the steps that you need to follow:

  • Identify URLs pointing to the same product pages, category pages, and paginated content
  • Choose a short, user-friendly URL for your canonical tag
  • Place the canonical tag within the <head> section of your website’s HTML

Your canonical tag should look like this: <link rel=”canonical” href=”” />

Moreover, most CMS platforms have built-in features where you can easily set your canonicals. Tools like Screaming Frog and DeepCrawl can also identify pages where you should implement a canonical tag.

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Mobile Optimization

Mobile devices have taken over most online activities, including digital marketing. That’s not just on social media; mobile share accounts for 63% of organic search engine visits.

Just put yourself in your customers’ shoes — it’s more convenient to use your phone for shopping since you can bring it with you any time. This is why your website structure is optimized for mobile use.

When enhancing the mobile structure of your eCommerce website, here are the essential elements that you need to optimize:

  • Responsiveness and page speed
  • Structured data for rich snippets
  • UX components (navigation, readability, checkout process)

The key here is to constantly test every web page to guarantee the mobile-friendliness of your site.

Other crawl errors and broken links

Your website might encounter different types of crawl errors and broken links, so you must know these specific errors.

For instance, here are the various crawl errors that you might face, along with their corresponding error number:

  • Internal Server Error (500)
  • Service Unavailable (503)
  • Content Deleted (410)
  • Not Found (404)
  • Forbidden (403)

Other issues that could arise include broken internal and external links, schema markup errors, and problems with your robots.txt. A thorough technical SEO audit, particularly when done regularly, will help you manage and avoid these errors.

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Why Conduct an eCommerce SEO Audit?

Investing in an eCommerce SEO audit comes with benefits that will bring more organic traffic to your online store.

Improved rankings on search engines

A comprehensive SEO audit only has one ultimate goal: improving rankings in site search results and driving more traffic.

For eCommerce sites, you want to maximize the performance of your product and main category pages. Google loves technically sound websites that focus on user search intent, two characteristics that an eCommerce search engine optimization can give you.

Focus on providing a smooth shopping experience to your niche audience, and you’ll rake in more organic traffic.

Enhanced user experience

Making your website customer-centric is more than just doing in-depth keyword research.

You’re addressing issues that may hinder users from a smooth shopping experience through an eCommerce website audit. An eCommerce SEO audit can streamline everything, from website navigation and content quality to faster loading times and a hassle-free checkout process.

Every user who had a great time browsing your site (even if they didn’t buy anything) is an avenue for word-of-mouth marketing, which is always a timeless benefit in this industry.

Identification of technical issues

When you overlook a simple issue like broken internal links, it could cause a ripple effect that might affect multiple aspects of your website.

Along with improving the quality of your content, eCommerce SEO audits also evaluate just how healthy your website structure is. Are your internal linking strategies leading to correct product pages? Is your content showing properly on mobile devices?

Address technical issues in your site to guarantee smooth sailing for search engines and users.

Competitor analysis

Competitor analysis should be a huge part of your SEO campaign, as you can identify the strengths and weaknesses of your rival websites.

How are your competitors structuring their rich snippets? What are the external sites linking to them? Are they present in the local SEO scene?

It’s great to have your goals as your guide for moving forward. But to be the best eCommerce page on-site search results, you need to compare your work with your competitors.

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Tools for Conducting an eCommerce SEO Audit

Do you want to do an off-page SEO audit or monitor if you have missing internal links? There are tools that you can use, and these could cover every element of your eCommerce site.

The excellent part of this is there are free tools and paid ones with free limited versions. For your reference, we listed each tool below:

Free tools:

  • Google Search Console
  • Google Analytics
  • Bing Webmaster Tools

Paid tools with free limited versions or demos:

  • Semrush
  • Ahrefs
  • SE Ranking
  • Screaming Frog SEO Spider

Website speed testing tools:

  • Google PageSpeed Insights
  • GTmetrix

Keyword research tools:

  • Google Keyword Planner
  • Ahrefs Keyword Tool
  • Semrush Keyword Magic Tool

You’ll still go through a learning curve when using these SEO audit tools, but your investment effort is undoubtedly worth it.

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Common Challenges in eCommerce SEO Audits – and How to Avoid Them

Conducting eCommerce SEO audits is not without hiccups — you might encounter challenges that could delay your progress. To help you avoid such situations, have a look at these potential audit issues:

  • Data Overload: There are thousands of pages in eCommerce sites, which could be too large of an area for tools to analyze. The solution is to focus on the more important categories and product pages to maximize the potential of your website right away.
  • Compliance with Regulations: When doing a local SEO audit, you might encounter business licensing and regulations issues. Make sure that you review these regulations so you do not incur penalties.
  • Market Trends: Keyword tools can’t predict what will happen in the future, especially if you consider the ever-changing nature of the eCommerce industry. Don’t rely on tools alone; get in touch with your audience by observing their interests on social media, forums, and other community platforms.

Despite the automation these SEO audit tools can give you, there’s still a lot of work left to do. This is why many eCommerce businesses rely on digital marketing experts. For instance, an all-in-one SEO agency like Fortis Media can provide you with a full suite of services to boost the site search rank of your online shop.

Ready to Boost Your Website’s Performance?

Request a free SEO audit today and let's dive drive more converting traffic to your site.
Book a demo

eCommerce SEO Audit: Key Takeaways

Whether you need to do an on-page SEO optimization or address issues on the technical end of your site, an eCommerce SEO audit can cover all bases for you.

Conducting these audits takes work, though. Larger eCommerce sites might have plenty of issues to fix, so it’s recommended that you get as much help as you can. To operate more efficiently and save on resources, you could link with trusted marketing experts like us, Fortis Media, and many others.

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