There are a lot of tools out there that can help you improve your SEO for an eCommerce store without needing to be an expert or professional. Some WordPress or Shopify themes can also help you with your on-page SEO without you needing to do anything.
The funny thing is that there are some tools that could help that is overlooked. Namely, the Google Search Console, which used to be called Webmaster Tools. It is used to check rankings and get an idea of clicks to impression metrics but is often ignored when it comes to helping you with your SEO.
After all, Google wants to help you have a better website if it is going to help your readers so it makes sense that they would provide resources for free. In this article, I will go over exactly how you can take advantage of this free tool from Google and get your SEO on track.
Add a sitemap
A sitemap is an essential item to have for any website, but it takes on added importance for an eCommerce site. Oddly, it rarely comes up in many experts’ Shopify SEO tips list.
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The sitemap is what allows Google to crawl your site and better understand what it is about. When you have different categories for products, the sitemap will keep it organized for Google to crawl it more effectively.
As pages, posts, and categories get updated then Google will notice the changes right away so the changes get indexed faster.
The better Google is able to understand what your site is about then the better your SEO results will be. Submitting the sitemap to Google isn’t obligatory since it will get indexed even without it. But, for the sake of improving your SEO, it is imperative that you are giving Google a clear roadmap of your site.
Since setting up and submitting a sitemap to the Search Console is so easy and fast there is no reason to ignore it. For instance, here are some problems you may have if you don’t submit one:
- Updates to pages can take a long time to show up. This usually happens to eCommerce sites that have thousands of pages since you have a lot of product pages.
- Product images don’t show up in the search. Images are essential to selling your product and if they need a sitemap to get indexed, they appear in a search.
- New pages and posts take too long to be discovered. Since Google doesn’t really know what your site is about without a sitemap it may not be too quick to crawl it when discovering a keyword that could have been relevant to your site.
Look for underperforming keywords
This is a great opportunity to see how your keywords are actually doing with regard to their ranking. You can see what their position is, how many clicks they get and what the impressions are.
If you have a good buyer intent keyword that should be bringing in lots of traffic yet isn’t, then this will give you some insights.
When you see a keyword that is not moving up in the search results but is getting a lot of impressions, that signals that there is not much motivation for people to click the link for that post or page. It’s up to you to figure out why, but it is most likely a poor title for the post. Start by changing it to use more powerful keywords that will entice people to click.
Check your backlinks
In the Search Console, Google shows you the backlinks they see coming into your site. You’ll see the pages that bring in the most backlinks and what the sites are that are sending them.
This is your chance to double down on the type of content that other sites are happy to backlink to. If you have a lot of informational-type posts like a how-to guide on using your products, then this is an indication that if you continue to produce content like this, you will keep getting backlinks.
Look for new keywords.
There are some keywords that are similar to your target keyword but different enough that you aren’t yet getting any traffic from those searches. You can see some of them when you look through the search queries that have gotten some impressions from your keywords.
If you see a keyword that would be a perfect fit for the topic that you hadn’t thought of then you can add a section to the post with that keyword in the subheading. This will then show up in the search results and should result in more clicks for that query.