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E-Commerce website SEO Checklist: Is your dropshipping store perfectly optimized?

November 21, 2020
ecommerce seo check list

If you want thousands of people to find your dropshipping store and place their orders, you need to make it easy for search engines to find this site and show it to Internet users looking for something similar.

The higher the rankings of your web store, the sooner users will see your store on the search engine results page, and who, in fact, would click on the seventh or ninth page of Google while searching for something (just a student writing a thesis, perhaps, but that’s a completely different story).

So, as a dropshipping store owner, you have a very clear goal: to achieve the best possible result for your store’s main keyword. Let’s see if you’ve already taken all the necessary steps: our e-commerce SEO checklist will help you with this.

E-Commerce SEO Checklist: Are my keywords defined?

Keywords are the foundation and most crucial part of your search engine optimization strategy.

If your keywords are chosen correctly, you will have no problem attracting the desired audience to your store. It means that understanding your main and related keywords is the first step to optimizing your store for search engines.

#1. I know what my target keyword is

The target keyword is the absolutely primary keyword that will be used on each page of your store in its original or modified form. You will most likely transform it further and add 2 or 3 more words to it: this way, the target keyword will be part of all the longer supporting keywords that are normally used for category pages and product pages.

To identify your target keyword, imagine that you need to explain your store’s product in 3-4 words: it will be a starting point for you.

For example, let’s say you are a fan of outer space and you decide to build your dropshipping store with items from this specific niche.

To begin with, let’s try the following keyword: space themed room decoration. To find out if this is a good option, we will use the Google keyword planner.

google keyword planner

As you can see in the screenshot above, my account is not active (which means it has no money and cannot yet be used to place paid ads), but it still works and I can see the essential statistics through it. In other words, you can simply register here as an individual and skip all fields that ask you to provide billing/company information. That will be enough to get access to the statistics for your keyword search.

But what do we see? The planner does not show any relevant keywords!

keyword planner search

If you get the same poor result, don’t worry. Take a look at the “Location” and “Language” sections. In my example, the country is Spain and the language is Spanish, but the language of the phrase “space themed room decoration” is English. No wonder the system cannot detect anything suitable.

To get correct results, specify the target country and set the necessary language; it must surely match the language of your keyword.

This time, I tried the United States and the English language: as you can see in the screenshot below, the range of results became much wider immediately.

no relevant keywords

However, the table of results is still not perfect. By default, the system displays keywords by relevance, but it is much more convenient to sort by average monthly searches.

This way, you can easily choose the keywords with the most favorable number of searches: if you want to be successful and competitive, it is better to focus on the keywords with 1K-10K monthly searches.

Let’s choose the keyword “space themed room decoration”: it describes the main idea of the store, and it is easy to transform and complement it with other words, so it will be possible to use it in the whole web store. In addition, it has 100-1K monthly searches, which means that this niche is quite specific, but at the same time, it is not really narrow; this way, you will beat the competition.

It seems that the main target keyword is finally found!

#2. I know what my additional keywords are

One keyword is not enough; you need to have a lot of related phrases because they will be needed to make other modifications in the store:

  • Create a logical website structure
  • Determine and find the niche products that relate to the general idea of the store.
  • Choose suitable names for the categories
  • Write SEO-friendly product names and descriptions

To get enough ideas for additional keywords, don’t hesitate to use the following strategies:

  • Review the ideas suggested by the system

As you’ve noticed, Google’s keyword planner shows you a pretty impressive list of keywords that are somehow related to your initial query, so check the suggestions that have an appropriate number of average monthly searches and choose the ones that might be useful for your store.

If you think you haven’t generated enough additional options, check the SEMRush service: it also displays a variety of keywords related to the initial search query.

additional keywords research

By the way, this amazing service also shows the websites that Internet users see when they search for this exact combination of words.

In other words, you see your main and direct competitors, which undoubtedly gives you the opportunity to investigate them and improve your results. 🙂

  • Think of synonyms and related objects/concepts

If you are considering outer space as the main idea of the store, you can try to experiment with related notions such as a galaxy, universe, moon, planets, Milky Way, etc. Check out different combinations and make sure they are all relevant and competitive; this is how you will find out if you can really use these new word combinations as your supporting keywords.

  • Use Google’s AutoComplete function

If you can’t come up with a clever idea for a good synonym, try searching for the main word in Google and see what this search engine can offer you. Maybe you’ll find an idea you’ve never considered before.

google suggest keywords

Here’s another thing about these Google suggestions that is absolutely great: if they are automatically displayed, the system already knows that these concepts are related. Therefore, it is likely that Google will scan and rank your website in a more favorable way.

  • Use the Google-related search field

Here’s another way to use Google search to your advantage. At the bottom of the first page of search results, you will usually see something like this:

Google Search Results

It means that people who are looking for ideas for decorating outer space also make these exact search queries, and do so commonly. In other words, Internet users type these word combinations into the Google search bar very often, and that’s exactly what you need! By exploring this section of the page, you will get an idea of the products that are often in demand and the opportunity to narrow your keyword, which obviously makes it more specific and therefore more likely to generate a better conversion.

  • Use AliExpress’ autocomplete feature
    • Most likely you will use AliExpress to find suppliers and identify the best products for your dropshipping store. It is certainly a good idea to check what exactly the vendors are offering on the platform.

      Aliexpress keyword research

      As you can see in the screenshot above, quick research of AliExpress products gives you a variety of ideas not only about existing articles and possible product categories, but also about favorable keywords.

      Well, then, right now you have a main and very important keyword that will appear almost everywhere, and 10-12 supporting keywords that are also related to your business niche. Now it’s time to put them into practice!

      #3. The structure of my store matches my keywords

      You weren’t looking up all these keywords just for fun, were you?

      Now, your task is to create a logically organized web store structure. If the pages are organized intelligently, it’s much easier for search engines to scan the website and give it a higher ranking.

      In general, you need to plan the hierarchy of the pages according to their keywords:

      • The home page is based on the main keyword
      • Each category page contains a related keyword that fits this particular category
      • Each product page uses an even narrower keyword that fits this exact item

      The logic behind this hierarchy is simple: first, your store visitor (or the search engine that analyzes your website) sees a page that is based on the most searched for and most requested combination of words. Then, as your site visitors browse more and more pages, they see subcategories that have much more specific keywords (the ones that are not searched for very often) and finally, they find product pages that usually have the keywords with the least amount of searches.

      E-Commerce SEO Checklist: Is my store convenient for visitors?

      E-Commerce SEO Checklist- Is my store convenient for visitors

      Now, search engines are more or less “happy” with your store, and this fact increases your chances of reaching higher positions in Google. But, besides the machines, there are also real people visiting, browsing and using your store!

      Your next step is to make sure that your store visitors are satisfied with the user experience, and SEO plays a very important role in this.

      #4. It’s easy to navigate my site

      If your store visitor cannot understand which page to view and which button to click, this person will not buy anything; a confusing store structure is one of the most common dropshipping errors. That’s why it’s essential to make sure of the following:

      • The categories are organized and completed in a logical order from general to specific

      As a general rule, you start with a broad category and fill it with narrower subcategories. Ideally, you need to put them in decreasing order: each new subcategory is narrower than its “main” category.

      • The names of the categories and subcategories match the content of these pages.

      For example, it is not a good idea to name your category “Outer Space Bedding” if it contains pillowcases, sheets, blankets, curtains and towels; it is better to write “textiles” instead of “bedding”.

      • All pages are linked to each other whenever possible

      When two pages are linked together, both have the opportunity to slightly improve their ranking. In addition, it allows your store visitor to easily move from one page to another.

      #5. I have improved the speed of the site

      If your store takes, say, 10-15 seconds to load, this is not only really annoying for your website visitor but also bad for the number of orders placed and unfavorable for SEO. The following steps can be taken to improve the situation:

      • Check the current loading speed

      Services such as SEO SiteCheckup allow you to run site load speed tests for free. With their help, you can find out how long an average user has to wait for your website to load completely.

      • Switch to better hosting

      If your web store does not respond as quickly as you would like, start the improvements with the change of hosting. A good hosting solution is powerful enough to process and enable all the operations that take place on your website.

      • Reduce the size of the images

      Consider the following: Does it make any sense to load a 1600×1200 image on your website if you are sure it will display as an 800×600 image?

      If you need large images to show small product details, use them. At the same time, don’t forget to resize the more “basic” images that do not contain very small elements. It may be a good idea to choose a unified image size and stick to it while editing images in the store.

      E-Commerce SEO Checklist: Are my store items SEO-compatible?

      When it comes to optimizing separate pages, there are surely some universal rules for all of them. Whatever page you are improving, you will definitely follow several identical steps:

      • Set the focus keyword
      • Include the keyword in the page’s URL.
      • Make sure the keyword is also mentioned in the page title
      • Write a long meta description (up to 320 characters) containing the same keyword
      • Make sure there is at least one subtitle on the page that uses the same keyword
      • Make sure that only one subtitle on a page is marked as H1 (the most important subtitle type) and also contains the page keyword

      Take a look at the example screenshot below.

      main keyword for SEO

      This is the section you normally see at the bottom of each page in your store when you log in.

      Here, you start to define the focus keyword: write the phrase you have chosen for this page.

      Then, you click on the “Edit snippet” button to change the page URL, title and meta description.

      Make sure that all elements contain the keyword you have set for this page, save your progress and don’t forget to check the “Analysis” section: it gives you tips on ways to further improve the page.

      keyword analysis

      These steps are necessary for each and every page of your website. However, some pages require very special treatment and some additional efforts. Let’s take a look at them!

      #6. I have optimized the home page

      Different SEO gurus have different opinions about home page optimization. Even so, we recommend that you take 2 actions:

      • In your focus keyword for the home page, write the main target keyword AND the name of your brand/store; divide them with a comma
      • When writing copy for this page, make sure it is valuable to your store visitors: explain who you are, what you sell and how your store buyer will benefit from your store.
      • The example of the banner below will give you a general idea.

      #7. I have optimized the category pages

      The category pages are based on more specific keywords, so don’t forget to include them in the text and subtitles of the page.

      Optimized Category Pages

      #8. I have optimized the product pages

      Normally, the product page is the place that most influences purchase decisions.

      In addition, it is also the page with the most specific keywords that probably shows the best conversion rate among all other types of pages.

      Now, by completing this e-commerce SEO checklist, you know how to ensure that your dropshipping store is perfectly optimized to attract tons of shoppers and generate impressive profits. Take the action and benefit from the long-term results!