While most e-commerce marketing strategies focus on social media, content, and paid advertising, there’s a powerful, often overlooked weapon you can have in your arsenal: technical SEO.
Broadly speaking, search engine optimization (SEO) is an aspect of online marketing that every marketer has an eye on. However, technical SEO goes a level deeper, beyond keywords and backlinks, delving into the technical infrastructure of your website. It’s not just about making your site’s content search engine-friendly; it’s about optimizing it at its very core for peak performance and maximum visibility.
By ensuring your website is technically sound, you can not only boost its visibility on search engines like Google but also enhance the user experience (UX), which is crucial for retaining and converting visitors into customers. You could thus say that technical SEO lays the foundation for your site’s sustainable organic growth — enabling you to find opportunities to optimize your site’s speed, architecture, crawlability, indexation, security, mobile-friendliness, and content for optimal UX.
In this article, we’ll explore how mastering technical SEO, using the right toolkit, can level up your e-commerce website’s online visibility and drive tangible business growth.
Challenges in Digital Marketing Addressed by Technical SEO
As your e-commerce website grows in size and complexity, it becomes increasingly challenging to manage all of its content and product pages in terms of their load speed, relevance, originality, interlinking, indexation, and various other factors. In turn, this makes it increasingly difficult to achieve and sustain high search engine rankings and optimal user experience, ultimately hurting your conversions and revenue.
Put simply, technical issues like slow page load times, poor mobile responsiveness, and broken links negatively impact your rankings and, by extension, your visibility to potential customers.
This is where technical SEO becomes pivotal. Having a technically sound website ensures a smooth, enjoyable experience for your visitors. This not only helps in attracting and retaining visitors to your site but also in improving conversion rates. Without a solid technical SEO foundation, you risk creating a maze of a website that’s slow and hard for search engines to index effectively.
So, don’t think of technical SEO as a mere backend concern; it’s a front-line player in ensuring your digital marketing strategies (including traffic garnered from social media and paid ads) yield the best possible returns.
Understanding and Leveraging Crawl Budgets for Business Advantage
One of the first and foremost aspects of technical SEO that often goes unnoticed is making the most of your crawl budget. Wait, what does “crawl budget” mean for your business?
Simply put, a crawl budget is the number of pages on your website that search engines crawl and index within a certain timeframe. With more and more pages, it’s easy to have your crawl budget squandered on outdated content, such as orphan and zombie pages, that no longer need to be crawled or indexed.
Thus, as a large e-commerce site, ensuring that the most important pages (such as product pages) are crawled and indexed becomes crucial for driving relevant traffic (and thus revenue) from search engines. Leveraging your crawl budget means more than just getting the right pages indexed; it’s about strategically ensuring that your most valuable content is also prioritized by Googlebot (i.e. Google’s crawler). After all, your best content has a substantial impact on your online visibility and, consequently, your bottom line.
Comprehensive technical SEO tools like JetOctopus come into play here, offering deep insights into how search engines interact with your site. JetOctopus’ SEO crawler lets you identify and resolve issues that waste crawl budget, helping ensure that Googlebot spends its time on your most impactful pages.
By effectively managing your crawl budget using JetOctopus, you can ensure that your key product pages and content are consistently visible to your target audience, giving you an edge over your rivals and facilitating sales growth.
Optimizing Site Structure: Improving User Experience and Conversion Rates
Walk into a typical department store and you’ll find products are meticulously organized, with clear signage directing customers to different sections. This intuitive layout not only makes it easier to find what you’re looking for but also encourages exploration and discovery of new products.
Similarly, the structure of your e-commerce website plays a crucial role in both user experience and SEO. A well-planned internal linking structure guides visitors through your digital ‘aisles’, enhancing their browsing experience, leading them effortlessly from one product to another, and ultimately steering them towards making a purchase. It also makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index relevant pages for ranking.
Technical SEO tools like JetOctopus let you easily analyze your site’s internal linking structure and identify areas for improvement. It lets you keep up with internally linked products that frequently go in and out of stock or are seasonal. It helps optimize your navigation elements — from breadcrumbs and pagination to internal links and calls-to-action buttons in blog posts — so you can guide visitors and crawlers smoothly from one page to another, improving UX and SEO. This optimization not only helps in keeping potential customers engaged but also boosts the likelihood of conversions.
In essence, just like a well-arranged retail store fosters longer visits and more purchases, an intuitive e-commerce site structure can significantly boost visitor engagement, satisfaction, and sales.
Beyond the Basics: Comprehensive Insights with Advanced Tools
Monitoring various technical SEO metrics, such as Google’s Core Web Vitals and page speed, is crucial to ensure a healthy site. The problem is that this requires you to keep an eye on multiple different tools.
Advanced tools like JetOctopus fill this gap. Unlike other SEO crawlers, JetOctopus’ features are not limited to being just a SaaS crawler and log analyzer. It’s a complete content and SEO audit toolkit that lets you dive deeper into every aspect of your site’s SEO health and ensure each technical metric aligns with your goals.
This depth of analysis and granularity allows for better tactical decision-making. With easy-to-digest data visualization charts that combine data from other tools like Google Search Console and Google Analytics, you can quickly gain insights into what’s working well and identify common SEO issues that need to be addressed as a priority.
Furthermore, the Dynamics feature lets you monitor changes in impressions, clicks, click-through rates, active pages, and rankings over time. This helps in identifying URLs that have either improved or declined, along with the reasons behind these changes, so you can apply corrective measures or replicate successful strategies to other pages. JetOctopus eliminates the need for Excel, offering user-friendly, pre-set, clickable charts that speed up your analysis in pinpointing both the winning and losing elements in your SEO strategy.
Aligning SEO Goals Across Teams with Technical Tools
Last but not least, effective SEO requires the alignment of multiple teams, from development to marketing. But it’s not an uncommon instance when, say, the dev or design team makes changes to the backend or frontend code without informing the marketing team.
By the time the SEO team detects it, it’s too late — the updates have affected the rankings of those pages and the ones linked to them, which has led to lost traffic that you now need to regain.
So, how do you avoid such situations and find out about such changes before Google does in order to fix issues before they become an SEO problem?
A great way is to set up real-time alerts on JetOctopus. The Alerts feature lets you:
- Know exactly when an SEO issue has occurred.
- Compile frequently occurring issues.
- Implement a cross-functional strategy to keep everyone on the same page.
In essence, Alerts enable you to stay on top of any changes that can impact your rankings and ensure SEO safety such that you can fix any errors before Googlebot makes note of them. You can have them delivered via email, SMS, or messenger.
Another useful feature that allows you to run small SEO experiments on your website before applying them throughout your website is JetOctopus’ segmentation tool. It simplifies the analysis of extensive website content by breaking it down into smaller, logical segments.
With the segmentation tool, you can quickly identify SEO issues and formulate action plans to fix them. It allows experimenting with various complex segments, combining different data sets (such as from GSC, Ahrefs, etc.), and crawl data in a single selection to help you analyze and enhance organic performance and conversions. This reduces manual labor and minimizes errors common in e-commerce SEO management while enabling you to monitor the success of SEO experiments across multiple teams.
Technical SEO is a Strategic Business Decision
Investing in technical SEO is more than a technical decision; it’s a strategic move that directly supports business growth. By optimizing your e-commerce website’s technical foundations, you are priming your business for a stronger online presence, making your brand more visible and accessible to potential customers. Better rankings and user experience translate to more organic visitors who engage with your content, ultimately, increasing revenue.
Thus, making technical SEO a priority means taking a proactive step toward ensuring the long-term success and scalability of your digital marketing strategy.