Deliver a Well-Architected Ecommerce Website with Technical SEO

December 15, 2015

Posted by Carlos Munoa, Principal, Ecommerce Marketing, NetSuite

A successful SEO strategy involves more than keywords and creating content. Technical SEO, everything outside of your content creation, is a vital step in ensuring your ecommerce(opens in new tab) site is found by search engines and customers. Be sure to eliminate the dead ends, the rabbit holes and the unnecessary labyrinths that frustrate or exhaust search engines before they crawl all the content of your ecommerce site that matters to your customers. Consider these important technical SEO tips and tools:

Page Load Times: Half of all searches now come from a mobile device so make fast load times a priority. Analyze your site’s speed and optimize it with CSS sprites, separate CSS and JS files, compressed images and minified code.
Recommended tool: GTMetrix - in new tab)

Mobile Friendliness: Have a mobile version of your site or use responsive design. Google continues to put more emphasis on mobile with the April 2015 Mobilegeddon algorithm update.
Recommended tool: Google Search Console

Sitemaps: Submit simple sitemaps to Google and Bing for your images, videos, feeds and news so search engines can index your entire site and not quit after just a few pages.
Recommend tools: Google Sitemaps, Screaming Frog - in new tab)

Robots.txt: Use your robots.txt file to block Google from crawling certain URLs or folders that provide little value to Google so it can use its limited bandwidth to index content on your site that really matters.
Recommended tool: Google Search Console

Site Structure / Taxonomy: Categorize your content based on similar topics and keep your site structure shallow – three to four clicks at most. The better categorized and shallower your structure the more likely Google will reach all your pages.
Recommended tool: Screaming Frog - in new tab)

Crawl Errors: Google won’t penalize your site for having 404s or 503s but you’ll draw bandwidth away from other important pages. Always try to fix 404s and 500 general errors.
Recommended tool: Google Search Console

Rel Tags: Rel prev and next tags will direct Google to crawl the first of many product pages, but will quit early to save bandwidth. The rel canonical tag identifies duplicate content essential to users but tells Google it does not need indexing.
Recommended tool: Screaming Frog - in new tab)

Href Lang Tags: The href lang identifies similar pages on a site but is used for another geography. This helps Google determine where it should rank the page depending on the specified region.
Recommended tool: Google Search Console

Redirects: Permanent (301) migrations will preserve your SEO value and provide the best user experience if the new page has the same information as the redirected page.
Recommended tools: Http header checkers, Google Search Console, Screaming Frog - in new tab)

Duplicate Content: Whenever possible, remove the duplicate content rather than using the rel canonical tag. Better to address the problem than to use a band aid.
Recommended tool: Google Search Console

Code or Entity Markup: Use so Google tells users in the results page if you’re a local organization and if you have products, videos, events, etc. Use Open Graph markup for Facebook and Twitter Cards for Twitter when someone shares your brand or product to generate a similar user experience.
Recommended tools: Google Search Console (, Facebook Debugger (open graph markup) Twitter Card Checker (Twitter Card)

Want to learn more about SEO best practices? Read the other past articles from our SEO Strategy Series:

NetSuite has packaged the experience gained from tens of thousands of worldwide deployments over two decades into a set of leading practices that pave a clear path to success and are proven to deliver rapid business value. With NetSuite, you go live in a predictable timeframe — smart, stepped implementations begin with sales and span the entire customer lifecycle, so there's continuity from sales to services to support.