eCommerce SEO Checklist: 31 Steps for More Organic Traffic

eCommerce SEO Checklist_ 31 Steps for More Organic Traffic _ MediaOne

You’ve just launched your eCommerce website and are ready to take on the world.

Now what?

You can’t just sit back and expect customers to come flooding in. Unless you do something to draw them in, it won’t happen. 

And just so you know, SEO is your best bet.

According to SEMrush’s report, 37% of the traffic e-commerce sites get comes from organic search. And that’s why getting your SEO right is key.

But don’t worry. It’s not rocket science.

Our checklist covers everything to be done, from optimizing your website’s pages and product descriptions to building quality backlinks. 

And guess what? You don’t even have to spend all day at it. Simply follow the 48 steps outlined in this e-commerce SEO checklist, and everything should fall into place. 

Ready to take your SEO skills up a notch? Let’s get started:

User Experience

User experience is everything when it comes to SEO. If your visitors don’t find what they’re looking for, don’t expect them to stick around.

Great UX improves the likelihood that the searcher will accomplish the task that brought them to your website.

For an e-commerce store, users should be able to easily browse products, view detailed product descriptions, sort and filter options, add items to their cart, and, most importantly, quickly and securely check out.

That said, here’s what you should do to ensure a great user experience: 

1. Make Sure Your E-commerce Store is Mobile-friendly

It’s simple: present your users with a mobile-friendly website or lose a sale.

Mobilegeddon happened in 2015, and Google has since tightened its stance on mobile-friendliness. 

You can check your mobile-friendly credentials with Google’s “mobile-friendly” test. You don’t have to test every page, but your website’s templates and some of the most important pages like the homepage, about us, contact page, product page, checkout page, etc.

2. Have HTTPS and Other Security Seals Installed

Your users must feel secure when browsing and buying products on your website. You can ensure that by installing HTTPS and other security seals like SSL, McAfee Secure, etc.

Security seals build trust and ensure your customer’s personal information and interaction with your e-commerce store remain secure.

HTTPs is a confirmed ranking factor. In other words, installing an SSL certificate will help your website rank better in search engine results. 

You also want to display these security seals on your website prominently.

3. Show Off Your Reviews and Ratings

Positive reviews and ratings can do wonders for your e-commerce store. People like to see that you have a good reputation and are reliable before they make a purchase.

You can display reviews and ratings on your website or even link to external review sites like Trustpilot and Yelp.

Google has been busy releasing product review updates, meaning reviews and ratings are becoming a major ranking factor. The first one was released in April 2021, with the second one following a year later, in March 2022.

Essentially, Google gives more weight to insightful reviews. In e-commerce, the idea is to get experts to provide expert opinions of your products or services or encourage your customers to leave reviews that give an in-depth look at your offerings. 

4. Include a Site Search Functionality

Allow users to search your site for products or content. That will make it easier for them to find what they are looking for without navigating the whole site and getting lost in the process.

Site search is not only good for UX but also for SEO. You can analyze and use their search terms to improve your keyword strategy. You can also create “search-friendly” URLs that include the search terms, which Google can crawl and index.

For instance, if users search for a product category you’re missing on your site, it might be a good idea to consider including it.

5. Have Information Pages for Products

Some of your customers will want to seek more information that’s not directly related to your product.

For example, they may want to know how you handle your shipping times, return policy, or payment methods. Or it could be general information about your business, like its history and mission. 

If you don’t satisfy their curiosity, they may go elsewhere. 

Creating informational pages for products is an excellent way to provide customers with the information they’re looking for. 

Beyond the shipping and return policy, you want to include FAQ pages, about us pages, and other pages that will provide helpful information to your customers. Additionally, these pages can help boost your SEO because they are keyword-rich and offer more content for Google to index.

6. Communicate Your Payment Options Early

You don’t want to wait until your customers are further down the funnel before you tell them about your payment options. 

If they find out that their preferred payment method isn’t supported, it can be a huge deal-breaker for them and might lead to a higher bounce rate. 

So, be sure to communicate your payment options from the get-go. That will help your customers make a more informed decision early on and reduce the chances of cart abandonment. 

7. Have an HTML Sitemap

An HTML sitemap is a great way to help customers and search engines understand your website’s overall structure.

It’s essentially a map of all the pages on your website, making it easier for visitors to find what they’re looking for and for search engines to crawl your content. 

A good HTML sitemap should be user-friendly and include all the necessary information, such as categories, titles, and links.

Also, it’s worth noting that your HTML sitemap should be linked from the footer on all of your website pages.

#8. Your Pages Shouldn’t Exceed Three Navigational Clicks

None of your pages should be more than three clicks away from the homepage or any other page. 

In other words, you don’t want your users to click more than three times to get from one page to another, regardless of where they are on the website.

That’s not only good for your customers but for SEO as well.

If search engine crawlers can’t find a page quickly, they may not bother crawling it.

#9. Have Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs are a great way to help visitors navigate your website. 

It’s a trail of links showing the path from the homepage to a particular page. 

For example, if you’re on a product page, the breadcrumb trail will show Home > Category > Product.

That should make it easier for visitors to find the page they’re looking for and can also help search engine crawlers understand your website’s structure better.


Plus, breadcrumbs look great on your website and add a touch of professionalism. 


Speed might fit into the category of UX, but it’s important enough to have its own section. 

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The faster your website is, the better it will be for both visitors and search engine crawlers. 

When visitors don’t have to wait for a page to load, they are more likely to stay longer, browse more, and come back in the future. 

Plus, search engines give preference to websites that load faster since they want to provide users with the best online experience possible.

So, you want to make sure your website is fast and optimized for speed. 

You can test your website’s speed using Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool and then take the necessary steps to improve it. 

You also want to use their Mobile Speed Test Tool to get a broader picture of your website’s speed on mobile and how it compares to other shopping websites. 

Making sure your website loads quickly is one of the most important things you can do for SEO and UX, so don’t overlook it.

#10. Enable GZip Compression

Enable GZip Compression

Compressing webpages can make them load faster, and GZip is the most popular compression method. 

Enabling GZip compression makes it easier for browsers to download and render pages, improving your website’s speed. 

You can use a tool like GIDNetwork’s GZip Compression Test to see if your website already uses GZip compression and to check its performance. 

If you’re not using GZip compression, you’ll need to speak with your web developer or hosting provider to enable it. 

It might sound technical, but it’s a relatively easy task that can significantly impact your site’s performance.

It’s even easier for WordPress websites, as there are plenty of plugins out there to help you enable GZip compressions, like WP Rocket and Autoptimize. 

11. Use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript Minification

Another way to improve your website’s speed is to minify HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files. 

Minifying means removing the source code’s whitespaces, line breaks, and comments to reduce file size. 

It reduces page load times, in addition to helping your server respond faster. 

You can use a free minification tool, like CSS Minifier or JavaScript-Minifier, to optimize your website’s code.  

For WordPress websites, plenty of plugins can help with minifying HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files. 

Two popular ones are Autoptimize and WP Super Minify.

12. Keep Third-party Resources to a Minimum

Third-party resources like external scripts, fonts, and libraries can slow down your website’s loading time. 

So, it’s important to keep them to a minimum. 

You also want to ensure you only use trusted third-party resources that will not harm your website’s security.


You should optimize your images to prevent your site from lagging. But while at it, it’s also important to remember that overdoing it may lower your image quality, making your website look unprofessional. So, learn to find the right balance between image quality and file size.

Here’s how you optimize your website’s images:

13. Resize Your Images

Too often, the images you save or download online are too large for the web. 

The image files don’t need to exceed 1MB or 2,000px to display nicely on your site.

You also don’t want to force the user’s browser to resize them when loading, as this will significantly slow down the page. 

So, make sure to resize your images before you upload them to your website. 

You can use a free online tool, like Photoshop Express or IrfanView, to resize and compress your images. 

For WordPress websites, there are plenty of plugins, such as Smush, to help you with image optimization. 

Smush automatically compresses all your images when you upload them to your website, so you have one less thing to worry about.

14. Lazy Load Your Images

Lazy loading is a great way to optimize your website for SEO. It allows you to show images only when needed, meaning the user won’t have to wait for all the images on a page to load.

In other words, the content above the fold will load first, while the images below will load as the user scrolls down. That way, the page won’t take forever to load.

The good news is that a plugin like A3 Lazy Load can do this for you automatically. 

Simply install the plugin, activate it, and you’re good to go. 

15. Delete the Images You No Longer Need

If your website has been around for a while, you may have some images you no longer use. 

These can be anything from old blog post images to unused stock photos. 

It’s a good idea to delete these files as they can bog down your website and hurt its performance. 

You can use a plugin like the Media Cleaner to help you find and delete these unnecessary files. 

Doing this regularly is a good practice to keep your website running smoothly.

16. Compress Your Images for Faster Load Times

You may not know it, but images contain much meta information (like who took the photo, when it was taken, etc). 

That can add up to a lot of data that takes time to download when someone visits your website. 

You can compress your images to reduce their size without sacrificing quality. 

A plugin like ShortPixel Image Optimizer can help you compress your images easily. 

Just install the plugin, upload your images, and let it do the rest.

You can also use to compress the images before you upload them to your website. 

17. Use ALT Tags to Describe Your Images

ALT tags are small pieces of code that help search engines understand what an image is about. 

They can also provide an accessibility benefit for visually impaired visitors who rely on screen readers to navigate the web. 

Whenever you upload an image, make sure to add ALT tags to describe the content of the image. Just 125 words or so should do the trick. 

Be as descriptive as possible, using relevant keywords to help search engines understand what the image is about.

18. Use File Names That Describe Your Images

Just like ALT tags, file names can help search engines understand what an image is about. 

You want to ensure every image you upload has a descriptive name of around 5 to 6 words. 

For example, if you’re uploading a photo of a pair of sneakers, name it “blue-sneakers-on-white-background.jpg” rather than “IMG_1234.jpg”.

Crawling and Indexing

Now that you’ve optimized your website, it’s time to ensure search engines can access and index your content.

Here are a few steps you can take to make sure your content gets discovered by search engines:

19. Check Google’s Index

Head over to Google and search for “” 

Google will return a list of all the pages indexed on your website. 

If you don’t see any results, then there’s a good chance they’re not indexing your website. 

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In that case, you must submit your site to Google for indexing.

20. Submit Your Sitemap to Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free tool from Google that allows you to submit a sitemap of your website. 

A sitemap is an XML file containing all your website’s URLs. 

Submitting your sitemap to Google Search Console will help ensure all your pages are indexed.

Plus, it can provide you with helpful insights into how search engines are crawling and indexing your site. 

21. Be Careful with Product Variations

If you’re running an eCommerce store, be careful with how you create product variations.

For example, if you have a product in different colours or sizes, how do you list these variations on your website? 

Many people make the mistake of creating separate pages for each product variation. 

But this can lead to duplicate content issues and make it harder for search engines to determine which page to rank for a given query. 

Instead, it’s best practice to list all product variations on the same page and use descriptive URLs (e.g., to help differentiate between variations.

22. Use Canonical URLs

Using the example above, if you have multiple pages for each product variation, then it’s important to use canonical URLs.

If you have multiple colour variations of a product, you’ll have multiple URLs for each colour. 

For example, here are four different URLs for a product in four different colours: 


The variations generate about 20 different URLs for one product. 

To avoid duplicate content issues, you can use a canonical tag in the head section of each page to specify the preferred URL for that product.

In the case above, that would be

That indicates to search engines that the other variations are just minor variations of this preferred URL and, thus, should not be treated as separate pages.

23. Use Robots.txt File 

Using the robots.txt file is another way of telling search engines which pages on your website to crawl and index.

You can use it to block problematic pages, i.e., pages containing duplicate content or thin content, from being indexed in search engine results. 

You can also use it to instruct search engines not to crawl certain pages, such as product pages, that may have limited value for searchers, and therefore, you don’t want them cluttering up the search results. 

It’s a simple file to create and can be found in the root directory of your website.

First, you want to make sure there’s nothing like this:


That means all search engine bots are blocked from crawling your website. 

In e-commerce, you traditionally want to disallow search engines from crawling pages like:

  • my-account
  • checkout
  • cart
  • order-confirmation
  • Thank you for your order

You can also look at the robots.txt file of some e-commerce websites like Amazon or eBay to understand what to include in yours.

Category Pages

Category pages are one of your most powerful assets from an SEO perspective. 

They’re evergreen and consistent with the overall structure of your website and are more likely to rank than individual product pages. 

They’ll continue to build your website’s authority, acquiring backlinks and organic traffic over time. 

Here are a few tips on how to optimize them for SEO:

24. Use High-priority Keywords

You can begin by doing thorough keyword research with the help of tools like Ahrefs Keywords Explorer to identify keywords with high search volume and low competition. 

Once you have a list of keywords, try incorporating them into each category page’s body copy, meta descriptions, titles, and URLs.

25. Have Introductory Content

Don’t create a product inventory page with no supporting content. 

Instead, use your category page to introduce the products under that category and any related topics and even provide guidelines on selecting the best items. 

The idea is to use the category pages as landing pages for people looking for information about particular products.

Don’t go overboard—just a few lines of text to provide context and draw attention. 

26. Add Pagination if Necessary

If a category has more than 20 products, then you have a few things to decide on:

  1. i) Whether to serve them all: This is a bad idea because it can overwhelm visitors and even slow down your website.
  2. ii) Implement an Infinite Scroll: Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites use this technique. It is great for UX but not so much for SEO because Google can’t crawl beyond the first page.

iii) Pagination: This is the traditional way of serving multiple pages, and it’s great for SEO because you can create unique URLs for each page and optimize them separately.

27. Use Filters

Filters are great for helping visitors narrow down the exact products they need quickly. 

For example, a filter like ‘Colour’ can help visitors quickly find all blue items in a particular category. 

Filter products by size, colour, price, etc., and use descriptive titles to make it easier for customers to find what they need. 

The problem is that if you’re not careful, you can end up with thousands of URLs that search engines find confusing. 

You don’t want to create separate URLs for each filter combination, so be sure to use the correct robots.txt rules and rel= “canonical” tags to control which pages get indexed.

28. Promote Related Products

Add products related to the one you are showcasing and add a “Customers Also Bought” section. 

That will encourage visitors to explore your catalogue and may even trigger more sales.

29. Optimize Product Descriptions

Make sure your product descriptions are descriptive, detailed, and keyword-rich. 

That way, search engines can tell what your product is about and match it to relevant searches. 

It’s also important to ensure the descriptions are easy to read and understand. 

Don’t copy-paste the information you find on the manufacturer’s page or website. Not only is it uninspiring, but it’s also likely that most of your competitors are doing the same. 

Write unique content that helps customers make an informed decision about what they’re buying.

30. Use Videos If Possible

Videos are an effective way to engage customers and provide more information about a product.

They also keep users on your page longer, which can help boost rankings. 

So take advantage of this SEO opportunity and include videos whenever possible.

And don’t forget to include a transcript or closed captioning for added SEO value. 

31. Have High-quality Product Images

Have High-quality Product Images

Product images are important for eCommerce websites since they let customers virtually “see” the product. 

Make sure the pictures you include are high-quality and accurately showcase the product. 

You can also add zoom features or include multiple angles of the item to give customers a better idea of what they’re buying.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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