Create an ecommerce SEO strategy

1. Make a complete inventory of your website pages with a tool like ScreamingFrog or by checking your sitemap.

Find your sitemap by navigating to Alternatively, you can use the Chrome Scraper plugin to scrape the list of pages and paste them into a spreadsheet.

2. Perform keyword research to identify terms you should rank for and determine keyword difficulty and search volume.

Use Amazon’s search engine to research keywords: Type in the seed keyword on Amazon. The seed keyword is the word that you’re most likely going to rank for. Amazon will display different search suggestions. Take note of these buyer-intent search suggestions and paste them in a separate tab in the spreadsheet. Perform competitor research to get keyword ideas from their websites. In addition to seeing where you stand in rankings for your desired keywords, you’ll also get insights into the audience interests of your competitors and related keywords for which you may want to rank. Find a competitor that ranks better than you on Google by using common search terms for your niche. Scan their category and product pages to get keyword ideas.  Use free keyword research add-ons to scrape the keywords if you can’t extract any manually. Paste these keywords in a third tab.  Use Google Search Console to find keywords your website is found for. In your GSC account, navigate to the Performance tab. Under the main graphic, you’ll see a list of Queries, Pages, Countries, Devices and so on. Click on Queries, increase the number of rows per page to the maximum available, and at the top of the page, click export.  Export the queries as Excel or Google sheets, and import them into your original spreadsheet. To do this, open a new tab in the spreadsheet, click on Import and choose the file, then click on Append to current spreadsheet.  Use a tool like Ahrefs or Google Keyword Planner to find the search volume and CPC. High CPC shows that there’s a high buyer intent, and high search volume indicates that you’re using the correct keywords. In Ahrefs, navigate to Keywords Explorer, paste your keywords, and you’ll get a list of results. In the left sidebar, click on Having same terms, to see the list of queries that match your searched keywords. You’ll get traffic estimates as well as CPC. Though Ahrefs is a valuable tool, it’s recommended in addition to others because it’s not always 100% accurate. Export the list and use vlookup in your spreadsheet to map the traffic potential and CPC to your keywords.

3. Map the keywords to your website pages to determine what the page focus should be and what terms you should optimize the content for.

In your initial spreadsheet, add a new column next to the page URLs for the main keyword, and a column for additional queries to optimize the page for.  From your keyword list, add head keywords with higher traffic potential to the main keyword column, and fill in the additional queries column with keywords with lower traffic but similar search intent.

4. Determine which pages should be part of your website’s main navigation.

Go through your list of pages and add two new columns, Part of Main Navigation and status. In the former column, add a checkbox if the page should be part of the main navigation. In the later column, add the current status, To Add for pages that should be included in navigation, To Remove for pages that should be removed. Assign the remaining pages to the parent categories.  For each parent page, pages in the main navigation, assign pages that should be sub-categories. For example, if a parent page is Laptops, a sub-category could be 15’ laptops. If you have a parent page for women’s shoes, a sub-category could be boots.  Note: A well-structured navigation can help search engines understand which pages are most important and can help shape page authority. Conversely, an incomplete or overly crowded website navigation can make it harder for crawlers to find important pages, or dilute link equity.

5. Redo your website information architecture to reflect the new structure.

Keep the IA simple enough so that users can reach any page in 3-4 clicks.

6. Optimize the titles, meta titles, meta descriptions, and headings of the pages based on the newly mapped keywords.

If you performed the initial website audit with Screaming Frog, you should have a report with all the pages, including page titles, headings, and meta elements. Go through the list and optimize the titles, meta titles, and meta descriptions to reflect the new keyword strategy.  Go through the H2 and H3 columns for each page and optimize the headings as needed, to include the newly mapped search queries.

7. Check for broken links, missing alt texts, and duplicate content.

Use the same report from Screaming Frog to find these elements. Fill in the missing columns with text that includes the mapped keywords for each page.

8. Optimize your URLs and make sure only one version of your website is crawlable.

Use only the HTTPS version, which is secured, and redirect the other versions using 301 redirects. This should be done on the server side, so ask your development team to implement canonicals for the other versions.

9. Determine what content you’ll need for category and product pages.

For example, on category pages you can add a short description at the top, to include some of the target keywords. Limit this text to 2-3 lines. Create the texts beforehand in the spreadsheet to make sure you’re including the target queries.  For product pages, you will need product details as well as a short description. Create these beforehand or if you use content sourced from vendors, adjust the descriptions to incorporate the target keywords and to avoid duplication.

10. Decide what sort of content you'll create and research topics by performing keyword research on Ahrefs.