I know not everyone can afford to pay for a subscription to analyse a website. I have been there, starting off I never had the money to pay for any of these tools either. I had to figure out my own ways to find the information I needed to make smart decisions. So today, I am going to list down how you can analyse and optimise an eCommerce website without any paid tools.
First of all create a checklist for your SEO efforts, this way you are not getting sidetracked. This should include the following:
Indexed URL lists:
Go to google type in “site:example.com” this will show all the indexed pages, you can also get this from search console, sitemap etc…
I personally compare the links I collect from the search results with the current navigation, secondary links, product lists, categories etc… . eCommerce platforms like woocommerce tend to generate a lot of duplicate and unwanted pages and even some 404 pages you might have missed out. Start making a list (google sheet)
Map out all the pages you want to optimise and their primary, secondary and longtail keywords. The key is not to stuff keywords. But if you can include some FAQ type content in the product page to get some longtail keyword rankings or answer some questions people often search for. I like to use answerthepublic.com to do this research.
Start re-writing the title tags, meta descriptions based on your research above. You can also look at the content on the pages and product descriptions as well. This way you are not leaving out anything. If you are using WordPress use plugins like Yoast to make things easier for you.
Social media tags:
Make sure your links are properly displayed across social media, use the debugger tools Facebook and Twitter has to offer to test out your links. Once Opengraph and Twitter card data are properly implemented, the links that you share on social media should display the relevant image for that page (product picture if it’s the product page), title, and description.
Setup search console, bing webmaster and analytics if you haven’t. Find out what the most popular pages, keywords and positions using these data (if you don’t have a tracking tool) – You can do this along with the step #2, so you have the data to back up your decisions. I’d make sure these popular pages are not messed around while following step 3 – rewriting content and metadata. You don’t want to lose your positions while over optimising a page or reducing any values.
Rich snippets structured data & ratings:
Add schema tags and automate review plugin like Yotpo to generate reviews so you can increase some trust and overall search rankings.
Install redirect plugin and do all the 301 redirects to relevant pages based on your research you did on #1 and #2 (404, old to new, broken, empty pages etc..)
Once these are complete, watch the site for a couple of days for bugs and issues, and submit a new sitemap for index.
Hope this helps, let me know if you have any further questions I’ll try to help