Specialized Website Auditing Considerations for Ecommerce Sites
 by Kristi Hagen

Specialized Website Auditing Considerations for Ecommerce Sites

  • Could you give us a quick synopsis of the technical website audit items that uniquely apply to an ecommerce site with faceted nav, sequential cat pages, and search results pages? What other tripping spots might an ecommerce site face given the varied ways product selections can be displayed? Or anything else that ecomm should be checked for during a web site audit?

Answer:

For starters you should study the The Professional SEO's Website Audit Checklist. It's great general audit but there are some specifics for ecommerce sites that you don't want to overlook.

Assuming that online sales are involved, you'll want to track the purchase system for errors and functionality. You should also audit the sales stream to make sure the emails, receipts, reminders, and such that are being sent out are also correct. Place a test order, review all checkout pages, emails and all points of contact.

Some sites use a third party website for card processing (Paypal and others) and, as such, you should review the header and footer systems. If applicable, make sure these third party checkout pages are set to no index or blocked with Robots.txt, and that the links are correct and so forth.

With the specific items you mentioned, you'll want to examine the many ways an ecommerce site can list the product while avoiding duplicate content. Search results pages typically should not be indexed, category pages are ok, but at times can give you problems when paginated.

Be sure you're avoiding the problem of duplicate content in terms of product descriptions and images and you should place a special emphasis on doing so. Each individual online store should create their own content for products if at all possible. This means unique product descriptions and images if at all possible. To that extent, you'd likely want to pay extra attention to indexation numbers, big sites often have issues getting the whole site indexed.

Also, i...

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