Technical SEO is the foundation of any successful SEO strategy. It’s what allows search engines to find, understand, and rank your content in search results. Without it, even the most engaging and educational content won’t be seen.

In this blog, you’ll learn the most important and actionable technical SEO tips, to make your website easily crawlable, and rankable, on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Technical SEO Optimisations for Crawlability

Running a technical SEO audit will help you find crawlability issues that are hurting your website’s search results. Common problems include:

Once you know what’s negatively impacting your website, you can implement fixes, many of which lead to quick wins. Here’s a breakdown of each of these areas in more detail, and how to improve them.

XML sitemap

An XML sitemap is a crawler friendly list of all the URLs that make up your website. Most off-the-shelf platforms, like WordPress and Shopify, generate XML sitemaps automatically. If you don’t use these platforms, there are alternative sitemap generator tools available. Once you’ve created your sitemap, submit it to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools so they can more easily crawl your site. 

Site architecture

A good site architecture means having a well-structured website that is easy for search engines, and your users to navigate. Effective ways to create a good site architecture include using simple URL structures, internal linking, meta robots and canonicals. Let’s explore these in more detail. 

URL structures

Your URL structure, or folder structure, is how your website’s pages are packaged up and organised. 

To create a good URL structure, imagine your website as a library with folders and subfolders to keep everything organised. You could create a main product folder called “Drinks”, and then include sub folders for “Coffee” and “Tea”. Structuring your site this way makes it much easier to crawl and navigate, improving your ranking in SERPs.

Additionally, keep your actual URLs short, simple, consistent, and use keywords that reflect your content. 

Internal linking

To implement good internal linking (which should be an integral part of your SEO content marketing strategy) strategically place hyperlinks within your content to connect relevant pages. Use clear and descriptive anchor text for these links to guide search engines across your site and show them how your content connects.  This helps search engines understand your website and the relationships between different pages, ultimately boosting your SEO.

Meta robots and canonical tags 

Meta robots and canonical tags provide important information to search engines about how to crawl and index your content. 

Using Meta robots, you can tell search engines to “index” a page so it shows in search results, or use “noindex” to hide it. You can control whether the crawler “follows” the links on the page, or use “nofollow” to stop them crawling the link and passing on any SEO value.

Canonical tags however, specify which page search engines should prioritise when there are duplicates with similar content. This avoids any confusion and ensures that only the most relevant version is indexed. You should only use this when you need to keep multiple similar versions of a page accessible to users, not to manage accidental duplication.

Broken links and 404s

Broken website links stop search engines crawling your content because they can’t access the intended page. They essentially get ‘stuck’ and assume your site is poorly maintained. So, prioritise identifying and fixing broken links to keep search engines crawling smoothly and ensure you’re considered a quality source.

Website speed

Just like you and me, search engines hate slow websites. Use tools like PageSpeed Insights to check how long it takes for your website to load and identify areas for improvement. If it’s slow, one of the easiest ways to speed it up is by compressing images because you don’t need developer support.

Other ways to speed up your website include caching pages, adding lazy loading images and compressing JS/CSS. But these may require additional developer support. 

Mobile Responsiveness

Today, developers build websites that adapt to different screens, instead of making different versions for mobile and desktop. Design however doesn’t always account for mobile, so areas like text size, buffer space around clickable elements and logical navigation layouts get missed. So, make sure your website works on desktop and mobile, and whenever you make changes, check both versions to see how they look.

Summary

Technical SEO is equally as important as content-focused SEO. It’s how your content actually shows in search results, and can earn you some relatively quick wins.

Run a technical SEO audit to learn how your website is performing, identify and fix issues. By regularly running these audits, you can continuously measure performance, improve it and find issues that crop up.

As a specialist SEO agency in Liverpool and Chester, we help companies develop and implement effective technical SEO strategies for long-term growth. If you want a free technical SEO audit on your website, complete the form below and we’ll book you in. 


Typically, search engine optimisation (SEO) isn’t considered a priority around Christmas, whereas paid ad budgets tend to rocket. If this sounds familiar, you could be missing a trick because SEO and paid ads can work great together. 

But how? Enter, Image Search.

Optimising your products for Image Search can give your website’s organic traffic a boost and might even save you money on paid ads. 

In this blog, we’ll explain how and why you should use Image Search, Google Shopping and Merchant Listings together. We’ll define what these platforms are and explore their relationship so you can improve your e-commerce performance ahead of Christmas and beyond. 

What is Image Search?

Image Search essentially involves typing a query into a search bar and seeing images show up in the search results. This can be in the main body of the search results, or specifically in the image results tab. Just like this screenshot of ‘coffee beans’ displayed in the Google Image Search results:

How to optimise for image search

Google Lens however works differently because you manually upload an image or image URL to find similar photos. This is often used to find a specific product, hence why shopping features so heavily in the results.

TL;DR – Image Search is when pictures show in search results.

What is the difference between Google Shopping and Merchant Center listings?

Google Shopping is a type of paid advertising that lets you promote products on search engines with images and prices. Online shoppers can find your products, compare them with other retailers, and decide whether to buy them from you or someone else.

Google Merchant Center however is where you manage your Google Shopping product feed. By enabling free listings within your account, you could appear in a number of places across Google without paying! That’s free ‘organic’ traffic from the likes of YouTube, Google Shopping, and (you guessed it) Image Search.

To appear in search results, Google scrapes the following product attributes from your feed. So even without paid ads, it’s good to keep them updated and meet Google’s product specifications:

Make sure your product feed information matches your website too. If there are too many products with wrong information, your account may be suspended.

Why you should optimise for Image Search at Christmas

E-commerce is competitive around Christmas, so optimising for Image Search could give you the edge you need to stand out.

Image Search is an area of quick wins too because, despite how important it is for e-commerce, it still gets overlooked. The reason tends to be because it can be a slog to get into good working order. Clothing brands are the most “on it” with this type of optimisation, but whatever products your brand sells, you should definitely lean into it. 

For example, looking for an image of [coffee equipment] brings up a load of results from people who sell it.

How to optimise for image search

With a bit of time and minimal changes to your images, this could be you!

How to optimise for Image Search with SEO

SEO optimisation sounds complicated, but a lot of the elements you’re dealing with are pretty straightforward. Especially if you’ve dealt with product feeds or are an SEO whizz already.

There are two main ways to optimise for Image Search; 

1) Structured data 
2) Image metadata and quality 

Structured data

The two main sets of structured data you should care about are [product] and [image].

Product structured data contains data that is similar to what’s required in product feeds for Google Shopping. There are specific fields that are always necessary for product structured data like the name, price, stock and URL. You need good quality product images in your feed, but having multiple images is how you can optimise to succeed.

The simplest image data is the image URL, but you can also use other structured data from ImageObject schema. We’d recommend including:

There are other types of structured data available, should you wish to really annoy your developers into inputting multiple lots across pages! It’ll be easier if you use one component, so it might be worth having that conversation now, to save time in the future.

Image metadata and quality

Metadata and quality are the more technical aspects of image optimisation SEO (which does feel like a big statement when we’ve already covered structured data). You will probably need to work with your developers to plan these changes. Otherwise, it could get out of hand or lost in a ticket backlog. 

The easiest place to start is image quality, so find the sweet spot between resolution, size, and performance. Usually, good practice is to compress images on your website to be as small as possible without sacrificing quality. But, it could be worth ditching the 100kb maximum size and expanding quality rules to benefit from other search engine results page (SERP) features.

Image quality also depends on the file type. Overwhelmingly, images on websites are JPEGs. While this is completely normal, they’re larger and poorer quality than other formats that are now available. WebP is becoming more popular, but AVIF is considered a high-quality alternative.

However, practicality is the biggest issue with changing image formats. We’d recommend considering the following to figure out if you should change image formats, and how to approach it if you do:

Next, improve image file names. Make them under 50 characters and avoid non-ASCII characters. This can be done at the same time as quality optimisation or image format changes. 

Prioritisation is key here, so focus on images with the most potential to rank. These include product images, images unique to you (copyrighted, ideally) and relevant secondary images, like the coffee beans and equipment above.

Lastly, centralise your images if you haven’t already. This means bringing the storage location for all your images into one place, like a digital asset manager platform. This allows bulk changes, less duplication of images, and improves page speed. 

This sort of change can be development-heavy, so we’d put it last on your list of changes. But, if you decide to do some major file type changes, it’s an update that would fit alongside.

How to optimise for Image Search with paid ads

There are plenty of changes you can make to your product feed to boost your Google Shopping performance. Most notably, optimising your images and product titles. These are the first elements people see when searching and what is going to differentiate you from the competition. 

These are some of the easiest ways to optimise your images and product titles:

Use high-quality images and test different backgrounds and angles
Trialling multiple options is the best way to determine what works and what doesn’t.

Add multiple images for each product
These might appear in Google Images and when people click on a product to view more details. This helps users get a better look at your products and make a more informed shopping decision.

Put the keywords you want to match with first in your image titles
Google gives precedence to words at the start of titles when choosing what searches to match listings with. Plus, users will usually only see the first 70 or fewer characters.

Collect Google reviews
This will help your products stand out as well as building credibility and trust.

Use competitive pricing and include special offers or promotions
Google Shopping is price-driven, so unless you are priced competitively or provide extra value, shoppers will probably buy from competitors instead.

Use correct GTINs, MPNs and Brand Information
This will help Google match your listings with relevant search queries.

Assign relevant Google product categories to your products
Once again, this helps Google match your listings with relevant queries.

Optimise product descriptions with the keywords you want to show for
This will further help Google with query matching.

Ensure both the landing pages and the feed are mobile-friendly
This will help deliver a smooth, enjoyable user journey regardless of whether the user is on a laptop or mobile device.

How to optimise images for Google Lens

Google Lens was developed with the specific intention of allowing people to search for images and find products to buy. There are other features, such as translation and identifying plants, animals and skin conditions, but shopping is definitely the moneymaker.

This means that if someone searches for an item similar to yours, your products might show up in the results. The bonus here is that by optimising for SEO and Shopping, you’re ticking off the requirements for Google Lens as well.

Summary

Images are important to sell products, but taking additional time to consider quality, markup and optimisation could give you a massive edge. So, lean into the overlap of online channels like PPC and SEO. Get them working together and you’ll double your impact and have more opportunity to position your products in front of potential customers. 

We’ve helped plenty of businesses survive the festive season, so we know how crazy it gets! If you need any help with your PPC or SEO efforts, get in touch.


The simple answer to ‘is search engine optimisation (SEO) worth it for e-commerce’ is, yes! Why? The easy answer is that good implementation of SEO can save you money – in the long-term

SEO for e-commerce websites has specific challenges for content, off-page and technical. We are going to deep-dive into these and give you some reassurance that you’re not unhinged for wanting to improve your SEO.

Why SEO might not be worth it

We genuinely believe that the majority of e-commerce businesses would benefit from SEO, but here’s a few reasons why it might not be the right time:

So what exactly are the benefits of good e-commerce SEO?

Here’s your TL;DR bit. But keep reading, it’s dead good.

It can save you money in the long-term
💰Reduce paid spend
🪴Optimised content can be evergreen, with minimal updates it can rank for months or years
🛍️Reduce reliance on marketplaces that charge fees

It can increase your organic traffic
⚡Expand your marketing funnel in the right places
🔍Target the right audience

It can improve your website visibility
💻Crawlability
🌏International selling challenges

E-commerce SEO can save you money long-term

It always comes down to money, which is why it’s our first point. We’re also eager to point out the “long-term” aspect of SEO here too. Initial spend on SEO can match or sometimes exceed paid media, which is often why it gets pushed aside for the instant results paid offers (so any agency that promises instant results from SEO is sus, in our opinion). What you really want is a combined approach where paid and SEO cover the weakness of the other.

SEO takes time to work, sometimes it can take months to see results, so paid is excellent at bringing in those sales in the meantime. But paid will always cost you money, whereas well implemented SEO techniques require minimal attention once in place and can last months or even years, bringing in free traffic the whole time. 

I’ve convinced you? Already?! Brilliant. I can’t and won’t stop there though – here’s some specific moneysaving knowledge coming your way.

Is SEO worth it for e-commerce?
SEO content can perform well for years

We tend to call content created specifically for the long haul “evergreen content”. It’s clever, see? Like an evergreen tree, it’s there all year, looking great and making that sweet sweet chlorophyll. Or in your case, bringing in traffic and getting people to buy your products.

The creation of this content can be where the initial cost of SEO happens. Great optimised content needs keyword research, supporting/secondary content, backlinks and good internal linking. BUT, after that, all you may need to do is tweak it once or twice a year, update images and add or remove an internal link. That’s extremely low maintenance and thus very beneficial for your purse.

Now imagine that across multiple pages, for multiple products – that’s what a good SEO content strategy looks like.

How SEO can reduce your paid ad spend

We already covered the whole “done well, around for ages, free traffic” benefit of SEO, but there’s also a huge benefit in owning the organic SERPs and then being able to reduce or stop bids. 

For example, if you can create content that ranks you highly for your top transactional term [diamante dog collar], then you might want to ease off bidding so you appear in the ads at the bottom of the page instead. Or experiment with removing the bid entirely. 

You could reduce reliance on online marketplaces and third-party platforms

While there are big advantages to selling on eBay, Amazon, Etsy and all the other online marketplaces out there, the fees can take a big chunk out of your profits. It seems obvious that ranking well with your own website (where you don’t have to fund Jeff Bezos’ attempts to go to space) will be a moneysaver, but the ease of selling and showing in the SERPs using those big platforms can be hard to move away from.

The best approach initially is to launch your SEO strategy and then see which products are performing well via organic search so you can ease off selling them via marketplaces. Over time you can grow your organic channel without taking a big hit by leaving a platform entirely.

E-commerce SEO can increase your website traffic

We know, it’s obvious. But hear us out, there are specific ways to do this, because targeting anything and everything isn’t the best approach. You need to be targeting the right people at the right point in their buying journey to make an increase in traffic work properly for you.

If you’re familiar with the marketing consideration funnel this should make you feel all tingly. SEO is best used for TOFU expansion but also works really well for MOFU and BOFU.

Increase top of funnel traffic

TOFU search queries tend to be broad and informational, with potential customers searching for ways to solve a problem. These are usually [how to] searches and at this point, you’re not creating content to push your brand or product, you’re showing your knowledge and expertise. 

For example, for one client we worked with them to create content for the query [how much coffee in a cafetiere?], because they sell coffee and it meant they could show off their extensive knowledge of their products and industry. Then boom, top of the SERPs and an excellent increase in traffic. Here’s some more of our work if you’d like a sneak peek.

Is SEO worth it for e-commerce?
Increase middle of funnel traffic

Then comes the next stage – MOFU. Middle of funnel queries focus on a different type of informational content. Here we see comparisons and help making the right choice, so queries like [arabica vs robusta] would be seen at this stage. Again, you’re able to show knowledge and expertise on the topic while being closely involved in the potential customer’s process.

Increase bottom of funnel traffic

Leading us to BOFU (bottom of funnel), where the transactional queries come in and potential customers make their decision. Here we’re looking at queries like [buy coffee beans] and similar terms that are high competition.

We’re calling out where and how SEO works at each level of the marketing consideration funnel because your business goals will influence where effort is best focused. If your website just launched, you need to start at the top, but if you’re an established business looking to reduce reliance on paid ads, then BOFU is where you’d aim.

E-commerce SEO can improve your website visibility

Now we get into the juicy technical bits. E-commerce has some unique complications when it comes to technical SEO. We’re not going to blow your mind with a ton of technical jargon, but we will explain the benefits of making sure you include technical SEO in your plans

E-commerce SEO can improve website crawlability

E-commerce websites often have the unique problem of too many pages. That seems counterintuitive – don’t you want loads of pages so search engines can rank you for loads of keywords? Yes, but in most cases the pages are duplicates (products in multiple categories) or have thin content (category pages created by someone using the filters), which means they aren’t a benefit to you. Search engines flipping love useful and unique content, so you can see how a website that duplicates content or makes poor content isn’t very pleasing to them.

So how does this link into crawlability? Search engines will get tired of seeing the same things or will simply crawl your website for a certain amount of time before going “there’s so much of this, I’m bored” and stopping. We use our little technical SEO toolkit to make sure search engines only see the content that matters, meaning they crawl where we want and ignore what we want – and that, my friend, improves crawlability (in part but it’s a big topic and we promised we’d keep it simple).

Is SEO worth it for e-commerce?
SEO can help international performance

Selling across multiple countries or languages has a lot of business challenges, but it also has technical SEO complications. Yes, more technical complications – we’re buzzkills but we’re also good at offering solutions.

Technical SEO solutions here include advising on subdomains, subfolders and general website structure, hreflang and keyword targeting. These are essential so you show up in the search results for the right countries and languages – you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget or get it wrong without someone looking at the overall picture. And to completely brag about it, we’re good at that.

International SEO is best looked at before you even start building your international websites, but if you’ve already done it and want to know how to optimise your website(s), we can advise on how to move forward.

Summary

If you’re not convinced SEO is worth it for e-commerce by this point, maybe it’s not, but we reckon those are some compelling points. If you’d like to chat about what we can do for your SEO and growing your organic search, get in touch.

Let’s talk