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Large e-commerce site technical SEO (4/17)

No “one-size-fits-all”: how I offered a T-shirt site an effective, actionable approach to audit & fix priority onsite technical SEO issues as quickly as possible.


Business: improve search presence by identifying and removing technical roadblocks to online growth
SEO: capture all of the priority onsite SEO issues in one place with a deliverable that’s designed to be highly useful for quick implementation

The Way Forward:

April 2017: In some recent freelance work for Chicago’s Northcutt, a digital marketing & SEO agency, I was able to jump in and help them out in a pinch with a technical SEO audit for their e-commerce t-shirt store client Blue Cotton.

Site audits are an incredibly important part of step-1 SEO work, and they aren’t (or shouldn’t be) limited to technical recommendations only. It’s important to not look at as a “one size fits all” task since every client has a unique site situation and varying business priorities… depending, most obviously, on what type of business they are. If you’re able to contain and identify significant URL issues that can find their way into these audits, as pictured — especially for e-commerce sites that have 1,000s of product URL’s to manage — you can make a huge difference right away. And prove the value of your work.

In this case, I included specific steps for implementation where it was possible in Search Console. (The site/SEO audit document should really be as clear as possible for the client’s developer to implement, if you’re not doing that work yourself.) All of the following were tabbed out:
• 404’s
• Spam links
• Robots.txt – optimized
• XML Sitemap – optimized
• One-to-one 301 Redirects

Additionally Search Console also allowed for an easier path to fix other duplicate content issues with the “URL Parameters” tool.

By avoiding the boilerplate approach to site audits, I’ve found that you make this work feel a lot more “real” and valuable to the client. And they see you’ve put in the time to understand exactly what’s going to move the needle for their business.


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