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    What should my SEO priorities be? Aging competitor website still ahead...

    It's been approximately 3 years since we launched an ecommerce site. We had to do some significant reworking of the Shopify theme that we purchased as there were many issues. But since that, the site has performed very solidly for the main search phrases.

    However there are a couple of sites that we seem to not be able to topple. One is quite an ageing competitor website, which seems to break all the on-page SEO rules! For example, the site doesn't even have a <h1> tag, and the <h2> 's are all inappropriately used. The only things I see going for it is a direct match of the main search phrase to the site's domain and age - it's been around for a while.

    Same deal with the other competitor websites - there doesn't appear to have been any professional SEO input, however some have well structured categories and menus.

    Some things that we've worked hard on:
    • Good Titles / Meta Descriptions
    • Regular blogging
    • Large quantity of pages
    • Correction on all HTML / Crawler errors (as listed by GSC)
    • Effort to optimise images and improve page speed

    Here are some areas of I think we need to improve:
    • Home page load speed still has room for improvement
    • Room for improvement in theme design (purchased theme is desktop first, rather than mobile first)
    • Categories / collections of products need overhaul
    • Backlinks - probably where the site is most lacking

    What should our priorities be? What else should we look at?
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    Users prefer quick websites, so I'd suggest improving load speed 1st. Even if it doesn't take you to #1 in Google's search results you'll probably see a lower bounce rate. If people stay on your site longer you're more likely to make a sale. I'd also suggest working on your product categories; make sure everything's easy to find. If people can't find the product they're looking for, how can they buy the product? Then the theme...you mentioned it'd desktop 1st. Does it work well on mobile? If not correct that. (This advice comes from an end-user with an interest in search engines, not an SEO expert.)
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    Heya prembo - If these are aging domains, i'm guessing that their backlink profiles are a factor to why they may be outperforming you. If my assumption that their backlink profiles are established and very strong, I would focus there. Beyond that, assuming that you categories/collections are highly SEO significant, I would focus on improving those. Homepage and theme design will likely not be major needle movers for SEO only, so I would think of those from the perspective of potential CRO benefit for all your channels and prioritize accordingly.

    Without knowing what your site is, its hard to talk in meaningful detail about what else to look at in an actionable way. I will say that one thing that should be on the radar is your content strategy and what needs to be created to improve it, both for your category / collections and product page, and in general.
    "...using this: sages act out of constructs but they do not rely on them"

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