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Read this short BigCommerce SEO guide to achieve better search results for your online store
Get familiar with the most common and effective BigCommerce SEO techniques and earn love and respect from Google, Bing, and the like. From keyword research to choosing SEO-friendly titles, your success is in your own hands. Just follow the SEO tips in this post.
According to Statista, the e-commerce share of total global retail sales worldwide is expected to reach 22% in 2023. Apart from traditional brick-and-mortar businesses going online in large numbers, more and more individual entrepreneurs are considering selling products and services over the Internet.
To cater to this category of merchants, the market offers a variety of e-commerce website builders that are easy to set up and run by even non-tech-savvy users. One of the leading platforms of this kind is BigCommerce.
This SaaS (software as a service) system is a true find for everyone who wants to start an online business “tomorrow.” A BigCommerce store has all the essential features that a standard e-commerce website should have, including:
- Tools for marketing and conversion
- Support for many currencies
- Tools for dropshipping
- A sizeable collection of ready-made website templates that merchants can easily tweak to fit their needs
- Several important selling channels (eBay, Amazon, and more) managed from one centralized location
…and many others.
Building a great-looking online store packed with all the right features is only part of the story, though. There are hundreds of thousands of e-commerce sites selling shoes, for example. How do customers decide which of them to visit? The answer: by clicking the first link on a search results page that’s been returned for the “buy shoes” term they entered.
Therefore, how visible a site is to Google and the company matters much more than its attractive interface and tons of useful features. If it is not discovered by your target audience, your business is likely to fail.
In this post, we’ve reviewed the main BigCommerce SEO optimization capabilities you can take advantage of right off the shelf. We’ve also described the essential methods to increase the organic traffic to your site that you can apply in addition to the inbuilt BigCommerce SEO tooling. Let’s get started.
How Does BigCommerce Help You in Your SEO Endeavors?
Considering the great importance of search engine visibility, every e-commerce platform includes basic SEO capabilities in its plans. However, the BigCommerce team has taken search engine optimization to a new height.
Here are just a few features that answer the question, “Is BigCommerce good for SEO?”
Absolute safety of your data
Whichever plan you choose, your sensitive data will be effectively protected through the Secure Sockets Layer cryptographic protocol. Google takes the strength of the data protection mechanism on sites very seriously. That is why a BigCommerce-powered online store has a better chance to rank higher on search results pages than a site that uses the bare-bones http.
Convenient tools you can use to optimize page elements for SEO
The BigCommerce SEO arsenal includes handy tools for working with page components important from a search engine visibility perspective. Modifying such elements as meta descriptions or page titles on the platform is very simple and straightforward.
An ability to create short and meaningful URLs
BigCommerce allows online store owners to operate short URLs that can be easily understood by a target audience. For example, have a look at this cumbersome and cryptic URL for a vacuum cleaner:
Customers will rack their brains trying to understand what this URL means.
Instead, BigCommerce offers you a way to reduce the length and complexity of this URL to something like www.domain.com/catalog/vaccuum-cleaners. Search engines appreciate this greatly.
We’ve emphasized many times how crucial it is for an e-commerce website to load quickly. Every millisecond counts. Is your site speed low? Then, prepare for the worst. Even if your customers do find your BigCommerce store on search engines, they will hardly stay on it for long. This increases the bounce rate, causing a loss of revenue and further trouble down the line.
With Bigcommerce, SEO problems like these don’t exist. One of the reasons for this is how the platform optimizes visuals for faster operation.
Care for shoppers with handheld devices
One of the strengths of BigCommerce SEO is the way the platform caters to people surfing the Internet from various handheld gadgets like tablets. All of the themes available through the official store render perfectly on such devices. In addition, the majority has a Google-backed speed-boosting technology called AMP under the hood.
Best Practices to Improve BigCommerce SEO Rankings Even Further
Even with all these great BigCommerce SEO capabilities, you need to make your own contribution. Here are 3 essential steps that every online merchant should take in order to make their store discoverable by search engines.
BigCommerce SEO Step #1: Find Out What Search Terms Your Target Audience Uses
SEO is all about trying to align your content with the search terms that customers normally use when looking for products or services in your business niche. The first step on this path is to do proper keyword research. You can go about it in two main ways:
- Make use of some specialized tools like this. Don’t limit yourself to one tool, though. The more data from various sources you can gather, the better.
- Review the content on similar e-commerce stores. Just enter a few common terms into the box and then visit the sites the search results page lists.
As a result, you should have a collection of keywords that you can apply to your own content, including blog posts, product descriptions, page titles, headings, images, meta descriptions, and other elements.
BigCommerce SEO Step #2: Let Google and Others Know about Your Online Store
What is the first company name that comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘search engine?’ If you’re from the 21st century, the answer would be ‘Google,’ of course. That means you have to make friends with this tech giant.
The first step is simply to let it know about your website by giving relevant details to a service called Google Search Console. Visit this page to learn the nitty-gritty.
Another major player in the SEO market is Microsoft and its search engine Bing. Therefore, it makes sense to inform it about the existence of your BigCommerce online store as well. Learn how you can do this here.
With these two SEO behemoths having heard about you, you can expect them to include your BigCommerce site in their indices. This will enable your potential customers to discover you more easily.
BigCommerce SEO Step #3: Make Sure That Important Elements on Your Pages Follow the Best SEO Practices
Now, it’s time to come back home and have a closer look at your content. Several elements on your pages are crucial from an SEO perspective. Here are some SEO tips related to these components.
There’s probably no element as vital from the BigCommerce SEO point of view as a page title. Make it long, boring, or without a single keyword — and the page will be lost somewhere on the Internet forever.
To avoid this, make your page titles as specific as possible. In addition, a good title should contain the most important keyword, preferably at the very beginning. Read what recommendations Google gives in this respect.
Even the best title may require a descriptive text to boost your audience’s motivation to visit your site. This is what meta descriptions are for. Just like page titles, they should contain your principal keyword placed closer to the beginning.
Meta descriptions should be enticing but brief. Another thing to note is that using duplicate content in meta descriptions may cause a penalty from Google. Therefore, make your descriptions different for every item, category, or blog post that you publish.
Visit this page to learn more about Google’s requirements for meta descriptions.
It goes without saying: all your visuals should be optimized for use on the web. This will make your online store faster, which is one of the most important factors to boost your SEO rank.
That said, quality, lightweight images should also follow some best SEO practices in terms of naming and description. Take time to uniquely describe your visuals in the alt tags, using appropriate keywords.
In addition, give your image files meaningful hyphenated names, also with keywords. For instance, if you deal in antique furniture and are now selling a 19th-century bamboo magazine rack, give the corresponding image a name that sounds like bamboo-magazine-rack-19-century-antique-furniture-for-sale.jpg. For more information about image optimization best practices, visit this page.
One of the most common BigCommerce SEO problems that many novices to the e-commerce world cause themselves is the incorrect use of headings or not using them at all. Headings are extremely important page elements that search engines look for.
Just making a title of a section or category bold is not enough to please Google or Bing. You should also maintain a proper hierarchy of headings (H2 follows H1, H3 follows H2, and so on). In addition, including keywords in headings may convince search engines to give you a higher rank.
In this post, we have only discussed a few basic methods of BigCommerce search engine optimization. There are many, many more. SEO is a whole science that requires considerable time and effort to yield tangible results.
However, if you at least collect the most common keywords, optimize the basic page elements on your website, and let the major search engines know about your existence, you will have a higher chance of being discovered by your customers.
Frequently Asked Questions about E-Commerce and BigCommerce SEO
Why is SEO important for e-commerce?
SEO is a relatively cheap way to draw organic traffic to e-commerce websites. In contrast to PPC (per pay click) campaigns that are limited by a certain budget, web pages optimized by applying SEO methods keep attracting visitors long after the work has been completed.
Is BigCommerce good for SEO?
BigCommerce has some great SEO capabilities out of the box:
- It uses the Secure Sockets Layer protocol to protect sensitive data.
- It provides convenient tools to work with the basic page elements like meta descriptions.
- It enables online store owners to use short URLs.
- Pages on BigCommerce-powered sites load fast.
- All of BigCommerce themes are optimized for use on handheld devices
Some BigCommerce SEO features, though, are available to high-end plan subscribers only.
What tools can be used to do keyword research for a BigCommerce website?
You can perform keyword research using both paid and free tools such as AdWords Keyword Planner and Semrush.
What is on-page SEO?
On-page SEO means optimizing some important web page elements for better search engine visibility. The list includes page titles, meta descriptions, headings, alt tags, and others.
If you’re looking for certified BigCommerce developers who can handle any e-commerce development task from building custom themes to performance optimization, the PSD2HTML BigCommerce team is always ready to help your business grow and thrive. Let’s discuss your BigCommerce project today.