Making your eCommerce website user-friendly just isn’t enough these days. No matter how easy your site is to use, it won’t be successful unless people can actually find it in the first place. Enter: Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO can be so complicated to the point that many businesses, both large and small, have more questions than answers. That’s why BigCommerce clients have it easy. Unlike other eCommerce platforms, BigCommerce built SEO features right into their platform—making it as easy as possible for you to grow your business through SEO for eCommerce.
What is SEO, Anyway?
Although there are many technical facets of SEO, it’s ultimately about providing clear, cohesive information that both users and search engines find valuable and relevant. For businesses, the goal of SEO is simple: to drive traffic and conversions to your website by making it appear early in the list of search results of Google, Bing, and other search engines. Optimizing your site for search engines is possible because they use a regular set of rules to rank websites in their results. Those rules can be difficult to understand because they frequently change, but luckily enough is known about them to greatly improve a site’s rank.
Factors Influencing SEO
There are many factors that influence SEO; however, the following factors are crucial when determining a site's rankings:
Title tags are HTML elements that specify a webpage’s title and other features. Title tags are displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs) as blue clickable headlines. Titles quickly and accurately describe a page’s content to users and search engines. As such, it is important to incorporate one or two targeted keywords in your titles. Targeted keywords help users and search engines determine if a page is valuable and relevant.
Meta Descriptions are HTML attributes that provide concise summaries of webpages. These descriptions are the few sentences found within the blue title tags. Although Google disclosed, meta descriptions are no longer used in ranking algorithms, they are still important for click-through-rate (CTR), which influences SEO. Pages with a high CTR perform better on SERPs-- why? Because search engines recognize that the most clicked pages are the ones that users find most relevant and valuable.
All of the HTML text, images, videos, and other materials on your site, content is your opportunity to show visitors your expertise and knowledge before they’ve decided to purchase. When it comes to SEO, valuable and original on-page content is crucial. Quality content builds trust with customers, positively impacts CTR and conversion rates, and is likely to be shared on social media. Quality content directly affects SEO rankings as well, by telling search engines how relevant a site’s content is to a user’s search.
Google and other search engines read (or crawl) on-page HTML content to determine how relevant it is to search queries. This does not mean just writing blog posts either, although those are important to educate and engage your target market. Writing valuable content on your product and category landing pages supplements your products and services. It provides more information and value to your customers, making them more likely to purchase from you over a competitor. Naturally incorporating targeted keywords tells Google that your page is relevant to closely related search queries and that it is hopefully more valuable than other pages. When your pages have content optimized for SEO, you can expect to see an increase in organic traffic.
Why BigCommerce is the Most SEO-Friendly Ecommerce Platform
BigCommerce makes search engine optimization easy from the get-go. When compared to other eCommerce platforms, BigCommerce offers the best built-in SEO features that both business owners and SEO professionals value, including optimized title, descriptions, and custom URL infrastructure fields. With BigCommerce, it’s also much simpler to add and update unique content to any page on your site. When combined with the platform’s more advanced SEO capabilities, this capacity to create SEO-boosting content can dramatically improve your site’s search rankings.
Add Content to Any Page
Many eCommerce platforms make it incredibly difficult to add content to every page. Some of these platforms use so-called “smart collections” that create convoluted filter pages that make it nearly impossible to add new content. Other platforms are just so fragile that trying to add content and optimize for search can cause webpages to incorrectly load. In fact, when it comes to fixing site issues, some people find themselves paying developers too much and too often.
But with BigCommerce you can easily add, edit, and customize content on your site. As suggested above, you can take advantage of this SEO-friendly feature by introducing content to your product and category pages. Adding content to these pages is as great way to boost your SERP rankings, website traffic, and conversion rates. Simply log into your website on BigCommerce, click “Storefront” and then “Web Pages.” Using the intuitive WYSIWYG editor, you can create a page with brand new content or update content an existing page. There’s no need to learn how to code or worry about a theme’s CSS changing the way your on-page copy looks. If you add style to your content, BigCommerce prioritizes that over your theme’s CSS. You have complete control of the content on your site.
Advanced Technical SEO Capabilities
In addition to the ability to easily add valuable content to your website, BigCommerce gives you access to a range of advance technical SEO options. Have an SSL certificate for your site? BigCommerce makes creating a secure environment for your customers and your data easier than ever, and you can switch your site to the HTTPS version with one click. Additionally, there is no need to purchase and integrate SEO-dedicated plugins that can dramatically reduce page speed—or, even worse, crash your website. You can customize template files to fit your SEO strategy. Whether you want to change canonicalization, insert custom code, or implement tailored conversion tracking, you can optimize your website by customizing BigCommerce template files.
So whether you are just getting started with your BigCommerce site, or whether you’ve been with BigCommerce for a while, consider taking advantage of these features to optimize your site’s rankings, traffic, and conversions. Because although growing your eCommerce business through SEO can seem overwhelming, with BigCommerce, it’s never been simpler.