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BigCommerce SEO: How To Optimize Your Site

by | Dec 14, 2023 | Content Marketing | 0 comments

If you utilize BigCommerce as your online sales platform, your store needs to be easily discoverable on Google. Fortunately, BigCommerce comes loaded with user-friendly SEO features that make optimizing your website for search engines simple. Here’s an overview of the tools available through this e-commerce platform and the proper steps for executing your BigCommerce SEO strategy.

An Overview of the BigCommerce SEO Platform

BigCommerce is a leading SaaS e-commerce platform that allows businesses to create and manage their online stores. From entrepreneurs to retailers, business owners can access a full suite of tools, including in-depth SEO features, to build their online presence, sell products, and grow their businesses.

The Benefits of Using BigCommerce for an SEO Site

One of the primary benefits of BigCommerce is that the platform is flexible and scalable according to your business’s needs. Whether you’re just starting out with e-commerce or you are a large enterprise company, BigCommerce offers affordable pricing plans and competitive features at every level. Several household names utilize BigCommerce for their website, including Solo Stove, Toyota, Ben & Jerry’s, and Gibson Guitars.

The platform is particularly well-suited for online-only companies that have a very large inventory to sell, such as B2B wholesalers or private-label B2C businesses. According to 2022 BigCommerce statistics, over 30% of BigCommerce stores are product retailers in the home and garden, apparel, and automotive sectors. Additionally, the e-commerce platform is popular among small business online stores, with close to 50% of BigCommerce stores employing less than 10 people.

While BigCommerce is generally considered less beginner-friendly than its competitor Shopify, the platform offers an intuitive interface that most tech-savvy individuals can easily navigate. Understanding the many customizable options on the platform can take some time, but BigCommerce comes with many useful features that can streamline your sales, marketing, and SEO efforts.

Key BigCommerce SEO Features   

BigCommerce SEO

BigCommerce is well-known for providing a wide range of SEO features out of the gate.

Modifiable URL Structures

BigCommerce allows you to modify your URL structures, ensuring they are clean, concise, and include relevant keywords. This helps search engines understand the content of your pages and improves their visibility in search results.

Additionally, BigCommerce can generate unique, SEO-friendly URLs for every page on your site. If you change the name of a product, BigCommerce automatically alters this generated URL and redirects the old one.

Meta Tag Customization         

You can easily customize title tags and meta descriptions for each page on your BigCommerce store. Meta tags are what appear in search engine results, providing a description of the page’s content and enticing users to click on your store. Additionally, meta tags are prime real estate for inserting primary keyword terms and helping Google bots more easily index and rank your e-commerce web pages.

Auto-Generated XML Sitemaps

BigCommerce automatically generates XML sitemaps for your store, which helps Google discover every page on your website more easily. Sitemaps are especially useful for large sites with a lot of pages — such as e-commerce websites with hundreds of products to browse through.

Robots.txt File Controls

BigCommerce SEO tools allow you to customize the robots.txt file, which helps control how search engines crawl and index your store. You can specify which pages or sections you want to allow or disallow from search engine indexing.

Mobile Responsiveness

BigCommerce SEO Optimization

BigCommerce provides responsive themes and ensures that your store is mobile-friendly. This is crucial for SEO, as mobile optimization is a major ranking factor in search engine algorithms. Responsive design helps deliver a seamless user experience across different devices and screen sizes.

Fast Page Loading Speeds

With its Content Delivery Network, BigCommerce prioritizes fast page loading speeds, which is crucial for technical SEO and overall website performance. Slow-loading pages can negatively impact user experience and search engine rankings. BigCommerce’s infrastructure and caching capabilities help automatically optimize page speed performance.

Image Optimization

BigCommerce allows you to optimize product images by specifying descriptive file names and alt tags. This helps search engines understand the content of your images and improves visibility in image search results.

Automatic Canonical Tags

BigCommerce automatically adds canonical tags to your pages, which helps consolidate duplicate or similar content. Canonical tags inform search engines about the preferred version of a page, preventing potential duplicate content issues.

Schema Markup Options

BigCommerce supports schema markup, which allows you to add structured data to your pages in the form of rich snippets. Schema markup provides additional context to search engines, offering business owners more opportunities to gain online visibility and drive web traffic.

BigCommerce has a built-in rich snippet feature, which can display additional information about your products, such as their ratings, reviews, pricing, availability, and more.

SEO Keyword Tools

While BigCommerce doesn’t have a built-in keyword research tool, it can help you gauge whether your web pages utilize keywords effectively. The platform will look at keyword density, helping you use the ideal number of SEO keywords in your web copy.

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6 Helpful BigCommerce SEO Strategies  

Since BigCommerce comes with many incorporated SEO features, you can start optimizing your web pages without downloading any plugins. Of course, you can always look into additional apps to enhance your optimization abilities and integrate your e-commerce store with other channels, such as Amazon or Google.

To boost your rankings and get your business in front of online shoppers on Google and other search engines, follow these BigCommerce search engine optimization tips.

1. Start With Keyword Research and an SEO Strategy

BigCommerce SEO optimization

The first step to optimizing your BigCommerce website starts off the platform. Before you start writing or publishing any content on your site, you should have a BigCommerce SEO plan and keyword strategy in place. You can use tools such as Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush, Moz, Ahrefs, or UberSuggest to identify which keywords have the right search volume and keyword difficulty. The key here is to understand your website SEO goals and to have a game plan for keyword optimization.

If you have already written pages on your site you’d like to boost performance for, you can start by analyzing the content’s performance by looking at data such as current keyword rankings, clicks, impressions, and bounce rate. Then, perform keyword research to reach your target customer and drive more sales to your products. For example, if you sell wool socks, you can consider optimizing blogs, product pages, or other pages on your site for long-tail keywords such as “wool socks for hiking” or “moisture-blocking wool socks.”

2. Fill Out the Appropriate BigCommerce SEO Fields

We’ve listed the many customizable SEO features available through BigCommerce. However, when optimizing your website for SEO, you need to make sure you are using these tools effectively. With every page you write or optimize, fill out the following fields:

  • URL Structure: Allow BigCommerce to auto-generate an SEO-friendly URL for your web pages or reformat the URL if needed to make it shorter or to fit your keyword strategy.
  • Title Tag: The titles you see on Google search listings are title tags. You should always create a title tag to appeal to your target audience and include your SEO keyword. As a general rule, keep title tags 60 characters or fewer to ensure the full text shows up in the search result. One template you can use is “Primary Keyword | Company Name.”
  • Meta Description: Similar to title tags, Google results all feature a meta description that briefly describes the web page. It’s best practice to include the primary keyword or a close variation of it in the description. Keep it short — no more than 160 characters — and make sure it’s interesting enough that someone wants to click it. It’s important to note that Google frequently changes meta descriptions even if you provide your own.
  • Product Information: BigCommerce utilizes product information to support schema markup and add rich snippets to your products on Google. The key information BigCommerce needs to add rich snippets are the product price, stock levels, user ratings, reviews, and brand name. It’s also important to provide comprehensive and keyword-rich product and category descriptions as part of your BigCommerce SEO strategy.
  • Keyword: Since BigCommerce can’t generate a keyword for you, it’s important to insert your primary keyword into BigCommerce to get insight into keyword density. While this step doesn’t impact your SEO score directly, it is a useful guide if you’re new to optimizing content with keywords and aren’t sure how often to use them.

3. Submit Your XML Sitemap to Google Search Console

Submitting a BigCommerce sitemap.

Submitting your XML sitemap to Google Search Console is an important step in optimizing your BigCommerce store for search engines. The XML sitemap is a file that lists all the pages of your website in a structured format, making it easier for search engines to discover and index your content.

To submit your XML sitemap in BigCommerce, follow these steps. First, generate your XML sitemap using BigCommerce’s built-in sitemap generator. Next, sign in to your Google Search Console account and select your website. Navigate to the “Sitemaps” section within Google Search Console, where you can enter the URL of your XML sitemap and click on the “Submit” button. Google will then process your sitemap submission and start crawling and indexing the pages listed in it.

4. Understand How Header Tags Impact SEO

Header tags, such as H1, H2, H3, etc., aren’t just there for design purposes. These headers play an important role in helping Google accurately index and rank your website. Make sure that you correctly mark the headings and subheadings in BigCommerce before publishing your content.

Headings provide a hierarchy for your site content, allowing you to structure and organize your writing for readers and help Google’s bots understand how each section of your content connects. Use H1 headings for your page title, which should include the primary keyword or a close variation.

Use H2 headings for primary sections, which should include keywords where possible. For subsections, add H3 or H4 headings as needed. These header tags have less of an impact on SEO but are still important for readability.

5. Include Links to Other Products and Web Pages

Internal links are another way to help Google bots understand how your website as a whole connects. Additionally, including links to other pages on your website helps keep web visitors on your site and leads them down a clear path to purchase.

Writing a blog post offers a great opportunity to talk organically about a topic related to your industry and link to your products. This soft-sale method allows you to educate your users on the benefits of items like yours while directing them to specific products on your site.

You can also include links to similar products, guides, or informational content on products, other core web pages, and blogs. You may also have call-to-action links that lead to a “Contact Us” or “Get a Quote” page.

6. Develop a Backlink Strategy

Discussing backlinking strategy.

Google looks to other websites to determine how trustworthy and authoritative your web pages are. Backlinks are when another website links back to yours, showing Google that others recommend and vouch for your brand.

A common way to gain backlinks to products is through written reviews or influencer content. You’ll gain the biggest benefit when sites that are authoritative and relevant to your products include a link to your site. For example, if you sell athletic shoes, a review from a professional athlete or a high-performing website dedicated to shoe reviews can boost your SEO rankings. On the other hand, a link from a spam or untrustworthy website can actually hurt your position on SERPs.

Partner With BKA Content for Expert BigCommerce SEO Content

BigCommerce is a great option for selling your products online, and our team at BKA Content can help you create engaging and friendly product descriptions, meta tags, web pages, sales landing pages, product reviews, and more to boost your content’s performance and generate more sales. Get started now to learn more about how BKA Content can support your BigCommerce SEO efforts with our tiered content marketing solutions.

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