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How to Optimize SEO for Your BigCommerce Store?

March 28, 2024
Written and researched by experts at AvadaLearn more about our methodology

By Sam Nguyen

CEO Avada Commerce

This article provides you with straightforward, effective techniques to improve SEO for BigCommerce stores. 

Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways

5 steps to optimize SEO for your BigCommerce store:

A Complete Guide to BigCommerce SEO: 5 Steps

Step 1: Do keyword research

keyword research

Keyword research is an indispensable process for SEO professionals and content marketers. It involves identifying the search terms that are most relevant and popular among your target audience on search engines like Google. 

These keywords provide valuable insights into what your potential customers are interested in and are actively searching for online. They not only reveal what topics are trending in your industry but also provide a clear picture of the competition you face for the keywords you aim to rank for. Selecting the wrong keywords can divert you from your target audience, making it harder to achieve your marketing goals.

In short, understanding these search trends is crucial for creating content that attracts visitors to your site.

What You Need to Do

  1. Use Keyword Research Tools: Utilize AI and ML-powered tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Moz Keyword Explorer to uncover keywords with potential for growth and to gain insights into search volume, competition, and trend predictions.
  2. Analyze User Intent: Go beyond volume and competition by analyzing the intent behind keywords. Use this understanding to create content that aligns with what your audience is searching for, whether they are looking to buy, learn, or find a specific website.
  3. Evaluate the Competition: Investigate who is currently ranking for your chosen keywords. This will give you insight into what content is performing well and identify opportunities to differentiate your content.
  4. Focus on Long-Tail Keywords: These longer, more specific keywords often have lower search volumes but higher conversion rates due to their specificity. They are particularly useful for targeting users further down the purchase funnel.
  5. Stay Updated with Keyword Trends: Use tools like Google Trends to monitor changes in search behavior and adapt your keyword strategy accordingly.
  6. Compile a Keyword List: Organize your findings into a prioritized list based on relevance, search volume, and competitiveness.

Tools for Keyword Research

Keyword research has evolved. The use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) tools can now predict keyword trends, making it easier to stay ahead in your content strategy. These are the advanced tools to analyze search data and user behavior to forecast rising trends, enabling marketers to tap into emerging opportunities before they become saturated.

You can try these keyword research tools:

  • Ahrefs: helps you uncover not just keyword ideas but also the search volume, keyword difficulty, and the ranking pages for those terms. 
  • SEMrush: SEMrush offers a comprehensive keyword tool that provides data on search volume, keyword difficulty, and variations of your seed keywords. 
  • Moz Keyword Explorer: Moz’s tool gives you keyword suggestions, SERP analysis, and a unique “Priority” score.
  • Google Trends: identifies seasonal trends and the rising popularity of search terms over time. 
  • AlsoAsked.com: dives into the “People also ask” sections in Google search results, providing insights into related questions and topics. 
  • AnswerThePublic: visualizes search questions and suggested autocomplete searches in an image called a search cloud. 
  • SurferSEO: uses AI to analyze the content of top-ranking pages and suggests the most relevant terms and questions you should include in your content.
  • MarketMuse: applies AI to compare your content against the top performers in your topic area.

Effective keyword research is more than identifying popular terms; it’s about predicting future trends, understanding user intent, and strategically positioning your content. By incorporating these modern techniques and tools into your keyword research process, you can significantly enhance the visibility and relevance of your content in search results.

How to Understand User Intent

1. Check What People Search For: See what words people use in search engines. Words like “buy” or “how to” show what they want.

2. See What Shows Up: Look at what comes up when you search. This tells you what people are looking for.

3. Know Your Customers: Understand what your customers need and like. Listen to what they say and what they want.

4. Make the Right Content: Make content that helps your customers. Answer their questions and solve their problems.

5. Use the Right Words: Use words that match what people are searching for. Words like “how to” or “best” help you do this.

Step 2: Optimize on-page SEO

On-page SEO refers to the practice of optimizing web pages to improve a site’s search engine rankings and earn organic traffic. This includes optimizing the content as well as the HTML source code of a page. 

What You Need to Do

  1. Implement Schema Markup: Identify the most relevant schema markup types for your content (such as articles, products, reviews, and FAQs) and integrate them into your web pages. Tools like Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper can guide you through the process.
  2. Test Your Markup: Use tools like Google’s Rich Results Test to ensure your structured data is correctly implemented and eligible for rich snippets in search results.
  3. Monitor Performance: Keep an eye on how your pages perform in search results with and without rich snippets. Adjust your strategy as needed based on the data from Google Search Console and other SEO tools.
on-page SEO

What is Structured Data (Schema Markup)?

Structured data, or schema markup, is a critical but often overlooked element of on-page SEO. By implementing schema markup, you can help search engines better understand the content of your pages, which can lead to enhanced search visibility through rich snippets. Rich snippets add a visual layer to an existing result (e.g., star ratings, images, additional text) and can significantly increase click-through rates.

  1. Title Tags: The title of your webpage is critical. It’s the first thing that appears in the search results, making it crucial for both SEO and user engagement. Ensure your title tags are descriptive, include your target keywords, and are limited to 60 characters to ensure they display properly in search results.
  2. Meta Descriptions: These provide a brief summary of your page’s content and are another opportunity to include relevant keywords. Effective meta descriptions can improve click-through rates from the search results page.
  3. Headers: Organize your content with headers (H1, H2, H3, etc.) to make it easier for readers to navigate and for search engines to understand the structure and relevance of your content. Include keywords in your headers, but keep them natural and relevant to the content that follows.
  4. Quality Content: The cornerstone of your website. Content should be original, informative, and valuable to your audience. It should also be updated regularly to remain relevant and authoritative.

Luckily, instead of editing HTML, all you need to do is add a title, keywords, and meta descriptions since BigCommerce already provides such simple SEO fields, enabling you to fill in your data and content for each page.

on-page SEO

Step 3: Perfect category and product pages

Besides the homepage, the second most imperative pages of your website are category (product group) pages.

As you can see in the chart below, authority and “link juice” get stronger on category pages because they are located high.

category and product pages

Here is an example of an optimized category page from the Zara website.

seo for bigcommerce website

And here’s one of their product pages, which contains a sufficient amount of copy, high-quality images, and a range of choices from which customers can choose.


Properly optimized category pages can help your store achieve better rankings in search, while non-optimized pages can produce the opposite results.

What You Need to Do

To ensure your category and product pages are fully optimized, follow these actionable steps:

  1. Implement Structured Data: Add schema markup to your product pages to enable rich snippets in search results, such as ratings, price, and availability. This can lead to higher click-through rates.
  2. Internal Linking Strategy: Develop a strategy for internal linking within category and product pages to improve site navigation and distribute page authority. Use relevant anchor text for links.
  3. Evaluate Page Performance: Use tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights to check the loading speed of your category and product pages. Make necessary adjustments to improve speed, such as compressing images and minimizing JavaScript.
  4. Monitor and Adjust Based on Analytics: Regularly review your site analytics to understand how users interact with your category and product pages. Look for patterns in bounce rates, time on page, and conversion rates to identify areas for improvement.

Backlinks, also known as inbound links or external links, are links from other websites that point to your site. They are a critical component of SEO as they signal to search engines that others vouch for your content. Google and other search engines use backlinks as an important factor in determining a page’s ranking on the search engine results pages (SERP).

What You Need to Do

  1. Focus on Quality Over Quantity: Prioritize getting backlinks from reputable, relevant sites in your industry or niche. 
  2. Create Link-Worthy Content: High-quality, valuable content naturally attracts backlinks. Focus on creating resources, guides, infographics, or research studies that others will want to reference or share.
  3. Engage in Guest Blogging: Write articles for other reputable websites in your industry. 
  4. Monitor Your Backlink Profile: Regularly check your backlink profile using tools like Google Search Console, Ahrefs, or Moz. Look for and disavow any low-quality or spammy links that could harm your site’s reputation.
  5. Avoid Manipulative Link-Building Practices: Practices such as buying links, participating in link schemes, or using automated programs to create links to your site are against Google’s guidelines and can result in penalties. 

Step 5: Perform an SEO audit

SEO audit

SEO Audit is the analysis of a website, looking at issues that hinder a page’s ranking on search engines and areas that need improvement to get more visibility in search results and drive retention.

SEO Audit is the first step in creating an SEO strategy based on your website, niche, and specific business goals.

SEO Audit includes:

  • Technical Audit
  • Content Audit
  • Backlink audit

Technical Audit

BigCommerce has been designed to handle much of the technical SEO automatically, making it easier for merchants without technical expertise to optimize their sites. However, with the rapid advancements in web technology, there are additional considerations for enhancing your site’s technical SEO.

To check the technical errors of the website, check these:

Indexing & Crawlability

  • File robots
  • Sitemap
  • Client Side (40x, 50x) Errors

Check if the site is indexed or not, are search bugs prevented from scratching the data on your website?

Redirects: Reasonable website redirects do not include redirects: HTTP, HTTPS, 301, 302

URLs: problems related to the path

  • Friendly URL Links
  • Absolute (relative) URL

Encoding & technical factors

  • Not optimal for mobile (mobile-friendly)
  • Problem with HTTPS
  • No canonical
  • W3C HTML and CSS error

Check the web structure

  • Breadcrumbs
  • Site Depth Check
  • Canonical


  • Photos are lost
  • Does not have an alt tag


  • Losing title
  • Duplicate title
  • The title is too long
  • Loss of description
  • Duplicate description
  • The description is too long

Content Audit

After 3 – 5 months, you need to audit the content again and check whether the search intent has changed so that you can edit the article accordingly.

Common problems:

  • Duplicate content.
  • Thin content (Less than 600 words)
  • Low-quality content (no traffic, no backlinks, ..)

Backlink auditing is the process of identifying backlinks that do not meet the backlink quality criteria you developed while doing your off-page work and making decisions to change or process them.

Common problems:

  • Low-quality backlink
  • Backlink is not indexed
  • The backlink is broken

So these are all the 5 steps you need to take to ensure the SEO of your website is going well. 

8 Expert Tips in Optimizing SEO for BigCommerce

  1. Optimize for Mobile Users

Ensure your site is mobile-friendly. A responsive design is a must, as it adjusts your site to fit any screen size. This not only improves user experience but also boosts your search engine rankings since Google favors mobile-optimized sites.


  • Use BigCommerce built-in responsive themes to ensure your site automatically adjusts to any screen size. 
  • Regularly test your site’s mobile usability with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to identify and fix any issues.
  1. Boost Your Site Speed

A fast-loading site is crucial. Optimize images by compressing them and use a content delivery network (CDN) to speed up load times. Minimizing CSS, JavaScript, and HTML files can also contribute to faster page loads, improving your site’s usability and SEO.


  • Compress images using tools like TinyPNG before uploading them to your site. 
  • Enable BigCommerce’s Akamai Image Manager for automatic image optimization. 
  • Minimize the use of heavy scripts and plugins that slow down your site.
  1. Publish Quality Content

Beyond selling products, your site should answer potential customers’ questions. Create content like blogs, how-to articles, and product guides. This not only helps with SEO but also establishes your site as a helpful resource.


  • Start a blog within your BigCommerce store to share insights, product reviews, and guides related to your niche. 
  • Use the blog to target long-tail keywords that are relevant but less competitive, increasing your chances of ranking higher.
  1. Prepare for Voice Search

Voice search is becoming more popular. Optimize your content to match the conversational tone of voice queries. Include long-tail keywords that mimic how real people talk and ask questions.


  • Incorporate question-based keywords into your content. 
  • Use tools like AnswerThePublic to find common questions in your niche. 
  • Create FAQ sections on your product pages and blog posts that directly answer these queries.
  1. Display Your Expertise (E-A-T)

Google values content that demonstrates expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T). Share your knowledge through comprehensive guides and answer common questions in your area of business. This can elevate your site’s credibility and search ranking.


  • Create an “About Us” page that highlights your expertise and credentials in your industry. 
  • Publish case studies, white papers, and user testimonials to build authority and trustworthiness.
  1. Establish Authority

Guest blogging and earning awards or certifications can enhance your site’s reputation and SEO.


  • Reach out to industry blogs or news sites for guest posting opportunities. 
  • Use social media and professional networks like LinkedIn to share your content and increase its reach. 
  1. Ensure Your Site Is Trustworthy

Make your contact information easy to find and ensure your site is secure, especially for online transactions. Customer reviews can also bolster your site’s trustworthiness, encouraging more visitors to make a purchase.


  • Ensure all your web pages are HTTPS-secured, a signal of trust to both users and search engines. 
  • Display security badges and payment icons on your checkout pages. 
  • Actively encourage customers to leave product reviews and ratings on your site.
  1. Stay Up-to-Date

SEO standards are always evolving. Stay informed about the latest SEO trends and algorithm updates by following reputable SEO news sources and blogs.


  • Subscribe to SEO-focused newsletters and blogs like Moz, Search Engine Journal, and Google’s Webmaster Central Blog. 
  • Attend webinars and online courses to stay ahead of the latest SEO trends and algorithm updates.

Is BigCommerce good for SEO?

Yes. BigCommerce provides many built-in SEO-friendly functionalities. 

Regarding technical SEO, BigCommerce already does most of the technical work for you. That means you don’t have to care much about your website security and data storage, website architecture, mobile friendliness, URLs, etc. This is such a relief for merchants who don’t have technical expertise.

That said, BigCommerce still gives space to those who would love to customize their page by themselves. For instance, they offer auto-populated URLs that are SEO-friendly, but if you want, you can still customize the URLs.

In other words, BigCommerce offloads most of the technical SEO so that you can focus more on your content strategy.

Regarding on-page SEO, BigCommerce also offers several basic functionalities for BigCommerce blogs, such as:

  • Tags
  • Alt text for images
  • Social sharing widgets

If the pre-built functionalities for SEO are not enough for you, BigCommerce also has SEO integrations that will help you optimize your site.

FAQs: SEO for BigCommerce

BigCommerce SEO problems include limited customization for Canonical URLs, which affects indexing and ranking. It also has restrictions on payment options, excluding some popular digital wallets, and offers limited blog functionality compared to full-featured platforms like WordPress. These limitations can hinder SEO efforts and overall site performance.

Yes, BigCommerce has built-in SEO features, such as optimized URLs, unique URLs to prevent duplicate content, microdata for enhanced search listings, 301 redirects for URL changes, and a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to improve site speed. However, these features are basic, and for advanced SEO needs, using third-party tools and strategies is recommended.

Final thought

By following the simple and straightforward strategies outlined in this guide, you can significantly improve your store’s SEO performance. Remember, SEO is an ongoing process that requires regular updates and adjustments. Stay informed about the latest SEO practices and continue to refine your strategies to maintain and improve your store’s search engine rankings. With patience and persistence, your efforts will lead to a more visible and successful BigCommerce store.

Sam Nguyen is the CEO and founder of Avada Commerce, an e-commerce solution provider headquartered in Singapore. He is an expert on the Shopify e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. Sam loves talking about e-commerce and he aims to help over a million online businesses grow and thrive.