BigCommerce SEO Made simple: A Step-by-step guide to BigCommerce SEO!

Updated: March 08, 2021

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BigCommerce is one of the supporting platforms to build e-commerce stores to help you sell and do business more effectively. Like other platforms, BigCommerce is also designed with many SEO tools to help your website quickly rank in search results so that traffic to your store increases rapidly. Besides creating great content, it also takes an optimal strategy to maximize the visibility on search engines to reach your target audience.

To start learning and applying SEO successfully on the BigCommerce platform, this article will help you get started with an overview of SEO and some of the guides to BigCommerce SEO.

Table of content

What is SEO & Why it’s important?

SEO
SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This is a set of rules to optimize your website so that it can achieve higher rankings on the organic search engine results page.

It’s a great way to increase a website’s quality by making it faster, easier, and more user-friendly to navigate.

SEO is considered as a complete framework because the whole process has several rules (or guidelines), several stages, and a set of controls.

In today’s competitive market, SEO marketing is more involving than ever.

Millions of users use every day to find answers to a user’s questions or find a solution to their problem.

If you are running a website, blog, or online store, SEO can help you get targeted free traffic from search engines.

SEO is very important because:

  • The majority of users using search engines (more than 65% - see chart below) are more likely to click on one of the top 5 positions in search engine results pages. To utilize this and drive visitors to your website or customers to your online store, your website needs to be in one of the top positions.
  • SEO is not just about search engines, it also improves the user experience and usability of a website. The user trusts the search engines and is present in the top positions for the keywords they are searching for, increasing the trust of the website.
  • SEO is very good for your website’s social prominence. People who find your website by searching Google or Yahoo are more likely to share it on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media channels.
  • SEO is crucial for the smooth running of a large website. SEO can boost sites with numerous writers in various ways. Their positive impact is more search engine traffic, while their indirect benefit is getting a general rule (checklist) to follow before publishing content on the website.
  • You can also use SEO to have a massive advantage over your competitors. If two websites sell the same thing, a search engine optimized website is more likely to have more customers and make more sales.

Is BigCommerce SEO-friendly?

BigCommerce is an e-commerce platform that rebranded recently, revamped existing features, and introduced lots of new features.

This is online store software, integrating directly with Google Merchant Center, enabling consumers to use Google Shopping to boost their items.

A wide range of BigCommerce’s features includes:

  • Free and paid themes are easy to customize.
  • Safe shopping cart.
  • Integrate with major payment gateways such as Stripe, PayPal, Apple Pay, …
  • Many marketing tools include the ability to sell on multiple platforms like Amazon Marketplace, Facebook, eBay, Pinterest, integration with multiple email providers, and more.
  • Inventory, shipping, and return management systems.
  • Supports multiple currencies.
  • Dropshipping & warehouse integration.

BigCommerce with advanced SEO features is designed to help drive traffic to your store. For newbies, you can change product names and descriptions, optimize product images, and enter specific keywords for each product. You can also take advantage of the ability to list products on the biggest product comparison tools like Nextag, PriceGrabber, Shopping.com, and more.

On top of that, BigCommerce uses its content delivery networks to optimize your store’s load times. Other features to help your search engine ranking include mobile-optimized themes, HTTPS wide site, automated sitemaps, microdata, and more.

A complete guide to BigCommerce SEO

Step 1: Do keyword research

Keyword research
Keyword research

Keyword research is a process that SEOers and content marketers use to discover which relevant search terms are being searched for on search engines like Google. These commonly searched words and phrases give content creators a good indication of what people are searching for on the Internet, thereby deciding what topic to write about to attract those readers to the page.

Keyword research is the essential foundation for creating a successful website with SEO. What’s more, keyword research will not only tell you what’s trending in your industry, but also discover what kind of competition you’ll have on the keyword phrases you want to rank for.

Decide on the success of an SEO campaign because if you use the wrong keywords, you will attract customers with the wrong target.

Identify potential keywords searchers use keywords when searching related to the topic, helping to choose suitable keywords for each website.

Step 2: Optimize on-page SEO

On-page SEO is the optimization within the website, on each sub-page, repeated many times every time a new article is posted. This is mainly to put this website in the first position on the search results page.

Here is four important elements of on-page optimization that you need to put an eye on:

On-page SEO
On-page SEO
  • Title: This is the first line that appears in the search results. It assesses most of the keywords whether to top or not. So the title needs to meet the requirements that it must contain keywords and must not exceed 60 characters in length.

  • Meta Descriptions: This is understood as the main description of the content, the main problem of the article, they are the part that provokes excitement, stimulating readers to click on reading the article. In this section, you also need to focus on keywords to help boot search faster

  • Headers: This is considered as layouts. It is advisable to prioritize the keywords that need SEO to appear on the Heading to help the content indexing process take place more quickly.

  • Quality content: Content is considered the most important in SEO. Therefore, the website should provide good and useful information for users. Content must not be duplicated, copied from others, written with an easy-to-read and understandable style, and valuable to readers.

On-page SEO
On-page SEO

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

Step 3: Perfect category and product pages

Category pages are usually the authoritative, high-ranking pages. Best practices for eCommerce websites suggest you should have a hierarchical structure with no more than three levels.

It means that 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.

SEO category pages
SEO category pages

To take advantage of this, even though they have some practical benefits regarding rankings and traffic, you need to do some SEO work to optimize those pages.

Otherwise, this may create the opposite effect since Google will not consider them as important, and your overall category domain authority will be negatively affected.

Category pages can help you reach higher rankings. Many eCommerce sites can’t rank for individual product pages because similar products are available on other larger websites and they tend to reach the first position on the search results page. Or because people normally use general terms to search products instead of using individual product names.

And when it comes to an optimized one-page product, it should include:

  • There is an SEO-friendly URL that describes the category.
  • The title includes keywords related to products in the category.
  • The description gives users enough information to know why they should click on your link from the SERPs.
  • A unique H1 tag (with keywords).
  • The textual content includes category-related information and internal links to subpages or other pages of the site.
  • High-quality images of products (or sub-categories).
  • Filters and other features to help users narrow down their choices and find what they want in the fastest possible way.
  • Incorporate all conversion optimization factors like store homepage (offers, customer reviews, call to action buttons, etc.)

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

SEO category pages
SEO category pages

Simply go to one of its category pages, where all relevant items are shown, and then click on one to be taken to a product page.

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.

SEO category pages
SEO category pages

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

Build backlink
Build backlink

Backlinks are links from one or more other websites pointing to your website. Google and search engines often rely on the number of backlinks pointing to a website to evaluate website rankings on SEO results.

Building backlinks for off-page SEO is a very important job to help your website rank high on the SERP.

The number of backlinks is an indication of the popularity and importance of that website. Backlinks are very important for SEO because some search engines, especially Google, always appreciate websites with lots of quality backlinks.

In theory, the more backlinks you have, the higher your chances of getting to TOP. However, if you create too many backlinks at once you will probably attract Google’s attention. Thus, if you want to have higher rankings in the SERP, instead of focusing on building the number of backlinks, focus on building quality backlinks for your website.

Therefore, SEOers need to understand the following main factors:

  • Only choose to put backlinks on websites that are relevant to your business type. Do not put around irrelevant, unsuitable pages.

  • There should be 3-5 links per keyword. The more backlinks, the more effective the keyword. However, you should build scattered over time, not concentrated at a time. Avoid Google suspecting that you are creating on purpose.

  • Choose to put a backlink on websites with outlink numbers below 25, PageRank rank greater than 0 (the higher, the better), and domain with a lifespan of more than 6 months.

  • Put a dofollow link for Google to find with your website. However, if the entire backlink is dofollow, then Google also evaluates it abnormally, so there should be a balance between dofollow and nofollow. This rate is still disputed, but you should still have at least 1 nofollow.

Step 5: Perform SEO audit

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 in order 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.

Whether you are re-tuning your SEO strategy, website redesign, or starting with a new website, SEO Audit can help you optimize every area. This ensures the website is given priority to compete in search results.

Technical Audit

And one of the first sections you need to check relates to the technical errors of the website.

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 web site?

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

• Breadcumbs

• Site Depth Check

• Next, previous tab for paging

• Canonical

Image

• Photos are lost

• Does not have an alt tag

Onpage

• Losing title

• Duplicate title

• The title is too long

• Loss of description

• Duplicate description

• The description is too long

Content Audit

Content audit is when you find content that does not meet the content quality standards you set earlier and then decide to improve or process it.

After 3 - 5 months you need to audit content again, check whether the search purpose 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.

ommon problems:

• Low-quality backlink

• Backlink is not indexed

• The backlink is broken

Final Words

BigCommerce is a good option for any company looking to sell online because it offers a lot of customization, incentives, and growth opportunities. Given their strong SEO potential, many companies choose to use it.

I hope this in-depth article has provided all the information you need and definitely helped make a difference to your BigCommerce SEO efforts.

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