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Ultimate Guide to BigCommerce SEO: Strategies for Success

June 11, 2024 | Author:  Andrew Maff
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BigCommerce has long been recognized as one of the leading e-commerce platforms for businesses looking to establish an online presence. With its user-friendly interface and powerful features, it’s no wonder that many companies have chosen BigCommerce as their go-to platform for selling products and services online.

However, like any other website or online store, simply having a BigCommerce site is not enough. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a critical component of any successful online business strategy, especially for BigCommerce users aiming to capture more traffic, enhance their brand's visibility, drive sales, and rank their site higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).

In this ultimate guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about BigCommerce SEO and how to optimize your site for success.

What is BigCommerce SEO?

Before we dive into the specific strategies, let's first understand what BigCommerce SEO is all about. 

BigCommerce SEO refers to the process of optimizing your online store on the BigCommerce platform to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This involves various techniques and tactics that aim to make your website more visible and easily discoverable by potential customers.

Importance of SEO for BigCommerce

SEO is not just a buzzword but a foundational element of digital marketing that can significantly impact your BigCommerce stores visibility and profitability. With the right SEO strategies, you can attract highly targeted traffic to your site, offering exactly what your visitors are searching for, which in turn can lead to higher conversion rates and increased revenue.

getting started with bigcommerce seo

Getting Started with BigCommerce SEO

Now that we understand the importance of SEO for BigCommerce, let’s dive into some actionable strategies to get you started on optimizing your site.

For beginners, SEO might initially appear overwhelming. However, with the right approach and tools, you can establish a strong SEO foundation for your BigCommerce store. Here are some essential steps to get started:

Step 1: Perform Keyword Research


Keyword research is an essential component of BigCommerce SEO strategy. It involves identifying the terms and phrases your potential customers are using to search for products or services similar to yours.

For BigCommerce store owners, effective keyword research lays the groundwork for all your SEO activities, guiding the optimization of your website’s content and structure to meet your audience's needs.

Identify Your Target Audience


Begin by defining who your target customers are and what problems they are trying to solve or what desires they wish to fulfill. Understanding your audience will help you identify the search terms they might use.

Use Keyword Research Tools


Leverage tools like Google Keyword Planner, Semrush, or Ahrefs to discover keywords related to your products and industry. These tools offer insights into search volume, keyword difficulty, and competition levels, helping you prioritize your efforts.

Analyze Competitors


Study your competitors' websites and keyword strategies. Identify the keywords they are ranking for and assess whether targeting these same keywords could benefit your BigCommerce store.

Focus on Long-Tail Keywords


Long-tail keywords, which are longer and more specific phrases, tend to have lower competition and can drive higher-quality traffic to your site. Long-tail keywords also capture the user's intent more precisely, often resulting in higher conversion rates.

Evaluate Keyword Relevance


Ensure that the keywords you select are relevant to your products or services. Irrelevant traffic will not convert, so targeting keywords that align with your BigCommerce store's offerings is important.

Organize and Prioritize


After collecting a list of potential keywords, organize them based on relevance, search volume, and competition. Prioritize the keywords most likely to drive targeted traffic to your BigCommerce store, focusing on those you believe you can realistically rank for.

Step 2: Conduct a Comprehensive SEO Audit

Conducting an SEO audit is a critical step for any BigCommerce store owner looking to refine their SEO strategy and improve their site's search engine ranking. A BigCommerce SEO audit involves systematically examining your website to identify areas for improvement and rectify any issues hindering its performance in search engines. 

Here’s how to perform an SEO audit for your BigCommerce site:

analyze onpage seo elements

Analyze On-Page SEO Elements


Start with on-page SEO elements, which include title tags, meta descriptions, headings (H1, H2, H3, etc.), and content. Ensure that these elements are present and optimized for your target keywords.

Each page should have a unique title tag and meta description that accurately describes the page's content and includes relevant keywords. Heading tags should be used hierarchically to structure content and incorporate key phrases.

Evaluate Website Structure and Navigation


The structure of your BigCommerce site plays a vital role in how search engines understand and rank your content. Assess the ease of navigation, the consistency of your URL structure, and the clarity of your site’s hierarchy. Additionally, make sure your website is logically organized and has a clear sitemap that allows both users and search engines to easily find and index your pages.

Check Mobile Responsiveness


As more and more people use their mobile devices to search for products and services, it has become crucial to ensure your BigCommerce site is optimized for mobile.  Check how your site looks and functions on different devices, providing a seamless user experience for all.

Assess Page Speed


Page speed is a crucial factor for both SEO and user experience. Use tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights to analyze your website's loading speed. Follow the recommendations to improve performance, including optimizing images, leveraging browser caching, and minimizing CSS and JavaScript.

Identify and Fix Broken Links


Broken links can negatively affect your site's user experience and SEO. Use tools like Screaming Frog SEO Spider or Ahrefs to crawl your site and identify any broken links. Ensure all links function correctly and lead to the intended destination, fixing or removing any broken ones.

Analyze Off-Page SEO Factors


Off-page SEO factors, such as your site’s backlink profile, are also crucial. Evaluate the quality and quantity of sites linking back to your BigCommerce store.

High-quality, relevant backlinks can significantly boost your site's authority and search engine ranking. Consider using tools like Moz's Link Explorer or Ahrefs to assess your backlink profile and pinpoint any toxic links that may harm your site’s SEO.

Review Content Quality and Relevance


Content is the foundation of SEO. Review your site’s content to ensure it is high-quality, informative, and relevant to your target audience's interests and search intentions. Content should also be regularly updated to stay relevant and valuable to both new and returning visitors.

Step 3: On-Page Optimization Strategies for BigCommerce Stores

Optimizing your BigCommerce store involves a variety of on-page techniques that focus on enhancing individual web pages to improve search engine rankings and earn organic traffic. These strategies are designed to make a page's content and HTML source code more attractive to search engines. 

Here are the primary on-page optimization tactics you should implement:

Optimize Title Tags and Meta Descriptions


The title tag and meta description are critical elements of on-page SEO. They help search engines understand a page's content and relevance and play a significant role in user click-through rates from the search engine results pages (SERPs). 

Ensure that each page of your BigCommerce store has a unique and descriptive title and meta description, incorporating relevant keywords without overstuffing.

Improve URL Structure


Ensure your website’s URLs are clean, concise, and descriptive. Include relevant keywords in your URLs to help search engines understand the content of each page. A well-structured URL enhances the user experience and supports your site's SEO.

Leverage Header Tags


Use header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) to structure your content effectively. A clear hierarchy helps search engines understand your page's main topics and subtopics, making it easier to index. The H1 tag, in particular, should include your primary keyword and be used once per page to signify the main title.

optimize images

Optimize Images


Image optimization involves resizing, compressing, and including descriptive, keyword-rich file names and alt attributes. This not only improves page load times but also aids in search engine ranking, particularly in image search results. BigCommerce stores heavily rely on high-quality images to showcase products, making image optimization a crucial aspect of on-page SEO.

Content Quality and Relevance


The content on your BigCommerce store, including product descriptions, blog posts, and informative pages, should be high-quality, informative, and relevant to your target audience. Incorporating keywords naturally into your content can improve rankings, but always prioritize the reader’s experience and the genuine value the content provides.

Step 4: Work on Category and Product Pages


Category and product pages are critical for BigCommerce stores, as they often serve as landing pages for organic traffic. To optimize them effectively, follow these strategies:

Optimize Category Pages


Ensure that your category pages have unique titles and meta descriptions, including relevant keywords and a brief description of the category’s contents. Use header tags (H1, H2, etc.) to structure the page, with the H1 tag containing the category name and primary keyword. Including high-quality images and detailed descriptions of each category’s products can also improve rankings.

Optimize Product Pages


Product pages should have descriptive titles and meta descriptions that incorporate relevant keywords. Organize the product information effectively using header tags, such as H1 for the product name and key features, followed by H2 tags for additional details. 

Moreover, product descriptions should be detailed and informative, including keywords where appropriate. High-quality images and video should also be utilized to showcase products and improve user experience.

Step 5: Best Technical SEO Practices for BigCommerce

Technical SEO is a foundational aspect of a comprehensive SEO strategy, especially for e-commerce platforms like BigCommerce. These practices ensure that your site can be easily crawled and indexed by search engines, a vital factor in achieving high search rankings and attracting organic traffic. Here are several technical SEO best practices tailored for BigCommerce stores:

Ensure Mobile Responsiveness


With the increasing importance of mobile search traffic, ensuring your BigCommerce store is fully responsive and mobile-friendly is paramount. Google's mobile-first indexing prioritizes the mobile version of content for indexing and ranking, making mobile responsiveness a critical aspect of technical SEO.

Use SSL Encryption


Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption creates a secure link between a website and a visitor's browser, ensuring that all data passed between them remains private. Google has confirmed that using SSL is a ranking factor. Therefore, ensure your BigCommerce store uses HTTPS to secure customer data and improve your site’s SEO.

Implement Schema Markup


Schema markup is a code that you put on your website to help search engines return more informative results for users. Implementing schema markup for your products and reviews helps search engines understand your content better. This leads to rich snippets in search results, potentially increasing click-through rates.

Optimize Site Architecture


A well-organized site structure improves user experience and helps search engines crawl your site more effectively. For BigCommerce stores, a logical hierarchy with a clear navigation path from the homepage to product pages can significantly enhance SEO performance.

Improve Site Speed


Site speed is a critical user experience factor that significantly impacts SEO. Optimizing image sizes, leveraging caching, and minimizing unnecessary scripts can help speed up your BigCommerce store. Consider using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to improve load times for visitors worldwide.

Address Crawl Errors


Regularly monitoring and addressing crawl errors in Google Search Console is vital for ensuring that search engines can effectively access and index your website. Addressing 404 errors, rectifying redirect chains, and removing duplicate content are critical actions for sustaining a robust SEO-friendly site.

Optimize for Voice Search


With the rise of digital assistants, voice search optimization has become an important aspect of SEO. Focus on natural language and question-based queries that people might use when speaking to their devices. Including an FAQs page on your BigCommerce store that addresses common questions in a conversational tone can help capture this traffic.

seo tactics to boosbilityt visi

Step 6: Off-Page SEO Tactics to Boost BigCommerce Store Visibility

Off-page SEO strategies are essential for enhancing the visibility and reputation of your BigCommerce store beyond the confines of your actual website. These tactics primarily focus on building your site’s authority through backlinks, social media engagement, and other external efforts. 

Implementing off-page SEO strategies effectively can significantly impact your store's ranking on search engines and its overall digital footprint. Here are key off-page SEO tactics to consider:

Build Quality Backlinks


Backlinks, or inbound links from other websites to yours, are critical in search engine algorithms. Focus on acquiring high-quality backlinks from reputable and relevant websites in your industry. Techniques such as guest blogging, collaborations with influencers, and creating shareable content can facilitate this. Remember, it's the quality, not just the quantity, of backlinks that matter.

Engage on Social Media


Social media platforms are invaluable for increasing the visibility of your BigCommerce store. Post engaging content regularly, interact with your followers, and use appropriate hashtags to expand your reach. 

While social media signals do not directly influence search engine rankings, they increase brand exposure, which can lead to increased search demand and direct traffic.

Encourage Customer Reviews


Customer reviews enhance your BigCommerce store's credibility and can impact its SEO. Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on your site and on third-party platforms like Google My Business, Yelp, and industry-specific review sites. These reviews can improve your store's local SEO, helping it rank higher in local search queries.

Leverage Influencer Collaborations


Collaborating with influencers in your niche can amplify your brand's visibility and lend authority to your BigCommerce store. Influencers can generate natural, high-quality backlinks to your site and expose your brand to a larger audience. Choose influencers whose audience aligns with your target market for maximum impact.

Participate in Forums and Online Communities


Engaging in forums and online communities relevant to your BigCommerce store’s niche can drive traffic and build brand visibility. Share your expertise, answer questions, and subtly reference your store when appropriate. This can establish your store as a credible source of information and products, building trust with potential customers.

Step 7: Leveraging Analytics and Tools to Measure SEO Success on BigCommerce

Incorporating analytics and various tools is indispensable to gauge the effectiveness of your SEO strategies for your BigCommerce store. These resources offer insights into your website's performance, helping identify improvement areas and validate the success of implemented tactics. Here’s how to leverage analytics and tools to measure SEO success:

Utilize BigCommerce Analytics


BigCommerce provides built-in analytics that gives you a comprehensive overview of your store’s performance. Take advantage of this and regularly check your store's dashboard for metrics related to traffic sources, visitor demographics, conversion rates, and other relevant data. This can help pinpoint the origins of your traffic and the effectiveness of your SEO efforts.

Google Analytics and Google Search Console


Google Analytics offers deep insights into your website’s traffic, including user behavior, bounce rate, session duration, and much more. Integrating Google Search Console provides visibility into how Google views your site, highlighting areas to optimize for better search performance. Together, these tools allow you to track the success of your SEO strategies through data-driven decisions.

Use SEO Tools for Keyword and Competitor Analysis


Leveraging SEO tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, or Moz can provide an edge by offering in-depth keyword research, backlink analysis, and competitor insights. These platforms can help identify high-impact keywords, understand your competitive landscape, and discover areas where your SEO can be improved.

Monitor Backlink Quality and Quantity


Backlinks are a critical component of SEO success. Use tools like Ahrefs or Majestic to monitor the quality and quantity of backlinks to your BigCommerce store. These tools can help identify valuable linking opportunities and detect potentially harmful links that may impact your search engine rankings.

Track Conversion Rat
es


Ultimately, the goal of SEO is not just to drive traffic but to convert that traffic into sales or leads. Set up goals in Google Analytics to track conversions originating from SEO efforts. Analyzing conversion rates can help you understand which keywords and pages perform best, allowing you to replicate successful strategies across your site.

By systematically utilizing these analytics and tools, you can develop a clear, actionable understanding of your SEO performance on BigCommerce. This data-driven approach allows for continuous optimization, enhancing your store's visibility, user experience, and, ultimately, its success in the digital marketplace.

Conclusion

Effectively optimizing your BigCommerce store for search engines is crucial in today's competitive digital landscape. By implementing the strategies outlined in this guide, you can increase your store's visibility, drive high-quality traffic, and ultimately improve its profitability.

Remember to continually monitor and adjust your SEO efforts based on data-driven insights, as search engine algorithms are constantly evolving. With a well-executed SEO strategy, your BigCommerce store can reach its full potential and thrive in the online marketplace.  So, use these tips to take your SEO game to the next level and drive success for your BigCommerce store.

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