As the eCommerce landscape continues to grow, SEO becomes increasingly more important for businesses that want to gain traffic, increase sales, and dominate their niche. Knowing how to properly implement certain SEO tactics can be the difference between success and failure considering how competitive search results have become.
While it’s true that powerful eCommerce platforms like BigCommerce come equipped with decent SEO conventions built in, you’re not going to get very far if you allow your website to coast without any optimizations in place.
The following BigCommerce SEO tips will help you better understand what your eCommerce business really needs in order to rank higher in Google, without weighing you down with too much technical jargon or complex strategies.
BigCommerce may give you the tools to create a powerful eCommerce business from scratch, but knowing how to implement these tools and combine them with other important tactics is key to really pushing your business forward in order to generate the kind of success you’re looking for.
#1 Optimize Your Product Listings
The first major point we need to hone in on is your product listings. These are the bread and butter of your eCommerce website, yet all too often store owners ignore them.
An unoptimized product listing is like having your merchandise on hand but rather than displaying it properly for your customers to see, it’s sitting in a cardboard box on the floor. Yes, you may have the merchandise on hand, and customers may still want it, but it is a far less attractive proposition, and in many cases, they may not even find the product at all.
Your product listings reflect the overall feeling of your website and business. They should ooze with important information, buzz phrases for your niche, keywords, and amazing photos. If your store has hundreds of products, it can seem like a daunting task to have to go through all of your listings and optimize them, but it is certainly worth every minute of work.
Ideally, once your store begins to accrue positive rankings in Google, a product page may be the first thing a user sees when they first enter your website. Every product listing should act as a mini sales pitch, able to stand on its own legs and sell your product and brand without help from your homepage or any other landing pages you may have.
A product page properly optimized for SEO should include the following things:
- Page title must include your focus keyword or the name of your product in question.
- URL should reflect page title and focus keyword. Keep URLs as short and succinct as possible.
- A healthy product description. One sentence is the bare minimum. You should strive for at least a small paragraph that mentions the best qualities of the product. Remember, every product page should function as its own sales page.
- Product variations labeled correctly when applicable.
- High-quality product photo with alt text describing the product.
- Meta description in place should be a condensed version of your product description. It should be engaging and enticing and contain your focus keyword.
If you’re wondering if there are any “quick fixes” for your store in order to rank higher in Google and see more traffic and sales, optimizing your product listings is probably the best avenue to take that will get you the best results. A well-designed product page will not only move your users to commit to a purchase but will directly influence how well you rank in Google.
#2 Keyword Research
Closely related to crafting an optimized product page, keyword research is a big part of succeeding in the eCommerce world. You have to understand what your potential customers are searching for, what your competitors are ranking for, and where you fall in terms of search results.
There are several tools out there, both free and paid, that can assist you with keyword research. You likely have somewhat of an idea already in regards to what keywords you should be using in your industry because your customers are looking for certain kinds of products you specialize in. However, without research, you won’t know which keywords you need to focus on and boost, which ones are already performing well, and whether or not there are any important ones you may be missing entirely.
Through proper keyword research, you can also discover important keywords that your competitors may not be focusing on but that get a lot of monthly searches. These are ripe topics that you can incorporate into your product listings and blog posts, and if done correctly, you will begin to see impressive results.
While you might be inclined to believe you need expensive software in order to glean information about your keywords, there are actually several important free tools you should learn to make use of. These include the Google Keyword Planner as well as the Google search results themselves.
In the Discover New Keywords section of the Google Keyword Planner, you can submit any keyword that you believe is relevant to your niche or that you would like to rank for, and Google will display dozens or even hundreds of related search terms and long-tail keywords, along with their monthly search volume.
You can use this tool for a myriad of purposes that will directly benefit your business and allow you to properly optimize your products and pages. For example, you can search for related keywords that have a high search volume but aren’t as competitive. You can also learn new long-tail keywords to use that you may not have thought of, in order to describe your product.
While keyword research can get extremely complex, don’t let that deter you from doing what needs to be done in order to help your online store succeed. You can start by performing initial research in the Google Keyword Planner and go from there. To supplement what you find there, you can actually use the Google search results to your advantage as well.
Unbeknownst to most, every Google search results page is loaded with valuable information you can use to optimize your SEO. Just look at all of the information you can take away in this snippet from Google when you search for “men’s designer shoes.”
As you can see, the “people also ask” section is essentially a selection of queries other users have made in relation to this keyword. These questions are actually long-tail keywords, which you already know there is a demand for. If you are curious about their competition and possible viability for use on your store, you can simply plug them into the Google Keyword Planner and see for yourself.
Another important part of the Google search results that can help you in your research are the terms that appear at the bottom of every search results page.
Unlike the questions in the “people also ask” section, there is simply a sample of related keywords that are often directly related to your keyword in question and can provide some further insight into what people are searching for.
The key to keyword research is not to over complicate it at the start. When you’re first getting your store off the ground, all you need is a solid foundation.
#3 Pay Attention to Your Mobile Usability
As far as BigCommerce SEO tips go, this issue is becoming more important as every year passes. More and more users are shopping on their mobile devices, which means your store needs to be optimized for mobile use. While BigCommerce websites tend to be rather mobile-friendly right out of the gate, you still need to take certain mobile usability issues seriously if you want to offer the best possible experience.
It’s also important to keep in mind that Google is now prioritizing mobile content. Mobile usability is now an actual ranking factor because at the end of the day their algorithm is based on helping users find what they need in the best possible way. If your website isn’t meeting those needs, it’s not going to get ranked as high as a competitor website that does.
Some conventional wisdom for optimizing for mobile, make sure all of your links are clickable and that your text is legible. You should also make sure that your photos are compressed. Some website owners get confused on this issue, as they hear that your photos shouldn’t be “too large” otherwise it will slow download times. So, as a result, they upload tiny, terrible quality photos.
You want to upload high-quality photos that are compressed properly. There are various methods of compressing high-res photos online, such as Optimizilla. For batch compression, you may want to invest in a premium tool or inquire with us here at Genius eCommerce for any such professional eCommerce needs.
Remember, even in this age of 5G and connectivity, there are still many people who rely on slower Internet services, so you want to ensure that your website functions for everyone from both a layout as well as a page speed standpoint.
#4 Use All of Google’s Tools to Your Advantage
We already discussed Google’s Keyword Planner, but Google offers a wide variety of other tools that you need to be taking advantage of in order to get the most out of your BigCommerce store. Some of the most notable ones include:
Each of these apps or tools can bring value to your digital storefront by giving you a direct look into metrics like user behavior and crawl status. Google Webmaster Tools, for example, allows you to see what your website is actually ranking for, what pages or products on your website are performing the best, and if Google believes you have any server conflicts or usability issues.
Through Google Webmaster Tools, you can also directly manage your sitemap, which is important for getting your website properly indexed. Your sitemap is essentially a guide for how Google should crawl your website. Other notable features here include viewing your backlinks and managing or disavowing spam links, and which pages could be improved for speed.
The next tool you should be using is Google Analytics, which tells you where your traffic is coming from and how well your website is performing overall. Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools work in tandem to give you a clear picture of how your website is behaving and performing in Google. It’s common in the world of SEO to seek out complex and exotic tools to improve SEO, but not enough people take advantage of the tools they already have. These Google tools are available to anyone with a BigCommerce store and don’t cost a cent to use.
#5 High-Quality Shareable Product Images
We mentioned images briefly in our section on product page optimization, but they deserve their own section because they play such an important role in how a user sees your products.
In today’s age of social media and the expectation of online visuals, you have to go the extra mile to make sure your product images are not only high quality but attractive. In other words, all of your product images should be readily shareable on social media.
When someone sees your products in your store, they should feel comfortable sharing these photos on their socials. This means proper dimensions and decent quality. If these traits are lacking, your users will instinctively register your products as not being worthy of a share on social media. While this isn’t always a concern for every eCommerce store, if you are in a trendy niche like fashion or anything that relies on visuals to sell the product, you better believe your sales may hinge on attractive product photography.
This is not an area you want to skimp in. If you have to, hire a photographer or invest in a photo editing course. There are several services online that can help you resize photos or add filters and embellishments, such as Canva or Placeit.
Great photos can communicate just as much as a well-made product description, if not more, so consider this if your store currently only has low-res and awkwardly sized product photos.
Getting the Most Out of Your BigCommerce Store
With the BigCommerce platform, you have a powerful gateway into eCommerce, but this is only the beginning. If you honestly want your store to succeed, you are going to need to analyze your SEO needs and take optimization seriously, otherwise, you will almost certainly lag behind your competitors.
In that regard, you may want to consider working with a professional and knowledgeable eCommerce agency that specializes in helping digital stores crush their goals and become leaders in their respective niches. Here at Genius eCommerce, our expert team excels at producing incredible results for businesses of all sizes, regardless of their needs.
If you’ve taken our advice seriously and have constructed a strong SEO foundation for yourself with our BigCommerce SEO tips above, you’re headed in the right direction. However, if you want to really put your foot on the gas and dive into the complexities of eCommerce SEO, you’re going to need an agency with the tools, the knowledge, and the energy to make it happen.
Get in touch with us today by calling us at 267-255-1946 or email us at email@example.com, and we’ll be here to answer any SEO questions you may have or begin your journey to page one in the search results.