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4 BigCommerce SEO Fundamentals

Friday, August 3rd, 2012
Posted in Joel by Joel Gross

I am the owner of Coalition Technologies, a Platinum Partner to BigCommerce, where we offer comprehensive online marketing services.  Our team is 23 members strong, about half of whom focus on design and development and the other half focus on search engine optimization (SEO) for BigCommerce.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for BigCommerce is relatively straightforward due to the great platform Mitch and his team have been able to put together.  I am going to go through the basic fundamentals of SEO for BigCommerce in this blog post and try to make it as clear and easy as I can for new site owners to optimize their store effectively.

4 Core SEO Factors For BigCommerce

BigCommerce has built a great platform that makes updating the 4 major SEO factors a cinch.  All you have to do is enter the information!

On-page copy

On-page copy is how search engines will find you. It can include product descriptions, blog entries, customer reviews, and much more. Your on-page copy attracts customers and clients by incorporating keywords relevant to your business. For instance, if your business sells sports apparel, your on-site copy might include phrases like “Here you will find the best selection of sports apparel.”

Here are just some of the web pages that should include on-site copy:

Homepage

Your homepage is the first page that most customers and clients will see, so it’s very important that you use this space to make a good first impression. Images and graphics can add a great deal of visual appeal, but copy is even more important, because without the right words, your customers will never find you. Your homepage copy might include a brief and compelling overview of your business, some specific product names, and a few descriptions of your most popular products.

Category pages

If your category pages are filled only with links to products, you’re missing out on tremendous SEO value. While the product titles themselves often have SEO benefit, it’s important to know exactly what consumers are looking for, and to include a more diverse list of keywords on each category page. For instance, a product title might read “Black hoodie,” but if more consumers are searching for “hooded sweatshirts,” you will want to include this relevant term on the page copy. You can achieve this by including a descriptive written overview of the category at the top of the page.

Product pages

This one might seem obvious, but if you aren’t properly describing your individual products, this will hurt your SEO value. For example, let’s assume that you have 10 similar products, so you decide to just use the same product description for each one. You might even change a word or two on specific product pages whenever relevant. The problem is that Google views this as duplicate content, and it will severely hurt the SEO value of the affected pages. For best results, write detailed, unique descriptions for every product, no matter how exhausting it may be.

2. Title tags

The title tag is the official title of a web page, as seen by the search engines. When you click on a search result in Google or Bing, you’re actually clicking on the title tag. The title tag also appears at the very top of your web browser. Each web page requires its own unique title tag, and for SEO purposes, you will want to optimize these tags so that your audience can easily find you. For instance, if your site specializes in Los Angeles tax preparation, your homepage title tag might include the words “Affordable Los Angeles Tax Preparation,” followed by your company name.

3. Meta descriptions

A meta description is a brief description of the website or page, which allows you to go into greater detail. In search results, meta descriptions appear directly beneath the title tags, so it’s important to make a strong impression with the limited space that you have (usually 160 characters), and include keywords that will drive traffic.

4. Links from external sites

Links from other websites can dramatically improve your search engine rankings, especially when those websites are already highly valued by the search engines. If you want to successfully build your online presence, it’s essential to get links from external sites. There are many ways to get these links, and if you own a business, you may want to start by encouraging your suppliers, vendors, partners and affiliates to link to you. Just explain the mutual benefits.