Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can make or break your BigCommerce store. These optimizations are some of the most important ongoing marketing efforts that require effort and attention.
A well optimized store can assist in growing your organic channel. That's why we're outlining a few basic and advanced techniques for optimizing your BigCommerce presence as a part of your eCommerce SEO strategy.
BigCommerce SEO Basics
Enhance your online search presence, improve your organic search rankings and increase traffic with these BigCommerce SEO tips:
- Use an SEO optimized URL structure
- Edit metadata in BigCommerce
- Optimize page titles
- Edit meta descriptions
- Use category descriptions
- Enhance pages with Schema.org structured data
- Enable Google AMP on product pages
- Optimize page load speeds for desktop and mobile
- Enable breadcrumbs
Use An SEO Optimized URL Structure
When setting up your instance, be sure to enable short URLs under the Web Page URL format. This will give you a shorter and cleaner URL structure. This setting will remove the /page/ slug and the .html part of the URL.
Edit Metadata In BigCommerce
Before we begin optimizing the titles and meta data in your store, follow this list of quick shortcuts to navigate to the SEO options on a specific homepage, category pages, product pages and blog posts. The field to enter metadata can be found in the following locations:
Store Setup › Store Settings › Search Engine Optimization section
Products › Product Categories › Edit › Search Engine Optimization section
Edit any product or add a product › Other Details Tab › Search Engine Optimization section Web Content Pages: Storefront Content › Web Pages › Advanced Options
Storefront Content › Blog › Search Engine Optimization section
Optimize Page Titles
Google hasn’t publicly disclosed what the proper character limit for a page title should be. If you do a quick search for a random product yourself, you will see that the page titles it displays can vary by length.
We generally recommend staying under 60-65 characters. Don’t forget that your page title should include the focus keyword for your product, category or blog post, plus the store name as a general web best practice.
Here's an example of a best practice page title: "Green Golf Polo Shirt for Men | World's Best Golf Shop."
There can be instances where Google or other search engines will use your product description to display on the results page, favoring it over the actual meta description you entered.
Again, this will depend on Google’s algorithm, which is almost impossible to predict. We would still recommend having a unique meta description for your products even if you have detailed product descriptions.
Edit Meta Descriptions
The length of displayed meta descriptions has recently seen a big change in recent years. Google rolled out an update that increased the meta description length from 160 characters to 320 characters. But again, similar to page titles, Google can cut off the description depending on the search result.
It’s still a best practice to include your focus keyword in the first two sentences of your meta descriptions. Google will highlight and bold the focus keyword on the search results pages, which will make your pages “stick out” better.
Use Category Descriptions
Similar to meta descriptions and page titles, you need to have good focus keywords describing the products in your category page. Try to summarize all the products that you have in the specific category in 2-3 descriptive sentences, and make sure to stay under 320 characters.
Enhance Pages With Schema.org Structured Data
Structured Data may sound super complicated, but it’s actually really easy to set up and edit. There are BigCommerce apps for reviews that will automatically generate structured data on your product pages.
One app we love is Yotpo. It does all the hard work of formatting the code on your product pages that will be displayed as start ratings on search engine results page. It takes a few clicks to setup and enable this feature, but having the star ratings and number of reviews will help your product pages stand out among competition.
Enable Google AMP On Product Pages
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is a Google-backed project that helps to improve user experience on mobile devices. AMP content loads almost instantaneously, which helps to improve bounce rates.
Visitors tend to leave pages that take too long to load. Many SEO industry experts believe that with Google's mobile-first indexing, the search engine will favor pages that are well optimized for mobile devices.
Optimize Page Load Speeds For Desktop And Mobile
Improve your BigCommerce SEO by optimizing your site for page speed to prevent losing your high-ranking pages to faster loading stores.
Test your store and product pages for loading speed with Google's tool, PageSpeed Insights. We recommend running this tool an all of your top selling products to make sure you get a consistently high scores.
Breadcrumbs are a built-in feature in many popular BigCommerce themes. Enabling breadcrumbs helps to improve the overall user experience as they navigate between different product pages or categories.
Breadcrumbs even help search engines understand the structure of your site, which helps to improve your BigCommerce SEO. We recommending turning on breadcrumbs by default as this option will not hinder the design of the product or category pages.
Overall, eCommerce success begins when potential customers are able to find your site and locate the products they need. By following these BigCommerce SEO best practices, you'll be on the road to increasing your store's organic visibility in no time.
For additional eCommerce SEO insights, check out these 10 essential tips to increase organic traffic. And if you're looking for an expert opinion, feel free to request a Free eCommerce Website Assessment.
If you have additional questions, contact us through the form below. Our team will be happy to help!
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