Far too many eCommerce entrepreneurs believe that a website platform can be “good” or “bad” for search engine optimization (SEO).
The truth is, no platform comes optimized out of the box. It is true that some are better (technically) than others, but there’s a limit to this practicality.
Let’s take a look at BigCommerce for an example.
BigCommerce, which hosts north of 40,000 eCommerce websites, is often touted as “good” for SEO.
In truth, there are some features that make BigCommerce optimized, at least, for technical SEO. Some of these are as follows:
● BigComerce is a hosted platform, so you’re automatically going to have guaranteed high uptimes, speed, and security.
● BigCommerce comes with a complete default Robots.txt file, and can automatically update and adjust it as needed.
● BigCommerce automatically generates and updates your eCommerce website’s XML sitemap.
● BigCommerce automatically creates and implements 301 redirects whenever you change a URL slug (or whenever it changes for any reason). This helps prevent 404 dead-ends.
● BigCommerce also automatically generates unique, SEO-optimized URLs for each page. You can, however, easily access and adjust URL slugs to optimize them as needed, in a piecemeal fashion.
● The BigCommerce platform uses a content delivery network, or CDN, to ensure your pages load in a fashion that will optimize both speed and UX.
● This eCommerce platform has metadata fields that are easy to access and update in the back end.
● The platform has a relatively open API that makes integrations with vital third-party apps fairly straightforward and efficient. In some cases, it’s as easy as clicking a few buttons.
● BigCommerce is compatible with a wide range of SEO and mobile-optimized themes (both free and premium) that are suitable for search engine algorithms as well as for UX.
But that’s about where the gravy train ends, and if you didn’t notice, all of these features are pretty much only relevant to technical SEO. That right there leaves the other three pillars of SEO entirely untouched.
So here’s what a BigCommerce SEO expert has to say on the matter.
The Hard Truth According to the BigCommerce SEO experts over at Genius eCommerce, while BigCommerce stores are usually pretty set in terms of technical SEO, they fall short when it comes to on-page, off-page, and content optimization.
On-page optimization falls in line with keyword research (which your marketing strategy specialist will have to perform for you; no online store does that on its own). This quarter of SEO is dedicated to optimized on-page ranking signals like page titles, metadata (which are easy to adjust in BigCommerce), image file sizes, alt data, content orientation, and structure.
Off-page optimization, insomuch as it affects an SEO strategy, is largely reserved for link building. While you can (relatively) easily optimize the structure of your website’s internal links, building backlinks is not so easy.
Often BigCommerce SEO service providers have access to high-DA websites that they use for the purpose of disseminating backlinks.
Finally, there’s content, which is arguably the most important SEO pillar of all. Content must be optimized for length, clarity, structure, keyword density, intent, relevance, and much more. In case you were wondering, BigCommerce websites don’t have behind-the-scenes writers, but BigCommerce SEO agencies do.
So, ultimately, if you want to reap the long-term rewards of higher organic traffic and conversions that a BigCommerce SEO campaign can offer, you’ll need to hire an SEO team. The platform won’t do it for you.
Where Can You Learn More?
Interested in learning more about platform-specific SEO, or how other organic efforts like social media and content marketing can improve your website’s visibility? Learn from the BigCommerce SEO experts over at Genius eCommerce; they have an entire library dedicated to BigCommerce SEO!