In BigCommerce, the technical landscape is akin to a bustling city. With endless homepages, category pages, and product pages, the importance of technical SEO elevates itself over other traditional website forms. This isn’t just a sideshow; it’s the main event. In this article, we’ll delve into technical SEO for BigCommerce.
How Site Speed Allows Businesses to Thrive
The adage “time is money” holds especially true for website speed. Google and other search engines have a thing for sites that load faster than you can click your fingers. Why? Because they know users appreciate the convenience.
Implement Fast Hosting
Fast hosting is like setting your business on a racetrack instead of a gravel road. It involves choosing a hosting service that not only guarantees quick page loads but also remains robust during peak traffic times. Opting for speed influences your SEO and elevates user experience.
Minimize HTTP Requests
While scripts and plugins can jazz up your site, they can be a double-edged sword. They often increase HTTP requests, which in turn, slows down your site. It’s crucial to strike a balance, making sure that whatever is implemented is absolutely necessary.
Use One CSS Stylesheet
Who doesn’t want a little variety, right? But when it comes to CSS stylesheets, stick to one. Juggling multiple CSS sheets is a recipe for slower load times and a confused SEO strategy.
Compress Your Image Files
Visual elements matter. But oversized, unoptimized images are your loading speed’s worst enemy. Compression is a simple yet effective technique that keeps your visuals intact without breaking the speedometer.
Minify Your Site’s Code
If your code was a novel, you’d want it to be edited for brevity and clarity. Minification is the editing process of your website, stripping away unnecessary elements that only serve to slow things down.
It’s not unusual for older websites to be drowning in redirects. Initially, they serve a purpose, but over time, they become redundant. Regular housekeeping is necessary to prevent redirects from causing a drag on your speed.
Why a Mobile-Friendy Design Creates a Better Customer Journey
Ecommerce is steering into the mobile lane with more users shopping via their smartphones. The statistics affirm this trend; by 2024, mobile will be a significant player in the ecommerce sales game.
A streamlined mobile design does more than just look good. It improves user interaction, focusing on essential functions and leaving out the extravagant features that slow down navigation. This isn’t just for looks; it’s for function.
Building a Website Architecture to Last
Let’s think of your website as a well-planned city. The roads, traffic signals, and landmarks all serve a purpose, guiding both residents and visitors to their destinations. In the same vein, your website architecture serves as the blueprint, outlining how users move from one point to another.
Breadcrumb navigation isn’t just for fairy tales; it’s an essential part of your site’s user experience. These little links act like signposts, helping users retrace their steps or jump to other sections effortlessly. They’re small but mighty in keeping your site navigable.
A URL should be a mini-ad for the page it leads to. Descriptive URLs offer a glimpse into the content, which boosts user expectations and click-through rates. Trust me; you don’t want to be the person who leaves users guessing with vague URLs.
Your navigation bar shouldn’t be the only guidepost for visitors. Internal links peppered throughout your site act as shortcuts to relevant content, making it easier for customers to find what they’re searching for. This isn’t just good practice; it’s a strategy for increasing conversion rates.
Orphan pages are like the misfit toys of the ecommerce world. These are the pages that get forgotten and lack links from other parts of your site. Not only are they less likely to be seen, but they can also hurt your site’s overall SEO value.
Using Canonical Tags to Keep Content List Clean
Canonical tags are your site’s little secret agents. They operate behind the scenes, telling search engines which version of a page is the main one. This is especially crucial if you have similar content appearing under multiple URLs.
Duplicate content might not be an issue for end users, but for search engines, it’s like navigating through a hall of mirrors. Canonical tags help sort through the duplicates, ensuring that your SEO efforts don’t dilute.
Generate Sitemaps to Enhance Marketing Efforts
Sitemaps might seem like relics from the early days of the internet, but they’re still incredibly relevant. They serve as a roadmap for search engines, laying out all the stops along the way.
XML sitemaps are like the technical manual for your website, meant for search engines. They list all the important URLs and make it easier for search engines to crawl your site. This is your backstage pass to better SEO.
While XML sitemaps are for search engines, HTML sitemaps are for the people. These provide a bird’s-eye view of your site structure, allowing users to navigate with ease.
Think of the robots.txt file as the bouncer for your website. It tells search engines which areas are off-limits, ensuring that only relevant pages get crawled. This is less about keeping things out and more about directing traffic where it matters most.
The Importance of Structured Data
Structured data is like your site’s curriculum vitae for search engines. It lists all the specifics—what you sell, who reviewed it, how much it costs—that help engines understand your business better. The payoff is rich snippets in search results, jazzing up your listings with ratings, prices, and more.
Rich snippets are like your product’s personal billboard on the search engine results page. Structured data is what makes this possible, giving you the chance to showcase star ratings, product prices, or reviewer information right in the search results. This can significantly enhance click-through rates and user engagement.
Increase Customer Trust with an SSL Certificate
An SSL Certificate is your ecommerce site’s equivalent of a well-trained security guard. It encrypts the data exchange between your server and your customers’ browsers, making it a whole lot tougher for hackers to interfere.
Since Google announced its preference for HTTPS over HTTP, having an SSL certificate isn’t just nice to have; it’s pretty much mandatory. In a world where data breaches are increasingly common, an SSL certificate serves as a trust badge, reassuring customers that their data is in safe hands.
Tools for BigCommerce Technical SEO
Remember, even the best carpenter needs quality tools to produce excellent work. Your ecommerce site is no different. There are multiple tools designed specifically to help you get the most out of your technical SEO.
Screaming Frog Website Crawler
Screaming Frog does exactly what you’d hope: it crawls your site to identify issues with URLs, duplicate content, and more. Consider it your site’s annual health check-up but without the waiting room magazines.
Oncrawl offers a more analytical approach to SEO. It crawls your site and delivers comprehensive reports to help you understand what’s affecting your rankings. It’s like having a consultant who specializes exclusively in your site’s SEO needs.
Google Search Console
This is Google’s in-house tool for site owners. Think of it as your dashboard for all things SEO, giving you insights into your performance, traffic, and how to improve. If you’re not already using it, you’re missing out on some serious optimization opportunities.
Ahrefs serves as your business’ intelligence officer, spying on your competition and providing insights into what keywords and backlinks they are using. It’s a multi-faceted tool that can help you understand your competitors and outperform them.
SEMrush isn’t just another tool; it’s a comprehensive SEO suite. Imagine having an entire analytics team working for you, identifying your most profitable keywords and spying on your competitors. That’s the kind of in-depth analysis SEMrush brings to the table.
Schema.org Markup Validator
When it comes to structured data, you want to make sure you’re doing it right. The Schema.org Markup Validator is like your website’s proofreader, ensuring your structured data is up to par. No more second-guessing if you’ve implemented things correctly; this tool provides the assurance you need.
Technical SEO is like the backstage crew in a theater production. You may not see them, but their role is crucial for the show to go on. From site speed to mobile design, structured data, and SSL certificates—every aspect plays a part in your ecommerce success.
To stay ahead in the competitive ecommerce landscape, having a robust technical SEO strategy is no longer optional—it’s a necessity. The right tools, strategies, and approaches can set the stage for your products to shine in the search engine spotlight.
If you’d like to learn more, check out our latest article: Mobile SEO for BigCommerce: Enhancing User Experience for Better Conversions.