Throughout the BigCommerce control panel, there are areas to enter content specifically for SEO or Search Engine Optimization purposes. Page titles, descriptions and keywords can be filled in for content pages, category pages, product pages, blog posts, and brands. This article will detail where you can enter SEO related data.
URL Structures can be adjusted for products, web pages and categories. By default, it uses an SEO friendly structure but to have more control the areas called URL Settings have options to change the URL Structure.
Most of these settings have 3 or 4 options for the URL Structure: SEO Optimized (short), SEO Optimized (long) and custom are found in all settings. In general, SEO optimized (short) is ideal for most situations.
To learn more about the options of URL Structures and how to handle custom URLs, see Changing your URL Structure.
Metadata refers to information included on the meta tag on a webpage. Search engines use metadata to find relevant information to display in search results. This includes things such as a page title, meta description and keywords.
The field to enter a metadata can be found in the following locations:
- Homepage: Store Setup › Store Settings › Search Engine Optimization section
- Category pages: Products › Product Categories › Edit › Search Engine Optimization section
- Product Pages: Edit any product or add a product › Other Details Tab › Search Engine Optimization section Web Content Pages: Storefront Content › Web Pages › Advanced Options
- Blog Posts: Storefront Content › Blog › Search Engine Optimization section
Page titles display as the title link in search engine results, so it is important to craft a meaningful and branded page title. These can be added to content pages, products, blogs, and category pages.
Every page should have a unique title tag, preferably starting with a relevant keyword and have less than 60 characters. An example of a good page title is: Blue T-Shirts at Discounted Prices for Sale | BunchOfTshirts.
This kind of page title is preferable because it utilizes keywords that are found on the product's page as well as the store's name.
For further help on crafting SEO friendly page titles see: BigCommerce SEO Success Essentials.
Meta descriptions display in search engine results as a short descriptive blurb. They are usually only a couple sentences long.
Google Search Results may not use meta description. In some cases, Google search results may favor your product description over your meta description. It is still recommended that you fill out both product description and meta descriptions. See Google's Help Documentation for more information.
It is best practice to add meta descriptions to every page of your store including products, content pages, blog posts, category pages and the home page. If you are targeting specific keywords, make sure to include them at the beginning of the description tag. A meta description tag should be well composed, compelling and informative. Think of it as an advertisement. A well-composed meta description tag will most likely increase your website's Click-Through Rate (CTR) - the number of times your link is clicked, divided by the number of impressions (the number of times your link is displayed in the Search Engine Result Pages every time a specific search is performed by a user).
Descriptive text on product and category pages helps search engines crawling the site to find terms for search results. It's advisable to utilize your keyword strategy when writing your descriptions.
Product descriptions are located under the Details tab when you add or edit a product.
Some best practices for writing a description include:
- Know your typical shopper. This will help with what information is most important to them.
- Make the description easy to read. Break up large chunks of information with sub-headings, bullet lists or images.
- Don't use the exact same content on two or more products. Duplicate information is detrimental to SEO.
- When using images in the description, add the image description in the WYSIWYG editor.
For more advice on best practices for writing descriptions see: BigCommerce SEO Success Essentials.
Category descriptions have a similar strategy to product descriptions. These are added under Product › Product Categories when you add or edit a category.
Many of the same best practices from product descriptions can be applied to category descriptions. They should be easy to read, catered to the audience/shopper, and utilize keywords. It's also a usful place to highlight or link to deeper subcategories, entry-level products or higher-end products.
Keywords are search terms that are relevant to the content on a page. They are an extremely important aspect not only for SEO, but your marketing. As mentioned in the sections above, keywords are important to include in descriptions and metadata.
There is a section to place meta keywords on pages. However, this method is slowly becoming obsolete as search algorithms become more sophisticated. It is better to include keywords into descriptions and categories.
There are a few pitfalls when it comes to including keywords. One of the easiest to fall into is called "keyword stuffing". This means overloading your page with as many keywords as possible.
Due to the advancement of search engines, the best general advice is to write for humans instead of toward a search engine. Writing for your customers will help prevent keyword stuffing.
For more resources for keyword research and generating keyword ideas, see our Guide to Keyword Research. This guide goes over the basic of how keywords work, research tools and how to track keyword success.