By Ann Smarty
When choosing an ecommerce platform to power your online store, it’s important to consider search engine optimization (SEO) features in your decision-making process.
No matter how experienced you are with SEO, when you put the power into a platform’s hands, you may or may not end up with ability to control elements of your site that are essential to your ranking success.
Let’s take a look at five core features that your ecommerce platform needs to have, along with examples of platforms that offer each feature. Hopefully this guide will make it easier for you select a home for your merchandise that is capable of dominating search.
Editable robots.txt files
The Robots.txt file allows you to tell search bots which pages and directories to ignore when crawling your site to index it for the search engines. I bet you’re thinking it’s not a big deal if you can’t control this file, but let me show you why it matters.
When a customer makes a purchase from you, let’s say you send them to a thank you page, offering them a chance to subscribe to your exclusive newsletter where they can stay up to date with the most current sales and promotions before the general public finds out. When someone visits this page, it’s an indication that they’ve successfully completed a purchase, a signal that you can use to track, analyze and optimize buyer journeys.
That’s definitely a page you wouldn’t want indexed in the search engines – and unless you block access to it with the robots.txt file, it’ll become discoverable by the general public. Basically, any page you don’t want users to see without completing a certain action needs to be blocked from crawlers.
BigCommerce also allows you to easily integrate your store with Google Shopping, Facebook, and eBay, as well as a range of other shopping comparison sites, so you can get additional SEO boosts automatically, without having to manually submit your product listings to various engines.
Independent page titles and URLs
To avoid issues with duplicate content, and to ensure you have the best chance at ranking for certain keywords and phrases, it’s best to make sure you can control these metadata elements at the page level. Some ecommerce platforms don’t allow you to have this control, meaning you have a generic title in every single page on your shop.
The URLs may be different for each page, but may end up produced like /randomcharacters989j.htm rather than something like /pink-t-shirts.
Chances are you’ll want to use specific keywords for each page on top of the ones you use site-wide. You’ll definitely have long tail keywords to use on each product category page as well. Unless you have the ability to control the titles and URLs at the page level, you’re stuck essentially targeting the same keywords on every single page in your store.
Source:: Search Engine Watch