OPTIMISING YOUR ECOMMERCE PLATFORM
Get The Most From Your Site
Many of my clients use platforms like Magento, Shopify and Big Commerce. It’s easy to see why – they’re custom-designed for creating ecommerce sites, and have a lot of beneficial features for users.
However, their basic SEO settings aren’t that effective. This means that, unless you undertake some extra optimisation, you’re unlikely to gain much visibility online. That’s where I come in.
Shopify is easy to use, and its range of apps is a big advantage. But, like most ecommerce platforms, it presents a few issues in terms of SEO, such as:
Auto-generation of URL structures
Duplication issues with filtering (a big problem if you sell hundreds of products)
No image optimisation
No robots.txt set-up
No custom fields (unless you invest in a custom theme that allows you to modify them)
A pre-set hierarchical structure that can’t be changed
Additionally, some of Shopify’s apps can adversely impact loading speeds, which will affect your SEO results. When optimising your ecommerce site, I’ll check through the apps as well as the site itself, to ensure that this isn’t causing issues.
Big Commerce is a relatively popular choice with ecommerce businesses, as it’s simple to use and produces good results. Like Shopify, it has its limitations when it comes to SEO. The big issues are:
No easy way to add a blog; the only way is to install one as a subdomain, but this won’t directly boost your ranking
Difficult to set canonical URLs – theme files need to be edited, which is beyond the expertise of most ecommerce business-owners
Duplicate content – if the canonical URLs aren’t resolved, it’ll result in duplicate content, which adversely impacts your position on the SERPS
Sluggish loading speeds, which can be improved, but only with technical know-how
Users report a lack of online support from Big Commerce too, which is another reason why it’s useful to have an SEO expert working on the site on your behalf.
The most effective way to address this issue is to work with an SEO professional.
Magento 2 is more technical than other ecommerce platforms, and the backend is less intuitive to use. That said, it produces great sites, which offer a lot of functionality. Like Big Commerce and Shopify, its SEO settings are limited, and shouldn’t be relied on to deliver results. Here are a few of the main issues:
Default settings (titles, descriptions and header tags) – these need to be changed manually
Slow loading speeds - this can be resolved by disabling the site’s default log setting
Duplication – which occurs during product sorting and filtering
No HTML sitemap optimisation – this can be fixed by using an extension
Auto-assigning of alt-tags – these can be manually changed, but this is an arduous task, especially if you have a lot of images
What about other sites?
SEO issues aren’t limited to the three platforms above. It’s common across most CMS ecommerce platforms, which isn’t surprising. After all, their focus is on helping customers create websites with ease, not on assisting them with gaining online visibility.
I’m familiar with all the major SEO drawbacks on the ecommerce platforms, and I’ll develop a strategy to improve your search engine ranking steadily over time.
To find out more, get in touch with me today.