Bigcommerce is a great platform when it comes to SEO. It gives webmasters the tools they need to customize and tweak the site to their exact specifications. Although Bigcommerce does a great job, there’s always things you can do to improve your SEO. While these steps may seem complicated at first, they’re actually fairly simple once you understand the jargon and the concepts behind it. Google has easy to understand guides available on the subject as part of their Search Console Help series if you’re feeling lost. Here’s what we recommend to improve your Bigcommerce SEO:
Add Your Sitemap To robots.txt
It’s a good idea to send your sitemap to Google and Bing through their Webmaster pages, but you should also include it in your robots.txt file. This makes sure that all spiders can find it rather than just Google and Bing’s.
- Add a new line and enter: Sitemap: https://domainname/sitemap.xml
- Open robots.txt so you can edit it.
- Find robots.txt in your control panel by going to Settings › Store Setup › Store Settings › Website tab and scrolling down to the HTTPS section.
- Scroll down below all of the entries.
- Save and exit robots.txt
Add The “nofollow” Tag to Bigcommerce Footer Link
Like many platforms, Bigcommerce will place a small section of text as well as a link to their site in the footer of your store by default. Users are not obligated to keep this link nor contribute to Bigcommerce’s SEO. You can either remove the text from your footer or simply add a “nofollow” tag. This tag is used when you want to include a link but don’t want search engines to take that as an endorsement of the site.
- Locate the code snippet that reads “%%GLOBAL_PoweredBy%%”
- Go to Settings › Store Setup › Design › Edit HTML/CSS
- Select Footer.html from the “Other Template Files” list on the left
- Replace that snippet with “Powered by <a href=”http://www.bigcommerce.com” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>BigCommerce</a>”
If you’d rather not link to Bigcommerce at all you can simply delete the “%%GLOBAL_PoweredBy%%” snippet.
Delete The Sitemap Link From Your Footer to improve Bigcommerce SEO
Keeping the Sitemap link on your page isn’t a good idea from an SEO perspective. Google’s web crawlers will see it as duplicate content and penalize you for it. Most people will not use the sitemap, so it’s not worth keeping a link to it up. Here’s how:
- Find and delete the following snippet of code: “%%SNIPPET_SitemapLink%%”
- Click on “Template Files” inside your Bigcommerce Control Panel.
- Find the “footer.html” file and click on it
- Save and exit. Once you do this you should see the changes on your live site.
Block The Sitemap In robots.txt
Although it won’t appear in the footer anymore, Google will still index your sitemap page. This is something you don’t really want, as it’s more intended for web crawlers than actual people. It will also hurt your SEO ranking with duplicate links and thin content.
- At the end of this file, enter this line: “disallow: /sitemap”
- Go to Settings › Store Setup › Store Settings › Website tab and scroll down to the HTTPS section to find and open robots.txt.
- Save and close the file to complete the process
There’s endless SEO work to be done on your site, but following these steps will get you started on the right track. If you’re still not feeling confident in your ability to optimize your Bigcommerce store for SEO, give us a call. We are partners with Bigcommerce and have a lot of experience with Bigcommerce SEO.
- Joe Chilson
- November 13, 2015