BigCommerce store owners get a ton of SEO news and tips with our newest weekly article. February 24th was the first Pandaversary, on 27th we got got news that Google was making changes to link evaluation and 39 others more and on 28th Rand Fishkin announced that SEO Moz was able to crawl 66 billion URLs.
Those 66 billion URLs were crawled using private servers and then analyzed using the computing power of Amazon EC2 for a cost of $200k -$300k each month. WOW! No week passes by without us seeing new developments in SEO world and it is important to keep BigCommerce store owners up to date. Like people always say: SEO done right is the SEO that never ends.
What could the link evaluation change done by Google mean?
Well, even on some Facebook groups we had some intense discussion on this matter. Is PageRank dead? Doesn't Google give as much importance to anchor text? Too many link on page you hurt you more (actually right now 100 is the creepy upper limit)? Are nofollowed links considered now as followed? Lots of intriguing questions, isn't it?
I watched the discussion on Webmasters World and it seems that possible answers could be:
- anchor text could diminish in importance
- it could have no relevance for the general public
- other way of looking at backlinks
- PageRank could get a complete kick out of the SERP game (now it has at most 5% in ranking, so not a big loss) - still it's used for indexing, a whole other thing
The discussion is still evolving, but it seems that we will get more relevant results in the future. Anyways, we didn't feel any hit or major change. We will see in next weeks.
Simple SEO tips need to be constantly reminded
If you land here it seems that you have several questions regarding SEO and if you are a BigCommerce store owner then it is imperative that you look at the list of links below. The industry leader always remind us about some basic optimization tips. Why? Well, because there are always new waves of ecommerce store owners, site builders or bloggers who need to be in the know.
The following tips are good for ecommerce sites primarily, but also for any other kind of site:
- How To Do Keyword Research [Infographic] - In this infographic you can see the easy steps that need to be done in order to do basic research to find the best keywords you may want to rank for. It is good to hit the web and see what Google Insights might have to say form time to time.
- Nine Best Practices For Optimized < title > Tags - BigCommerce SEO settings have easy insertion of title tags which should be wisely used. No keyword stuffing, okay? Put two keywords in the title tag, your brand always at the end, do not make the title tag longer than 70 chars and MOST IMPORTANTLY, use unique title tags for each product in your store. I have seen several cases where the store owners had the same title tag for all their products. Ouch, BigCommerce doesn't work that way.
- SEO for eCommerce - Take care of your product descriptions, kill the duplicate content, create a seamless search in your store, forum on speed an, of course, on user experience.
- 5 Essential Concepts For E-Commerce SEO - This is the core of ecommerce SEO. The product pages are the ones that need the most attention from your. Avoiding duplicate content and bringing value to the web are easily done when you have 10 products, close to impossible when you sell 40,000 products. An entire content creation team would be needed there. REMEMBER: Google sees an ecommerce site just like an ordinary website.
- Matt Cutts Explains How Google Handles Paid Directories [Video] - Paying $50 and getting listed in hundreds of sites is and old trick that does not work anymore. Nobody says that Google doesn't have a list of sites that are effectively paid directories. Links form there might not help at all. Wasted money. See the video for your self.
- We Changed Our URLs! - In BigCommerce you can change the URL structure very easily (Settings- Store- URL Structure) and it even gives the ability to redirect old URLs when you do that. The best way is to choose an URL structure from the start and stick with it. Changing it from time time will hurt your rankings. In the post mentioned here the store owner decided to go to another type or URL which effectively killed their rankings. Do major changes only when it is required and after giving it a good thought.
- Web Site Migration Guide - Tips For SEOs - Do you have a site and want to move to BigCommerce? Or simply want to move from one site to another? Well, things are never too easy. This article on SEO Moz explains in great details what you need to focus on and how to plan moving one site form a domain to another and even form one platform to another. The SEO tips provided are more like a war plan and, if done right, you will be a happy store owner. You need to understand that planning ahead and being informed will save you lots of trouble.
- Negative Keywords for Positive ROI - Running paid search campaigns is not an easy task. Often times you need to handle the lists of negative keywords (keywords irrelevant to what you sell, but that would make your ad show up in the ad section of the serps). They may contain hundreds or thousands of keywords you do not want to trigger your ad. That needs some extensive research for each site and, frankly, I am very happy that they provided many useful lists in that incredible post.
- Tracking Micro Conversions with Event Tracking for Improving SEO Campaigns - SEO Book presents in this nice article a simple way to understand how to track micro-conversions and how to use a simple piece of code to get the best tracking there is. Putting that code in your relevant links will enable you to track better what happens in your site and even get notifications form Google when a given goal is completed. Five click in this link and you'll get notified. Sweet.
The nine posts from above might be hard to understand if you're new to SEO. BigCommerce SEO can be easy, if done right, and by the right people. Having questions about SEO or needing help in this field. Our team is ready to help so don't be shy and request a quote.
Store owners often believe that if they have the stores on BigCommerce they will automatically rank well. That is not the case. You get a platform to work on, you have access to basic tools and from there it depends on you to make the magic happen.
Webmasters investigate iframed sites and zombie traffic
It doesn't happen very often but there were some complaints in the last two months from two BigCommerce store owners that someone else simply trapped their store in another one. Trapped is a strong word, but the ones who were doing this used iframes to show content from those stores in their websites.
The code will make sure that when your site loads in an iframe the visitor will be sent directly to your store. Here is the code:
And you're done with other sites including your own store in an iframe.
Getting loads of traffic, but a bounce rate that is 100%? That means that you are a victim of zombie traffic, traffic that just messes up your analytics and puts a strain on your reports.
Lately, it seems that some webmasters got into a fight with such traffic and the discussion on Webmasters World about zombie traffic helps shed some light on this.
I have seen only one such case with a BigCommerce store. It wasn't the crawls for security scanning that store owners undergo to verify that they are PCI compliant and not some known bot or scrapers.
If you have suddenly a huge increase in traffic and you are sure you didn't landed on national television, or your SEO company isn't doing some checks or the security company isn't verifying your PCI compliance then you might want to look at these symptoms:
- bounce of 100%
- time on page: 0s
- the same pages are receiving hits
- the same browser is used, usually IE
- several IPs and geographical areas
- doesn't load too much the server ie no scraping
- in some cases it may come from Google Search via an keyword - same as above: bounce rate 100%
- in other cases it may be a direct hit
It may be an email scraper, or some issues with IE plugins. It isn't yet clear what it is. Hope to find out more in the future.
What to do in these cases:
- delete the analytics code from those pages so that it won't record the hits/bounce rate.
- delete the AdSense code from those pages
- send an email to Compuware Gomez and see if one of their 150,000 distributed nodes was used to checkour site
- if your visits show NO referrer then use the option to ignore no referrer visits in Analytics (via SEO Skunk):
Hopefully not too many will get hit by zombie traffic and that next week I can come with some fresh news about this. In the mean while do not forget that BigCommerce SEO needs your attention day by day. Follow the tips you find in these posts and you'll get a better change of traffic and even sales. Many sales ahead!