BigCommerce SEO News: beware of Pinterest scams, Google's cat-mouse game and the need of coherent strategies

Emilian F. Published on 08 March, 2012

It's all the rage: BigCommerce SEO seems to be enhanced by using the Pinterest button, or so store owners think. Beyond the fact that Pinterest is all hype this new social network of pins is the new playground for bad guys.

Although it is good to be everywhere, you need to understand that Pinterest is not the "be all, end all" solution that is being paraded to be. Let me be clear: do your basic optimization first and follow the well-known paths to get more customers from Google. Then worry about services like Pinterest. Use Pinterest just as another part of the entire social marketing strategy.

Also, you need to make sure that you do not fall victim to the Pinterest scam that is on the loose. Search Engine Journal reports that the bad guys invite you to participate in a survey by re-pinning an image in exchange for a gift card.

When someone re-pins the false gift card he/she is redirected to a site where they are supposed to insert sensitive information during the survey. Do not participate in any surveys unless you know where they come from. Also, do not ever insert important data like pins or anything like that. As mentioned above, Pinterest is the new kid on the block, but beware.

News in the SEO world brought to you by Google

Google makes changes. About 500 per year. From time to time we get to see, read or feel these changes.

One of the biggest SEO news in the last week is that Google will implement secure search beyond Google.com. What does this mean for BigCommerce stores? Well, since BigCommerce markets their stores worldwide, lots of local businesses will see more visits in their Google Analytics coming from (not set)-(not provided) keywords. Things will get a bit more interesting, since it will be a bit harder to see how customers land on your ecommerce store.

Given that Google gives attention to local searches you may need to optimize your store for local searches. If your audience is from New York, try not to market yourself in all of US. Target localized keywords and you'll be helped by Google.

Google has not finished the week without enabling user administration in Webmasters Tools. Before last week, you couldn't give others access to your webmasters account without giving them the login details. Now, store owners can create other accounts and let people log in and do their research. A nice feature that let's you create three account types: owner access, full access, restricted access. Sweet.

Regarding Panda, it was interesting to learn about businesses that had a lot to loose because of it. Reading through the Webmasters World's post you can learn two things: don't put all your eggs in one basket and do not engage in tactics that might hit your ranking over time.

Search Engine journal about content, data and SEO

I liked the post About Content, Inter-Linked Data And SEO from SEJ because it is like a short and cold shower: refreshing. And mostly because it features a video with Tim Berners Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web which speaks about inter-linking data. And yes, SEO is all about inter-linking data, not only links.

Some interesting points to keep in mind from the above post:

  • social media presence should be seen as a complementary activity to SEO, since social presence gives a boost in ranks, albeit a small one
  • adding content on a regular basis helps
  • any information you unleash on the web is adding to the existing data
  • SEO and online presence follows the same principles of the offline world
  • good SEO will never die

And now, the video about inter-linking data. Any kind of information such as the one from below can help BigCommerce store owners understand the dynamics of the web and the need for a strong set of basic SEO principles.

BigCommece SEO tips and tools to better understand the flood of data

The flood of data you can get from Google Webmasters Tools and from Google Analytics is overwhelming. You really need to make sure to get the best info from all those without spending too much time. That is where the following tutorials come into place.

First one is from SEO Moz and speaks about 11 tricks to use use in Google Analytics. Well, they aren't tricks if you played around with Google Analytics a bit.

They are basic things that need to be done the first timeyou start any data collection about any site you're doing SEO on. Among the tricks from below I like custom reports and custom dashboards, but all are equally important:

  • setup goals
  • connect Google Analytics with Webmasters Tools
  • enable site speed
  • enable site search - quick idea here: if someone searches for something in your site, you'll know that he is a potential customer and you will know what he's been searching for. Take close attention to site search.
  • track events
  • real-time reporting
  • multi-channel funnels
  • track campaigns
  • plot rows
  • custom dashboards
  • create custom reports - this one from me

Read the above post about each one of these and begin testing. Having such a free analytics tool is important and understanding the facts behind the flood of data will help you gain more insights about where you stand in the scheme of things.

Moving forward to our next tool, Google Custom Reports can help you summarize and get the essence of all the data you can gather from Google.

Custom reports you may need: audience reports (from where you get your visitors), content reports (where do they land ), keyword reports (which keywords to which page), link analysis (from where do the visitors come and where they land).

Once you get to play around with them you will love creating tons of custom reports. Each type will show you another part of the data. Looking at them you can see if you're doing optimization the right way or if you get visitors to your desired pages.

Another tool I like is Find Broken Links, Redirects & Google Sitemap Generator Free Tool, but frankly I like more Screaming Frog SEO Spider.

Both search your site for header responses, broken links, and other onsite information. First one is an free online tool, the second one is a desktop app that has offers free analysis for maximum 500 URLs in a site. Still, it is quite good.

My top 5 SEO picks for new BigCommerce stores

I am aware that each weekly post in our BigCommerce SEO articles is quite big and thus hard to read. No problem. Each one has sections you can choose to read. Some may apply to you, some not. So, don't be scared of the sheer size and just pick just what you need the most.

Below I found 5 posts that are targeted to new sites and hopefully new BigCommerce stores will pay attention to them as mistakes are easily done, but hard to correct:

  • How To Choose Domain Names For SEO - Keywords in the domain name still work, Aaron suggests to use a brandable name, but one that also has a keyword in it like: BuyHub, Sell Square or any combination like that. It's worth a read. And maybe more.
  • SEO Strategy for New Domains - A SEO strategy is different than a SEO tactic. The strategy sets the goal (to rank first, get more sales) which in turn need the use of tactics (post frequently, use advertisements, get on social networks) to get to that goal. The simple steps form this post you help you understand that SEO is a point you must not forget.
  • An Effective SEO Strategy For New Websites - Do you keyword research, plan to fight for lower competing keywords at first (long tail at first), do your onsite SEO and get ready to do your link building.
  • Why So Many Companies Fail At Enterprise SEO - This posts speaks about the culture of search engine optimization in your company. SEOs are not very liked in any company since they need to get involved from the first stages of design and coding to the stage of content management and social marketing. Since good optimization needs to take into account a good design, a flawless user experience, site architecture, optimized content (titles, heading, keywords int he content) and many other aspects your SEO team needs to be everywhere. They are your friends. If you rely heavily on organic visits then they are you army against bad rankings. Heed their warnings.
  • How to Make Sure Your Visitors Buy - This post speaks briefly about conversion Rate Optimization: the activity needed to convert more of your visitors into leads. That means that you need to test different pages, content and messages in order to get them buy more from you. It's an entire science, but the basics in all this are: tracking visitor behavior and testing.

I hope all these goodies have helped you understand a bit more about the SEO world. BigCommerce store owners are invited to request a quote from us if they feel SEO is a bit too hard for them or just need a helping hand.

What do you think about SEO? Is getting good content and quality backlinks enough?

Emilian F. Published on 08 March, 2012