In today’s digital world, the internet has come at the fingertips of people, thanks to the omnipresence of smartphones. Constant and easy access to web boosts online sales. Customers can shop online whenever they want and from anywhere. In fact, this is the biggest reason for which we’re experiencing a huge growth in e-commerce businesses. Now, according to a report, 93% of all internet activity starts with an organic search. It means if customers can’t find your online store on these searches, you’re going to have a difficult time in running your e-commerce business. Click To TweetAnd that’s why it’s extremely important to choose the best e-commerce platform for SEO.
These days, the majority of the upcoming online businesses, omnichannel business, and well-established mom and pop store are all searching for the best e-commerce platform that will enable them to create a profitable online business.
Why do you need to go with the best e-commerce platform for SEO?
To be found in the organic searches, your site needs to be fully optimized so that search engines can digest it easily. So, we can say that SEO for online stores is as important as it’s for any other site. Your chosen platform is crucial to the success you’ll see organically. Any e-commerce or online store needs to have SEO features so that it can rank high on different search engines. If your website isn’t optimized, you won’t be able to rank high in SERPs. It’d make it difficult for customers to find your store and buy, simply defeating the purpose of establishing an online store.
Let’s consider an example to understand the true importance of SEO for online stores.
Let’s imagine that your e-commerce store sells women’s vintage-style clothing and one of your top-quality and high-value products is an 80’s-style, leather jacket which you’ve named “Melissa”. In your e-commerce store, this product is listed as “Melissa Jacket”.
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Now, because your store isn’t optimized, this product name becomes the page URL, the product page’s title, and the product’s name in the site’s navigation. However, your prospective customers won’t be searching for a “Melissa Jacket”. Instead, they’ll most probably be searching for “80’s-style leather jackets”. In order to grab the attention of these prospective customers, you need to alter the title of the page so that it can be read as “80s-style leather jacket – Melissa | your store address”.
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It can be easily understood from the above example why you need to only opt for the best e-commerce platform for SEO. Unfortunately, many e-commerce store owners fail to realize this until they’ve invested a huge amount of time and effort in creating product descriptions, uploading product images, and updating stock information. Definitive SEO features have to be there in your website to make it truly SEO friendly.
Unlike the brick and mortar stores, an e-commerce website needs to be equipped with different marketing campaigns and strategies to attract customers and generate online traffic. In fact, more than 50% of the e-commerce traffic is generated from organic search.
Put simply, SEO has become an extremely important marketing strategy for any e-commerce business owner. Let’s have a look at a couple of statistics.
- According to 61% of the marketers, improving SEO and developing their organic presence is their biggest inbound marketing priority.
- Creating traffic and leads is their biggest challenge, say 61% of the marketers.
These show how the search engines are responsible for the traffic receives and thus your earnings.
The ranking of your e-commerce website on SERPs is greatly determined by the keywords you use. It helps in determining how much the website will gain in the longer run.
Put simply, the higher the position the keywords achieve in the SERPs, the higher is your traffic and your chances of increasing your conversion rate.
So, keeping in mind the importance of SEO, it’s surely a great idea to spend the required time in choosing an –ecommerce platform that performs well in that area.
Instead of finding a great platform, hoping for the best for the SEO, and crossing your fingers, you can simply use the following information to select the best e-commerce platform for SEO as we’ve jotted down some of the most popular of them.
But before delving deeper into the list of the platforms, let’s have a look at the key factors that you’d need to consider when selecting the platform.
How you Should Select the Best E-commerce Platform for SEO?
These days, there’re lots of e-commerce platforms available on the internet each of which claims to be the best e-commerce platform for SEO. This makes it highly difficult for upcoming business when it comes to choosing the best platform for hosting their products.
In most of the cases, upcoming e-commerce businesses depend fully on their developers to make the right decision, giving the developers a hard time in making the correct choice, with less or no information available.
In our experience of working with a huge number of e-commerce clients, we strongly believe that the following factors play extremely important roles in how well your website ranks in the SERPs. These are also features that determine whether a platform chosen is the best e-commerce platform for SEO or not.
Crucial SEO features of an e-commerce platform
- Page title: This is one of the most crucial SEO features and appears in the browser’s tab section at the top. It’s also demonstrated when a user saves it as a shortcut to his/her desktop or bookmarks the page. Ideally, the page title should incorporate a key search term, particularly at the beginning of it. Undeniably, the best e-commerce platform for SEO is the one where you can edit each and every single page title.
- Page URLs: It’s the location of the page as shown in the browser’s address bar. For SEO advantages, page URLs should contain key search terms. For instance, URLs like ladies-accessories.php or ladies-apparel.html rather than using category.php or product.html. The URLs should also be SEO-friendly so that they can be remembered easily and viewers can easily understand what’s included on the page. Additionally, you should have independent control over them to stay away from hurting the page rankings by having irrelevant or tool long page URLs. Also, you may have an entirely different title than what should be shown in the URL.
- Canonical URLs: It’s the original address of a web page that might be available in multiple locations. For instance, a children’s item could be listed within both “Furniture” and “Children” category. This may result in the same page appearing under multiple URLs. Search engines consider these as two different web pages but with identical content. This could not only harm the page ranking significantly but it may also run the risk of being penalized if the site contains a significant amount of duplicated content. To help websites avoid this problem, Google offers the “REL CANONICAL” tag through which you can specify the URL to be regarded as the preferred one. The best e-commerce platform for SEO has to come with some kind of canonical URL adjustment process.
- Meta descriptions: It’s the text that appears under the listing title in the search engine results. While it may not impact the search results directly, it can leave a significant impact on whether the visitors will click on the listing or not. So, the fact is, it does impact the search ranking. Since more visitors are going to click through, search engines will be shown that your website is relevant and popular.
- Social sharing buttons: Social sharing buttons come with easily-recognizable icons that allow the visitors to share a website, blog posts, products etc on the popular social networks. Some e-commerce platforms offer this feature at an additional cost. However, most of the popular e-commerce platforms provide social sharing features in some manner. Ideally, you should go with a platform that comes with this feature built right in.
- Own domain name: This is a unique name through which your website would be found on the web. Your domain name is typically the same as your business name. It’s one of the most important factors that you need to consider when finalizing your e-commerce platform. Not having this would make your business look less professional and any inbound link targeting your website will primarily benefit the e-commerce platform provider, but not you. So, the best e-commerce platform for SEO should allow you to use your own domain name.
- Auto XML sitemap: This is a file located on the webserver to aid search engines find, as well as, index your content. E-commerce websites could have a huge number of unique product pages and hence, it’s not a task to be performed manually. Good e-commerce platforms generate an XML sitemap automatically whenever you add a new page toor remove from, your website.
- Landing page: Include a custom landing page on the website that incorporates your targeted keywords. It’d help you to reach out to marketing groups.
- Integrated blog: One of the most important factors that affect how your website appears in the search results of Google is the number and the quality of links directing to your site. Content marketing is extremely marketing for SEO and it’s the most effective way to make your site SEO-friendly. When you start publishing relevant, quality content, people are more likely to be interested in your products and it would follow your search rankings. So, it’s very important that your e-commerce platform hosts several full-featured blogs that you can share on different social media platforms.
Now, let’s see how each of these features is weighed by search engines while ranking an e-commerce website in relation to its SEO-friendliness.
SEO features Weightage in e-commerce ranking (out of 10)
Custom navigation 10
Custom page title 10
Custom URL 9
Custom meta description 9
Custom image ALT tag 3
Custom headings 7
Canonical URL 7
Integrated blog 10
Social share 8
XML sitemap 9
Custom domain name 10
Custom IP address 2
Based on the above-mentioned SEO features and their weightage for attaining top position in SERPs, we have listed below the best e-commerce platforms for SEO.
Some of the Best E-commerce Platforms for SEO
Here’re tenbest e-commerce platforms for SEO for you to check out and make the most out of the SEO best practices.
Shopify: SEO score – 98/100
Shopify is one of the best e-commerce platforms for SEO with a score of 98. The high score for SERPs rankings is because of its solid framework that allows extensive customization. It’s easy-to-use and affordable and one of the best options for new merchants that are trying to set up and run a profitable e-commerce store. Its loading speeds are absolutely fast and the platform comes with a built-in blogging feature. Right from its coding to design, Shopify is a highly SEO-friendly platform.
WooCommerce: SEO score – 97/100
It’s a plugin for WordPress which lets you have all the features required to run a profitable e-commerce store. If you know how to work with WordPress, this could probably the best e-commerce platform for SEO for you. It offers endless plugins, customizability options, and a wide, experienced community. In terms of SEO, WooCommerce comes with almost everything you want – from URL canonicalization, built-in 301 redirects to built-in blogging feature to robots.txt editing, and much more.
Magento: SEO score – 95/100
Magento is the king of e-commerce platforms offering tons of features and functionalities that you may ever need to set up and run a profitable e-commerce store. This open-source platform lets you customize almost everything. However, it uses highly complex coding for incorporating the best SEO features. So, it needs to have coding expertise or to hire a developer that comes at a cost. Additionally, it scores low on blogging feature as it doesn’t have a built-in blogging platform.
3DCart: SEO score – 95/100
Shopping on this platform means an excellent user experience for the customers. And this greatly helps in attaining high ranking on search engines. 3DCart is equipped with all the SEO features that the best e-commerce platform for SEO should have.
BigCommerce: SEO score – 91/100
Also Read: Comparison Review – BigCommerce Vs Shopify
You can consider BigCommerce as one of the biggest enterprise-level e-commerce platforms that incorporate most of the SEO features needed for getting higher rankings on search engines. However, URL duplication and absence of a built-in blog feature lower its score and thus its gets a lower ranking in this list of the best e-commerce platform for SEO.
Volusion: SEO score – 91/100
Volusion comes with most of the top SEO features but it lacks the feature of having a built-in blog. However, it does quite well if you consider ease of use, overall functionality, and comes at a reasonable price. Unlike Magento, here you’ll perhaps be able to set up the majority of things by yourself. However, there’re URL duplications on the website, leading to a lower ranking in this list. You can choose between Volusion or BigCommerce if you’re short on the budget as both these platforms most of the other useful e-commerce features.
SquareSpace: SEO score – 91/100
SquareSpace is another e-commerce platform that comes with most of the SEO features that you may ever need to build your online store. You can use its excellent, easy-to-use templates to create your e-commerce store without investing much effort and time.
Weebly: SEO score – 75/100
Weebly is very easy to use when it comes to building your e-commerce store. The majority of the features are built-in which makes this platform perfect for new e-commerce merchants. The pricing options are also very cheap which would be an added bonus for merchants with a small budget. However, in terms of SEO, this may not be the best e-commerce platform for SEO available out there.
Wix: SEO score – 75/100
Wix is easy to use and very beginner-friendly. However, we can say that it performs okay and comes with most of the SEO features that you require to set up your e-commerce store. It lacks some important features like meta descriptions, customization of product URLs, and canonical URLs. But if you’re an absolutely beginner and need a drag-and-drop builder, this would certainly be a useful e-commerce platform for you.
PrestaShop: SEO score – 40/100
PrestaShop is another e-commerce platform that is very easy to use. Though it lacks some SEO features, it’s perfect for small and medium-sized businesses that require a simple way to create their online store. If you’re looking for something that stays somewhere between Magento and Shopify, PrestaShop could be the best e-commerce platform for SEO for you.
Choosing the best e-commerce platform for SEO for your online store isn’t something you should take lightly. Click To Tweet While you may be tempted to use a provider offering you the easiest and cheapest solution, this could make you regret later once you’ve grown. In case you later find that your online store fails to attract visitors and convert them into customers by the limited features of the e-commerce platform, you might wish that you had spent more time in finding out the best solution.
Also Read: Choosing the Best Ecommerce Platform for SEO
In this post, we’ve gone through a number of SEO features that you should consider before finalizing an e-commerce platform to rank high on the SERPs. We’ve also learned about the criteria for ranking and weightage associated with each SEO feature, depending on their importance. Based on those weights, ten leading e-commerce platforms are ranked and assigned scores for their SEO-friendliness.
There’re chances that you’ll realize that you’re unable to attract or convert visitors due to limited features and various restrictions of an inexpensive e-commerce platform.
All of the e-commerce platforms that we’ve discussed here rank high are on the top positions in any list of the best e-commerce platforms for SEO. We’d advise you to use a customizable, well-supported, and rich in SEO features platform to make the most out of your online store.