How to Tackle Crawling Large eCommerce Sites
But first let’s have a look at some of the most common problems eCommerce sites have to face nowadays:
When picking an e-commerce platform for your online store, one of the most important factors to take into account is its SEO friendliness. To help you all with that we have decided to produce our own list of the Most SEO friendly E-commerce platforms!
Most of the popular ecommerce platforms have their fair share of SEO friendly features that give them the functionality that we need to rank our store on Google.
But when you take a close look, there’s no doubt that each platform has different pros and cons that make them worth taking a look at, in order to pick the one that suits you best.
Even some of the most popular platforms lack features that are important for some users. And fully diving into one to create your online store – without knowing about the drawbacks and benefits of its SEO functionality – could be something you’ll regret later.
SEO is a crucial aspect of your content strategy. In fact, 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority.
Look at this other stat: 61% of marketers say generating traffic and leads is their top challenge.
Why make this challenge even harder with an unsupportive platform?
Considering the importance of SEO, it’s definitely a good idea to spend some time picking an ecommerce platform that does well in that area. So to help you make this critical decision, we decided to analyze some of the best and most popular ecommerce platforms.
WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress that grants you all of the features needed to run an ecommerce store. If you’re familiar with WordPress, Woocommerce can be a great option because it’s one of the best platforms for SEO.
Since WooCommerce runs on WordPress, there are endless customizability options, plugins, and a large, experienced community – which means that if you run into a problem, it’s very likely that somebody else has run into it too.
In the other hand, if you’re not familiar with WordPress, WooCommerce will be hard to get used to, and another platform will probably be a better option for you.
In terms of SEO, WooCommerce nails it. It has pretty much everything you want, from built-in 301 redirects, URL canonicalization, robots.txt editing, and built-in blogging features.
And since there are plugins for everything, chances are that there’s a tool for what you’re trying to do.
-Excellent mobile optimization
-Supports canonicalization of URLs, 301 redirects, and pretty much every important SEO feature.
-A lot of plugins and customizability
-Confusing if you’re not experienced with WordPress
-You need to download extensions for basic features
BigCommerce is a pretty solid platform overall for SEO. It’s one of the leading ecommerce platforms for a reason, and it’s reflected in its straightforward SEO customization features.
BigCommerce is known to be a great option for big enterprises, but it wouldn’t be fair to say it’s not a good option for new ecommerce owners due to its ease of use and customizability for users who don’t know how to code.
In terms of SEO, BigCommerce scores pretty high because of its mobile-friendly design, access to HTML and CSS code, built-in 301 redirects, and SEO friendly URLs. It also allows you to directly edit robots.txt files, which is something that many other ecommerce platforms don’t let you do.
One of the drawbacks of BigCommerce is that website loading speeds can be slow at times, but they at least support AMP pages. (Accelerated Mobile Pages)
-Great customizability and powerful all-around SEO features.
-Allows you to edit robots.txt files.
-Supports AMP pages.
-Inconsistent loading speeds
Shopify is simple to use, customizable, and affordable. It’s considered to be one of the best all-around ecommerce platforms, and we think it’s one of the best options for new ecommerce merchants that are still learning the ropes of how to set up and run an ecommerce store.
One of it’s greatest SEO benefits is that its loading speeds are fast. Loading speeds are one of the most important ranking factors and are also important to provide a better user experience.
“BBC has seen that they lose an additional 10% of users for every additional second it takes for their site to load” (WPO Stats)
Another great benefit is that it has a built-in blogging feature that many other platforms lack. This allows you to easily set up a blog and get traffic from search engines.
And if you’re looking to set up Google Analytics ecommerce tracking, Shopify makes it extremely simple. Google Analytics ecommerce tracking gives you extremely valuable data and analytics about your products and customer behavior, resulting in better decisions when running your store.
But Shopify is not entirely sunshine and rainbows, because it lacks some SEO features that scare off some people.
For example, it doesn’t allow users to edit the robots.txt files directly. Having the ability to edit robots.txt files is important because it allows you to tell search bots which pages shouldn’t be indexed in the search engines. There are many reasons why you might want to do this.
It also has a rigid URL structure that doesn’t allow you to change the text of sections of the URLs. This, obviously, is not great for SEO, because you don’t have control over some of the keywords shown.
-Fast loading times
-Google Analytics ecommerce tracking is incredibly easy to set up
-Easy to use and customize
-Doesn’t allow you to directly edit robots.txt files
-Rigid URL structure
Magento is a very powerful platform for SEO, but has drawbacks that users need to consider before picking it as their platform of choice.
Even though Magento offers users the ability to customize almost everything since it is open source, it requires coding expertise that comes at a cost if you don’t have development skills yourself.
That means that you’ll need to factor in the costs of hiring a developer if you plan to make hardcore SEO modifications. But if you do decide to go with Magento, it will offer you the capacity to do things that other platforms don’t.
So yes, it’ll do everything you need, but only as long as you have the budget to hire a developer to help you with the code. That’s why for some, Magento is the best platform, and for others, it’s too complicated and costly to be the best option.
-Open source ecommerce > Extensive customizability
-Solid platform with everything you need
-Customizability comes at a cost
-Slow loading speeds if AMP isn’t enabled
Volusion is another platform designed to be easy to use. Unlike Magento, you’ll probably be able to set up most things by yourself.
It does quite well in terms of SEO, overall functionality, ease of use, and comes at a reasonable cost. But when compared to other platforms like Shopify, most people that have experience with the platform agree that it can fall behind in some ways.
For example, Volusion lacks built-in blogging features. A blog content strategy is one of the main ways in which stores get traffic – that eventually becomes clients. This is a huge downside for Volusion because you’ll have to find workarounds to implement a blog in your store.
Other than the lack of a built-in blog, there aren’t many other downsides regarding Volusion’s SEO functionality.
-Mostly great for SEO (supports URL canonicalization, 301 redirects, and pretty much everything)
-Many tutorials and learning guides.
-Kind of easy to use. (although not as easy as Shopify)
-Lacks built-in blogging features
-Slow to load
There are some great things to say about Wix, like it’s ease of use and beginner friendliness, but there’s not much more to say other than that. It does okay and has the majority of the features that you need to set up an SEO optimized ecommerce store, but overall, Wix lacks functionality in many ways.
They lack many important features like Canonical URLs and customization of product URLs and meta descriptions. Their page indexing is slow. There are a lot of limitations as the platform is closed source. (sorry, but no extra plugins for Wix users)
The only case where Wix could be a good idea is for absolute beginners who require a drag and drop builder. And even in that case, it might be a bad idea because you’ll probably want to move your store to another platform later because of Wix’s limitations.
-Extremely beginner friendly
-Over 70 free themes
-Lacks important SEO features
-No URL canonicalization
Prestashop is another platform that’s intended to be easy to use. It’s ideal for small to medium-sized businesses that want a simple way to build their online store.
In many ways, it’s similar to Shopify in its ease of use and intended audience but lacks some SEO features.
Luckily, you can add SEO plugins and do some modifications to fix its lack of functionality, but that kind of misses the point of getting Prestashop, which is to have an easy to use platform that already has what you need built-in.
If you want something that’s somewhere between Shopify and Magento, Prestashop could work out for you.
-Great SEO when properly optimized
-Open source, customizable
-It’s easy to use, except if you need great SEO functionality
-Escalating costs to do modifications and add plugins
Weebly is similar to wix in the sense that it’s very easy to build your website with it. Most features are built-in, and if you’re a new ecommerce merchant looking to get your first store started, Weebly makes it easy for you.
The pricing options are very cheap. (the most expensive plan costs less than 40$) So that’s another bonus if you’re a new ecommerce merchant with a small budget.
In terms of SEO, Weebly is not the most powerful option out there. Many SEO features are built-in, but you’ll want something more powerful once you’ve established your ecommerce store.
A case where Weebly would be a decent choice is for a new ecommerce merchant that doesn’t plan to hire a developer.
There is no ‘best’ ecommerce platform. Each has its pros and cons, and different companies will benefit from some more than from others. You can also learn more about our software and how it fits with your SEO strategy.
But first let’s have a look at some of the most common problems eCommerce sites have to face nowadays:
Picking the right CMS can be a daunting task. In the past few years Shopify has broken many records, making the founders billionaires. Magento, on the other side, is loved by developers and SEO consultants and it has retained over time a solid reputation in the Ecommerce CMS industry. Here are my best tips to help you out deciding which CMS is the best – or better – which one is the most suitable for your needs.
In this episode, we have a special edition – looking at SEO for Comparison Sites, Affiliates Sites & Aggregator Sites.