Startup To Scale

121. Improving Your Website SEO for CPG Brands

June 19, 2023 Foodbevy Season 1 Episode 121
121. Improving Your Website SEO for CPG Brands
Startup To Scale
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Startup To Scale
121. Improving Your Website SEO for CPG Brands
Jun 19, 2023 Season 1 Episode 121

Search is still one of the primary ways customers learn about your brand. Are you doing everything you can to be found? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of making your website content easily discoverable on search engines like Google and Bing, so customers can find you.

The reality is that most founders don't have a strong SEO strategy and leave it as an afterthought. Join me for a conversation with Roger Bautista, a BigCommerce growth coach who trains merchants on how to sell successfully online.

We will discuss what you can do to build a strong SEO strategy including:

  • What is SEO and why it’s important
  • Understanding who your users are and how to create Keywords and phrases matching what your customers are looking for.
  • How to implement an SEO strategy on site

Startup to Scale is a podcast by Foodbevy, an online community to connect emerging food, beverage, and CPG founders to great resources and partners to grow their business. Visit us at to learn about becoming a member or an industry partner today.

Show Notes Transcript

Search is still one of the primary ways customers learn about your brand. Are you doing everything you can to be found? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of making your website content easily discoverable on search engines like Google and Bing, so customers can find you.

The reality is that most founders don't have a strong SEO strategy and leave it as an afterthought. Join me for a conversation with Roger Bautista, a BigCommerce growth coach who trains merchants on how to sell successfully online.

We will discuss what you can do to build a strong SEO strategy including:

  • What is SEO and why it’s important
  • Understanding who your users are and how to create Keywords and phrases matching what your customers are looking for.
  • How to implement an SEO strategy on site

Startup to Scale is a podcast by Foodbevy, an online community to connect emerging food, beverage, and CPG founders to great resources and partners to grow their business. Visit us at to learn about becoming a member or an industry partner today.

Big Commerce

Jordan Buckner: [00:00:00] So I wanna welcome everyone's to today's conversation on SEO for C P G brands. And for this, I've invited on Roger Bautista, who is one of the big commerce's, amazing growth coaches and works to train merchants on how to successfully sell online. And this is really a big topic for us because search is still one of the primary ways that customers are really learning about your brand.

And I wanna make sure that you're doing everything that you can to be found by customers. And so search engine optimization or SEO is something that I know a lot of us hear a lot about, but don't fully understand all the nuances around it and how it can best help your business, especially now with the rights and costs of.

Paid advertising, right? You need to leverage as much of the organic search and organic capabilities to be able to be found and lower your acquisition costs and right. So this is really the practice of making your website content easily discoverable on search engines like Google and [00:01:00] Bing, you know, and the reality is that most founders I talk to actually don't have a strong s e o strategy and leave it as a afterthought.

So I've invited on Roger to really talk through an overview of what SEO is, but I wanna make sure that you'll actually leave this conversation today with practical tips that you can then take back to your online store and implement either yourself or with your team. So at this point, I'd like to welcome Roger up.

He's gonna give a quick introduction and then jump into the presentation. 

Roger Bautista: Awesome. Thanks Jordan. Hey everybody. My name is Roger Bautista. I am an e-commerce growth coach here with Big Commerce. Definitely very excited to join you guys today. Give you a little bit of information, hopefully some good information like Jordan said, that you guys can take home right, and really apply this , to your online businesses.

This is the presentation here and proven website SEO for C P G brands. Like I mentioned a little bit about myself here, Roger Bautista I've been working with BigCommerce here for a little bit.

About to hit my three [00:02:00] years. I've been working as an education service specialist, so my primary goal here is to provide launching growth services for new founders even established founders if they're migrating from different storefronts. I know there's probably a lot of diversity here.

You know, people being from BigCommerce, Shopify, with all those e-commerce platforms. But yeah, I'm passionate about , helping founders get their websites set up. And then part of the services that we offer with that is SEO as well. So that's definitely a topic. You know, that Jordan said it's super important , to get your brand out there right.

Have customers viewing you. So having said, let's go ahead and jump a little bit about. To the agenda. See what we're gonna cover today. So starting off we'll cover very basics, you know, what is seo, how does it work? We'll jump a little bit into some SEO fundamentals. You know, so just some of those main key factors , that we wanna look into.

You guys have probably heard. The word keywords you know, thrown around. So we'll talk a little bit about keyword research, what that is. And then that directly leads into optimizing our content, right? How can we use those keywords to really optimize that [00:03:00] content that we're providing for our users.

Then we'll touch on some blogs and some back links, and then finish off with user experience, which is definitely something that's becoming a lot more important now as SEO is changing. So, just before we get started with Big Commerce. Like I mentioned, I've been with Big Commerce now , for about three years.

It is an amazing platform. It is an open size platform and it's really geared for all kinds of businesses. I've worked from small you know, businesses that are getting online for the very first time to enterprise businesses. You know, that they've been in the game for a while now, right?

So the commerce is a really great place for all of that there. As you can see here, there's actually a couple of examples from some of the MUS that we actually work with. Some local, some international, so, Being based out of Austin, Texas lambs, candy 

cono oils and vinegars. Some of these are some local businesses that we work with, but then there's also some big national brands, like something you might have heard of, right, Ben and Jerry's PO chocolates there.

It is perfect for b2c. I know I heard some of you guys are selling wholesale.

So that is actually one of the great features with [00:04:00] BigCommerce's lot of functionality there for wholesale and B2B sales there. Multichannel, right? So if you guys are selling through Amazon, eBay, any other marketplaces like that, And then like we saw with the examples, right?

We already have a lot of food and beverage companies local and globally. So definitely something that we're passionate about helping , in that business. And lastly, really a big differentiator with us is that 24/7 phone and chat support. So you guys do have real support.

So you can actually speak to somebody, you know, doesn't matter where you're at, in the world. Someone's able to assist you there. So all in all great, great place to get started there , or even if you're looking , to set up your online business. Cool. So we'll jump into the good stuff now.

What is seo, right? It's a couple of you guys might have heard the term seo search engine optimization. That's what it stands for seo search Engine Optimization. And essentially it's the process. Of implementing strategies and techniques that are going to affect how your website ranks in search results.

Whenever I refer to search results or search engine results that's gonna be anytime, you know, you're searching on Google, Bing, or [00:05:00] Yahoo, any of these search engines, whenever you type in a search query. Those results are gonna populate there, right? So you might have also heard these as organic results.

Whenever we talk about SEO and organic results, SEO is going to not be any paid function. So paid ads all of that there is not going to apply to seo. SEO is just gonna be the organic content that we create and we push through our website typically. The better the content the better the site ranks, the more relatable it is.

And we'll jump a little bit here more into what a well optimized site is continuing just a little bit of information on, you know, what is s e o, how does it work? I think that's pretty important in trying to understand. You know, whenever we're looking at SEOs, how does it work? So search engines like Google, like Bing they essentially crawl our website with.

They're called bots, crawlers. Spiders. A few different names there. But essentially the search engine goes through our entire site. They index all of the pages that we have and then they use algorithms for this process to determine which content is the most relevant. So. These [00:06:00] algorithms, they are constantly changing.

However, a lot of the main factors remain constant. So things like our keywords and our content, if it's relevant to our users the way the users can navigate in that user experience, website speed some of those things are very consistent. So just you know, something to be aware about.

Their search engines are changing. However, A lot of things are consistent. And with that being said you know, we can jump into what those SEO fundamentals are. So the most important thing whenever it comes down to SEO is our content content is king. The no better way of putting it there.

Content is increasingly important. Part of marketing strategy. It can be really. Found on anywhere on your website. So content is anything that you guys are producing, right? So from the descriptions in your products to any category information, any blog posts that you're creating even texts that you provide with images and videos, that's all gonna be information that these search engines can read.

So the more quality content that we have, the more likely it is that we're gonna rank for those relevant [00:07:00] searches right, that customers are looking for there. So making sure that our content is easily accessible is gonna be important. Whenever we are providing that on our website, we wanna make sure that customers are able to find things easily, right?

So if we do have you know, an about us page or our category pages, we wanna make sure that those are easily visible for our customers so that they can see right what kind of content we have in our store.

Next step of the fundamentals here is tailoring your content to your shoppers. So I have here one-on-one experiences, right? You guys are probably constantly communicating with the customers about what it is that they're looking for or what it is that they want.

and their searches. There's some. Seo, it's gonna be focusing on your user, right? Whenever you're writing your content in your store. Think about what is it that users are searching for? Right. At the end of the day, search engines like Google and Bing, they're in the business of providing the best results to the customers that are searching, right?

So the more relevant that we are to that search, the more probable it is that these search engines [00:08:00] are gonna want to promote our site in those rankings, right? So writing content for your user that also goes into the way that we write our content. Previously a lot of SEO was very, Technical, right?

People were focusing on keywords making sure that there were satisfying search engines. That's really something that's changing. You know, we don't really necessarily have to worry about satisfying those search engines, keyword, stuffing, putting a lot of those keywords into our content. Really now it's more about.

Conversational type of content. Really try to write the content the way that you speak, the way that your customers speak the way that they're searching for things, right? So try to think about what questions would you have about your product, about your business, right? And how about you answer that there?

So again, all about the shopper now, so trying to make sure that it's relatable to them. You know, and that it makes sense to them as well, not so much to the search engine. Right. All the technical aspects there, 

Jordan Buckner: Roger. And with this change do you see a lot of founders like needing to hire a SEO specialist to kind of do all these changes or since they're more on the front end of [00:09:00] things in their site and the content, it's things that, you know, , the merchant can update themselves.

Roger Bautista: Yeah, this is definitely a lot of content that you guys can update yourselves. You know, definitely if the resources are there, it's always better, you know, to have an extra set of hands, someone assisting you. But I do find that merchants, you're the ones that are interacting with your customers or you are the ones that are in the industry. Right. So it is something that you guys can totally , do on yourselves. And there's a lot of tools out there. I'll name a couple here and a few that can help you with that. Right? A lot of times we don't know how to start the content, right. What it is that we wanna write about.

But there's a lot of tools that can help us do that ourselves for sure. Awesome. Yeah. Cool. Next SEO is a journey, not a destination. So with that being said is that don't expect immediate results, right? It is possible to make some quick progress when we're starting out really just depending on our goals.

But in general, ranking on that first page is gonna be more of a long-term goal, right? And that's not to put anybody down to begin with. It's more kind of to set an expectation, right? With seo, it's a constant thing that we're constantly trying to improve.

So you know, we definitely don't [00:10:00] want to get discouraged if in the first month, you know, we updated all of our content and we're still not seeing our website ranking in that first page. It is a time process, right? So , just know that it's not gonna be immediate. And even when we are in those top ranking results, we wanna make sure that we're.

Keeping up to date. Right. Again, with that content, what is it that our customers are looking for? Has anything changed? Staying on top of any updates that these search engines have as well, right? Just to make sure that we're ahead of the game there. And then as far as you know, How it is that we want to optimize, I usually recommend to my merchants especially if we're not sure, you know, what is important to us or where we need to put that content is start looking at what you consider your most important pages to be first.

So whether those are some popular products that you sell some popular categories it could be a blog, right? If that's what you're heavily invested in right now. You can also just. Take a look at, right? What are your most visited pages? And try to optimize those there so that we can get even more traffic to those.

And then like I mentioned, Google, Bing, these search engines are always changing. So just staying on top of that to make sure that we're keeping up [00:11:00] with any changes there.

Awesome. So now moving into a little bit more of the technical side of things. So keyword research, You guys have probably heard you know, the term keywords thrown around in seo. So. Keyword discovery, how to, I think that's probably one of the first steps that we want to take a look at.

You know, before we can optimize our website to rank well at all, we first have to understand who we're optimizing for, right? Again, that goes to the content and who our users are, right? What the market is. So, conducting market research is gonna be super important, starting off, right? We want to be able to use tools like Amazon, Google looking at our competitors as well.

Conducting this market research, it's really gonna help us understand what our customer's needs are any pain points that they might have. Really allowing you to create content, right, based on that information. So this could be something that you guys do either using tools you know, if you go to Amazon and let's say you are searching for a popular product It'll usually show you other results, right?

People also search for so you might have seen [00:12:00] those on Google as well. Those are really good ways to look at the market and see what customers are looking for. Any relatable searches to that as well. And being able to create content around that. It's also gonna help you better understand what your competitors are doing, right?

Competitor research is gonna be really important, especially if you have some competitors that are already in this space, they have already been established. A lot of times they are already doing some things right, that we can take advantage of. So identifying those keywords those phrases and really trying to focus on that there.

And then another way to do your keyword discovery or market research is simply interacting with your customers, right? Like I was mentioning earlier, if you guys do have that relationship with your customers whether it's like surveys, polls Anything like that on your blogs, right? If there's comments take a look at that information.

A lot of times in those like product reviews, comment sections for blogs customers are letting you know what those pain points are, what it is that they're looking for and that can really help you, right in that keyword discovery. 

Jordan Buckner: Roger, I love that you mentioned a lot of these tools. One of my favorite [00:13:00] things to do is to use Amazon.

And if you look for your products or competitors products, there are questions that people ask about your product, or you can look in the reviews to see what customers have about that product type, and then you can then utilize that on your site to preemptively answer those questions. And then also make sure your keywords and your descriptions are addressing those upfront because those are the things that customers care about.

Roger Bautista: Exactly, exactly. Really good point there. Yeah, similar to Amazon in Google, if you guys search something like that, usually down at the bottom you can see related searches. Or now you're also starting to see snippets where like people also search for, right? So a lot of those go hand in hand and it makes it real easy right?

To just get some extra ideas on what else are people looking for other than, you know, the specific search , that I just went in and searched for. Yeah. Love it. Cool. Moving on to the next section here is still continuing on our keywords. Right as we're doing that keyword research we want to go ahead and take those search queries, those keywords you know, so whether it's [00:14:00] how-tos nutritional information.

How is this gonna benefit me health-wise or anything like that, right? Taking those keywords and creating helpful content for your customers. So that's one of those things. Now again, really bashing on that content is king. That's something that's really important now with ranking factors in tagging along with.

Writing to your end user, right? Tailor it to your customers. You wanna make sure that you have content that's helpful, that's usable and relatable. Something that I've seen in like the food and beverage industry are gonna be things like recipes right? So whether you have blogs or recipes, those are ways to really help provide useful content for customers, right?

Content that they're gonna be able to use, content that they're gonna be able to share right. And really expand your brand that way. So whenever you're looking at this you know, after , you've gone and done a little bit of research about, you know, what are some of those keywords?

What are some of those search queries that people are looking for? Try to rank those in order of a priority and define, what kind of goal it is that you want , to do there, and what kind of content you want to push. All right, so if it is something. Your product is gonna impact your health a lot.[00:15:00] 

 Try to really elaborate on that, right? Help your customers understand what are the benefits of your product, right? How is it gonna be a health benefit there for them. Anything that you can to satisfy any questions for them. The one thing I told my merchants is, Answer your five Ws, right?

Kinda like we're going back to school. The who, what, when, where, why and the how, right? So as long as you're hitting a lot of those points, you're really satisfying a lot of the search queries that customers are looking for, right? What is the product? Why should I have this product? When right. Can I get this product?

When should it be taken? Things like that. There. All of those W's questions, right? Are really gonna help you elaborate on that content there. And then lastly Avoid keyword stuffing and duplicating your content. So while we do wanna make sure that we are using valuable keywords, hopeful search queries you know that we're answering that in our content, we wanna make sure that we're not repeating ourselves a lot and that we're not trying to implement those keywords too much.

Right. So again, going back to writing as you speak, right. We don't have to focus so much on. Satisfying, [00:16:00] you know, the technicalities of the search engine as long as the content is relatable, useful, and helpful to the merchant or to the customer. Then that's gonna be great content there. So one of those things there.

Avoid stuffing, you know, your content with keywords and avoid duplicating content. So just a real thumb that I have with my merchants or my founders is avoid copying and pasting if you can. And while it helps ease some of the content creation you know, that's the easiest way to fall into that duplicate content scheme there.

So just making sure that we're not copying and pasting it and trying to provide some useful, helpful content there.

Jordan Buckner: Roger have you talked with merchants about using AI tools to write content like blogs? 

Roger Bautista: That is a really, really good topic. So it's actually something that's fairly new, right?

A lot of ai machines out there, you guys have probably heard of, like Chatgpt, some of those popular ones. While these AI tools are great for generating content, Search engines like Google, they are aware of content that is generated like this. So my recommendation really is use it as a tool, right?

Don't let it write your content for you but use it as a tool to [00:17:00] help you write content. You know, you definitely can use that to grab an idea of, you know, how you should start your paragraph. You know, look at specific keywords that these AI tools are providing. But yes. Great, great point.

Jordan. I definitely would encourage you guys if that's something you're interested in to look at some content creation there, but don't believe everything, that the AI machines are putting out there and don't take it as your own, right? Because search engines are getting really smart.

You know, algorithms are always changing, so that's something that they're constantly on top of there. 

Jordan Buckner: Yeah. And one best practice I've heard is to help utilized it for structure, for content, and then add personalization to it as well. And that helps with customers as well when they read that they can kind of. Generally understand like what's a generic kind of content that might be AI generated or just doesn't make any sense versus something that has the personality view, the founder or the brand built into it. 

Roger Bautista: Exactly. Yeah. And that goes back to writing , for that user, right.

Making sure that we're satisfying out there. Perfect. . So keyword rich content. Next up. How to optimize that content that we have. So going a little bit more into the technicalities of seo. You guys might have heard of [00:18:00] metadata meta information. A lot of those are really gonna come into play when it's page titles, meta descriptions page heading.

So we'll talk a little bit about all of these here. So, Starting off with our page titles. So as we're not familiar with what a page title is. Anytime that you go into a search engine like Google here and you search a query, you'll most likely see a URL right?

You'll see a URL, you'll see the blue title and then you'll see a little blurb right, about what that business is. So in this case, page's titles are gonna be that little blue section that you can click on. The main goal for the page titles is to provide. A sense of what that page is about. It is considered to be one of the most, if not the most important ranking factor for your pages because it's telling Google, you know, what is this page about?

So whenever it comes down to your content in there, you wanna make sure that it is relatable to what that page title is. The page settle is displayed in those search engine results, and it does apply to pretty much all of the pages that you have on your website. So any content pages, your homepage, [00:19:00] product pages category pages, those are all gonna have page titles.

So making sure that our page titles are optimized, they have a clear sense, right, of what that page is about. Usually my recommendation for a page title like this, Is going to be having a little blurb about what the page is followed by the name of the business. Right. So let's just say for example and about Us page you would probably have about us, and then followed by your business name for that page title, right?

That way it's really clear to the search engine and to the user what that page is gonna be about. Couple of things here with the page title. Making sure that they're unique. Again, that duplicate content that I was mentioning, it does apply to everything, in your store. So whether it's. Just the content that you're writing in your blogs your page titles, your meta descriptions, which we'll go into here in a second.

You wanna make sure that that's all unique, right? Because at the end of the day, if you really think about it if you're gonna have two separate pages, they should have different titles, right? Otherwise, if it's the same content, then there's no need to have two different pages, right? So just making sure that everything is [00:20:00] unique and that you're clearly stating what information is on that page title.

Little blurb. Heres 50 to 60 characters. That's usually the recommended length for those page titles. Anything longer than that will usually get cut off on that search engine result page. So here, like we see the Foodbevy home that one's very simple, right? It's the homepage, it has the business information there.

If we had any more than 50 to 60 characters, then you usually just see that information cut off. So. Try to make sure that we're sticking with that. And then having at least one relevant keyword that's gonna relate to that page. Right? So let's say, you know, as an example, there's , a business that is selling soft drinks, right?

In that home page and that page title, you might want to have the business have home and have a little blur about, you know, we sell soft drinks. Anything like that, that's gonna be a keyword depending on what your goal is. All right. So if you are selling products, if you are trying to provide information, try to put those keywords into those page titles to make it clear what that intent is going to be.

Jordan Buckner: And Roger, this is a good reminder for me that our Foodbevy listing is [00:21:00] not optimized, which is a good thing , to be aware of and sell something that I'm gonna be working on as well to make sure that. You know, CPG founders can make sure to find us if they're searching on Google. 

Roger Bautista: Yeah. Excellent.

Awesome. Next section is gonna be our page headers. So page headers are going to be basically the titles that you have in any of your webpages. So. For example, a product page. Usually the product name is gonna be that first page header. And essentially what page headers are, is they're a system of hierarchy for search engines to be able to read our page.

The first. Title that we usually have is gonna be the most important which is going to typically gonna be that, what's called the H one header. And then from there, you know, any product descriptions, reviews, anything like that, that we have following on that page are gonna trickle down to those H two s, H three s.

Main thing with your page headers is we wanna make sure that these are also unique and that with our main title of that page, that H one header that we only have one. So, for example, let's say , it's a [00:22:00] product page and you have the product name. You wanna make sure that any other titles that you have below that are not going to be that H one title.

So in that way, what you're doing is you're telling. Search engine, Google, for example. Hey, the product name, H one, , is the page header. This is the most important thing on this page. This is what the page is about. And then moving forward, H two, H three is write the descriptions, the reviews that's all gonna be complimentary info to that page.

So like it says here, it's usually located within the body. And it's gonna identify how the search engine, how the user should basically set importance on the text there. And then following again with that keyword rich , and unique content. Again, making sure that, that we're satisfying those search queries there and making sure that the content is unique.

So again, going back To the duplicate content. One thing that I see a lot with my merchants is whenever they are creating product pages and let's say they are two very similar products it's very easy to just copy that product description onto the other one, right?

So, Try to make sure that we are putting key differentiators in, right? So [00:23:00] whether it's different flavors, whether it's different ingredients, right, that are making our products different colors, sizes, anything like that, that we can really differentiate. Try to put that in your description there.

Then moving forward continuing to optimize our content. The next piece of that meta information is gonna be our meta descriptions here. So meta descriptions, these do display on those search engine results page. So whenever you are you know, searching for something on Google, similar to the page title you can also see that meta description.

And so the meta description in this case is going to be a little blurb about what that business is. So it does go hand in hand with the page title. Now, The meta description, it is only visible on a search engine results page. So only on Google will you ever see this meta description. It's not ever gonna be visible , on your actual website.

The main purpose of this is, think of this as like a sales pitch. A little elevator pitch, right? It's an advertisement whenever someone searches. You know, as an example, food and beverage brands online, they're gonna get a list, [00:24:00] right of different websites. The meta description really helps sell the customer, right?

Try to put information there that's gonna set you apart from your competitors. If you have anything that like promotions Delivery, right? If you have a local delivery or anything like that, anything that really sets you apart that you think is gonna be a benefit for your customers, that they would truly appreciate put that in your meta description.

The main goal for this is you want your customer to click on your link, right? Whenever they're on that search and a result page as compared to the link below or above, right? So if we don't provide meta descriptions, a lot of times what these search engines will do is they'll just pull whatever piece of content that we have on our website and provide that as a meta description.

So while it'll always display. Description, it's always good for us to take control of the reins there, right? And we provide the content that we actually want our customers to see. In that section there. So just a little technical thing here. Aim for 150 characters, just like with the page title. The meta description does have a limited amount of space there in that search engine [00:25:00] results page.

So keeping it at about 150 characters or less is gonna make sure that all of the information that you have there is gonna be visible. Otherwise, you usually see the little dots, right, where the content is no longer visible. And then at that point, really you, there's no value in the rest of the content there.

You know, for your customers to be able to see. Moving forward into link building. So now we're moving a little bit away from that metadata, that information that, you know, you can put in for the search engine to find like the page titles, the headers, the meta description link building if we are not familiar with what back backlinks are.

A backlink is essentially, Anytime a website that's not yours, links to your page that's gonna be a back link. You can think of this as like a vote of confidence. Right. So usually the more businesses, the more websites that we have linked to us in the eyes of Google, that's telling Google that.

Hey, this website is relatable to what these other sites are talking about, because they are putting that content in there. Right. So a back link can really include someone mentioning [00:26:00] you. And it can be things on social media. Someone can be blogging about you. Let's say for example, there's another business that's writing up a recipe, right?

And they are linking to your products. All of those are back wings. And they show. Search engines, that your website is popular, that it's a reliable one, that it's a relevant one. Right. And so with back links, like I was mentioned, it's gonna come from other businesses. So this is not something that Youi can usually directly control ourselves.

Right. We can't really go to someone else's website and start a back link to them pointing to us. So a lot of what you need to do with back links, In terms of trying to build that presence it's networking. All right. So I think Foodbevy , is a great place to actually do that. You know, it's a whole network of similar brands, similar businesses.

Alright, so , , that's a really, really good starting point to talk right , with other founders such as yourself and you can bounce off ideas, right? At the end of the day, , the more that we can work with each other and you know, if it's relevant information right, then that's gonna be good in the eyes of Google.

 For the back links. , it's all gonna come down to your content, right? So again, going back to [00:27:00] what it is that you're writing, if. You have content that is not optimized, that is not answering any questions, that's not being helpful to your customers, then most likely someone's not gonna wanna link that post to their website, right?

If it's not gonna be helpful. So that is the way that we can directly influence back links, right? It goes back to our content. The more quality content that we have, the more helpful that we are on our site, the more probable that someone else is gonna want to link to us. Right? So a couple ways. That we can do some research in terms of back links some of those tools like and we can share some of these with you guys as well. Mass Sem rush there's actually some Google articles here as well to. Give you information on how we can search for backlinks, how you can see what backlinks you currently have already.

And then going back to that market research, looking at our competitors, right? So let's say for example, there's a business that is in the same vertical as you. And you constantly see them being posted on blogs and on recipes and on different sites. Look at what those competitors are writing about.

Try to write similar or better [00:28:00] content, right? That you can and then simply approach those businesses that are making those back links available, right? Providing your content, getting yourself out there trying to network, right? That's gonna be a good way to really push your brand and get your content out there so that other businesses can try to link to you.

Moving on from the backlink side of things something that's becoming a lot more important nowadays. You know, going back to how algorithms are changing, user experience is becoming very, very important in terms of seo. So it used to be back in the day, right, it was all about keywords.

Making sure. We , we were satisfying what the users were searching for. Now, like I was mentioning, we wanna write our content for our customer, make sure that it makes sense to them and provide a good experience for them. So part of that user experience is gonna be how our site operates with mobile devices.

Right? Google is moving. Towards a mobile first index. And basically what that means is instead of Google using your desktop version to analyze and rank your site in all of your content, Google is now, if you have a mobile site, they're now using that mobile [00:29:00] site to index. So with that being said, we wanna make sure that if we do have a mobile website that it's optimized, right?

For mobile devices. One of the main things, most common things that I see is gonna be responsiveness and basically what website responsiveness means that if you go onto a mobile device, does everything format to look optimized on that device, right? Or is it still stretched out trying to look like it does on a desktop view?

Right. So that's something with like BigCommerce all of our themes that we have, they are all responsive themes, right? So that's something that's out of the box with BigCommerce. But in any case that you're not with BigCommerce, make sure that your website is responsive. Go and and double check that.

And then make sure that it's optimized for fast loading times, right? That again, can play into, you know, the design of your website. If you have any, you know, complex customization you know, a lot of applications or anything like that. Those are the things that can really affect that website speed.

So just go in and double checking, making sure that we have only what we need, right. And that the website is responsive there. But. With that being said, we still wanna make sure that our [00:30:00] mobile site is as in depth as our desktop site. Like I was mentioning with the mobile first index, Google is going to use your mobile website to rank any information.

So don't skip putting information on your mobile website that you would originally have on your desktop site. If anything, you wanna make sure that it's all there. And then. Some of the suggested tools that I like to point out with my merchants here is lighthouse, which is actually Google Service webpage Both of these are really good resources to see how our website , is operating loading times, right? If there's anything that needs to be addressed. And then Tiny PNG, this one actually goes a little bit more , into images. That's probably the number one.

Factor that I see that affects loading times with the majority of my merchants whenever we're going through SEO audits. Image sizes, if they're too large, it takes a long time to load on those websites. So we just wanna make sure that those are optimized. And tools like Tinypng also has some resources there for you in order to optimize those images.

But making sure that the file size of the image is the most optimized size. 

Jordan Buckner: Roger, a question, did you say there is [00:31:00] a way to search for back links to your site? 

Roger Bautista: Yes. So, Tools like if we've heard of Mass, Sem rush any tools that you can do to kind of perform a site audit, those will usually let you know not only what keywords you're ranking for right, but what back links you are also listed on.

All right. So those could be some good tools to go in and see what businesses , are linking to me and what businesses, you know, do I have an opportunity to link to there.

Perfect. Cool. Moving on. Continuing kind of , on that mobile experience, this does apply to desktop as well. But very important factor now is gonna be that site speed. Right. It is gonna be as. We users you know, have become more comfortable with searching online, purchasing online.

Speed is important, right? A lot of times if that website isn't loaded within the two seconds, customers tend to back out of the site, right? Go and look at a different option. So as far as speed um, you know, whenever we are looking at those tools like Lighthouse webpage test try to hit that two second threshold to make sure that everything [00:32:00] is loaded by then.

There are a lot of other benefits, right? Obviously if your website is fast, it's just gonna make that user experience a lot better, right? One of the worst things that can happen is whenever someone's trying to get onto your site and the website is still loading, you're trying to hit a button and it's not actually taking any action on that, right?

So. The main thing here is gonna be that user experience and making sure that our website is optimized there. And like I mentioned, the most common thing is gonna be those image sizes, having a large amount of images and then having a large amount of scripts or like third party applications customizations there, that, that kind of bog down that speed there.

And then lastly one thing that's been introduced here over the last year or so, last few years Big thing with that user experience. Google is now releasing these ranking factors known as core web vitals. This might be new to a lot of people here, core web vitals. Basically what these do is it tracks how your website is performing online.

And it's three different ways that it goes about doing that. You have what's called LCP largest contempt for paint, FID, first input, delay, and [00:33:00] CLS commutative layout shift. Basically these here, Are going to be different testing formats. So largest contemptible paint basically measures how fast does everything load on your site, that largest piece of content, how long does it take for that piece to load.

And here you can see the thresholds. Anything under two and a half seconds, it's gonna be good up until those four seconds needs improvement. And then obviously anything above that can definitely use some work there and. Core web vitals. This is another thing where you can also view with tools like Semrush, that webpage

Those will let you know what our website , is operating with these core web vitals. So largest contemp paint, basically, how long does it take for that largest piece of content to load? First input delay. So this one here is. If you've ever been on a website and you try to click on a button and then it layout shifts on you and you ended up clicking on something else that you weren't trying to, that's exactly what this is measuring here.

Right. So the quicker that your website can accept that input from your customer, the better that's gonna be for the experience. Right. And then lastly, A cumulative layout shift[00:34:00] is gonna be that visual stability, right? So , what if your content is changing, if right, if it's shifting around as the website is trying to load that's really gonna affect that user experience there.

So we can see again here the thresholds where those are at. And again, something that, , that you can view with tools like Semrush by page 

Jordan Buckner: And then Roger May have a question, is image size the only factor for slow loading sites, or what else should we look at to optimize the site speed?

Roger Bautista: Yeah, so images are gonna be the main one that I see. If you have third party applications you know, so I know like with the commerce, there's applications, Shopify, there's applications. The more apps that you have, usually that's going to affect website speed again, and that's gonna go If you heard the terms of scripts it's basically extra content, right?

That's having to load onto your website as it's trying to populate there. So those are the main things. Images, any third party applications. And then if you do have any complex customizations or from your design there, but trying to keep those to a minimum is usually gonna help with that speed there.

Jordan Buckner: Perfect. Yeah. I used to have [00:35:00] a different website on Wordpress and using WooCommerce and they had like 30 plugins and it was incredibly slow and switched it over to an e-commerce platform so they could actually increase the speed, which made a big difference. 

Roger Bautista: Yeah. Yeah. That's gonna be one of those great benefits that bigCommerce , that does have , it is an open task platform, right?

So it's not necessarily app heavy. While we do have a lot of apps available a lot of the functionality is native. It's out of the box, right? And so the more out of the box something can be , the better that's gonna be for that speed there, so you don't have to input these third party plugins.

Jordan Buckner: Awesome. Roger. So we have about five more minutes and then we'll open up for q and a. We're the last important things that are important for our brands to know. 

Roger Bautista: Yeah, no. With that being said you know, we do have some resources here at the end so that you guys can take a look at we'll be sending these out at the end of the presentation.

Yeah, kind of , to give a, a quick overview. Content is gonna be the main thing. Again, try to find value in what you are selling and try to really put yourself in your customer's shoes. Alright? Answer those questions. The who, what, where, when, whys, hows. And as long as you [00:36:00] are providing that relevant information for your content, you're gonna be , in a really good spot to try to satisfy all of those search queries there.

Jordan Buckner: Perfect. Roger, thanks so much , for doing this overview. I think it was a great mix of a nice summary level, but then also going to some actionable steps that founders and our listeners can use to take away for their businesses. So at this time, we wanna open up to questions from our audience.

Feel free if you have a question, you can either use the raise your hand button, you can, Mention it in the chat, or you can come up on screen and ask that question directly.

And while we're waiting on any questions, One thing that I saw Roger and I've made this mistake is sometimes in terms of like the product title pages, a lot of times brands will have a unique name for their product, which might not be what people are searching for on Google. Do you recommend having kind of doing like SEO, optimize like product titles on top of what it might look like on the site?

For instance, we had Teasquares focus bytes, but it was very much like a branded kind of [00:37:00] name for our products versus what a customer might be looking for. And so I just wondering like if you can use like meta descriptions to have a different name for the title that's more descriptive versus like what it might look like from a consumer.

Roger Bautista: Yeah, definitely. With that page title being such an important factor. That's something we're do tell merchants. To write that page title to what your customer is going to search for. Right. So if the brand name is what's important , make sure that that's gonna be in the page title.

If the type of a product is gonna be what's important. Make sure that that's in the page title. But yeah, being able to use The meta description for any other information there. Like I mentioned, it's not gonna be available on the actual content for the product page. But it does help customers, that are looking to find you through the search and results page.

But yes, at the end of the day, those page titles you know, we wanna make sure that, again, starting with one of those keywords right, that the customers would be searching for, that way it's gonna be relatable to them. 

Jordan Buckner: A question, how can you structure social content that you post to help with SEL on your main site?

Roger Bautista: Yeah. Now I'm assuming that's gonna be kind of like any social media, [00:38:00] like Instagram, post product reviews, that kind of information. Yeah. Yeah, a lot of that's gonna be great, great. Information that you can actually put I see it a lot like on homepages you know, having a blurb about what customers are saying about you.

Right. A lot of times now , there's some. And kind of going into apps on necessarily wanting you guys to have a lot of apps, but there's like applications out there, right, that can populate that Instagram feed, that can populate those product reviews onto your homepages category pages product pages.

So that's a great, great point, Jordan. Now more than ever user generated content. So content that your customers are writing about you is becoming very important, right? Google is. Basically noting what people are saying about you and taking that into account. So if you do have great reviews, right, where customers are providing a lot of in-depth information about the product or the service definitely feel free to put that anywhere that you can, especially on your home page , to really try more than anything.

You know, once someone's on your site as well to help convert, 

Jordan Buckner: how often should someone review their existing SEO on their [00:39:00] site? 

Roger Bautista: Really, really good question. So, like I was mentioning it is a time process, right? Usually whenever, let's say , we have a customer and we go through an SEO audit, and let's say you implement changes, right?

You update your page titles, you updated your meta descriptions. My rule of thumb is about six months. It's kind of the timeframe that you wanna wait to see how those changes take effect. Usually a month or two months is not gonna be enough time to see if there's any changes there. So six months is usually a good timeframe to go in and check, you know, , what did we do six months ago?

Did we see any traffic increase? You know, our titles content here, working click through rates, right? Are people actually clicking on our site now? But yeah, anywhere around like that six month range I think would be a good point to double check again. 

Jordan Buckner: Yeah, I think in that time period, right, a lot of times people like information or branding or messaging might change and they might have outdated information as well, so they can do a double check.

Roger Bautista: Exactly. Yeah. Staying on top of your content. Right. Like I mentioned, customers are always looking for different things. So as long as you're providing updated, relatable content, you'll be in a good spot.

Jordan Buckner: And then, I [00:40:00] know you mentioned images and image sizes earlier. Are labeling photos to show up in, like Google search results, something that brands should do, or is that kind of more advanced stuff?

Roger Bautista: Yeah, so it could be considered a little bit more advanced. Definitely in the hierarchy of like ranking factors. It is a little bit , on the lower side of things but it is something that's important, right? So search engines, they're not able to read what an image is right, what a video is.

So a lot of times what you wanna do is provide what's called this. Alternative text for search engines to be able to read what that content is. All right, so if we do have images especially like product images, most of the time with your platform, you should be able to write a quick description about what that image is.

And in that case One of the most common things that I see is, let's say we have a product they'll just usually type the name of the product as a description for that image which I wouldn't recommend. The whole point of that description of the image is to help that search engine know what the actual image is.

So us just putting a name of the [00:41:00] product doesn't actually give any value to the search engine about what the image is showing, as opposed to you describing the color. Or the angle you know, anything like that about the image that's gonna help that search engine read that content there. So really good point there.

Jordan Buckner: Another question what about content that's behind a login? Is that indexed by search engines and counters through seo? 

Roger Bautista: That's a good question. If you do have your website locked off where they need to, let's say someone goes to your homepage and the only way that they can access your categories webpages are through a login then yeah, that essentially is locked off from search engines as well.

Jordan Buckner: Got it. Any tips? Are there ways to make some of those things like searchable or is it maybe doing like a shorter version of the content on a public site or something like that? 

Roger Bautista: Yeah, , hopefully if you do have another presence or anything like that backlinking can definitely help.

Right. If you do have another source where you can put that information. Yeah, I don't have anything off the top of my head right now in terms of how we can do that, but I can definitely , try to look for something and send it out to you guys as well. 

Jordan Buckner: Perfect. No, I think that sounds great.

Awesome, [00:42:00] Roger, I really appreciate it. Any mistakes that you've seen founders make regarding seo when you come in that are really kind of the quick, easy fixes for them? 

Roger Bautista: Yeah. Main things I think I touched on a couple of those gonna be like our image sizes. Not providing page titles or meta descriptions.

Right. That's really the biggest one. Because as you can see the search and your result pages, they're still gonna display a page title or a meta description. But like I mentioned earlier, it's just pulling random content, right, that you have on your webpage there. So really just making sure that we have some type of content in those fields.

It's gonna be a really, really good start for us there. The second thing is, Again, bashing on that content is not having enough content on your website, right? So whether it's like I think one of the most common places are like category pages. A lot of your users, they do visit, get to know your site through the homepage, but a lot of the times, if they're searching specifically right, for.

Products, they might come across a category page for the first time right, that they could meet your business. They might actually land on your product page for the first time, which is the best scenario, right? They're already [00:43:00] there. So making sure that we have a little bit of content on there.

Providing value, right? So like in those category pages, talk about what the category is a little bit about who you are, what the benefits are of the products in this category here, and a little bit of background about them. So I think that's something, yeah, we're Some of my merchants still focus on just having a little bit of.

You know, their page title is a meta description, but then we don't actually have any content in those pages there. But 

Jordan Buckner: yeah, that's a good point. I recently learned that, you know, Google's been focusing more on the, like questions that people are asking, providing like FAQ style answers.

And if you do any searches, that's what usually ranks in terms of like, Towards the top of the search results. And so if you can add an FAQ section on every page that doesn't just talk about the product, but also kind of talks about the problem and the why and the category, then that can help drive that organic traffic to your product pages and other pages on your site.

Roger Bautista: Yeah, exactly. That's a really, really good point there. Again, asking yourself what is it that the customer is searching for? And then again, writing it out how they would search it. Right. How you would ask for [00:44:00] that.

Jordan Buckner: Perfect. I love it. Roger, thanks so much for being on today. For everyone watching, we'll be sharing the recording after the presentation, likely tomorrow or Monday, and along with the other links here.

And then if you are interested in getting in touch with the commerce and finding out how their platform can help your business, not just sell more product, but also make sure you're ranking on search results, you can be found. I'll include information on how they reach out to their team. Thanks so much everyone.

Roger Bautista: Awesome. Thank you so much guys. It was a pleasure .