Improved Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Improved Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Big Cartel stores have always been built with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind, so they’ve typically ranked very well in search results on Google, Bing, Yahoo,, etc. However, last night we added a few new SEO features to your store, based on Google’s own recommendations, that we think will really increase your store’s visibility to search engines. This all gets a bit technical and nerdy, sorry.

Meta descriptions

Big Cartel now automatically generates unique meta descriptions for each page in your store. For your home page, we use a brand new Description field we’ve added to the Settings section of your admin area, so head over there and enter a good short description of your store. Go ahead, we’ll wait.

Meta keywords

Meta keywords are a bit of a dinosaur in the SEO world, and aren’t really used by search engines much these days, but Big Cartel will now automatically generate them for you based on your store’s categories. That way you can be prepared in case the dinosaurs return.


Your store now has an automatically generated XML sitemap located at (replace “example” with your store’s subdomain). This is used to tell search engines about all of your store’s pages, and we now point to this sitemap from your robots.txt file. Don’t worry, if this sounds confusing just know it’s helpful and already working for your store.

What do I need to do?

While most of these new features will kick-in automatically, there are a couple things you may need to do:

First off, if you haven’t already, go to the Settings page of your admin area and fill in your Description field. This is used for the meta description mentioned above, but also in our directory search, and can even be used by theme designers with the new store.description variable.

After that, if you’re using the default theme layout, you’re all set! Go have a cocktail. However, if you’ve customized your store layout a bit, you’ll need to add the new meta tags yourself.

Lastly, we’ve written a help article with more SEO information and advice. Give it a read and get all of your SEO ducks in a row.

22 September 2010

Words by:Matt Wigham

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