What Constitutes aPosted by oicadmin on 05/08/12
Tags: linking , shopping cart , seo , ecommerce
There is a lot talk in the ecommerce forums about which shopping cart software platform is the most "SEO friendly." It is a phrase that gets tossed around quite a bit, and depending on who is claiming a shopping cart to be SEO friendly, the definition can mean a lot of things. Here at OIC Group, we have years of experience in developing ecommerce shopping carts, particularly those that need to be compatible with search engine optimization. So in this blog post, we are going to highlight some of the major components that make for a SEO friendly shopping cart.
"Static" Instead of "Dynamic" URLs
One of the most important aspects to a SEO friendly ecommerce site are the URLs of its product pages. A dynamic, non SEO friendly URL might look like www.yourwebsite.com/id=12345?ref=321. In a SEO friendly ecommerce platform, you should be able to edit and choose the URL for your pages. This will allow you to include the page's keyword targets in the URL. So instead of a dynamically generated URL, you can change this to a static, SEO friendly URL like www.yourwebsite.com/keyword-target.html.
Title & Meta Tag Control
Another key component that you need complete control over is the page title and meta tags. The title of the webpage is one of the most important contributors to establishing keyword relevancy for SEO. In addition, the meta description holds some importance for SEO, and it is also crucial to blend keywords into the content of the description.
SEO friendly shopping carts will always have editable fields where you can write your own page title, meta description and keywords. There is no right or wrong way in writing these on-page SEO elements, but be sure to know what keywords you are targeting for that page and respectfully include those keywords into these fields.
Optimized Internal Linking Patterns
Unlike external linking, which is commonly referred to as "link building" from external sources to generate website popularity, optimized internal linking is different (and still very important for SEO.) Ensuring that your site has a well-optimized linking pattern between relevant pages can make a significant difference in your rankings Each page of your ecommerce website should be optimized for one or two primary keyword targets. For instance, you want www.yourwebsite.com/product-x.html to rank highly for the keyword “product x". In turn, you will to create links on your site that point to www.yourwebsite.com/product-x.html to use “product x” in the anchor text or link text.
XML Sitemap Generation
Generating and submitting the XML sitemap of your ecommerce site will help search engine spiders crawl and index your webpages faster. This is an important component for search engine optimization, for most search engines like Google fully support and emphasize the use XML sitemaps. Some of the most SEO friendly shopping carts will create XML sitemaps automatically as product and category pages get updated. For ecommerce websites, this can be a great features because some online stores have thousands of pages on the website. This is ideal if you provide ecommerce SEO services or simply have an ecommerce website.
Shopping Cart Functionality
The last point to consider when pinpointing an ecommerce shopping cart with SEO in mind is the functionality, especially during the checkout stages. This aspect focuses more upon the consumer behavior and preferences, rather than the mechanics of SEO and spider crawl-ability. In fact, many would consider this to be a facet of conversion optimization or website optimization. While customers are checking out, the last thing you want them to do is bounce, or leave your site due to a cumbersome process. Aligning the stages of the checkout process with respect to the product and customer preferences is essential. Many professionals in the field of website optimization consider this aspect to go beyond SEO, however wasted traffic is as good as no traffic. Ensure that your ecommerce shopping cart software enables you to customize the steps in the checkout process. Only a few SEO friendly shopping carts can handle these capabilities without a developer.
This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our Internet marketing specialists here at OIC Group, Inc.