Ecommerce Spot

Shopping Carts and Search Engine Optimization

Shopping Carts and Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is managing your site in such a way that your site appears near the top of the search results in popular search engines such as Google for the search words important for your business. For example, if you sell discount widgets, you might want to make sure your site appears among the first few search results when people search for “cheap widgets”.

Some shopping carts present challenges in search engine optimization. If optimization is important to you, this is something you will need to take into account when choosing your shopping cart software. Not all shopping carts are suited to search engine optimization.

When looking for an online shopping cart that is suitable for search engine optimization, one effective technique is a system that generates static pages automatically. These are HTML pages that have a unique URL, where the HTML and the URL do not change. Search engines often don’t like pages with long URLs such as www.widgetcorp.com/shop/items.php?id=2322&cat=32&subcat=2&br=1231 so watch out for this.

The shopping cart system should also put the name of your product into the title tag of those HTML pages automatically, and it should also automatically fill in the keywords, description, alt tags, heading, and body text of those HTML pages as well. A good shopping cart that is designed for search engine optimization will also give each product page a file name that relates to that product.

Keep in mind that all of this should occur automatically, as soon as you add a new product to your shopping cart, but you will need to enter the descriptions of your products into the shopping cart administration area with search engine optimization in mind as well, focusing on the key words important to your market.

Make sure that you include the exact name of the product, as well as common words for the product as well. For instance, if your product was Herbal Essences Shampoo, you would enter that name, as well as other words, such as herbs, herbal, shampoo, and hair care products into the description. The shopping cart software can only do so much, the rest is up to you.

All of these elements are vital to search engine optimization. If you have worked hard to optimize all of the other pages of your website for the search engines, why wouldn't you want the pages in your shopping cart optimized as well? With your shopping cart pages optimized, each time someone searches for a product that you offer, that page of your shopping cart stands a good chance of appearing in their search results, which will ultimately increase your sales.

You may also want an ecommerce shopping cart that includes website traffic statistics, and ROI tracking. It should be able to track sales from affiliate programs, banners, text links, and even print media with the use of promotional codes. Of course, it should also be able to track hits from the search engines, which will allow you to tweak and tune your descriptions for better results.

Make sure you read the documentation before choosing a shopping cart system, and be sure that it includes the features that you will need for search engine optimization. If you cannot find this information in the documentation or the website that advertises the shopping cart, contact the developers, or the webmaster for more information. Let them know exactly what features you are looking for.

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