Choosing the best shopping cart solution: 5 "must-have" SEO features for eCommerce websites
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a crucial component of any good shopping cart software or eCommerce solution.
Using the best shopping cart software (that offers built-in, high quality SEO features), helps rank your products at the top of Google search results.
Organic search traffic accounts for the vast majority of all Internet traffic, and Google has the lion's share.
No matter what products you are selling, or intend to sell, from an online store, SEO and Google search will play a critical role in your success.
This article will help you to choose the best possible online shopping cart solution to increase sales and revenue from great SEO and high visibility in Google search.
Why SEO is important for eCommerce websites
Google search has undergone massive changes in 2012, and in particular, product search results are going to continue to change. eCommerce and online shopping cart solutions that don't take heed of these changes are going to put the merchants who use them at a disadvantage.
If you are not familiar with the sweeping changes to Google SEO in recent times, I recommend you read the following articles on SEO and Internet marketing strategy for 2012 and beyond:
- Small business SEO & Internet marketing strategy guide, 2012
- How Google Product Search will affect small business SEO SEM strategies and how to cope
- How paid Google product search results affect the future of SEO and Internet marketing
Google's Panda and Penguin algorithm changes hurt plenty of eCommerce merchants in the last few years. The SEO industry has starting coming to terms with the changes to organic search, but the eCommerce industry has lagged behind slightly.
In particular, shopping cart software that isn't actively developed with SEO in mind will instantly put your business at a disadvantage in the post Panda era.
"Must have" SEO features for eCommerce
The following 5 tips represent SEO features that are not only important to help your online store get to the top of Google search results pages, but also to avoid painful Google Panda algorithm penalties.
If you want learn more about SEO in general, I recommend you read the following SEO articles:
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- 5 expert SEO tips to dominate Google search
- SEO basics: Small business SEO management guide
- SEO basics: Increase website traffic with long-tail Google keywords
- Small business SEO tutorial: How to implement a financially viable SEO strategy
1. Valid HTML SEO document structure
Google, and the other search engines, like well-designed webpages. A good webpage has an easy to understand structure. It has only one (top level heading, or title) tag, for example.
2. Control over META tags
META information can be very important. In particular, it is vital that you are able to add highly relevant description META tags to product pages. While META tags play very little role in the SEO of your webpages, the description tag is often displayed to humans in organic search results.
META tags for eCommerce tip: The description tag is 160 characters of "sales pitch". If you don't add it, potential customers might click on other, more interesting results instead.
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