How to Make Your Shopping Carts Search-Friendly

You’ve heard the old saying that in retail, there are three things that are critical for success: location, location, location! The same is true of e-commerce. If you’re selling products or services via the web, your customers have to find you quickly and easily.
Shopping carts, like content management systems, benefit from keyphrases in the URLs and proper site architecture.

The following SEO benefits should be built in:

  1. Keywords in the URL
  2. Categories pages with keywords in URLs
  3. Subcategories pages with keywords in URLs
  4. Product detail pages with keywords in URLs
  5. CSS-based navigation so that keywords are in the links to pages

More helpful tips:

  1. Use an HTML and XML sitemap to increase crawl-ability
  2. Add manufacturer/brand pages with original content
  3. Create blog posts and resources to support and link to the product pages using keywords

Make sure you don’t simply take the manufacturer’s descriptions as your category and product description text. This is your opportunity to get your keywords out there via your uniquely written text. Don’t forget that if the search engines find that your copy is an exact match of what the manufacturer or another reseller has published, that is not good.

Nothing is worse than going through all the effort to have your category and product pages get indexed and then to be totally discounted, due to a lack of original content. If you can’t spend the effort to write original content (and you can), you will need to focus on paid search, since your SEO won’t likely work.

Sorry for the bad news, but Google has put the nail in the coffin of people who use duplicate content. If your site doesn’t add unique value, it won’t have secure rankings no matter how well-designed or well-coded it is.

How’s your shopping cart performing?

photo credit: alles-schlumpf via photopin cc

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