Search Engine Friendly Shopping CartSEO Shopping Cart Video
2 minutes, 34 seconds
Pete Hitesman - Relentless Improvement
“Nexternal's shopping cart software is incredibly search engine friendly, giving me a leg up on my competition. My industry is extremely competitive and so ranking well in the search engines is essential to my business. I love the fact that I can customize title tags and meta descriptions. Also, having the product name listed in the URL really makes my listings pop on the search engine results pages.”
The Nexternal eCommerce Platform was built from the ground up with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind. A search engine friendly shopping cart helps merchants maximize organic traffic to their websites without incurring any additional cost. Following are some components of the Nexternal eCommerce Platform that make it so search engine friendly:
Clean, Keyword-rich, Static URLs
Having keywords in the category and product page URLs not only helps those pages rank better, it also makes the listings stand out more because the link displayed in the listing is bolded. A sample product URL with the Nexternal eCommerce Platform looks like this: http://store.firstfairway.com/nike-course-umbrella-p10.aspx for the product titled "Nike Course Umbrella". If you execute a search on Google for that term, you'll see just how favorable the results are. Category pages use similar keyword rich URLs as well.
Customizable Title, Description, and Keyword Meta Elements
Nexternal's search engine optimized shopping cart allows the merchant to have complete control over the Title, Meta Description, and Keyword meta elements. Merchants can load the title up with relevant keywords to help the page rank well without having to alter the product display name. They can also put compelling copy in the meta description to increase the likelihood that a shopper will click through on their listing.
Using header tags has been proven to increase the odds that a page will rank well for the specific term within the header tags. Product Detail screens in the Nexternal eCommerce Platform wrap the Product Title in H1 tags to help the pages rank better.
Define Custom Alt Tags
Alt text is the text that is displayed when a browser cannot render images. It has been proven to be an important factor in determining search engine rankings. Nexternal's SEO shopping cart will automatically use product and category names as the Alt text for the thumbnail images unless the merchant defines custom Alt text for each category and/or product.
Stephen Peron - Best Rank
“Throughout the years I have worked with many eCommerce platforms and I consider the Nexternal eCommerce platform to be one of the best. It has all of the SEO features I am looking for when it comes to an eCommerce platform: ability to modify Title Tags, Meta Tags, add content and create keyword rich URLs. Also, their easy to use shopping feed export puts them ahead of the curve in the industry! Having the ability to synchronize your complete product database, no matter how large, to Google Shopping (and other feeds) is priceless. ”
The canonical element is a tag that can be put on a page to ensure that the search engine is indexing the appropriate version of a URL, eliminating any confusion for the search engines. The Nexternal eCommerce Platform uses the canonical element on every page of a merchant's catalog.
Keyword Rich Anchor Text
Anchor text is the clickable text in a link. A well optimized site will use keyword rich anchor text rather than text such as "click here". The Nexternal eCommerce Platform will automatically use keyword rich anchor text for links that point to category and product pages in the catalog.
Efficient Tree-Like Link Structure
Ensuring that the search engines can efficiently get to pages is a merchant's catalog is critical in ensuring the entire catalog will get indexed. The Nexternal eCommerce Platform provides several logical paths for both spiders and consumers to find various category and product pages. Additionally, merchants can put products into multiple categories.
Limitless Descriptions for Heavy Content
Search engine optimization experts often say that content is king. With Nexternal's SEO shopping cart software merchants can provide unlimited information in both product and category long descriptions. The more words the search engines index on a page, the greater the chances that a page will rank well for multiple terms.
Auto-Generated Robots.txt and XML Sitemap
For clients that have set up the domain alias feature for their catalog (example: store.firstfairway.com), Nexternal automatically creates two special files. The first is an XML Sitemap. The search engines have agreed on a common xml format (www.sitemaps.org) that enables website owners to list all pages that should be indexed in a given domain. When the search engines find the sitemap, they essentially have a list of URLs they now know need to be crawled. The second file created is a robot.txt file. When a search engine spider finds a homepage, it will check to see if a robots.txt file exists. This file points to the XML Sitemap file, essentially enabling the sitemap to be found automatically once the spider finds the domain itself.
Product Reviews for User-Generated Content
Creating all of your own content on a page is a lot of work. Fortunately, Nexternal's shopping cart allows for customer reviews and ratings, allowing a merchant's customers to create content for the merchant's product page.
Rich Snippets on Product Detail Screens
Rich Snippets are now included in Google Search Engine Results Pages. Rich Snippets are labeled elements of data such as reviews or prices. If a product detail page uses Rich Snippets, those snippets of data are displayed on their own line, making the search engine listing taller. If a merchant's store uses reviews, a 4 or 5 star rating can also capture a potential customer's attention increasing click through rates.
Setup 301 Redirects for Discontinued Items
When you discontinue a product, you have the option to setup a 301 (permanent) or 302 (temporary) redirect to another product or page. So, if you a specific product has link juice you can 301 it a similar product or newer version of it without losing the link juice. This good from both a user perspective and a search engine optimization perspective.
Clients can include the authorship meta tag on product and category pages. If the creator of the page or author adds his or her store url to the contributor section of Google+, his or her profile picture may show up next to the product listing on the search engine results page which has proven to increase click-through-rate! G+ authors are defined at the user level.
Webinar & Independent Review
Nexternal also has a webinar available for those interested in learning how to optimize their Nexternal generated catalog for the search engines. SEO Shopping Carts has also conducted an independent review of Nexternal's eCommerce platform for those interested in getting a third party opinion.