Since the mid 1990s, search engine optimization (SEO) has been a godsend for small businesses online, allowing merchants to attract large amounts of targeted traffic for little money. When you combine GoECart with search engine optimization best practices, your online visibility really begins to increase. GoECart is the most search engine friendly ecommerce solution available today. It provides web merchants with the foundation needed to get indexed by the search engines and begin ranking high. This article provides search engine optimization best practices for GoECart merchants that if followed can result in their search engine positions increasing.
Search Engine Friendly URLs
GoECart allows you to take dynamic URL queries and make them static URLs with keywords. By making your site’s URLs static and placing keywords relevant to the page in the URL, your site can see a boost in search engine rankings.
Common mistakes: When you change a page URL, you are deleting the page and putting up a brand new page. The best thing to do when renaming a page URL is to place a 301 redirect on the old page URL pointing to the new page URL. This tells the search engines that you have renamed the old page’s URL. For information on setting up 301 redirects, see http://www.machinteractive.com/WhitePapers/SE-Positions.pdf.
Unique Title Tags
GoECart offers the ability to assign every page a unique title tag. Title tags should be short (no more than 64 characters) and should contain keywords relevant to the page.
Common mistakes: If your domain name is keyword rich, end every title tag with ‘ – Your Sites Name’ instead of ‘YourSitesName.com.’ This can also help boost your positions and help in branding efforts.
Link popularity is the total number of web sites that link to your site. Building link popularity is key to any search engine optimization program. If your site does not have enough quality sites linking to it, then your search engine positions will suffer. DMOZ.org, Yahoo.com, sbd.bcentral.com, BBB.org, HackerSafe.com, and your local Chamber of Commerce are good places to start for building quality back links to your site. I also recommend participating in forums and discussion groups within your vertical and including your link in your signature of each post. This will both help you in building link popularity and establishing your company in online communities. Request links to your site from manufacturers, wholesalers, and any large companies that are business partners.
Common mistakes: Not all links are good; think quality over quantity.
There is a saying in search engine optimization circles, and that is “content is king.” This saying should not be taken lightly. Unique keyword-rich content is a critical piece of a successful search engine optimization campaign. In addition to content-rich product pages, you may also want to include the following on your site:
- Product Instruction Manuals
- Customer Product Reviews
- Press Releases
- Original Articles
Common mistakes: Try to place online unique and relevant content because if the content found on your site can also be found on hundreds of other sites, a “duplicate content penalty” may be triggered.
Your site should always be kept fresh, especially your home page. Constantly adding content and new features to your site can help increase your search engine positions.
Common mistakes: Update only small sections of the homepage such as a current news box, monthly featured products, or new product releases. You do not want to be changing large quantities of your homepage constantly as that can negatively affect your rankings.
You want to have a sitemap that links to every single page on your site, so that when the search engine spiders crawl this page they can follow the sitemap to locate every page in your site.
Common mistakes: Webmasters tend to forget about this page, so when you add or delete pages make sure they update the sitemap.
Here are a few additional quick tips that can make a big difference
- Convert any text in image form to regular text.
- Limit the number of external links on your site to maximum of five per page and only link to high quality sites.
- Place your site on a dedicated server with a unique IP address.
- Continuously check your site for broken links and fix them as needed.
One of the most common misunderstandings is that top search engine positions can be achieved overnight. Search Engine Optimization takes time, thus if you implement the above suggestions and don’t see any improvement in a week don’t jump the gun and revise everything.
SEO has changed a great deal since the mid 1990s. Today, sites such as FoxNews.com now employ small armies of search engine optimizers to make sure their site’s main pages appear at the top of search engine results. There are hundreds of factors that determine a site’s search engine positions, and the methods for achieving top rankings change often. With online competition heating up, many companies that begin optimizing their site have found that the SEO route is not as easy or clearly defined as it appears to be, yet it still offers one of the highest returns on investment of any marketing channel available.
MachInteractive, a peer division of GoECart, is a full-service interactive marketing firm that specializes in search engine marketing solutions. You can learn more about MachInteractive at http://www.machinteractive.com/.