SEO and Your Online Shopping Cart
Ecommerce allows your potential customers to skip all the hassles of real-world shopping—scarce parking, long lines, mismarked price tags, etc…and that can be good for your bottom line. But, your bottom line is only going to reflect the advantages of online shopping capability if your customers can find your products. Hence, your ecommerce shopping cart needs to be optimized.
However, some SEO strategies do not translate well to large shopping carts. It’s simply not practical to write a quality page of text for thousands of products, let alone thousands of products available in a range of colors, sizes, etc. But you can improve the search engine performance of your shopping cart pages with a few targeted strategies.
Clean Up Your Online Inventory (and Site Maps)
To appear in the search engines results pages (SERPs), product pages must first be indexed by search engine crawlers. If you have thousands, possibly millions of product pages, there’s no telling when/if that will be complete. But you can make it easier for search engine crawlers by making sure your site plan is always up to date. That means:
- When you remove a discontinued product from the shopping cart, remove it from the site plan, too.
- When you add a new product to the shopping cart, add it to the site plan, too.
In short, you want to minimize the number of “404: Page not Found” errors the search engine may turn up.
Make All Products Easy to Find from the Main Menu
Making products easy to locate from the main menu does not mean listing every product in the main menu. Instead, you need categorize, perhaps more than once. In other words, keep the main menu looking clean with a manageable number of primary categories. Expand to secondary and (if necessary) tertiary categories when a user clicks or hovers.
A word of caution: it may be tempting to structure URLs to match your categorization, like this: www.SomeShirtCompany.com/products/apparel/Tshirts/mens/green-polo. But doing so puts multiple folders (indicated by forward slashes) between individual product pages and the root directory; it also makes it more likely that the URL will be cut off in the meta data below the link in the SERPs. It’s better to keep URLs shorter (closer to the root directory), like this: www.SomeShirtCompany.com/apparel/mens-green-polo.
Create Quality Content Where It Makes Sense
Although it’s not practical to create quality content for every single version of every single product, you do need quality content on category pages. Text beyond product descriptions provides context for the search engine crawler so that it knows how to index and rank the pages within the category.
Use Product Schema
Schema.org offers structured data protocols for any type of product or service, and Google values that structure. Shopping cart pages that implement Product schema may rank higher and much of the product data, including star ratings, may appear in the search result snippet. The placement and structure of the search result using Product schema increase online visibility and “clickability.”
The State of Your Shopping Cart
Even scaled down, SEO for an ecommerce shopping cart can take a lot of work. If your shopping cart is managed by SonicSEO.com, then that work is already being done for you. If you need help boosting the visibility of your online offerings, contact us to schedule a free SEO consultation.