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Some SEO tips for Open Cart

Discussion in 'E-Commerce and Online Selling' started by psxgamer, May 31, 2012.

  1. psxgamer


    Jul 14, 2009
    I'm taking a week of, but honestly I'm bored to dead. So here are some SEO tips for Open Cart. They may also work on other carts.

    Just wanna make clear I'm no SEO expert. It are just a few things I've been messing around with. It does the trick for me but this won't mean it will do the same for you. It won't cost you a thing, so no reason not to try.

    Defining your keywords:
    This is the trick that works best for me. I sell games so I definately want to have a good position in Google when somebody searches on words like gameshop, retrogames, PS3 games,...

    So first make a list of your top keywords than you go to:
    System > settings > tab Store > Title

    At the beginning in this field I just filled out the name of my gameshop. But you can fill out a lot more. I found out the keywords you place here will get a very good Google Ranking. So I not only put the name of my gameshop but also a whole bunch of keywords like:

    NAME OF MY SHOP Online Gameshop Playstation PS1 PS2 PS3 Xbox 360 Nintendo Wii used retro games

    Since I've done this it has given me an incredible boost in search results for these keywords and for seach queries that use a combination of these words with others.

    Add more keywords by using the welcome module:
    Go to Extentions > Modules > Welcome > install

    Now take your list of keywords again and write a short welcoming using all of these keywords. Make sure its a natural looking text

    At NAME OF MY SHOP you find the biggest choice of top quality second hand videogames. Rare retro games for the Playstation (PS1 & PS2) you won't find anywhere else. And recent games at very cheap prices for the PS3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii. Choose from hundreds of different games. From old classics to recent hits.
    NAME OF MY SHOP offers a 100% "Satisfied or refunded" guarantee on all games.
    Within Belgium you DON'T pay any delivery costs. The price you see = the price you pay.

    Add keywords to your titles:
    A game as e.g. Call Of Duty Black Ops I won't only sell for the PS3 but also for the Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii. This is just something I found out by accident. When you're adding related products there's an autocomplete feature. You type the first letter(s) and you see a list of the products starting with that letter. So when I would add COD Black Ops as a related product I often wouldn't know if it was the PS3, Xbox 360 or Wii version.

    To solve this I started adding the name of the console to the title so e.g Call Of Duty Black Ops (PS3).

    Again this has given a great boost in Google. A few weeks ago when I would search on the name of a PS3 game (=a lot of competion) often I wouldn't find it in Google. When I now do the same search Name of the game + console e.g. Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Xbox 360 I'm often in the first 5 results.

    I'm doing this for games, but you can do this for about anything. You can add the name of the brand, manufacturer,... and any other keyword that might help to find your product.

    Add keywords to your metatag description:
    This is just something I started doing recently. So not sure about the effect of it. In the past I just copied the game description in the metatag description. As a description I often used the text on the back of the box. Seemed a good idea then but often the description doesn't contain a lot of keywords.

    So currently I'm running a test. For one category of games I'm using 1 standard metatag description:

    Buy NAME OF THE GAME for the NAME OF THE CONSOLE at the cheapest price at NAME OF MY SHOP. Order online and receive a 10% discount. Buy hundreds of different games in our gameshop all with free delivery.

    The 10% discount is referring to the 10% discount code customers can use once in my shop (banner at homepage). According to Google the metatag description has no effect on your position in the search result. It's too early to say 100% yes or no, but I have the impression it helps a bit.

    Boost your listing:
    Something I read somewhere, something I did and what actually helps. I've tried this with the listing of a product with a very competitive keyword. I googled this keyword and just scrolled down the results until I found it. I don't remember the exact position but it will have been on page 20 or lower. Then the only thing I did was click it. I've repeated this for 2-3 weeks clicking it once a day. Currently I'm on the third last position on the FIRST page. So it really seems to help.

  2. Bubsa


    Apr 14, 2010
    This is a good start. I work in SEO as a search manager and copywriter and can't stress enough the importance of it to any ecommerce store. If you don't mind, I'll dive into your tips and add my own adjustments.

    The starting point for all SEO - find your keyword and a niche if applicable. As you'll know, some keywords are extremely competitive. You can use Google's AdWords tool to get an idea of how many broad/exact searches are made for any keyword you type in for free, which is very valuable.

    You might want to consider using some long-tail keywords. By this, I mean keywords which are more call to action based, let's say: "used ps3 games uk". Not only will this term have less search competition, but provided the keyword isn't totally dead and attracting no searches, it's very valuable to target, as you're attracting a client who is further down the sales path. Someone here is specifically looking for a product to buy, whereas a keyword searcher for "ps3 games" could be looking for info, news, releases or anything.

    Title tags (and H1 tags) are very important, so you're on the right track here. I'd avoid using a title tag that long, unless you just used that as an example. Common SEO practice that is seen as good SEO has each title tag at a maximum of 50 characters (with spaces).

    You should also optimise for only one or two keywords per page. The latest Google algorithm update, Penguin, penalises against over-optimisation and too many keywords in the tag could trigger this. It also helps the user know what the page is about specifically.

    I commonly separate keywords with piping as well - which is | <-- that little symbol. Absolutely include your brand/domain name in the title. An example for a used ps2 games webpage could be: Used PS2 Games | Buy PS2 Games | PSXGamer.com

    You're spot on with making this look as natural as you can. By all means, use your keywords in this description - just be sure it reads nicely and is never duplicated on your other pages. A sharp, call to action similar to the one above would work well.

    Metatag description has a very big impact on SEO. It is one of the first things that helps the Google crawler see your page and know what it's about, so it is vital for relevancy. You need to keep it within 75-225 characters with spaces ideally, use your keywords and summarise what the page is all about. The one above is a good example. Metatag keywords, however, they really are worthless. In fact, filling them out in your HTML code directly tells your competitor what it is you're trying to rank for, so best leave it blank altogether.

    If I'm reading this right, you're searching for your page, clicking it and then seeing it rank higher in google search? While this could be an increase in traffic helping you to rank, it's more likely Google's cache optimising your search results for you and having no affect. Google will 'remember' previous visited links of yours and so will dig up some google searches you've visited on frequently searched keywords. To test to see if this is the case, add the following to the end of your URL after you search: &pws=0. This will turn off google personalised results.

    I think you gave it a fair old stab mate, so well done to you.

    If there's interest I can piece together a bit of an SEO guide for people looking to set up or optimise their own web stores. Who knows, maybe I'll even offer my services, ha! But any questions, feel free to ask.
    shopafrolix likes this.
  3. AntiHeroUK


    Dec 8, 2011
    Great guide psxgamer, I'll have a go at putting your suggestions into place on my own store tomorrow. It's something I haven't found the time to do, but something which is vital, and very often overlooked in the day to day running of business.​
  4. psxgamer


    Jul 14, 2009
    I know about the caching. But I think it actually helped boosting the position. I cleared my own cache, and did an anonymous seach with hidemyass.com and the result stays the same. In fact yesterday I was the last result on the first page, today the third last. I did the same test with another of my listings with exactly the same result. But it takes weeks to see any result. You can do it with a few of your listings but not with all of them.
  5. IzzoNet


    Mar 1, 2012

    The post was very informative and with great tips.
    every progress in this field defently starts with definition of keywords. one of the most important things in SEO.
  6. UKbuyer1


    Oct 30, 2009
    Great guide, nice one Koen.
  7. shopafrolix

    shopafrolix Banned Member

    Oct 4, 2011
    Yep, great guide, and BUMP !

    I've copied it into word , printed it off, and will read it in bed tonight !!!
  8. psxgamer


    Jul 14, 2009
    You should be sleeping :D
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