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Welcome to the ineedhits Search Engine Marketing blog, where we share the latest search engine and online marketing news, releases, industry trends and great DIY tips and advice.



Monday, April 23, 2007

5 Tips to Optimize Your Shopping Cart

Posted by @ 9:22 pm
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At ineedhits I think we’ve written about nearly every type of optimization technique possible, however, today I came across Joost De Valk’s article on optimizing your shopping cart! Keep reading for the major points, the how and whys of optimizing a website shopping cart!

1. Inventory That’s Easy To Crawl
Create shopping cart URLs that are easy to remember (for the user) and easy to crawl (for the search engines). Keeping URLs and links clear and simple is one of the basics of SEO so don’t forget this rule when it comes to your shopping cart! Joost advises that you include nothing more that categories, product and brand names in your URLs, in order to keep them short and simple. Links should also be clear and ‘clean’ (no JavaScript).

2. Reduce Duplicate Content
Some products fit into several different categories, and it’s smart to ensure that they can be found under all relevant item groups. However, duplicate content is a very big no-no, because search engines may severely penalize you for it!

Google Webmaster Central defines duplicated content as “substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar”. Website owners should take care that no product, with identical content and copy is displayed more than once across the site. Instead, create one page for each product and link to this from the different categories!

Joost brings up another downside of duplicate content – if a product is listed on more than one URL it may ‘dilute’ that product’s popularity as people may link, or view it on either page – thus affecting the ranking of that webpage!

3. Be Specific!
In short, if your product is a bed then call it that. Consider what your customers are searching for, and how you can deliver it in the easiest possible manner. Undertake some keyword research to find the most popular searches, and base your entire customer journey on your findings. By making it easy to find products on your site, you’ll not only increase your initial sales, but also encourage repeat business.

4. SEO, SEO, SEO
On-page SEO is critical for any website, and it doesn’t end with your shopping cart! Using relevant category, product and brand names is essential in both copy, links, images and page tags, so make sure you dedicate time and effort into best practice SEO techniques (or get a professional to do it for you! Our Optimizer Kit Plus takes care of all your basic search engine optimization needs!). Also see our archive of articles for more great SEO tips.

5. Build Links
Link building is becoming a more and more popular topic and everyone has an opinion on the best ways to do it! Using your keyword research, search for other relevant websites from whom you would like a link. Joost suggests that you email the website owner and ask for a link, stating your reasons for doing so. The links you get should point to your category, for that keyword (i.e. keyword: “Nike” may correspond to a category/sub-category called “Sports Shoes”)

While some of these points might not be relevant to “your” website shopping cart, make the changes you can in order to improve your search engine optimization. The smallest amendments can often have amazing effects. It’s amazing how such an important part of the customer journey is the one thing we often forget to focus on. Make sure you treat your shopping cart right!



ineedhits Team You can click on any of the circles to get more information about the business they represent, essentially giving many more local businesses first page exposure on Google maps. It should be noted that the top 10 listings will still appear as pins on the left hand side of the map.

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