Last week, we got in touch with 5 eCommerce marketing experts to get their opinions on what makes an eCommerce platform the best for search engine optimization. This week, we're continuing this series with more great advice from industry professionals. This is important information to keep in mind while evaluating the eCommerce software you're going to rely on to sell online.
1. Customization without Hiring Developers
For me, a high level of customization is the most important feature for SEO that an eCommerce platform should offer. I've worked with several platforms that are simply too rigid, meaning a developer is needed to make any architectural changes. This often slows down the optimization process dramatically.
Picking the right ecommerce solution is paramount when it comes to search engine optimization. A good platform will allow you to quickly and efficiently make any changes to the site. A good platform will also make it easy for those outside the SEO industry to create and upload well optimized content by providing a solid framework from which they can work from.
— Jason Scott, Digital Marketing Specialist at Archway Cards Ltd – Norwich, Norfolk, UK
2. Unrestricted Product Descriptions and Content
One of the most fundamental features an eCommerce platform should have is an ability to add a sufficient product description without restriction. A fair few online retailers are happy enough to use the short manufacturer’s description but that can be harmful for SEO. If you’re not one of the big and trusted brands, it should definitely be avoided.
Search engines, especially Google’s Panda algorithm updates, tend to devalue pages and sites that offer little value. Duplicate and thin content are two prime offenders. Default descriptions are usually fairly short; add that to the fact they are likely being used across multiple sites, the real value of them is almost zero.
Crafting unique written content is essential for SEO and ranking well in search engine results as a whole. Having functionality in place is a must if you don’t want to get lost in a sea of near identical sites fighting a losing search engine battle.
— Tieece Gordon, SEO Executive at Kumo – Nottingham, UK
3. Built-In SEO Tools in the Platform
In my opinion the most important feature for SEO that an eCommerce platform should offer is the ease to actually control and implement SEO techniques and features within the software. Aspects such as the easy implementation of page titles, meta descriptions & SEO friendly URL's are vital, as is being able to easily manage your SEO through sitemap generation, canonical URL's, 301 redirect management and Robots.txt editing.
Choosing the right eCommerce platform is vital to the success of any online store when it comes to search engine optimization; a lot rides on selecting the platform with the right features. I've seen many great businesses struggle simply due to choosing a platform which is unreliable and lacks features and flexibility.
—Danny Watkinson, Digital Marketing Consultant at dijitul – Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, UK
4. Powerful Taxonomy Options and Page Control
The most important feature is a taxonomy option that allows you to make both brand and category pages. Because brand and keyword categories often have the highest search volume compared to specific products, having SEO optimized pages for each can drive a lot of valuable traffic to your site.
The right eCommerce solution can provide a real boost to your SEO efforts. While off-site remains the most important ranking factor for a site, having features such as granular page control, taxonomy options, SEO-friendly URLs, etc., can be the difference between being on the first page and being in the top 3.
— Steffen Ploeger, SEO Specialist at 9thCO, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
5. 3dcart's Features make it the Best eCommerce Platform for SEO
Having used it for quite a while, what I liked about 3dcart is their attention to SEO. Being an ecommerce site, my biggest cost is the cost to get customers to my site.
And this is what 3dcart excels at. Their emphasis on SEO means I get customers more easily on my site thru better rankings on the Search engines. That's my biggest cost savings on marketing.
They are pretty up to date on the latest SEO standards. So I don't have to hire expensive SEO Experts to manage my site.
And that's what makes 3dcart the best ecommerce platform for SEO.
Without SEO, you will have to spend TONS of money just to get users to your online store. And since not all users will end up as buyers, there's a HUGE cost for conversion.
If your site is SEO optimized, you rank naturally on search engines and get visitors easily. That saves you good amount of PPC ad money.
So, without an SEO optimized store, your online store will not be a cash register but a cash gobbler.
— Chris Wagner, Site Blogger at HostingPill
Your Best Sales Tool: an SEO-Friendly eCommerce Solution
The majority of online sales begin with a search engine, rather than a customer directly typing in the name of a well-known online store. This means SEO is one of the most important aspects of eCommerce: potential customers are going to be searching for your products, and you want their searches to lead to your site.
An SEO-friendly eCommerce solution is built with SEO in mind for this exact reason. If your platform is SEO-friendly, all the tools you'll need are included right out of the box. If you'd like to learn more about what makes an eCommerce platform SEO-friendly, and gain an understanding of the tools you'll need, download our free SEO-Friendly eCommerce Solution Checklist ebook.