Optimize Your Zen Cart

By Melanie Prough on Monday, September 21, 2009
Filed Under: Zen Cart SEO

Given the level of steep competition in commercial online business, you are well aware of the need to maximize the potential of your online store and other features that you might have. This includes optimizing your shopping cart by using SEO and usability techniques to meet and go beyond the current web standards, thus enabling you to get ahead of your competitors.

A Zen Cart store in itself a wise investment, especially if you have a product geared towards commercial viability. The benefits of a shopping cart cannot be undermined. By having a shopping cart, you can manage more efficiently your product inventory, sales and on site marketing. It is also a great means to added ability to convert website traffic to tangible sales. The shopping cart is a highly useful application that can help increase your businesses visibility on the internet which in turn can increase your sales.

While your Zen Cart is an innovative shopping cart system that you should take full advantage of, like any other investment, if you don’t take good care of your cart, it will never worth anything. There are a number of ways where you can optimize your shopping cart for better usability and sales.

When you customize your Zen Cart remember to consider that little crawling neighborhood friend of yours: the spider. But in this case it’s more of the web spider concept that you need to worry about. It is important that your links on your Zen Cart can be spidered (read). Ensure that your URLs will be easily remembered by both your shoppers and search engines. Using logical categories and product names on the URL is one way to keep search engines spidering your content.

One thing that you should avoid when optimizing your Zen Cart is duplicate content. You can have duplicate content when you the same exact content in multiple categories, copy manufacturers descriptions or allow your sorted pages to be crawled and indexed. Your organic rank can be affected by having duplicate content, especially with Google.

Another thing that you should remember is to know your shopper’s needs and how they go about finding them. When you create your Zen Cart navigation, use commonly searchable words to refer to your products and categories. For instance, use “chair” if you’re selling a chair and not a “comfort device”. Make sure to use brand and specific model names on your inventory as well. Place them properly in the title and heading of the pages.

With regards to the on page SEO, use proper title tags, as these are the most effective on page ranking factor. Write creative and unique meta descriptions to convince searchers to click through to your site. Write great, unique text describing the products and categories. Don’t forget to use proper heading tags. If you decide to use the keyword tag, use only 10 or less comma separated words and phrases. While most search engines completely ignore this tag now, if you don’t abuse it there is no harm in using it.

Another, and likely most important aspect of SEO that you should incorporate in your shopping cart SEO campaign is link building. Building links creates an opportunity for search engines to find and rank you more effectively. You will have to create a lot of links to your site. You can email various site owners and sell the idea of linking your site. It would be ideal to have site owners use your top keywords in the anchor text (clickable part of the link), however.

If you find SEO work overly complicated and troublesome, there are numerous SEO specialists which can do the work for you. However, that would be additional operating cost on your end. It would be far better to study the techniques and applications in order to do the basic optimization yourself.

In this day and age, being noticed on the internet is no longer as simple as creating your own website and publishing it. No longer does stuffing 500 keywords in the Meta keyword tag help a site rank. You need to direct traffic to your online store and try to convert that web traffic into sales. The need to optimize your shopping cart is very real and can easily show you the largest return on investment for your marketing budget.

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