SEO for Zen Cart Category Pages

By Melanie Prough on Thursday, June 18, 2009
Filed Under: Zen Cart SEO

Zen Cart’s product pages are really pretty good out of the gate. So in the beginning when time is short and there’s much to do, you might consider starting your on page SEO with category and product index pages. These pages tend to have a bit broader content than product pages, yet more targeted than your main page… Makes them perfect landing pages if optimized well.

The first challenge is page real estate. We know we need good rich and unique textual content to rank with…. But Zen Cart puts this text above the products, creating a usability and click through issue.

So to tackle this we have been using the Short Description for Categories contribution from Jade True, available at Zen Cart in the contributions section. The installation is for Intermediate Zenners as you will likely need to merge at least one file. However, even if you have to have someone paid install this for you, the benefit is excellent. This module will create another text field in your category editing pages… For more text! Viola, this text is added below the products or subcategory icons on the category pages. Nice!

Next, you need to write at least 500 words of very targeted, keyword rich text for the page. Take care to use heading tags (properly) and proper paragraph formatting. Keep topics in their paragraphs so Google can pull a decent snippet for searches.

Save the page, and check our the look of the page… Make sure you are happy with it and there are no errors.

Now, lets optimize it. Use a keyword density tool to grab the keyword density of the page. This is like reverse engineering your Zen Cart SEO. You see your page title in the <head> is only as effective as it is relevant. 100% relevant whenever possible.

Next, in your category list click the icon like this Editing Zen Cart Meta. This icon will open a screen where you can customize this page’s title, Meta description and Meta keyword tags.

Your title, the first field should be short, and highly relevant. For rank, this is the only thing you are editing in the custom Meta page that matters. No spam here, just a short descriptive title which is at least 90% relevant to the pages content…. Check it here.

Next, choose no more than 10 comma separated keywords from your density report. The more dense the better, but use words that matter.

Lastly, edit the Meta description. This text DOES NOT help you rank at all. This text is for you to describe the page and elicit click throughs from the search engine results. Keep it under 250 characters and good logical text…. No spam, and this is NOT a keyword tag.

There you have it, the basics of creating great landing pages from your Zen Cart category pages.

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