When it comes to ecommerce software there really is only one choice if you want to perform on-site SEO efficiently and that’s the open source software Magento.
Why is Magento the best e-commerce software for SEO? Flexibility and acccuracy…
Categories can be created in Magento which create a sub-folder; linking to the sub-folder itself brings up a preview of all the products within it or you can set the sub-folder to show another set of sub-categories. This beautifully separates different sections of a website in the same way WordPress does with it’s categories and sub-categories. If you ran a sports website for example you would want say “Tennis” keywords mixing up with “Football” keywords, a page with both of those products would be hard to rank for either Tennis or Football.
Let’s look at an example of categories on a shoe website:
Men’s Category: www.xyzshoes.com/mens/
Men’s Boots Category: www.xyzshoes.com/mens/boots/
Men’s Boots Product Page: www.xyzshoes.com/mens/boots/beefy-boots.html
So whether you are looking for “shoes”, “mens shoes”, “mens boots” or the (admittedly made-up) product “beefy boots” then you should hopefully land within the right section of the website when searching on Google, Yahoo, Bing etc. You may even get a double listing which is where your homepage is displayed as well as the specific category page.
The accuracy of these links is beneficial too; they can be changed to exactly what you want even if the word isn’t mentioned on the page anywhere. Traditional oscommerce implementations such as Windows OS-commerce write automatic URLs such as: www.xyzshoes.com/Product_Mens/boots__beefy-boots.0.2.3.aspx
Not only are these links a sight for sore eyes, they also receive less clicks when displayed in search engine results and are harder to target in SEO.
A new website could start concentrating on just “mens boots” for example with search engine optimisation techniques which will be easier to rank highly for than “mens shoes” or especially the keyword “shoes” by itself. The category breakdown allows SEO workers to build targeted, long-tail links to inner pages and start creating sales from them.
Magento has a few more features that help SEO and Conversion Optimisation, notably within the results from the site’s search bar. You can see the most popular searches on your website’s internal search bar and optimise traffic into the most popular areas. We noticed on our hugely successful client SunglassesSave.com that a lot of people were searching for ‘aviators’ and ‘polorised’ shades. We added clear buttons to search for those products on the homepage which has improved sales as the site is easier to find the most popular items.
Another conversion improver with Magento is simply showing the top selling items on the homepage; our partners Juno Web Design developed a Magento site for Corbeau Racing Seats which automatically features the top 7 selling racing seats on the homepage. This is one less step to reach the products visitors are searching for, each step in ecommerce loses at least 5% of website users so the less steps to the products the better sales will be.