A Small Business Guide

Internet shopping carts can be user-friendly, enticing to the eye and abide by every standard for web accessibility and usability going. However, if its target audience is not seeing it, it may as well not exist. This article recommends guidelines you may follow when pursuing efforts to achieve higher rankings for your chosen keywords.

When ranking Internet shopping carts and web portals, the search engines take 3 factors into account: Onpage SEO factors, Accessibility SEO factors and most importantly Off-page SEO factors.

On-Page SEO factors

On-page SEO refers to what can be done on the page of a website to improve its performance in the SERPs for target keywords entered by a user.

By efficiently optimising a website for popular keywords related to the on-page content, a website has a better chance of ranking well for keywords relevant to the content of the site.

Before pursuing SEO strategies like those explained below, it is extremely important to get your keyword strategy right. When selecting the right key phrases to optimize each page on a website for it is necessary to start with what your targeted visitors would type in. While broad phrases such as ‘watches’ may bring more traffic to a shopping cart selling watches, than more specific keywords such as ‘Leather strap watches’ and ‘Rolex watches’, the traffic will not be as focused and will generally not convert.

More importantly, broad phrases are very competitive – They are extremely hard to rank effectively for. To get your keyword strategy right it is worth doing some research; there’s lots of information available across the web and there’s many tools available to help you with this task.

Once you have a selection of key terms you are happy with, I would recommend analysing the following components on your website with a view of optimising them for your target key terms, taking into account that they should each be relevant to the contents of that page:

1) Title Tags

2) META Tags

3) The anchor text of your internal link structure

4) Heading Tags ( to )

5) URLs

6) Content syndication

It is also very important to frequently add fresh content relevant to your industry to your website. By doing so, the more often your site content changes, the more frequently the search engine spiders will visit your shopping portal. In this case you may think about adding a web blog/ RSS feed to your website.

RSS feeds enable others to syndicate your content and can increase brand awareness. By adding closely themed news regularly to RSS feeds it means search engines are more likely to recognise the sites as being acutely themed.

Accessibility and SEO factors

The goal of accessibility in SEO is to make content accessible to search engines. This refers primarily to the technical ability of search engine spiders to move through your site.

Thankfully, if you design your shopping carts with accessability issues in mind from the start; making your site accessible to web users whom are blind, deaf and viewing your site using text only browsers, you will find you are already practicing effective SEO.