Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a technique used to help search engines find web sites and pages in the internet. When you optimize for search engines, you are making it easier for something to be found. OpenCart is structured in such a way that all of the pages can be indexed and identified so that they can be searched. The identification information is provided through the Meta Description, Meta keywords and finally the unique SEO keyword. The following article shows how to optimize the products in the catalog for search engine opimization using the OpenCart 1.5 interface.
Making it Easier for Search Engines to Find Your Products in OpenCart 1.5
First, remember that everything we're doing is an attempt to make it easier for search engines (e.g. Google, Bing) to find our web page. Before we begin this tutorial, let's discuss a few terms and try to describe these terms so that they are more easily understood when discussing it in the context of search engine optimization:
Meta tags - are text used to describe the page that you are creating for your product. In OpenCart, the meta tags are the meta tag description and the meta tag keywords. The meta tag description is a short description (typically 160 words or less) that summarizes the page. This information is very often used to represent your page in the search engine. Let's look at a sample search to identify meta tags:
For example: Let's say you searched for "Cows". An example of the Meta description would be the short sentence found under each search result on the page. For instance, the first result from a Google search would be:
Cattle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Cattle (colloquially cows) are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the ...
List of cattle breeds - Dairy cattle - Beef cattle - Cattle in religion
The resulting search shows the word "CATTLE" in the title, and then below it, the location from where the definition was located (in this case, it is from Wikipedia.org), then there is the description of the search result. This description is the meta description. The meta description in this example is long resulting in the ellipsis ('...'). This short description is important because people may often simply read this summary to see if it matches up with their search requirements.
There are also the meta keywords. A good description of meta keywords might be the words used in an index to identify your page or product. They also might be synonyms or other terms that will lead people directly to your product. Meta keywords lead directly to your page or to a general group of pages to which your web page will belong.
Finally, OpenCart utilizes the SEO keyword. This is a unique identifier for a product that is used to make it possible for search engines to index your site and find your products quickly.
Using SEO Optimization in OpenCart 1.5
- Login to the Administrator Dashboard
- Hover over the menu bar where it reads CATALOG. Click on PRODUCTS when it appears in the drop-down menu. You will see something similar to the following:
Your product list can be larger or smaller than the one above, but the basic problem is how do you get your customer to find your product? Using SEO helps to bring customers in by providing terminology that will make it appear high in a product search. In the example below, we are looking at the Apple Cinema 30" and it how it appears when we click on EDIT to the right of the product as per the screenshot above:
In the example above, you can see that there are meta keywords, but no meta description. Make sure to fill in ALL of your meta information. The terms used in these areas should be descriptive of your product and the description should not be longer that than 160 words.
- Click on the DATA tab and you will see the following:
As per the description above, the SEO keyword should be globally unique. Otherwise, there may be some confusion from the search engine, as it will not be able to determine which page is more relevant (if there are some redundancies). You should keep the SEO keywords separated by hyphens and they should be very relevant to the item you're describing. For example:
Search engines are continually evolving the algorithms they used to identify and rank the items that people continually search for on the internet. In general, people will try to take advantage and believe that they can "cheat" the system and make their content stand out from the rest. Overuse of keyword terms (called key-word stuffing), quick but poor content presentation, out-of-context text descriptions/terms are a few of the ways that people will try to break the system. Search engine programmers are very aware of this, and the best way to make your content stand out is to get it out onto the internet as soon as possible, make your content relevant to what people are looking for, and provide the most succinct information that you can provide for that subject. Length of information does guarantee placement of your product at the top of the search results page. Being most relevant, keeping the content up-to-date, and having genuine human interest will guarantee you a high level of success for your web pages. OpenCart keeps your search engine criteria simple and to the point.
Search Engine Optimization is a necessity for all store owners so that their products can be found in the store front when a customer is using a search engine such as Google, Yahoo!, or Bing. Not providing this information could result in lost business that may otherwise become a paying customer for your product(s). Use Search Engine Optimization to keep your content descriptive, timely, and relevant and your products will be much easier to find than competitor who has neglected SEO on their product pages.