Many marketing gurus will tell you that when shopping around for an ecommerce software solution. You first need to think about where you want to take your online storefront with search engine optimization (SEO). After all, without a great SEO strategy, your gorgeous and well laid out website may be buried under pages and pages of search page results. Basically rendering your online store completely invisible on the web. When coming up with a list of SEO features and functions that you want out of your ecommerce systems, here are some to consider:
Image Optimization & Handling
Your pictures and images will play a huge role in your online storefront, so you want to make sure that your ecommerce software allows you to properly optimize these images. Make sure that the software you choose allows you to customize and maintain the same URL for any image, regardless of what page it’ll be located on (image handling), and look for other features like the ability to use “alt text” (the text that search engines like Google and Yahoo use to “understand” what any given image is displaying). “Alt text” would look something like this:
Customization of Meta Tags
You’ll find this option in almost all ecommerce software solution programs, but many of them don’t allow you to customize and change tags right down to the product level on a regular basis. Try to stay away from any ecommerce systems that won’t allow you to change meta tags further down the line, otherwise, you may run into problems such as ranking low in search page results or even being penalized by Google for having duplicate content.
A Tailored Site Taxonomy
Nothing’s worse than investing in an ecommerce software that doesn’t allow you the flexibility to have the online storefront that you want and need. A quality web development program will allow you to create your own categories and subcategories so that you can have an easy to navigate and easy to use website. Nothing will cost you potential leads and customers faster than having a cluttered, disorganized and headache-inducing website.
An XML Sitemap
A sitemap for any site acts as a “shortcut” for search engines to quickly notice when new content has been added, and they then index that data. When you have your online store or website set up just the way you want it, then you can start creating an XML sitemap with your ecommerce software. Once completed, you can then submit your sitemap to Google Webmaster tools and then begin to collect invaluable data for your website as well as increase your online visibility.
Analytic Software Integration
Most ecommerce software solution programs will already come with their own analytical data program, which is ideal. But for those that don’t, or for businesses who may want to integrate other programs that have additional analytical features, you want to ensure that the software you choose will allow you to integrate things such as Google Analytics. By having an analytics tool integrated, you’ll be able to see things like which pages are getting clicked, which search terms and keywords are being most frequently used to locate your business, whether your lead generation strategy is paying off, and how many conversions you’ve had in a customizable timeframe.