The Classification of SEO Shopping Carts
The information presented here is a “must-read” for businesses in search of a shopping cart. If you’re reading this article, you’ve already taken the first step toward a more profitable future because you’re aware that not all shopping carts were created equally.
In fact, the majority of e-commerce products that are available on the market today have little to do with optimization and more to do with building websites that few people visit. Search engine optimization, while inherently complex (and getting more so), remains a great way to increase target market traffic to your website. Unfortunately, it seems that e-commerce companies are more interested in getting you into their system and selling their software than considering your business’s sales and lead generating needs.
That said, I will try to help you get true value out of the current software by guiding you towards what you should be looking for in an optimizable shopping cart.
Why Was This Classification System Developed?
After months of sifting through a multitude of websites, I determined that of the almost non-existent search engine friendly shopping cart options, many boasted exaggerated claims of the benefits of their own software. I did an extensive search of the available pertinent shopping carts, analyzed them, and developed the classification system found here.
Shopping Cart “Experts”
My team and I have become shopping cart experts so to speak, as it pertains to SEO. By combining academic thinking with the business of shopping carts and search engine optimization, we have developed a 3-level approach to understanding the differences between search engine friendly shopping carts and “so-called” search engine friendly shopping carts.
The 3 Types of Shopping Carts and E-commerce Websites
In consideration of search engine optimization, there are three Types of shopping cart (also commonly and interchangeably referred to as e-commerce) websites. These include, the non-optimized, the partially optimized, and the near-fully optimized shopping carts. To keep it simple, here are official designations in the shopping cart hierarchy: Types 1, Type 2, and Type 3.
The first type of shopping cart is the near-fully/fully optimized system. The “near” part is empasized since there may not be a true, fully optimized shopping cart system available in the current market.
To get this designation, a shopping cart must have at least a number specific features. Note that this is a qualitative issue (meaning you have to ask, does it have it or not?). The next question is, if it does have the feature, to what extent is it flexible (the quantitative question).
For example, if a shopping cart company claims to offer the ability to change title tags on each page then the first question (is it offered or not?) is answered. The next question is whether or not the title tag words can be inserted easily or if they are limited to some other factor such as being restricted to the exact words and numbers used in the product name for that page. Or worse, the title tag must be the exact same on each page.
What features are deemed important? Based on current thinking, you can visit the shopping cart comparison review chart to see the latest features and ratings.
The Type 1 shopping cart is the ideal since it typically incorporates the most important features that are currently thought to be valuable to search engines.
The Type 2 classification is meant for shopping carts that have several important features but are still partially lacking. Note that not all Type 1 shopping carts are appropriate for every business’s needs. Keep in mind that a Type 2 is frequently an acceptable alternative. It may not be the best case scenario but it is worth looking into.
The Type 3 shopping cart is not optimized for search engine indexing. This cart classification yields several forms. They either completely lack seo features or have a couple of “minor” features such as an option to insert meta-tags. They typically offer little flexibility in design.
Before the days of the search engine friendly shopping carts, some website development companies offered a sort of “pseudo” search friendly site. For example, a shell of a site would be built in an appropriate language such as HTML (with or without seo techiniques being used) but the shopping cart product pages are not search engine friendly. This can work as an alternative but the point of a search engine friendly cart is to get around this kind of hassle.
Essentially, you want to stay away from Type 3 carts if you plan on getting natural traffic to your website.
The future of shopping carts clearly lies in Types 1 and 2. This article is a preliminary document and the system described is certainly not perfect. Feedback is welcomed regarding the system and modifications, updates, and changes may be made based on your imput.
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