SEO E-commerce Shopping Carts Comparison Chart
The comparison chart is free to use. Please note that as specific options and prices change from time to time, we will do our best to keep up but we cannot and do not guarantee perfect accuracy. For more information on each shopping cart, read the shopping cart reviews, visit the company’s website, look at current client websites, and of course, speak to a representative. If you know of an inaccuracy in the chart below, please contact us to verify and correct it.
It is recommended that you read the reviews and commentary of the different shopping cart software and hosting. The various SEO shopping carts in this buyer’s guide are flexible in different, sometimes subtle, ways. Moreover, some carts are easier to learn and use than others, regardless of the features they offer. This is important to keep in mind. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, you may want to consider professional advice.
As you use the comparison chart, keep in mind that the focus of this comparison is on SEO-related items. Shopping carts should be compared for many other features such as affiliate programs, coupon codes and discounts, appropriate tax calculations, ties to shipping and handling programs, inventory controls, and so on.
Do Not Trust All Company Website Information
Do NOT believe it when you read on a given company’s website that it is the ONLY search engine friendly shopping cart on the market. It’s obviously not true and this website is here to give you more options. Also, some use limited information to convince you that you are getting the full features of a given SEO option when it is untrue. Finally, some sites have comparisons with their competitors which are incredibly biased, providing insufficient, limited, and frequently inaccurate information.
|Pinnacle Cart||Monthly Fee / Purchase||1||Read Review|
|Nexternal||Monthly Fee||1||Read Review|
|3d Cart||Monthly Fee||2||Read Review|
|Merchant Metrix Cart||Monthly Fee||1||Read Review|
|Fortune3||Monthly Fee||1||Read Review|
|Go-e-Cart||Monthly Fee||2||Read Review|
|Miva Merchant||Purchase||2||Under Review|
|Monster Commerce||Monthly Fee||2||Read Review|
|PDG Shopping Cart||Purchase||1||Read Review|
|SearchFit||Monthly Fee||1||Read Review|
|Volusion||Monthly Fee||1||Read Review|
|Yahoo||Monthly Fee||2||Under Review|
Please note that it is illegal to copy this chart in any form. If you find it useful, we would appreciate a link to this page or website.
= No = Yes = Yes but limited ? = unknown at this time
Comparison Chart Explanation
The comparison chart explanation was written by SEO Expert Brian Rotsztein. Click here to consult with him.
A one-hour consult can save you a ton of money, time, and frustration.
Note: This chart presents the most requested basics of SEO in a shopping cart and that is reflected in the reviews.
A full SEO package would include the above and a lot more. Don’t forget, it’s all about the conversions.
Demo/Free Trial – Does the company offer a free demonstration or free trial of the shopping cart and e-commerce software. For those that offer a free trial, it is usually for 14-30 days which should be sufficient to test many of the important features of the cart.
Titles – Does the system allow users to alter the HTML title tag on each page.
Meta-tags – Does the system allow users to alter the meta-tags on each page. Note that some carts allow any meta-tag to be placed on the page while others are limited (such as only accounting for keywords and description tags). If new tags come out in the future, some modifications might have to made.
Alt-tags – Does the system allow users to alter the Alt tags on each page.
HTML – In order to be as universal as possible, many SEO professionals insist on building sites in HTML. While it is true that Google can read ASP, CFM, PHP, and other programming languages, many business owners still insist on HTML in order to allow all search engines easy access to their websites. Some shopping cart developers have realized that building a site in HTML is important and now offer it in their package. Note that in many cases, it is dynamically-generated HTML that is served to the spiders, not straight static HTML. The difference is essentially negligible since the search engines should see it as HTML either way. Some of these e-commerce solutions will let you build HTML pages along side their coded product pages (with coded pages looking like this: www.carproduct.com/id=?tires=4kmd?rimsProdID=54). One of the most important factors is having a static HTML product page. Some shopping carts offer variations to account for this but almost none have it built into their system. The HTML column indicates whether the actual product page is typically in HTML (not the surrounding pages such as the “about us” or “general products” page). After all, the point of an SEO shopping cart is to have customers find your product directly. Also, HTML means you can easily put H-tags into the page coding.
Hyphens – Hyphens (or dashes) in page names are important. Some shopping carts only offer underscores (for example: word_word.html) or slashes (for example word/word.html) which are much less effective.
Breadcrumbs – Breadcrumbs are the navigation aids you see at the top of websites. They usually look like this:
Name Pages (search engine friendly URL issue) – Does the system allow users to name pages. It is important to note that many shopping carts will not allow for page naming. Also, in some cases when they do, users can only use underscores instead of hyphens. In some cases, the file naming extends from naming pages to also being able to name images and other files which can be useful for SEO. Shopping carts will receive a check ( ) if they allow page naming for their individual product names. For a large number of products, page naming may be too time consuming but from a search engine perspective, page naming is important.
Pricing – This helps to compare the different approaches used by the various companies. In some cases you must host with a specific company in order to use their e-commerce system. This ensures that you are locked in with them because you cannot easily change shopping cart companies without re-doing all of your work. Upgrades to new versions of the software are frequently free. An alternative is to purchase e-commerce shopping cart software. This software typically allows you to host with a company of your choosing and is cheaper in the long run because you are not paying hosting fees on a monthly basis. You can usually purchase add-ons to the basic software. Note that some carts require you to purchase an annual user license.
Type – This is an important distinction. As people become increasingly aware of search engine friendly shopping cart technology, there is a tremendous demand to simplify our understanding of what the various options mean in the larger scheme. A full discussion of SEO Shopping Cart Classification System can be found here. In a nutshell, Type 3 means the shopping cart has no SEO features, Type 2 means that there are some important SEO elements, and Type 1 is the best case scenario.