Search engine optimization plays an essential role in eCommerce promotion and online marketing. If you use OpenCart as a platform for your online business, you need to know which steps to take to rank it better.
In general, it’s all about eCommerce SEO, but things may vary from one platform to another. But, the audit at the beginning is standard practice for every strategy. If you already have an OpenCart website, there are a few important things you need to do to implement the OpenCart SEO strategy.
Table of Contents
- What is OpenCart SEO, and why do you Need it?
- 1. Content Hierarchy
- 2. In-Depth Keyword Research and Intent Optimization
- 3. SEO Keywords and URLs
- 4. Image SEO Optimization
- 5. Backlinks as Key Part of the Strategy
- 6. Repeat the Audit When Needed
- 7. Track Down the OpenCart Store Performance
- Final Thoughts
What is OpenCart SEO, and why do you Need it?
SEO for Opencart mainly relies on keywords, meta details, and URL structure. Also, this platform exceeds the ideal site loading time, so you need to work on your strategy to overcome this potential issue.
Just like any other site, you need an SSL certificate, XML sitemap, robots.txt file, and 301 redirects available if you want to implement OpenCart SEO optimization.
Why do we mention them? These elements are crucial when it comes to higher rankings and SEO OpenCart practices.
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OpenCart SEO is a step in the marketing strategy to improve the website visibility using keywords, content, link building, and attracting organic traffic. Luckily, OpenCart comes with some basic SEO features, which can be sufficient. But, as your store grows, you need more advanced SEO capabilities or even use an OpenCart SEO agency to help you with your goals.
But, before we move to the steps you need to take, we will mention the lack of tools in the complete SEO package OpenCart, like:
- Lack of microdata on product pages
- Limited URL customization
- You need to write meta titles and descriptions manually
- Confusing canonical links
- Content duplication due to pagination
Knowing these disadvantages, you can easily decide what steps to take next or if you need an OpenCart SEO plugin for that.
Luckily, you can do a lot more than OpenCart offers in terms of SEO if you do some of these things:
1. Content Hierarchy
Your OpenCart site must have a structure. Arrange the content effectively, so the users can consume it more effortlessly. You only have to follow the predictive logic and arrange the categories, product pages, and products as needed.
This way, Google and other search engines can crawl the website effectively. Hierarchy is one of the most important SEO for eCommerce elements, so never skip it.
2. In-Depth Keyword Research and Intent Optimization
You can know all the relevant keywords for your website, but are you aware of the search intent? Keywords are essential, but you need to understand what your potential clients want, so you can incorporate that knowledge into the keyword strategy for OpenCart SEO.
Not all searches are the same, and different queries can list your site in SERPs. The in-depth keyword research will help you use the terms your customers are searching for and those related to them. That way, you can compose relevant content, including titles, product descriptions, and blog posts from your site.
3. SEO Keywords and URLs
When you use OpenCart, you may need to additionally optimize URLs for your products, categories, and general pages.
Newer versions come with integrated, almost complete SEO Opencart functionalities. When it comes to URLs, you need to enable SEO URLs on the System>Settings page, in the Server tab and mark Yes at the “Use SEO URLs” part.
Go to the OpenCart root folder, find the htaccess.txt file, rename it to htaccess, and submit it to the settings.
After that, you can add unique keywords and optimize your URLs with them. You still have manual work to do because you need to enter the correct data and keywords for every new product you have in your OpenCart store.
Note: SEO-friendly URLs in OpenCart (and in general SEO strategies) contain lowercase characters, and words are separated with “-“. Avoid using “the,” “a,” and “an” in the slug. Remove special characters ($, @, #, etc.)
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4. Image SEO Optimization
You probably know that most SEO practices support descriptive image file names and alt texts to improve rankings. When you use an image, try to rename it with a descriptive name with words clearly separated with blank spaces or hyphens.
If you sell toys, don’t use image file names like toy1, toy2, kidsandtoys, or even worse, image1, headerimage, etc. Instead, be descriptive because it’s more acceptable for OpenCart SEO to use:
Child Playing With Lego At Home, or
Add an alt text as you upload the images, so when you hover over it with your mouse pointer, it can briefly explain what’s on the picture.
This way, search engines pair the images with written content and website niche and understand the ranking value of the page.
The best thing is that you don’t need any OpenCart SEO extension or plugin to do this, and it becomes quite interesting to incorporate this practice into your eCommerce strategy.
Backlinks are compelling SEO elements and can define your website authority. You can generate backlinks from collaborations, guest posting offers, and social media profiles for amplification, partnering, and continuous checking on the eventual broken or dead links, to remove them on time.
6. Repeat the Audit When Needed
When you are done implementing the Opencart SEO strategy for your site, you should run an audit once again to see if the critical issues are resolved.
You don’t have to be an OpenCart SEO expert to realize that even though eCommerce platforms are different, some rules apply to them all. So, use that for a more neat audit, and repeat the steps if needed.
7. Track Down the OpenCart Store Performance
Sometimes, it takes time for OpenCart SEO to show results. In ideal cases, it shows the initial results in the first two months after the implementation. If you have too many products and quite a few relevant target pages, it may take up to a year to make a significant difference.
But, if your performance stops, or even worse, goes down, it’s time to re-evaluate the SEO strategy for the OpenCart web store and see what you can do differently.
You can check on what your competition is doing or even consider migrating to other platforms that might work well for you.
OpenCart strategies for SEO are limited, but still possible to make it right. Use the knowledge you have for general SEO, and check how you can implement those strategies. You can always take examples from other platforms and get some ideas for supporting plugins and extensions for your current site.
Also, SEO is not an exact science, and it changes every day due to trends, public requirements, and of course, search engine guidelines. You should always keep up with the news because some changes can ease your SEO implementation for Opencart.
And when nothing else works, you can always contact an SEO agency and see how their expertise fits your business goals.
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What’s the purpose of OpenCart SEO?
Every SEO strategy goal is to help you learn the best ranking practices and use them to improve the website’s overall performance. Additionally, proper SEO for OpenCart helps you attract the right visitors and turn them into customers.
Why do I need in-depth keyword research for SEO OpenCart?
Keywords help us understand the potential customers and their search intent. If we are familiar with their intentions, we can easily “serve” properly tailored content to get their attention and ensure their conversion into buyers.
Why is it important to optimize the images for SEO?
Image optimization is important for every eCommerce platform, including OpenCart. It lets search engines understand the written content and supporting multimedia files and find a relation between them. That’s how they recognize the value and relevance, ensuring you rank higher on SERPs.
To explore other ecommerce platforms and learn how you can perform an SEO audit on them, take a look at the following blog posts: