Guide to CS Cart SEO

Is there out there or could someone put together a basic guide on how best to manage all aspects of SEO in CS cart? I appreciate that SEO is more difficult to do in an e-commerce package which is why a guide would be great that is specific to the product we use.



A great deal of CS cart owners and administrators like myself are small businesses and we haven’t a clue where to start but of course we all need to rank highly.



I have a great site but low volumes of traffic and am starting to think of moving to another solution if I can’t improve my traffic. Is there such a thing as CS cart experts who could be hired to evaluate sites and advise on how best to improve things. I am not talking general SEO experts here as obviously we have to work in the confinements of the CS Cart solution and cant go off and create loads of HTML pages.



All comments and help appreciated.

I am by no means an SEO expert, but I have a few comments on SEO. IMO, SEO is a bit of basic requirements (keyword density, alt tags, meta, relevant content, etc) mixed with quality inbound links mixed with black magic. The black magic part is what everyone tries to figure out and tries to sell you by convincing you to purchase this book or subscribing to that website. I have no idea, nor do I have the inclination, how to figure out the black magic, but here’s a few things that have helped me.



The one thing that I am convinced of is that Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. care a lot about relevant content. When a user types in “cash registers for sale” these search engines want to show the user what they think is the most relevant site they know of based on that search term. How they determine that is based on the factors I listed above. There a few tools that I have used to help me. The SenSEO Firefox plug in will determine a page “score” based on your keywords and content. Copyscape will check to see if you have the same content as another site. Compete.com helps to figure out where you rank based on your competition and what they are doing to rank and where their inbound links are coming from. Wordtracker helps to determine what keywords are best for your business. The Yslow Firefox plug in checks where you can help your page load (which I’ve read helps in rankings). Google Webmaster Tools and Analytics help to understand where your traffic is from and why your pages don’t rank or do rank highly.



So I don’t believe one thing is more important than the other, its a combination of a lot of things. Some of the sites I mentioned above aren’t free, but you get what you pay for. You could hire a consultant to help with your SEO or pay for AdWords to help bring traffic in. Either way, SEO is a time consuming and perhaps costly, but extremely necessary, part of your web site business. If you can’t do it on your own, you are going to have to hire someone or your business will slowly die.



And one last thing, you mentioned that if your traffic doesn’t increase, you might switch carts, but I have no idea what this would help you. Google could care less about which cart your site runs on, it only cares, or knows, about what it scans in the HTML pages that the robots traverse through. So concentrate on the SEO and don’t worry about changing carts.



Good luck.

[quote name=‘ChrisW’]I am by no means an SEO expert, but I have a few comments on SEO. IMO, SEO is a bit of basic requirements (keyword density, alt tags, meta, relevant content, etc) mixed with quality inbound links mixed with black magic. The black magic part is what everyone tries to figure out and tries to sell you by convincing you to purchase this book or subscribing to that website. I have no idea, nor do I have the inclination, how to figure out the black magic, but here’s a few things that have helped me.



The one thing that I am convinced of is that Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. care a lot about relevant content. When a user types in “cash registers for sale” these search engines want to show the user what they think is the most relevant site they know of based on that search term. How they determine that is based on the factors I listed above. There a few tools that I have used to help me. The SenSEO Firefox plug in will determine a page “score” based on your keywords and content. Copyscape will check to see if you have the same content as another site. Compete.com helps to figure out where you rank based on your competition and what they are doing to rank and where their inbound links are coming from. Wordtracker helps to determine what keywords are best for your business. The Yslow Firefox plug in checks where you can help your page load (which I’ve read helps in rankings). Google Webmaster Tools and Analytics help to understand where your traffic is from and why your pages don’t rank or do rank highly.



So I don’t believe one thing is more important than the other, its a combination of a lot of things. Some of the sites I mentioned above aren’t free, but you get what you pay for. You could hire a consultant to help with your SEO or pay for AdWords to help bring traffic in. Either way, SEO is a time consuming and perhaps costly, but extremely necessary, part of your web site business. If you can’t do it on your own, you are going to have to hire someone or your business will slowly die.



And one last thing, you mentioned that if your traffic doesn’t increase, you might switch carts, but I have no idea what this would help you. Google could care less about which cart your site runs on, it only cares, or knows, about what it scans in the HTML pages that the robots traverse through. So concentrate on the SEO and don’t worry about changing carts.



Good luck.[/QUOTE]



Thanks Chris, SEO really does seem to be a black art. I will check out the sites and tools you mention. This way I can see how the changes I make affect my rankings.



One question with regards to key words for a product in CS-Cart, say I want “cash register” as a key word, would the density be the location and the amount of times “cash register” appears in the full description section of a product?



If not do you have to do something in the HTML to idendify something as a key word?



Once again, many thanks



Mike

Nice post ChrisW!





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