Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Setting up ecommerce for your small business marketing - having all the pieces before you start.

(photocredit: Mahalie)

Ecommerce SEO is like a jigsaw puzzle -
you have to make sure you have all the pieces before you start.

I've been working with my chosen ecommerce engine - Zen Cart - for some weeks now, just getting it so it looks nice and runs the way I want it. No, it's not released yet - hidden behind a static page.

Here's the criteria for an ecommerce site:
  • Runs fast
  • Easy to customize
  • Huge community support
The next one: Free. I've been telling people to use cPanel hosting for years just because of these points above. You get free blogs and ecommerce engines you can install.

I chose ZenCart out of all of these, because it works just like that, right out of the box.

However, it lacks a few thinks which you are going to have to fix - like any site these days:
  • SEO permalinks
  • Google Analytics
  • Google SiteMap
(Of course, you want to get a good theme, but that is too personal to go into here.)

The good thing is that there are modules for these three above:
What you are doing with these is making your ecommerce site easy for Google (and other search engines) to work with. Needless to say, Zen Cart out of the box doesn't do these things. (Maybe a later version...) And so, if you are putting stuff into your ecommerce, you might as well be throwing it down a black hole unless you also tweak your Zen Cart to be search engine friendly.

[Now, I'm also checking out Google Checkout module and a beta version of Google Base module - but these are for another post.]

The point here is to get your site and your shopping cart set up so the search engines can find and rank you quickly.

I wanted to put these all in a single place so that anyone could simply update their ZenCart and "steal a march" on their potential competition.

Happy SERPs and profits!
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