OpenCart SEO: A Complete Guide
Table of content
SEO, or search engine optimization, began about twenty years ago and is continually evolving. Did you know that 40% of e-commerce traffic is generated from search engines? In addition, 75% of users never click past the first page of Google, so if you are optimizing your OpenCart page, you are gaining out on potential revenue.
OpenCart SEO is essential to your marketing plan if you want to continue growing your business and increasing revenue.
What is OpenCart SEO?
To define OpenCart SEO, let's split them up first.
An OpenCart site is an e-commerce platform allowing companies to sell goods and services purchased online.
SEO is a digital marketing strategy that aims to increase ranking on SERP (search engine results pages) to increase organic traffic.
OpenCart SEO efforts aim to increase users' likelihood of locating your company through Google and other search engines. For example, if you sell winter gloves, you would work to optimize your page for the target keyword "winter gloves" or "gloves." This optimization would ensure that your page comes up earlier on search engine results pages, resulting in a higher likelihood someone will purchase your product.
How good is OpenCart for SEO?
There are significant benefits to OpenCart SEO. For example, many have XML sitemaps that provide information about pages and content on your site, along with the relationships between them. It enables search engines to crawl your site more efficiently and allows new pages to be indexed faster.
301 redirect modules help manage 301 redirects. This means when any page is changed that contains products, categories, or information, it will automatically register new and old URLs and redirect for you.
However, OpenCart also has built-in processes that can hinder SEO efforts. Some ways they can negatively impact SEO include:
- They can contribute to duplicate content,
- Create canonical links that are confusing,
- Treat H1s and meta titles as interchangeable, and
- Robots.txt editor is not available.
OpenCart also doesn't provide advanced SEO capabilities. They don't contain microdata on product pages, they don't automatically generate meta titles and descriptions, and their URL customization options are minimal.
However, most advanced SEO is a manual process anyways, and many tactics can be utilized to improve the SEO of your OpenCart site.
11 SEO Tactics to Optimize Your OpenCart Site
SEO is one of the most commonly overlooked marketing strategies, even though it will singlehandedly increase your organic traffic.
OpenCart SEO must be part of your marketing strategy to grow your online store continually. Some excellent OpenCart SEO tips include:
- Create High-Quality Content
Content marketing or On-page SEO is an essential component of SEO. You want to ensure that users are directed to your site and are introduced to high-quality content that adds value.
Elements of high-quality content include:
- Content that is relevant to your target keywords.
- Content that is useful, educational, comprehensive and accurate. Including data from relevant sources is an excellent way to increase credibility.
- Quality content will always increase a CTA (call-to-action) that encourages users to take a desired action on your site, such as buying a product or subscribing to a newsletter.
- Content must be easy to read, with shortened paragraphs, images and infographics that enhance the user experience.
- Content published on a user-friendly page that helps guide readers through your website's pages.
- Create an Excellent Sitemap
XML Sitemaps contain a list of all pages on your website in URLs, along with when they were last updated. While it is a more technical SEO feature, it is essential to on-site SEO.
A good site map allows search engine bots to crawl your site faster, ranking your pages more quickly. It also informs search engines of changes in your website content and structure.
To create an effective site map, follow the following steps:
Build your site structure.
Ensure all sub-pages stem from a home page when creating or reorganizing your structure. Once you have a dedicated home page, build out from there. Remember that the farther away a page is from your home page, the more difficult it will be to build ranking.
Your template should follow the basic design of the home page --> top level navigation --> 2nd level pages/content --> 3rd level pages/content, and so on.
Code page URLs.
Coding URLs will help Google bots understand the hierarchy of your website's pages. Coding URLs is done using a text editor that allows you to create an XML file and then add codes corresponding to each URL.
The code must include location, last update, the page's updated frequency, and priority.
Validate the code.
The code must be correct for a sitemap to function correctly, so always validate once complete and whenever there are updates.
Apply sitemap to the root and robots.txt.
This process will create a sitemap and a sitemap page that will allow you to validate and see if you need to make any changes.
Submit your sitemap to search engines.
For Google, go to the Google Search Console dashboard --> Crawl --> Sitemaps.
Once complete, search engines will crawl and index your site quickly and efficiently, leading to a higher SEO ranking.
- Optimize Your Homepage Title
Page titles, homepage titles, or H1 headings appear in SERPs. They are essential to SEO because they let search engines and users know what your page entails.
Page title - H1 is an HTML heading that shows up in SERPs
Page titles let search engines and users know what your page is about.
Optimize your homepage title by including relevant keywords proper to the user. You want it to be specific, so making it a bit longer is fine as long as it's short.
- Optimize Meta Tags
A meta tag is a component of your website's HTML that helps search engines know what information is on your website and informs them your website is mobile-friendly.
They also influence how your site appears to users in SERPs and can draw more people to your website.
These two benefits are optimized in different ways:
A meta description is a summary of the content within your webpage. Meta descriptions are an excellent way to increase your click-through rates. Compelling descriptions will be <160 characters, have summaries for each page, be accurate, descriptive and concise without duplicate content, and include target keywords when possible.
Robots Meta Tag
Robots meta tags, on the other hand, target search engines and help control how they index your website. The meta tag for robots will look like this: <meta name= "robots" content= "index">. Within the content attribute, you can add the following parameters:
- Index if you want the page indexed.
- Noindex if you want to avoid page indexing.
- Follow is the default and will instruct search engines to follow the links within your pages.
- No follow lets search engines know not to follow links on the page.
- Optimize Search Intent
Optimizing for keywords is one thing, but knowing what potential customers want is essential to help optimize for search intent and boost your placement in search engine listings. There are three main reasons a user will be searching. Informational intent means they are searching for information, navigational intent means they are searching to find a specific website, and transactional intent means they are searching for something they want to buy. Optimizing for each will help guide more relevant traffic to your website.
- Utilize In-Depth Keyword Research
In-depth keyword research is essential to SEO success on your OpenCart page. Determine what potential customers are searching to get to your page and incorporate these long tail keywords and phrases in meta titles, CTAs, or throughout your content whenever possible. This practice will help drive more organic traffic than just single keywords.
- Optimize Product Page URLs
OpenCart websites generally have default structures for their URLs that are not readable. These URLs can negatively affect your search engine rankings. To avoid this issue, change your URL structure to an SEO URL that mimics regular websites online. For example:
A typical OpenCart homepage URL would look like the following: https://yourwebsite.com/index.php?route=common/home
While SEO friendly URLs look like this:
- Optimize Image Title Tags and Descriptions
Product images are essential to help boost your OpenCart SEO efforts. There are three main ways to optimize images within your OpenCart site, they include;
The alt text describes your images to search engines. To optimize this, use your product's keyword as the image's alt text.
Images online are often given difficult names with no relevant description. This description is then saved into the product page code. To optimize image titles, ensure you give them names that describe the product they intend to sell.
Large images can increase your page load time and bounce rates, affecting SEO. Ensure images are always uploaded in the optimum size.
- Remove Duplicate Content by Utilizing Canonical URLs
Duplicate content is terrible for OpenCart SEO and will arise if the same content is on two or more different pages within your website. If you have multiple pages with the same URL, ensure you choose the canonical SEO URL, which is the best representative page. Utilizing canonical SEO URLs will ensure that a search engine knows to index that page and not the duplicative ones.
- Ensure Your Page Load Speed Doesn't Suffer
Page load speed increases bounce rates, which hurts OpenCart SEO. Make sure your OpenCart hosting is quality, and you are utilizing plugins that help with caching and minifying code, and make sure you pay attention to image files and ensure they don't slow the speed, and
- Effective Link Building
A link-building strategy is essential for any business to improve SEO. Though the strategy for an OpenCart site may differ from a traditional website, the process is still the same. You are working to create quality backlinks that lead to your site and will increase traffic and brand awareness.
Some excellent link building strategies for OpenCart websites include:
- Creating a blog or guest blogging for a company in your industry that is not a direct competitor. Companies with a blog and regular content are much more likely to be ranked higher on SERPs.
- Create or work to be featured on product review pages that link to your website.
- Offer discount codes in exchange for links. Discount code links can be offered on blogs within your industry or social media channels to increase brand awareness.
Let OpenCart SEO help grow your business today!
OpenCart sites can be SEO friendly too. Ensure you create high-quality content that is housed within a properly created sitemap. Optimize titles, product descriptions, images and image descriptions, and metatags throughout your content, and do in-depth keyword research to optimize search intent. In addition, remember that OpenCart sites are prone to duplicate content that must be manually managed. Finally, don't discount link building. Like any website, link building will significantly increase organic traffic and help your company succeed.
If you need help getting started, contact us for a free consultation today!
Share this article
Our clients have been featured in:
Our clients feedback is important for us
With the help of Marcus and the team at Searchant we have been able to increase search traffic by 160% and conversions by 314% Year over Year
The work completed so far, has generated an additional $1.5 million in additional sales pipeline revenue, and on the low side could be valued at $200,000 USD, times (multiplied by) expected lifetime.
Marcus is an all star for all things SEO. He is a true professional that has delivered remarkable results in less than 6 months.
Marcus went above and beyond to satisfy us. Very honest and hard working.
Great communication, was able to deliver some solid links for a very difficult industry to build links in.