One of the important aspects to look for while shopping for an e-commerce platform is how SEO-friendly it is. And, while most platforms claim to offer the best SEO features in the world, that’s not always the case.
So, in this post, we look at some of the most important factors to look for so you can stumble upon the most SEO-friendly eCommerce platform.
Here they are…
If the very platform comes in the way of our securing higher rankings, it could be problematic; especially in the long run. That’s why you must invest in a platform that supports SEO optimization.
To that end, look for an e-commerce platform that allows doing the following:
Lets you add a custom domain
Allows adding of description and captions in images
Puts canonical tags in all the right places
Allows access to robot.txt file
Pagination feature in product search results
Lets you update the XML sitemap
Lets you update meta description and tags
Integration of API for Google Analytics
Allows URL structures to convert into SEO-friendly structures
Having an online store means you will be processing a ton of payments online. That means security can never be on the backburner. One way to check that security is to look for SSL certification or HTTPS support. Other than that, also make sure that the platform is compliant with PCI-DSS payment solutions.
Here are a few examples of PCI-DSS compliant payment solutions -
Look for platforms that support one of these above payment solutions either natively or via customization.
Another important feature when it comes to the security of eCommerce platforms is Google Captcha. This particular feature offers protection against DDoS attacks. Any site can incorporate Google Captcha to discourage multiple logins to keep hackers and spammers at bay.
Google Analytics For E-commerce
Although this one may seem like something obvious to reach for, it’s surprising that most of the online platforms only offer basic GA code. They do not offer full-fledged Google Analytics eCommerce tracking. Therefore, during your preliminary research, it’s important to actively look for something akin to ‘Google Analytics transaction tracking’.
Although GA tracking is not exactly an SEO feature - it does help to make decisions that lay the foundation for a strong SaaS SEO strategy. You can optimize your site for better traffic and sales by linking high-revenue keywords and landing pages.
The loading speed of the site is a crucial SEO matter. Especially when you talk about online stores that can get particularly heavy; it’s important to look for platforms that support quick loading time. Here’s how you can go about it:
For anyone opting for self-hosted software, it’s good to go with platforms that support efficient and fast coding and can implement the best performance practices by Google. Many platforms will offer better speed than others. The loading speed of your site depends on both the hosting company/type and the platform you pick. To that end, VPS or dedicated server will ensure better than shared or any other type of hosting.
In the case of a hosted e-commerce platform, you won’t get access to server-side code. In that case, regularly conduct page load speeds and also look for best performance practices by Google.
Search-Friendly Navigation Structure
It’s not just visitors who like a site with easy and intuitive navigation. Search engines also like websites that are easy to move around as they are easy to index and crawl. To that end it’s good to look for an eCommerce platform that meets the following SEO criteria:
A platform that keeps superfluous and duplicate links to a bare minimum
A platform whose primary way of navigating links are text and not images
Allows easy editing of navigation menu at the level of individual links
Look for e-commerce platforms that allow robots.txt file. This particular file specifies certain directories and URLs which robots should keep from crawling. This particular feature is essential for keeping search engines from indexing/crawling certain non-HTML files.
Mostly these are PDF files that do not come with meta tags. However, you should remember that even though Google is not going to crawl blocked URLs by this file, it does have the right to display those URLs in search results.
Sooner or later every e-commerce store aspires to go big and take its operations and scale to a bigger level. And so, if growth is in cards, you should look at more than just the capacity of a platform to handle huge amounts of traffic.
An ideal platform should also come with the ability to add certain APIs at a later stage which is essential for managing large-scale implementations of a huge business. Below are the common integrations that e-commerce stores mostly have to integrate at a later stage -
And so on…
Whatever platform you choose, make sure there’s the option to upscale the features on a later stage as your business needs and demands grow.
Mobile-friendliness of the Platform
With over 60% of searches happening on mobile - ignoring the mobile aspect of an e-commerce store is a costly mistake. A site that lacks mobile-friendliness also loses on a ton of potential sales and purchases that happen on mobile devices.
Here are some ways in which you can ensure the mobile aspect of your store:
Pick a platform that supports mobile-responsive themes and templates. Shopify is one good example. There is an endless array of themes and templates (all mobile-friendly) for Shopify.
Go with an e-commerce building platform that is not only mobile-responsive but also allows building native mobile apps.
Support for Automated XML Sitemaps
An XML sitemap is one of the ways in which search engines can read/crawl your site. When you add this map to your store, it leads to better chances of improved rankings.
An e-commerce platform that allows automatic generation and updating of XML sitemap makes it easy to update and create an easy Sitemap.
Hopefully, after reading this post, you will have an easier time picking the right kind of eCommerce platform.