- OpenCart is a free e-commerce platform where online products can be bought and sold. OpenCart SEO is an effective marketing strategy to generate traffic and increase sales.
- While OpenCart’s SEO features are considered by many to be quite limited, there are numerous manual tactics you can employ to improve your Opencart ecommerce shop for SEO.
- Our top tips for performing OpenCart SEO are: Make sure you have effective link building, fantastic technical performance and quality content marketing.
- SEO requires a lot of hard work, effort and experience. It is a sensible idea to consider hiring a qualified SEO agency to help you rank your OpenCart website as high as possible.
What is OpenCart SEO?
OpenCart is a free and open source e-commerce platform where online products can be bought and sold. It hosts tens of thousands of websites full of countless products for internet shoppers to browse and buy. Search engines deliver a large proportion of e-commerce traffic, and consequently OpenCart shop owners are increasingly turning to a highly effective marketing strategy to drive traffic and therefore sales. This is known as OpenCart SEO.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and is a digital marketing strategy to improve the visibility of websites in search engines. OpenCart SEO is therefore a strategy to improve the visibility of OpenCart websites. There are numerous tactics involved in SEO, such as keyword research, link building and content marketing. These techniques help websites appear higher in search results.
Other tactics such as pay-per-click (PPC) ads can also be used to increase traffic to your website. While these can provide immediate results once you start paying for advertising, they are expensive and don’t provide you with long-term benefits or results. Conversely, SEO methods usually take several months to start showing results, but your website’s positions will improve and maintain those positions, meaning you can continue to get free traffic indefinitely. SEO can also increase return on investment (ROI) with little maintenance. As a result, SEO is considered a far superior option.
Is OpenCart good for SEO?
When it comes to e-commerce SEO, there are different advantages and disadvantages depending on the platform. This is also true for OpenCart. While there are SEO tactics you can apply to OpenCart, there are also some shortcomings to the platform in terms of built-in SEO features. Let’s consider a few:
- There is no automatic meta generation. This means time is lost on manually writing meta titles and descriptions.
- There are no scalable tools for SEO management. This means a lot of time is spent on monotonous optimisations.
- There are limited options for customising SEO URLs. This means less SEO-friendly URLs for users and search engines.
- There is no microdata on product pages. This leads to less responsive search entries and pages that are difficult for search engines to crawl.
- H1s and meta titles are seen as interchangeable.
- Canonical links are confusing.
As a result, many OpenCart users see the SEO features as relatively limited for those who want to improve their site’s visibility in search engine results. Fortunately, there are manual tactics you can use to improve your OpenCart website for SEO.
A note on SEO extensions
OpenCart offers extensions or add-ons that provide additional functionality to your website. You can also further customise your e-commerce shop using extensions. One of the available extensions is OpenCart SEO Extension. This extension offers numerous possibilities to improve the search engine ranking of a shop. For example, the administrator can create search engine friendly (SEF) URLs on all pages of the website. It can also provide SEO URLs for each language in the shop. Although this is an option to consider, let’s focus again on how you can use manual tactics to perform OpenCart SEO.
How to do OpenCart SEO: our top tips
In general, your SEO success will be determined by the strategies you use to make your website more user-friendly. Below, we offer some of the most effective SEO strategies for your OpenCart website.
1. Make sure you have effective link building in place
One of the most important ranking factors Google uses to determine the SEO strength of your website is backlinks. Backlinks are links from other websites to yours. Google considers backlinks as a sign of approval in a way. This is because another website linking to you is essentially vouching for your content. The more backlinks you have (of high quality), the better you appear on Google. There are a few ways to generate backlinks. Here are some popular methods:
- Social media marketing: research has shown that the more social links your website generates through social media platforms such as TikTok, Facebook and Twitter, the more backlinks you tend to have. Social media links don’t count as backlinks, but they do help promote your content. Also, it is beneficial to remember that the more your content is read and shared, the better the chances of it generating a link back to your business.
- Technical link building: some strategies are used exclusively to generate backlinks. These include finding unlinked mentions of your brand, creating digital coupons and reviving dead links.
- Strategic partnerships: One of the great benefits of being an e-commerce brand is that there are many avenues you can take to promote your product. For example, you have the option to choose publishers, vendors, bloggers, influencers, related brands and more who have an interest in sharing your content. So if you choose to partner with companies in any of the above categories, you stand a good chance of generating backlinks.
2. Make sure you’re doing a fantastic technical job
While quality backlinks are an important tactic to get your website on the good side of Google, it’s not enough to get you to the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). For that, you need a shop that works as well as it seems. Therefore, here’s what you need to do with OpenCart:
- Write SEO-friendly URLs: It’s a well-known fact that the best URLs are the ones that are easy for both your users and Google itself to understand. They should be short, meaningful, simple, secure (you should use Secure Sockets Layer – SSL) and contain your keyword. Essentially, visitors to your website should know what the page is about from its URL.
- Consider mobile devices: Google’s algorithm largely ranks content based on how mobile-friendly it is. It is therefore advisable to give priority to mobile devices. In fact, the algorithm ranks the mobile version ahead of the desktop version for newer websites. Make sure your website supports users of different device types and screen sizes. If this precaution is not followed, your mobile experience will most likely hurt your search ranking.
- Submit an XML sitemap: An XML sitemap is a map of all your pages for Google’s crawlers. Normally, Google finds all your pages through internal links, but they can sometimes be overlooked, causing your pages to be excluded from search engine results. Therefore, by sending an XML sitemap to Google, you ensure that Google can find all your pages easily and efficiently.
- Use the canonical tag for duplicate content: For OpenCart websites, duplicate content can be created by pagination (separating digital or print content into separate pages) and when the same product content is in two separate parts of the website. You won’t be penalised for creating duplicate content, but you should be aware that Google will only index one of these pages, and if it’s the wrong one, it can negatively affect your ranking. If you use the Canonical Tag, Google will index your Canonical Tag. However, Google reserves the right to index the page it deems most relevant.
- Organise your data with Schema markup: Schema is a type of markup language that helps search engines process your website better. This can lead to rich snippets in SERPs. These are more robust search listings that allow you to include things like images and reviews.
- Use a robots.txt file: With a robots.txt file, you can tell Google how to specifically crawl certain pages and exclude some from search engines. This can include checkout and admin pages.
3. Make sure you have quality content marketing in place
Content marketing is the key to great on-page SEO. On-page SEO refers to improving the physical content of your website. For this tip, we have the following methods:
- Optimise meta tags: both meta titles and meta descriptions are the text that comprises search engine listings. Although these are not official ranking factors, they still contribute to SERP click-through rate (CTR), and SEO experts consider them a significant ranking factor.
- Perform search intent optimisation: Not all Google searches are identical. By this we mean that some people are searching for products, some are searching for information and some are trying to get to a specific page or website. To understand what type of content to create for a particular search term, you need to understand the search intent. For example, is a searcher looking for a blog post or a product page? This can be achieved by crawling a search query and examining what Google returns as top results. Through testing, these are the results that Google thinks are the most relevant and appropriate for users. You should use the results to guide your own content creation.
- Make sure you have an effective website structure and content hierarchy: To make your content easy to consume, it should be organised with effective internal linking and structure. Pages should follow a logical and organised structure, from broad content to more specific, so visitors can find specific products based on general ideas. For example, you may want to structure your pages as follows: Home page > Product category page > Product sub-category page > Product page > Product variation page and so on. Similarly, your content should also be organised with an HTML page title and H1 header on each page that describe the overall theme of the page. Then H2s, H3s, etc. should be cast into a hierarchy depending on the relationship of the content from general to specific.
- Add descriptive image alt text: Images are easy to optimise to improve your SEO. You just need to create effective alternative text and file names for images. Alt text is a short sentence that describes your image. It helps people with visual impairments understand your content better. It is designed for screen reading software to read aloud and also helps search engines understand your page and rank accordingly. Writing effective image file names can also help with search engine optimisation. When naming your image files, use a few words to title your image and make sure you put hyphens between each word. Both file names and alt text benefit from including your focus keyword. However, don’t overdo it as Google may perceive this and flag it as spam.
- In-depth keyword research: By conducting keyword research, you can find out what terms visitors are using to find your products. Once you find these out, you can use them (as well as related keywords) in your content to attract traffic when someone searches for them on Google.
OpenCart is a free, open-source e-commerce platform where you can buy and sell online products. OpenCart SEO is an effective marketing strategy implemented to generate traffic and increase sales. Many OpenCart shop owners are starting to turn to SEO to improve their rankings on search engines like Google. Certain SEO tactics you can employ include creating quality content marketing, outstanding technical performance and effective link building. However, this task can be daunting if you go it alone. For this reason, it’s a smart idea to get assistance with your website by hiring a qualified SEO agency with years of experience. Book a free consultation with our SEO experts to find out how we can help you with OpenCart SEO today.
What is OpenCart?
OpenCart is a free and open-source e-commerce platform that facilitates buying and selling online products. Basically, anyone can use it to create a website where customers can buy items.
Is OpenCart good in terms of SEO?
OpenCart has a lot of advantages and disadvantages in terms of e-commerce SEO. Undoubtedly, the platform has some shortcomings in terms of its SEO features. For example, there is no microdata on product pages, no automatic meta generation, and no scalable tools for SEO management. However, every e-commerce platform has different advantages and disadvantages, and there are still manual tactics you can implement to perform good SEO on OpenCart.
How do I do SEO for OpenCart?
There are numerous manual tactics you can use to perform SEO on OpenCart. We’ve divided them into three separate sections: effective link building, quality content marketing, and outstanding technical performance. However, this can be very difficult without expertise, which is why we strongly recommend hiring a fantastic SEO agency to help you with your OpenCart website SEO.