To be successful online you need to be found by search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo but there are hundreds of others as well.The way that they work is to crawl around the internet with automated programs that look for websites and pages, and they then read and copy the content of the page to their servers (called cache) and save them.
When you go to a search engine such as Google and search on a keyword the search engine will look up information that it has indexed in the cache and return a result. If your online store or website has not been crawled and indexed then your website will not be shown in the results.
The search engine also looks at the content and tries to identify keywords that will give an indication as to what the page is all about. There are certain tags (fields) used in the HTML that the search engine will look at and prioritise to determine the page importance.
The best way to ensure that you get a good result with SEO is to have good, well written and original content with we discuss in Step 4.
Your webpage will be ranked by the search engine to determine where it will appear in search results. The rank is a factor of page content quality and also popularity (i.e. more visitors means a better result).
Google now has over 80% of all searches online and so is really important to your business success. More than 53% of all sales (off-line and online) will result from research or browsing online. So you have to be search friendly.
There are various features of ePages 6 which have been built specifically to improve Search Engine Opimisation. You can Contact eCorner to receive your copy of "eCorner ePages Search Engine Advice for ePages 6" PDF.
Session IDs often generate long chains of letters and numbers in the URL, (starting with "ID=" or "session=") and include a number of parameters (represented in the URL with question marks "?" followed by characters interspersed with ampersands "&"). These do not work well with search engines.
The URL in ePages has been shortened to make it easier for the user to understand the results a search engine displays. Here are some examples:
Product detail page:
The position of the search term in the URL and whether it is included as a parameter are both unimportant. However, the URL is clearer if the search term is included (see above).
ePages now provides a center for search engine optimisation advice right in the administation control panel of your online store. This helps you to obtain the best possible results without wasting a lot of hard earned money.
Every ePages 6 Cloud based online store comes with an ability to define short, keyword based, URLs to replace the data base genreated URLs. Short URLs can be used to help your visitors more easily remember your shop pages access.
By creating the Short URLs using your product and business keywords you can also help improve your search engine optimisation.
HTML provides for sections (tags) in a Web page which are not displayed in a browser but can be evaluated by a search engine. Search engines ignore some of these because they were often misused in the past. In general, keywords should be distributed uniformly over the whole page.
The TITLE tag is the most important element for SEO. It is of course used in ePages 6. It is automatically filled with the product name followed by the shop name.
The Title should always start with the probable search term. The company name comes next. This also fulfils the requirement that every subpage has a unique TITLE tag so that the shop can be found using many different search terms.
ePages 6 supports two META tags automatically these are "keywords" and "description". ePages allows you to access and add any special HTML or CSS code to the website Head area. Meta tags have varying relevance for search engines. The short description of the product and category is written in the description attribute automatically:
< meta name="description" content="Dome tent for four persons. 2 doors"/>
Search engines evaluate the DESCRIPTION attribute.
The ranking is most positively affected when the relevant search term is found at the start of the page and then again somewhere near the end. When the search results are displayed, the description is printed highlighted and bold if it contains the search term.
At time of writing, Google ignores the keywords META tag:
<meta name="keywords" content="Camping"/>
This may change. Other search engines (e.g. MSN) evaluate this attribute. For this reason, it is possible in ePages 6 to fill out the Keywords for search engines field in the product description. Even if Google does not use this field at the moment—it is important for the internal product search in ePages 6. For example, if your product is a vacuum cleaner, you can enter "Hoover" as a keyword. The product will now be found by the ePages product search, although the word "Hoover" does not appear in the product name or in the description.
The TITLE and the META tags are found at the top of the HTML document inside the HEAD tag.
H tags are used for headings in HTML and are important and used to create structured content which is necessary for good search engines results. ePages uses the heading levels H1 to H6. Examples:
Eureka El Capitan IV
Link to categories » Link to tents » Link to family tents » Eureka El Capitan IV
The product name is entered in H1 automatically. H2 contains the table with additional product attributes. This is a prominent place for search engines and search terms can also be entered here. H3 contains the history. This is the path to the product within the hierarchy. Although the entries are displayed at the top of the page in the browser, they are in the middle of the body area of the HTML text.
ALT tags are used for labelling pictures. ePages 6 automatically enters the product name here as well. alt="Eureka El Capitan IV"
Search engines classify ALT tags as important if the graphic is found within a link. This is so in ePages 6 as pictures of categories and products are always links.
The online store comes equiped with gadgets to link to social networks such as Twitter and YouTube. By linking and sharing the imformation on your website you can help attract new customers and also improve your SEO ranking.
Some of the Cloud Shops packages come with the ability to create Blogs and Forums as well as Guest books and Media Galleries right inside your online store. These caan help you better service your customers as well as improving visibility to search engines.
Product reviews and ratings are great to help you get feedback from your customers. By displaying the product review and ratings on your product detail page you can provide great information to visitors. search engines will crawl, index and rank information on product reviews and ratings. With a package from eCorner it is all included.
When you are ready you can move on to Step 7 - All the legal stuff.
Return to the 10 Steps Home Page.