Search Descriptions Version
 
 
This article applies to: E-Commerce Basics

Maximizing Site Visibility


The AspDotNetStorefront software has a lot of great SEO capabilities out of the box, but if you don't set them up you can't benefit! Here you'll find a list of basic SEO work that should be done for every site, as well as information on external tools & services that can be useful and basic steps to make it easier for customers to find what they're after on your site.

Store Setup

Probably the most important part of in-store setup for SEO purposes is the meta information. Meta tags are information inserted into the 'head' section of web pages. With the exception of the title tag, these tags contain information that site visitors don't see and probably aren't interested in - such as what character set to use, whether self-rated as containing adult content, etc. These tags can also be used for a page description and to list page keywords. The software generates title tags for most pages automatically, but it's important that each site customize those for their selected keywords and products.

First off, set the 'SE_Meta' AppConfigs, as they are used in various places throughout the site, most notably on the home page:

- SE_MetaTitle
- SE_MetaKeywords
- SE_MetaDescription

Next, set the page-specific values for title, keyword, and description. This can be done for almost all store pages:

- Topics
- Entities
- Products
- etc.

It's also important to set the alt text for all of your products. Alt text is text that can be set on images which will be displayed when the images cannot be viewed for whatever reason - a broken link, missing file, browser error, etc. Alt text can also tell search engines what an image is about, since web crawlers cannot see images. An added non-SEO benefit is that alt text is often used by software designed to assist handicapped visitors (such as software that can read a website's content aloud), so it benefits potential customers.

Finally, make sure that your site skin has a link to the sitemap page. The sitemap contains links to every page on the site - products, entities, topics, etc - which ensures that search engine crawlers can reach (and therefore index) every page on your site.

3rd Party Integrations

The software has built in tools to help you work with several 3rd party tools that can greatly increase the amount of traffic coming to your site. Using these can be of great benefit, and the best part is - they're free!

- The Google Sitemap tool makes it easy for webmasters to submit all their website's URLs to Google to be indexed and it also gives out detailed reports about your pages visibility on Google. This ensures that Google knows all the pages on your site and increases the chance that they'll be indexed.

- Likewise, the Yahoo! Sitemap submission tool allows you to make sure that your site comes up in Yahoo! searches.

Customer Experience

There are a few things that can be done to make it easier for customers to find what they're after on your site once they get there:

- Include a link to the sitemap page in your a href="p-490-skins">skin. This presents a simple one-page presentation of your site that can make finding what they're after easier.

- Put a search box on your site, so customers can look for what they're after quickly. If possible, use the advanced search, or at least link to that page.

- As a followup to that, make sure that all of your products have good, detailed descriptions entered. The search is more likely to find what the customer is after in that case.

External Tools

There are quite a few external tools that can help drive customers to your site. Some are free, and some are paid services.

FREE

- DMOZ: DMOZ is a 'human-edited directory of the Web'. Ordinary people create and maintain categories within the index, and allow site submissions. This directory powers the core directory services for the Web's largest and most popular search engines, so it's well worth getting your site listed.

- Google Webmaster Tools: Google provides a ton of great tools and information for site owners. They can help with ad campaigns, A/B Testing, optimization, Google Base, Google Analytics (ML8), Google Analytics (ML/MS/ML64), and a whole lot more. The majority of their services are totally free and will work on almost any site.

- Social Networking: Sites like Twitter, Myspace, and Facebook have millions of visitors per day. Linking to/from those sites from your store can increase exposure, and help build a 'community' feeling, which helps sales. The best part is, linking is generally no more difficult than inserting a little code snippet in your skin!

PAID SERVICES

- Professional SEO Firms: There is no shortage of SEO firms who can help you take advantage of the free tools listed above, as well as fine-tune your skin, keyword choices, etc. Please visit our online marketing partners for more information.

- Link Building Services: Link building can be used to increase page rank, increase site traffic, or both. There is plenty of good information online to help get started, and a lot of companies that will assist. NOTE: When starting a link building effort, be sure to avoid 'automated submission' scams! These services will offer to submit your site to huge numbers of 'link list' sites for a fee. Modern search engines know about these types of sites, and ignore them when figuring page rank.