SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is all about helping your webiste be found on the search engines.
Each search engine uses different algorithms which are constantly changing and improving to help websites reach the top for their chosen keyword, however with so many websites out there, competition is fierce.
SEO comes in 2 parts, your keywords and your site reputation. There is no quick fix with SEO, it is an ongoing task that takes time and effort, but, if you can dedicate a small amount of time each day, you should see some results and find your website climb the ranks.
I hope that this guide may help you understand how you can help your site.
Keywords are what you would type into a search engine to find what you are looking for, so for this guide I am going to use the example of boys clothes. The keywords I would type may be boys clothes, or more specific aged 5 boys jeans etc. You need to figure out what your customers would type into the search engine to find your products.
It is best to have a variety of general terms, eg boys clothes, boys clothing, young boys clothing for your general pages and then more specific ones for each category and product. So for a jeans category you could have, boys jeans, adjustable waist boys jeans, black boys jeans, lightweight boys jeans, smart boys jeans. Then for the product, really describe the product in short snips, aged 2-5 boys jeans, blue boys jeans, slim fit blue boys jeans.
Once you have figured out your keywords you need to input them to your site in as many places as possible but without 'stuffing' the site must make sense, if you just list keyword after keyword your site may be pinalised. So here is where you can add your keywords using your opencart website:
Home page - on your home page you can add:
the page title, you will see this when you hover over the browser tab. Go to system > settings > edit > store > enter in the title box. A good tag should be no more than 70 characters long and contain relevant keywords. We always say have the most important words at the front the tag.
Meta tag description, this is a short sentance or 2 about the page, so on your home page you would use as many general keywords as possible but keeping in a sentence format so it makes sense. For category and product pages these should be more specific, you could use up to 140 charachters here if needed. Google has always said it doesn’t use the meta description as part of the algorithm. The meta above is fine as it is. If you are going to type your own then it must be unique to each page. Be advised though Google doesn’t always use the description you provide, if it thinks something on the page is more relevant to the search term it may use that instead.
And in the content of your page. Any text you add to your home page should be brief and concise. Dont add too much text as this can put customers off, however a small amount containing some keywords may help.
Information/ category and product pages:
Choose 2-3 keywords that you are going to use for each page and use them in each of the following areas.
on these pages, the information title, category and product names become your page title in opencart. So try keep these short and sweet but if possible containing a keyword.
Make sure you add descriptions to all pages including categories and products. Even if they are short, they are another opportunity for you to add a couple of keywords.
Meta tag description - as above, add a short sentence describing the contents of that page.
Meta tag keywords - add as many keywords as you like here, keep them relevent to the page where possible, category pages keep them general and use a couple of these in the category meta description and general description, and product pages make them more specific.
in the data tab of the information, product and category pages you will see a box called SEO Keyword. This will change your url to SEO friendly.
So instead of a url for a product being http://yourwebsite.co.uk/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=887 it would be www.yourwebsite.co.uk/boys-smart-blue-jeans This then tells the search engine straight away what is on the page. Make sure you use - instead of spaces or you will get special charaters making them no longer SEO friendly.
And thats it. Remeber content is king, if you write well and use your keywords you site will be found.
The second part of SEO is your site reputation. The higher your reputation and trust, the higher you will rank for your keywords.
If you think of a backlink as trust it may help understand this better.
If I had a boys clothing website which 5 other websites linked to, it would show the search engines that those 5 sites trust my site and the boys clothing website reputation would increase. The more links back to your site, the more trust and higher reputation and therefore the higher you will rank when someone types one of your keywords in the search engine.
Gaining backlinks is time consuming, each one takes 6-8 weeks to be acknowledged by search engines and some sites have 'no-follow' backlinks meaning they don't count!
The best places to gain backlinks from are forums, blogs and directories. The key is to use your full website everywhere www.yourwebsite.co.uk, if you are a member of a forum, add it to your signature, if you read blogs, leave a comment including your url. Directories are great, there are thousands you can submit your site to, however only about 30% of these will be published.
Backlinks on social media are no follow so don't count :(
2 things to remember with backlinks:
1- NEVER pay
2- don't do link exchanges, if the boys site linked to a girls site and the girls site linked to the boys site, they cancel each other out!
I hope this helps a little. There are millions of guides on SEO out there, and thousands of companies that you can pay to do it for you. If you have the time I would advise you do it yourself, a little time each day would be much more worth while :)