If you are an e-trader, one of your main objectives is to appear in the first search results on Google. When a potential customer is looking for a product, your store should appear in the first options.

On the off chance that you are not chipping away at SEO for OpenCart store, you will rely upon paid traffic sources, for example, Adwords, Facebook Ads or other supported articles. All of this costs money and precisely, money does not abound when you create a new store.

If you manage to be among the first results on Google, you will receive free and regular traffic.

The Problem-

There is a multitude of online stores, so the competition is strong.

To appear above other OpenCart Stores, you have to do better than its competitors. How? ‘Or’ What?

To get started, follow this OpenCart SEO guide. You will quickly make your website appear in the first pages of Google.

Let’s go for positioning!

On-page SEO concepts for OpenCart Store

1. Information architecture

Image result for Information architecture

Be careful, this is one of the keys for Google to position your store. The first step in making yourself loved by Google is for Google to understand you. It is like all couples, without understanding, no love. 😉

You will, therefore, have to organize all the information contained on your website. We recommend using the so-called “  silo ” structure.

Let’s apply the example of a clothing store to the previous illustration. The different categories under the home page ( home ) might be: “pants”, “shirts” and “shoes”.

The pants category URL would be:

yourdomain / pants.com

In each category or subcategories if there are, are the corresponding products. 

Imagine that this store has a subcategory for pants:

  • Capri pants
  • Jeans
  • Slims
  • Etc.

The final URL containing the category, the subcategory and the product would be:

yourdomain / category / sub-category / product.com

In the case of Levis 404 jeans, the URL would be:

yourdomain / pants / jeans / levis-404

Thus, all the information of your OpenCart store is well structured and you facilitate the work of the “Googlebot”. You don’t know what Googlebot is? It is a software robot that thoroughly browses the web to explore its contents and index them.

2. Each URL concerns a keyword

A typical mistake is not knowing what to do with the most important keywords.

In SEO vocabulary, keywords, or keywords, are the terms for which we want to appear at the top of Google’s results.

In our imaginary shop, it could be:

  • Pants: almost impossible to a position (we speak then of a short tail, the keyword is very short)
  • Denim pants: almost impossible also for a new website, you would have to be authoritative in the field to get there. For other sectors, however, these medium tail are interesting because they correspond to categories or sub-categories. 
  • Levis 404 denim pantslong tail, the more concrete the search, the easier it is to position it. 

Never forget this:

In a good SEO architecture for OpenCart, each URL concerns only one keyword.

The meaning-

If the pants category contains text, it must be semantic content related to pants. This category is also linked from the bottom (remember the drawing) to the subcategory “jeans”.

The same must be done for the subcategories. If a subcategory contains text, it must be linked to the concept (in our example, denim pants).  

The products are at one level below. If we want to position them, we will have to write an original product sheet containing relevant keywords. 

With these URLs on different levels, we indicate to the search engines that the keywords closest to the domain name are the most important for OpenCart. 

If you look closely, you will see that the further you get from the domain name, the easier the keywords will be to a position.

3. Optimizing the positioning of your store by avoiding cannibalization 

Do not leave, it is not a question of devouring your competitors!

If the structure of your OpenCart Store is not well defined and Google cannot determine for which keyword to position each URL, we run the risk of cannibalizing the keywords. 

This means that several URLs are positioned for the same search, weakening between them.

The most common strategy is to try to position the categories whose content remains the same. As for the products, they change, run out or go out of fashion. 

It is also usually not to index the product sheets and to focus the full potential of positioning on the categories.

Exceptions are articles for which there is a lot of concrete research. Indeed, if a large number of people are looking for “Levis 404 jeans”, it is then interesting to index the URL and try to position it.

Are you following us?

We continue with one of the most questionable questions.

4. Categories vs labels, index them or not?

If the answer is simple, the explanation is not, but as you understand the concept of cannibalization, it will seem easy to you.

For those new to SEO, let’s see the difference between categories and labels.

In our imaginary shop, we defined the categories: shoes, shirts and pants. Labels are the characteristics that several products can share, such as colour for example.

The “red” label will bring together all the red clothes, creating an URL like yourdomain.com/red

Normally, this page does not contain more content than the products and their descriptions. This can have two negative consequences:

  • Thin content: or “poor quality” content. Google doesn’t like to waste time browsing pages that are of little or no interest.
  • Duplicate content: because of repeating descriptions.

If you are unsure how to use the tags, our SEO advice is not to use them or index these pages.

As we have seen, these are the categories that must focus all SEO efforts for our OpenCart store. 

How to use your blog to strengthen the SEO of your OpenCart Store

For an OpenCart Store, having a blog represents many advantages. Today we are going to focus on the SEO aspect.

It will take patience and effort, but it will eventually pay off in the form of organic traffic. Organic traffic refers to people who have done research related to your topic and who have arrived on your OpenCart Store.

Getting organic traffic saves on advertising and other paid sources (Facebooks Ads, Adwords, etc.).

You will also save on marketing campaigns because you will be able to target these attracted visits thanks to SEO to directly remarket.

The silo structure that we mentioned for URL also applies to the content. If your blog covers several themes, group them into categories to classify the posts.

As always, remember to associate each URL, ie each post, with a single keyword.

Once the architecture is well defined, the cannibalizations avoided and the categories reinforced, the time will come to create content.

The first of our 5 tips to work on the positioning of your OpenCart Store concerns the study of keywords related to your OpenCart Store.

5 SEO tips to increase the positioning of your OpenCart Store

Now that you understand the main ideas, let’s go to the tips:

1. How to do a study of keywords for OpenCart Store and analyze those relevant to the position

Before thinking about positioning an online store, you need to know what you need to position.

Use  Ubersuggest and  Keyword Shitter  to find the relevant keywords: those that match for your products and that can attract potential customers.

Once you have a good list of keywords, you will need to rank them. It will depend on where you want to use them.

  • Home page:  if you decide to put content on the home page, you must choose the most difficult keywords for your market. The root of the web page is the most powerful place to position and therefore you have to choose the keywords for which the competition is fiercest.
  • Categories: these are the “featured” pages and their content must be up to par. Write in a different colour the keywords of your list which will be in the categories. 
  • Products: keywords for specific models or products (as long as you decide to index them)
  • Blog: if you detect many searches for certain subjects of your thematic, write these keywords of another colour. 

We recommend that you start with long tail keywords. These keywords are easier to position and generally convert better because they respond more precisely to searches.

If a person is looking for red dresses for a wedding and you offer the exact result, you will be more likely to position yourself and sell than the store which will only offer red dresses.

TIP: HOW TO USE KEYWORD PLANNER TO SEE KEYWORDS.

If your online store is 100% finished and the products are already there, Keyword Planner will give you a large part of the keywords you need to position.

To find out, simply enter the URL of your online store in the “Your landing page” option and click on “Get ideas” without adding any keywords.

2. Analysis of the competition

If a competing store does it right, why not imitate it, improving its technique or offering better content?

With  SEMrush  you will be able to see all the keywords positioned by other online stores.

You can use the same technique we were talking about earlier, which is to enter the URL of the competing store in the Adwords Keyword Planner.

This will help you to know which are the keywords for which the competition is best positioned. Depending on the authority of your store and competing stores, this will allow you to know the keywords that it is possible to “steal” to increase qualified traffic to your OpenCart Store.

TIP: To find out which pages of a domain Google considers most important, do a Google search by prefixing the domain name with “site:”. The order of the results shows the hierarchy of these pages according to Google.

3. Create quality categories and product sheets

Look at the categories and product sheets of any online store. It is likely that 8 out of 10 e-businesses do not have a category description and that 5 or 6 have only very summary product sheets.

It is another window for those who know how to take advantage of it and, of course, we will take advantage of it.

Create rather detailed category descriptions and put in the content the keywords discovered during your study on keywords and competition.

And don’t stop there! Then add these keywords to your product sheets, moving away from the typical description offered by all the other stores and taking into account the possibilities of cannibalization.

AVOID DUPLICATE CONTENT IN PRODUCT SHEETS 

Descriptions are a crucial part and deserve our best efforts. First of all, you should never use the description sent to you by your supplier, nor make copy-copy of those of other shops.

It is a typical mistake made by dropshipping shops that sell the same products as other shops.

This point is essential for SEO on-page of an online store. Refreshing the Google Panda algorithm identifies duplicate content. Stores that do not respect this rule will never succeed in positioning themselves, except in exceptional cases.

4. Use the power of videos

Google loves videos. And guess what? So do the users.

Indeed, according to a study by DigitalSherpa, 90% of users say that a video helps them in their purchasing decision.

By using videos, your customers will spend more time on your product pages and they will convert more. You can also use these videos to advertise or distribute them on social networks.

You will not only increase the positioning of your online store, but also the number of sales.

5. Eliminate dead links

In online stores, it is common to remove outdated or outdated products.

What happens if you remove the product and delete its page without further precautions?

You are creating a 404 error, and Google will not be happy to have you visit a page that no longer exists.

Indeed, if you have positioned this page, it receives traffic and potential customers are faced with an error page. To resolve this issue, make 301 redirects to other products or categories.

For example, if someone is looking for a product in its 2017 version and you have already removed it from the store, redirect this link to the 2018 version. This page will continue to be positioned, you will not annoy Google and you will not waste time for the user.

6. The user experience

The user experience is a positioning factor which has more and more weight in the Google algorithm.

Some metrics allow you to evaluate it:

  • Time spent on the page
  • The number of pages visited
  • Bounce rate (article in English)
  • Click-through rate (CTR)
  • The  pogo-sticking (due to return to the Google results page using the button “back” of the browser)

No need to appear in the first results of search engines if, when the user arrives on your web page, he does not like it and he leaves.

Google measures this and it will take a few days before you disappear from the top positions.

Google wants to provide the best results for each search. If the metrics indicate that the user is not satisfied, they will tend to show this result less to the benefit of the competition.

The updating of the Google Rankbrain algorithm precisely measures the user experience and will always have more weight in web positioning. 

The search is ergonomic and intuitive, the products offered are relevant and the user, therefore, spends more time on the site.

Off-page SEO for OpenCart

So far, we have only talked about improvements inside the website. This is called SEO on-page.

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN RANKING AND LINK BUILDING IN OFF-PAGE SEO

Bad quality links are a common reason that your ranking on Google drops and you no longer appear in the top ten search results. The backlink profile should always have been created naturally and contain organic backlinks. Find topics that fit your company page and use off-page optimization to constantly check whether links change or possibly no longer exist. There are specific tools for checking that show you where vulnerabilities are and how you can optimize links.

Offpage SEO can set you apart from the competition and strengthen your brand. This will keep you in the competition and the memory of your customers. Also, you can generate traffic with which you can direct users to your website. This, in turn, increases your position in the search engine giant Google’s lists of results.

BACKLINKS: BASIS OF OFF-PAGE SEO

The structure of backlinks can be compared to a recommendation from friends. Search engines also evaluate websites based on whether they have external links that refer to high-quality content like a recommendation. Therefore, pay attention to link sources before you put them on your page. Because a dubious side worsens your position!

For this reason, natural link building is extremely important for your reputation and is also rewarded by Google. Furthermore, you can use this measure to generate more traffic in off-page SEO and thereby, in turn, conclude leads.

OFF-PAGE SEO: INFLUENCE THROUGH SOCIAL SIGNALS

Social signals are another means of off-page SEO. You can also have your content distributed via links to social networks. Utilizing “share buttons” of the well-known social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Xing, you can keep in touch with your users and spread your brand message virally. The use of social signals can be worthwhile, especially for local projects. Social media platforms offer themselves as a communication channel for every company. Spread your high-quality content to potential customers and gain a meaningful position on Google through social SEO.

With innovative projects that are target group specification, you can incredibly strengthen your brand. This also noticeably improves your ranking. Of course, many other factors are part of a successful off-page SEO and optimize your website.