osCommerce SEO

osCommerce SEO is something the team at Bullseye Media has been doing for years. Our team are at the forefront of osCommerce development and osCommerce Search Engine Optimisation. Contact Us to see how we can help boost your online sales through Search Engine Optimisation for osCommerce.

How To Do osCommerce SEO

Switching to osCommerce

Before moving your existing site to osCommerce you should consider the effect on your existing traffic and search engine rankings. If your pages are already indexed by the search engines then simply creating a new site and replacing the existing one could cause you to lose traffic and hinder the osCommerce SEO process.

In order to preserve good page rank your new osCommerce store should either:

Use the exact same URLs as the old site

Redirect the old URLs to the new ones

osCommerce SEO – Content and Keywords

Often overlooked or put to the end of the list of ‘things to do’ in the osCommerce SEO process is optimisation of the content and keywords. This is however an essential core task in the SEO of osCommerce.

The first point to remember is your content should be relevant to the page and it should target the keywords which are most important to your business. A common practice with online retailers is to use the product descriptions provided by the manufacturer. This of course results in hundreds, if not thousands of sites with the same content. Taking the time to write original product descriptions is a must. The same principles should be applied to category pages.

osCommerce has several contributions available which allow for context authoring. Examples are Information Pages Unlimited and FAQDesk for a Q and A style section on the site.

osCommerce SEO – Page Title and META Tags

An off-the-shelf installation of osCommerce doesn’t really use titles and METtags to ensure search engine friendliness. By default, all pages have one title “osCommerce” and no META tags.

This of course should be resolved quickly for effective osCommerce SEO. Titles and META descriptions should always be unique for each page.

For osCommerce there is a contribution called ‘Header Tag Controller’ which can be used to specify default titles and META tags manually. It also however allows the use of product, category or manufacturer name and/or description to fill these attributes.

Here are 8 tips for OsCommerce SEO

Launching your own business does not mean you have to be in business by yourself. osCommerce has built a community of over 260,000 store owners, just like you, as well as developers and services providers to provide critical, ongoing support. With tremendous functionality and versatility, osCommerce can be the solution you have been searching for – but how does it affect your SEO, CRO, and content management strategies? What is the best way to harness the power of this platform and make it work for your business?
Following are our top osCommerce tips:
1. osCommerce is an open-source platform, but you will need a reliable web host. When choosing, make sure that they support osCommerce applications. Look for hosting services that provide additional features, such as 24/7 support, 1-click installation of osCommerce, automated backups, unlimited disk space, a high percentage of uptime, free domain transfer, unlimited bandwidth, and advanced security options.

2. When you install osCommerce, it displays a default template. We recommend that you not use this. Because the platform is used by thousands of stores, it can create a generic feel. You can use one of osCommerce’s recommended template services (which are fully compatible with the platform and its many add-ons and can be customized), or you can create your own from the ground-up. This requires development and design experience.

3. To avoid losing traffic or impacting your search rankings, do not migrate directly to osCommerce if you have an established website. Transfer your original URL or implement 301 redirects.

4. Upon installation, make sure you add additional security to your Admin function. Go to your Admin panel and click the Administrators link. Click Edit>New Password. Select Protect with htaccess/htpasswd, and Save. You will be promoted to reenter your username and your new password. Do so and click Ok.

5. Serve static content from a domain without cookies. When a server sets a cookie for a domain, the cookie is added to every other request for that domain. This adds extra “weight” and slows sites down. Moving images, files, and JavaScript to a cookieless domain speeds your site, which contributes to an enhanced conversion rate.

6. Off-the-shelf osCommerce is not SEO-friendly, and this can negatively impact your visibility. The platform offers over 7000 add-ons, many of which are geared specifically to search engine optimisation. Install applicable add-ons to customise your meta data. Examples include: KissMT Dynamic SEO Meta & Canonical Header Tags, SEO Site Maps, Header Tags SEO v. 3.0, and Easy Meta Tags.

7. If you have multiple products, ensure the title of the page is the same as the product. Open product_info.php. Locate the head tags Modify to: This is another piece of the SEO puzzle that can increase visibility.

8. Regularly updated content not only captures the attention of readers, it captures the attention of search engines. Using the add-on, “Article Manager,” craft original content (e.g. update product descriptions or to add a “how-to” or FAQ article), optimise, and post it to your website.

osCommerce has a comprehensive array of features and functionality, and there are sure to be questions as you set up virtual shop. The osCommerce Open Forum is an invaluable asset that allows access to developers and other owners, and we are happy to assist throughout the process. Our experience with osCommerce enables you to leverage the platform for optimal results.