Looking to start a new online business venture but unsure of where to start? Looking at shopping cart software with SEO capabilities is a great place to start.
After all, why bother creating a store if nobody can find you? Here are my top five picks to help you get an idea of some of the solutions on offer that provide features users have come to expect from online stores.
Who uses it?: National Geographic UK, Kinerase
Max. Products: Depends on package. From 100 – unlimited.
Security Options: Requires SSL Certificate before launch (can be purchased through software for an additional fee).
- SEO friendly site architecture (and SEO friendly URLs)
- Meta data
- Canonical links
- Redirect options
- SEO configuration options at category and sub-category levels
- Automatic updates on sitemap
- EXTRAS: Social integration available
Who uses it?: Black Milk, A Book Apart and thousands of other online stores across a wide range of industries.
Max. Products: Depends on package. From 100 to unlimited.
Security Options: Level 1 PCI Compliant, uses 128 bit SSL certificates (provided for FREE), accepts major credit cards, PayPal and over 50 payment gateways including Google Checkout.
SEO Capabilities: Built in SEO features including:
- Custom headings, titles and meta data
- Automatic generation of XML sitemap as new products added
- Built in e-commerce analytics
- Automatic connection with Google Analytics
Who uses it?: Paul Smith, The North Face, Breville, and Lindt
Cost: Free. Enterprise options available for annual fee ($US14, 420 – $US49,990).
Max. Products: Unlimited
Security Options: Regular security updates and extensions available to improve site security
- Google sitemap
- URL rewrites
- Meta information for products and categories
- Auto generated sitemap for display on site
- Auto generated site map for display on site
- SEO extensions available including SEO friendly themes
- SEO pagination options
- Semantic SEO
- SEO friendly URLs
- Export to Google Product
Who uses it?: eBay, Barnes & Noble, GE, and Ikea
Cost: Free for platform, shopping cart extensions available for a fee (varies between extensions).
Max. Products: May vary. Extensions with well received reviews include SimpleCaddy, VirtueMart, RedShop, Tienda, AceShop
Security Options: See individual websites for extensions for further information.
- Extensions with SEF/SEO capabilities: RedShop VirtueMart, AceShop
- Many extensions also provide social network support
Who uses it?: Used by global SMEs
Max. Products: Unlimited
Security Options: SSL Certificates available for extra annual fees, compatible with major shipping carriers and payment gateways.
- SEO friendly product catalogue
- Also integrates with limited social networking and email services
Keep in mind that there are hundreds more available options out there. As far as SEO is concerned, I’d definitely recommend ensuring that your software choice gives you the at minimum SEO friendly URLs, custom meta descriptions at product and category levels, and e-commerce tracking functionality – so that you know EXACTLY where each sale comes from!