We are pleased to start our first official Feature of the Week blog post with SEO and specifically the SEO Settings of Lead Commerce. SEO or Search Engine Optimization if you don't know that already, is the all encompassing techniques, rules and in most cases theory for getting higher search engine rankings. This post will shy away from the theoretical side of SEO and concentrate on easy to implement tactics and features that come with the Lead Commerce software platform.
The first area of Lead Commerce that we will cover regarding SEO will be the global settings area. The following components and features can all be found in the main Settings area of the Lead Commerce back office and specifically in the SEO Settings tab.
Page Extensions in Lead Commerce allow a site owner to specify the file extension they want their pages to end with. This is extremely helpful for migrations when you do not want to lose existing SEO rankings you have worked so hard to get. Using the Page Extension feature, you can mimic a site written in .HTML, .HTM, .JSP, .PHP, .ASP and more. Again, the real value here is that if you want to make your site look like it is a raw .HTML website you can with just a flip of a switch.
This component of the SEO Settings area within the Lead Commerce back office allows you to determine globally how spaces within URLs should be handled automatically when products or pages are created by the Lead Commerce software platform. It's important to know that these settings we are discussing right now are great for new site launches or a brand new store going online. Lots of times, you have a situation where you need to mimic or copy the current URL structure of a product for example verbatim. Lead Commerce can handle this as well. We will discuss that feature further down the page.
Auto SEO makes creating unique Title Tags, Meta Descriptions and Meta Keywords a snap. Typically, when creating a Product or a Page in the Content section of Lead Commerce, you will find fields specifically for Title Tag and Meta information. Normally these fields are blank, however, when Auto SEO is turned on these fields are automatically filled in for you. These values that are automatically entered can of course be overwritten and updated later on manually.
Auto 301 Redirect
The 301 Redirect option in the SEO Settings area of the Lead Commerce back office allows for complete 301 redirect controls for your legacy or retired URLs. With the 301 Redirect turned on, Lead Commerce will now keep track of any legacy URL and automatically point a visitor or search engine spider to the new URL.
This useful feature allows site owners to control whether they want traditional "/" at the end of a URL to signify a Directory or if they would prefer to not have the backslash at all. There are really no positive or negatives to using one or the other; more personal preference than anything. Again, the difference would be using this to display directories that look like this (www.sample.com/running/) or having directories without the backslash like this (www.sample.com/running).
XML Sitemaps are a useful component of the Lead Commerce platform which allow you to submit your entire site and all published and active URLs to search engines like Google, Yahoo and BING. XML Sitemaps make crawling your site easier for search engines and in most cases allow your site to be indexed faster than normal crawling methods.
Google Analytics Code
Lead Commerce allows for quick integration of your Google Analytics code snippet by allowing you to cut and paste the code directly into the back office. Once the code snippet has been saved here, it is automatically pushed out to all of your pages, products, categories and more.
We just got done looking over the SEO Settings options that are available within Lead Commerce. Now lets cover the other components and areas where you will find SEO controls for your products and pages.
SEO Controls for Pages and Products
Within the Content and Catalog Sections of Lead Commerce you will find SEO Controls. The SEO Controls allow you to update Title Tags, Meta Descriptions and Meta Keywords for either Products or Pages. Google does offer some recommendations for how long a particular Title Tag or Meta Description should be, so Lead Commerce included a character counter for you to keep track of the length of each right within the interface and in plain view. Finally, you can see that Lead Commerce allows for full control over your URL structures which provides for the most flexibility and SEO customization than any other hosted ecommerce platform solution.
Image Alt Text Management
Lead Commerce allows site administrators to control ALT tags for all images across your entire site with ease which helps image search optimization and ultimately helps to drive more traffic to your ecommerce website.
The Lead Commerce software platform now features valuable SEO tools that allow you to effortlessly manage and customize your search engine marketing efforts. Within the Lead Commerce back office you can now use the SEO Tools to manage new or existing pages with ease, make global updates, and integrate web analytic tools, which all work together to help your business reach their SEM goals. Using these tools and controls ensure your ecommerce site will be properly indexed, and most importantly, be easily found by future clients.