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SEO Optimized ecommerce website

Posted on 2007-03-28
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Last Modified: 2013-12-09
I am designing  a large ecommerce website &  i would like to have some SEO tips for that.
I know the basic tips & tricks for SEO, what i need to know is what approach should i take for designing this website.
2 Approaches i thought:
1. Design a system in which all the products & categories pages have static content that are written using ASP.NET(aspx pages with some static content written  by aspx pages), through admin at the time we add/edit products; so we have product titles & kewords embedded on those pages. for e.g we have a product page "sports-shoes-nike.aspx" & similarly different pages that are created using a system at the time of adding/editing products or categories.

2. Use the general way like products.asp?pid=23&cat=30 etc..; dynamic urls.

Whcih one is better or if you experts have any other good idea please advice me.
Thanks
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Question by:calorisplanitia
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15 Comments
 
LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:Vivek Thangaswamy
Comment Utility
First

Use Div tag for creating when pages, No HTML errors should found,...

Online HTML validator for your page http://validator.w3.org/,

http://ezinearticles.com/?Successful-Tips-For-On-Page-Optimization&id=471034
http://www.newvisionusa.com/Blog/2006/11/18/SEOTips/Default.aspx
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Assisted Solution

by:valkyrie_nc
valkyrie_nc earned 200 total points
Comment Utility
We use option 2 for our site and have had zero issues with SEO ranking or crawling.  Most search engines can handle dynamic pages now, as long as the parameters are short 'n' sweet.

Be sure you have your robots.txt file in place, and use the Google Sitemap to help the crawler find the page you want it to.  

You can also bump your rankings by adding the keywords meta tag and changing the Title tag from the codebehind.  For our product pages, we change it based on the querystring:

string WhichProduct = HttpContext.Current.Request.QueryString("id").ToString();
switch (WhichProduct)
{
   case "1":
        Header.Title = "Product Name - Company Name";
        HtmlMeta tag = new HtmlMeta();
        tag.Name = "keywords";
        tag.Content = "product-specific keywords";
        Header.Controls.Add(tag);
        break;
   case "2":
        break;
}

hth

valkyrie_nc
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Author Comment

by:calorisplanitia
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what about keyword in the urls?
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by:valkyrie_nc
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I think that all goes to ultimate site design.  All I can say is that we haven't experienced any detrimental effects by using fewer pages and a few querystring parameters.  I can't say whether having keywords in the URLs would be helpful or detrimental or not; I'd think at the absolute least it wouldn't hurt, but it also means more pages to maintain in the site.  :)  
hth

valkyrie_nc
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Expert Comment

by:rjmedina
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Keywords can be detrimental depending on the Search Engine and the model they use to value your site (e.g. according to many sources, using keywords excessively is bad as far as google is concerned).  Therefore, I would say to use keywords, but don't abuse them.  

If your site is primarily about cars, then only list the models with which your site deals; don't list your competitors models; if the crawlers don't find additional information about those car models in your website content it will count against you.  

Also your keywords should be more than one word, so use adjectives to make them more specific to what you're selling.  If your selling cars, don't use "cars" as a keyword - it's too common and everyone else is using it too.  Use "domestic cars" or "foreign car dealer".  As you can see these "keywords" or "phrases" are far more specific and it will be easier to complete against the other "foreign car dealers" than every website out there that also uses the word "car" in their keywords.  At the same time DO NOT over use a particular key word.  Let's say that SUV or Sport-Utility is a type of car that is being sold.  Don't list every model + SUV (e.g. Ford Escape SUV, Ford Expedition SUV, Ford Explorer SUV) because this is abusing a keyword; some might even say that you're also abusing the keyword Ford.

Take full advantage of the metatags "description" field.  This is the description that you'll see under the title of your website.  Make sure that you write a brief but catchy description about your website so that it hits the primary key terms that you want to be searched by but will also attract the attention of the potential browsers.  Therefore, you don't want to say, "'company name' is the best dealer for selling cars on the internet."  Instead, say "'company name' specializes in selling pre-owned domestic cars such as Ford, GM and Dodge.  Browse our inventory today - hassel free."

As you can see, SEO is not an exact science and it is a moving target.  Therefore, you'll want to re-evaluate your website content, keywords, and description on a regular basis (bi-yearly or quarterly) to make sure that your website is appearing with a fairly high rank in organic search results.
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Expert Comment

by:weikelbob
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" what about keyword in the urls?"

Good on-site SEO involves placing keywords in domain, folder names, and file names.
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Author Comment

by:calorisplanitia
Comment Utility
i meant the name of pages & folders.
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Expert Comment

by:weikelbob
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Yes, keywords go in both of those. For example, say your website is about BMWs.

URL: www.fun.com   less good on-site SEO
URL: www.bmw-car.com    better on-site SEO

folder name and file name:

www.fun.com/funstuff/morefunstuff.html    less good on-site SEO
www.bmw-car.com/bmw/car.html    better SEO

That's not the best example, but you get the idea. Keywords should be in

title
h1,h2 tags
file names
folder names
content (as they would occur naturally)
domain

Let me know if that's not clear.

Bob
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Author Comment

by:calorisplanitia
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Yes i am aware of that it helps, but my problem is i am designing a huge ecom website & need to implement the approach that is good & manageable, because the website may have access of 10,000 products & that can increase.
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Expert Comment

by:WaldenL
Comment Utility
You mentioned you were using ASP.NET (although this works in other web languages too)... There's no reason you can't "dynamically" generate the content with out using parms. Just bury them in the URL so it "appears" that the content is static.

Lets say you sell furniture. And you have a SKU, item A5G33, that is a leather arts and crafts chair. A great URL for the page for that item would be:

http://www.site.com/furniture/chairs/arts-and-crafts/leather/A5G33.aspx

Now, you're thinking that you'd need to create that page and directory structure ahead of time, but you don't. What if you had something in your global.asax that parsed that request and just took the sku off the end and forwarded it to a common page on the back end.

This works great as we do it all the time. Make sense?

-Walden
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Author Comment

by:calorisplanitia
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Yes thats a very good idea Walden, but if we redirect it to another page wont the search engine robots take it as a negative thing & do not index.
Some SE robots/spiders do not like response.redirects... read somewhere..??
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Expert Comment

by:WaldenL
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You don't "redirect" you "forward", in other words, it's all server-side. And actually you want to just rewrite the URL and ASP.Net will take care of it all. You're correct, the engines wouldn't like lots of 302s running around.

You'll also want to create a function you call to get the seo-friendly link given a sku so you can put the correct links in the pages to begin with.

-Walden
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Author Comment

by:calorisplanitia
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how do we forward or rewrite the url??
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Accepted Solution

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WaldenL earned 300 total points
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A the core of it is the void HttpContext.RewritePath(string path) function. There's a good introductory article on CodeProject http://www.codeproject.com/aspnet/urlrewriter.asp that will show the basics. That article assumes you can boil your rules down to regex, our experience has been the rewrite often requires more logic and possibly DB access, but it depends on the format you use for your urls.

If you do go with the idea the the "page" is the sku + .aspx then you could get the sku w/a regex and then just pass it to product.aspx?ID=SKU.

There is more work in the function I mentioned that creates the URLs in the first place since it needs to put the right keywords in, but it's not that hard, and you could "fake" it by adding a column to the sku table that has the url pre-created, but I prefer to create it on the fly.

-Walden
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Author Comment

by:calorisplanitia
Comment Utility
i think i have got the answer from you experts.
Thanks.
Iam going to splitup points between valkyrie_nc & WaldenL
Thanks again all for your support.
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