The purpose of any business website is to promote a product or service online. The purpose of an ecommerce website is to take it one step further and to allow your visitors to purchase your products or services directly from your website. The ecommerce website has many great advantages over the non-ecommerce website in that it allows for the generation of revenue with little-or-no time spent in selling past the cost to have the website designed and maintained, and it does not require the visitor to call you during business hours thus helping secure the sale to an impulse buyer. If your website provides all the information that the buyer would want, you can save significant money in sales time spent in that the visitor can find all the information they need to decide to buy from you without taking up your time or that of one of your sales staff. But ecommerce sites have a serious drawback as well, very few of them can be properly indexed by search engine spiders and thus will fail to rank highly.
A non-ecommerce website may have the disadvantage on not being able to take the visitor’s money the second they want to spend it, however if it can be found on the first page of the search engines while your beautifully designed ecommerce site sits on page eight, the advantage is theirs. The vast majority of visitors will never get to see your site, let alone buy from you, whereas a non-ecommerce site may lose sales because they don’t sell online but at least they’re able to deliver their message to an audience to begin with. So what can be done? The key is in the shopping cart you select.
The biggest problem with many SEO-friendly ecommerce solutions is that they are created after the initial product. Shopping cart systems such as Miva Merchant and OS Commerce are not designed with the primary goal of creating pages that will be well-received by the search engine spiders. Most shopping cart systems out there today are not in-and-of-themselves even spiderable and require 3rd party add-ons to facilitate even the lowest form of SEO-friendliness. The money you may have saved in choosing an inexpensive shopping cart may very well end up costing you your business in the long run, especially if you are using your shopping cart as the entire site.
There are essentially two solutions to this problem. The first is to create a front-end site separate from the shopping cart. What this will effectively do is create a number of pages that can be easily spidered. The drawback to this course of action is that your website will forever be limited to the size of the front-end site. The second option is to choose a search engine friendly shopping cart system.
Finding an SEO-friendly shopping cart system is far easier said than done. There are many factors that have to be taken into account including the spiderability of the pages themselves, the customization capacity of the individual pages, the ease of adding products and changing the pages down the road, etc
. BizAtomic’s E3 Ecommerce website is a feature-rich, secure ecommerce solution which allows you to easily sell your products online. E3 Ecommerce is a complete solution offering: integration with comparison shopping portals, Search Engine Friendly urls, powerful marketing & reporting tools, built-in content management and an easy to use administrative interface.
BizAtomic’s E3 Ecommerce Version 5 just launched, features include:
* Updated Search Engine Friendly (SEF) Urls
* Newest Products (with RSS feed).
* Recently Viewed Products.
* Per product META description and META keywords.
* Major improvements in content management.