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5 Actionable OpenCart SEO Tips for Your Ecommerce Store

March 29, 2018

3 Min Read
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Everybody wants more sales, nobody wants to optimize their site.

To make more sales, you need more eyeballs on your ecommerce site. And, for that, you need to optimize your store or as some call it ‘do SEO.’

opencart seo tips

OpenCart SEO optimization can prove to be a complex process since it requires a technical understanding of the website structure. Keeping that in mind, I’ll show you some workable tips to easily optimize your OpenCart E-commerce store and boost its rankings in search engines.

Add User-Friendly URLs

Here is the default URL structure for a particular page on OpenCart

http://opencart-121194-438598.cloudwaysapps.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=43.”

Is it easily readable for you?

Can a person without any technical knowledge understand the URL?

Most probably not.

Search engines adopt this same philosophy when looking at website URLs. The URLs for your website should be easily readable so to rank your site higher.

Fortunately, we can do just that by following these steps:

  1. Go to your OpenCart dashboard -> system -> settings -> edit -> server tab. Here, click on ‘Yes’ to set the ‘SEO URL.’
    opencart seo url
  2. Now, go to your site’s root folder and find the file named .htaccess.txt. Rename this file to .htaccess.
  3. After this, enter the main keywords for each of your products’ pages or categories for which you want the URLs to be rewritten. You can do this by navigating to the data tab when creating items or editing them.

Do SEO of OpenCart Pages

Remember that every page can be separately indexed and ranked on search engines. To optimize all of them to benefit the most from OpenCart SEO.

Set ‘Meta Title’ and ‘Meta Description’ for each product, category, and page. You can do this for each product, category as well as for the homepage from Systems>Settings.

opencart homepage MT and MD

Use Unique Meta Title and Description

Make sure to use unique ‘Meta Titles’ and ‘Meta Descriptions’ for all your categories and product pages. Search engines always give preference to uniqueness. Ensure you enable your site and each page for OpenCart SEO.

For example, if a user searches for a particular smartphone and your store has it, then it will be shown in the search engine if you’ve adopted proper Opencart SEO practices and entered a unique MT and MD for the said smartphone.

opencart product and category MT and MD

Remove Duplicate Content

As highlighted in the last point, search engines love the uniqueness and duplicate content on your site negates that. To avoid that, make sure to go to your site and remove all duplicate content. Your store is usually accessible by two URLs.

  1. With www. For example: https://www.examplestore.com
  2. Without www. For example: http://examplestore.com.

Search engines don’t like that and you need to correct the issue before it leads to de-indexing.

  1. Open .htaccess and find the following lines:
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteBase /”
  2. Add following lines to route the URL with ‘www’  to the one without ‘www’:
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www\.(.+) [NC]
    RewriteRule ^(.*) <a class=”vglnk” href=”http://%1/$1″ rel=”nofollow”><span>http</span><span>://%</span><span>1</span><span>/$</span><span>1</span></a> [R=301,NE,L]

Optimize Your Store

Faster sites are preferred over slow ones. Search engines give preference to sites that load faster. So optimize your OpenCart store for speed. There are a number of methods to achieve this but in this post, I’ll be highlighting only two.

  1. Use a caching solution. There are plenty good ones available for OpenCart like Qcache.
  2. Use a good hosting provider with more speed, e.g. Cloudways – It uses thunderstack technology to boost site speed.
  3. Add SSL to your OpenCart Ecommerce Store. You can add free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate.

Final Word

Optimizing Ecommerce store helps you stay on top in the search engine rankings. This, in turn, helps you stay on top of the ecommerce game.

Make sure to implement these four crucial OpenCart SEO practices and you will see a marked improvement in no time.

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Hamza Zia

Hamza is a Drupal Community Manager at Cloudways - A Managed Drupal Hosting Platform. He loves to write about Drupal and related topics. During his free time, he can be seen obsessing over Football, Cars, Android and Gaming.

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