Web stores are usually much harder to optimize then regular websites. The main reason for that is that most websites are custom while web stores use ready script. That's because web store script, let's call it shopping cart software from now on, has to be much more functional then regular website and the administrator should have full control over the store. Due to that fact, most shopping carts on the market today use dynamic URLs which are practically impossible for search engine spider to crawl correctly. These scripts often use single meta data for all of their pages and each page has very little or even no text at all. This kills almost all chances of ranking high in the search engines. So which shopping cart software is search engine friendly? We will take a look at two shopping carts that are in our opinion much more search engine friendly then the rest in the market.
X-cart is very good shopping cart software. It is easy enough for beginners and flexible enough for web developers. It has most of the features you will need and it is easy to customize because it uses templates. These features all pretty much standard on all major shopping carts however X-cart is much more search engine friendly. It let's use assign separate meta data for each category (although not perfect, it is better then the same meta tags for all pages of the site). Software also let's you generate a static product catalog. This catalog is in HTML with static URLs and is 100% crawlable by all spiders, including GoogleBot and MSNBot. Cost: $185.
Pros: Easy to install and customize. Relatively inexpensive. Cons: Limited optimization possibilities. More Info at www.x-cart.com
Prospect Path Ecommerce System
This is much less known shopping cart software but after checking out its features, we strongly recommend it to anyone who is serious about search engine optimization. It seems that this system was build with one thing in mind, search engines. It generates static pages automatically; that means that all pages in your web store are HTML with static URLs. System will also put the name of the product into the title, keywords, description, alt tags, heading, body text and even file name of that product's page! All of this is done automatically as soon as administrator adds a new product. Prospect Path Ecommerce System also includes traffic statistic and ROI tracking. It can track buyers from affiliate programs, text links, banners and even magazines and newspapers (it employs promotion codes to tracks buyers from magazines and newspapers). This shopping cart is very easy to use but there is no installation wizard at this time. After the purchase ABC4PC.com (creators of Prospect Path Ecommerce System) will install and configure it on your server for free. Cost of this shopping cart software depends on the number of features you want but the starting price is around $4,700.
Pros: Amazingly search engine friendly. Great tracking features. Cons: Difficult to install. Expensive. More Info at www.abc4pc.com