volusion is hosted shopping cart software service which enables small business people to setup online shopping store on their hosted service.
SEO Checklist for volusion store
While reviewing my clients’ volusion store setup, I found their store needs some advanced setup to shows-up on Google SERP. Here are my compiled checklist for volusion store.
301 RedirectsIf you are moving from existing ecommerce site to volusion store, backup your all the url list (sitemap) first. This will help you to setup 301 redirects for old url to the new one on volusion store.Why: If you missed this step, you might have faced ranking drop from SERP.
How to setup 301 redirect in volusion store?
- Go to Settings tab.
- Click Maintenance tab and find Manage 301 redirects and go to Redirect manager.
Here,Source Path = OLD URL (i.e. example.com/product_cat/product_item )Target Path = NEW URL (i.e. example.com/Cat_p/product_item )You can also upload XML file generated with list of those backup URLs
Meta Canonical TagsVolusion store has default.asp is main index file and you can setup canonical tags for homepage simply pasting this HTML snippet.
<div id="if_homepage"> <link rel="canonical" href="http://www.example.com" /> </div>Why: If you run site:yourwebsite.com query in Google and you are getting multiple copies of your homepage, you might need to setup meta canonical tags.You can also place your Google Webmaster Tools verification meta tags here.
Submitting Sitemap to Google and other Search EnginesVolusion software auto generates sitemap for all hosted stores. To submit your sitemap to Google,
- Add and Verify your site first to Google Webmaster Tools
- Navigate Site: Configuration > Sitemaps
- Click “Submit a Sitemap”
- Your website url is already there, just enter: “google_sitemap.asp” in text field and click “Submit Sitemap”
- So the your sitemap location would be http://www.example.com/google_sitemap.asp and you can submit it to other search engines as well.
Setting up robots.txtIf volusion store website structure is not properly built, website may end up with canonical issues. There are some modules like email a friend, gift certificate and options, photo details etc which we really don’t need to crawl and shows up on SERP. So we may block it with robots.txtHere is a sample robots.txt many people use for volusion store.
Sitemap: http://www.example.com/google_sitemap.asp User-agent: * Disallow: /EmailaFriend.asp Disallow: /login.asp Disallow: /login_sendpass.asp Disallow: /GiftCert_sendvia.asp Disallow: /GiftCert_default.asp Disallow: /GiftOptions.asp Disallow: /shoppingcart.asp Disallow: /FileUpload/TextObject.aspx Disallow: /affiliate_info.asp Disallow: /Affiliate_signup.asp Disallow: /catalog_subscribe.asp Disallow: /donate.asp Disallow: /Email_Me_When_Back_In_Stock.asp Disallow: /Affiliate_thankyou.asp Disallow: /help.asp Disallow: /Help_EmailBetterPrice.asp Disallow: /Help_FreeShipping.asp Disallow: /help_answer.asp Disallow: /kb_results.asp Disallow: /mailinglist_subscribe.asp Disallow: /mailinglist_unsubscribe.asp Disallow: /one-page-checkout.asp Disallow: /PhotoDetails.asp Disallow: /returns.asp Disallow: /Register.asp Disallow: /Terms.asp Disallow: /Terms_privacy.asp Disallow: /Ticket_New.asp Disallow: /TrackPackage.asp Allow: /To configure robots.txt,
- Navigate Marketing > SEO
- At bottom of page, find Click here to modify your robots preferences
- Paste above example robots.txt file into textarea field
Setting up custom meta tagsThere are fields called “CUSTOM METATAGS OVERRIDE” for products as well as categories.Example meta tags for volusion store
<title>your product title</title> <meta name="title" content="your product title" /> <meta name="description" content="your product description" /> <meta name="keywords" content="your product keywords" /> <meta name="robots" content="index,follow" /> <link rel="canonical" href="http://www.example.com/Cat_p/id.htm" />Why:
- To avoid duplicate title,description and keyword tags.
- To control index,follow,noindex,nofollow meta tags.
Parameter handling in Google Webmaster ToolsYou can set cat, sort, page, searching, show, x, y parameters to ignore while crawling by Googlebot through Google Webmaster Tools, to avoid canonical pages indexing.
No following useless linksYou may nofollow login, signup, affiliate section etc whatever you feel less important than your product listing on SERP.
Use noindex, follow for canonical offer pages.If you are selling product with various offers, you might have the same description content on all those pages. So to avoid canonical issues on your site, you can use here noindex,follow meta tags.