Smart-Shop.com Gives Small Online Stores Competitive Edge to Compete with the Big Boys

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While emerging business continue to battle the pitfalls of internet marketing, one fact remains true and that is: the success of small online businesses greatly depends on high scores and ranking on major search engines such as Google. In order to actively compete with the big boys effective search engine optimization is absolutely necessary.

Smart-shop.com's clients have found that SEO is a battle they can win, as some continue to benefit from over 10,000 unique visitors per day and top ranking in the most competitive phrases without ever paying a dime for advertising.

Ninety percent of small businesses do very little or nothing at all in this area. Therefore it is no surprise that so many continue to fail. The same goes for shopping cart software providers. There are hundreds of solutions available with 100's of useless features and very few do anything about SEO. Most ecommerce software providers claim to be Search engine optimized however on the closer look at their functionality it is clear that there are many flaws.

Here Are Some Basic Start-Up Guidelines:

Static URL's. Make sure that urls created by your shopping cart are static and have keywords in it. For example: yourstore.com/computers/computer-name.html . Most shopping carts create product pages dynamically when they're requested by a specific customer. And in most cases this means that the URL or web address for a particular page is created with dynamic scripting, resulting in a URL with multiple parameters and no keywords. A typical dynamic URL might look like this: yourstore.com/CategoryPage?pls=id5&clist=03258f0014009f. This is not a format search engines can easily follow.

Clear, hierarchical url and site structure. Example of good structure: yoursite.com/catalog1/product1.html. Search engine spiders detect your sites structure and assigns selective ranking to each page. By utilizing a category name in product's url adds additional keywords. Most "SEO optimized carts" generate your sites URL in ways that do not allow for search engine optimization, for example yoursite.com/product1.html

Unique Title Tags. Title tags are critical to SEO. It is essential to have the ability to input unique tags for each page. Title tags should be short (no more than 64 characters) and should contain keywords relevant to the page.

XHTML and CSS Impact on SEO Success. XHTML is a contemporary and convenient way to improve your website's look in the eyes of Search Engine robots.

XHTML leaves a clean site code in comparison to regularly used HTML.

Content, Content, Content. Content is called SEO king. In the case of an online store the content is usually product pages. The more products you add the better. Be sure to add long descriptions that use important keywords in each product. By adding hundreds or even thousands of products you create many pages that can rank high for specific terms. Receiving 1 or 2 direct clicks to your product page per day becomes a huge benefit with many pages. Needless to say that correct URL structure is the key; otherwise your pages run the risk of not being indexed.

Back links. If content is a king, then linking is the queen that shares his throne. Since the arrival of Google and their PageRank, search engines have put much weight on links to a site. Start working on building links to your site from a very beginning.

Patience. It may take anywhere from 3 months to a year for you to begin to see the effects of proper SEO. Don't give up too early. The longer you stay online the more valuable your site becomes.

There are many guides that have been written on this subject and anyone hoping to succeed online should invest some time reading them.

Smart-shop.com's goal is to help make the life of small business owners easier by placing them in a position where they have a chance to succeed. We focus our attentions on building an easy to use system and adding the features that help online stores grow. Remember, no matter how great your website is, if no one knows about it, you cannot be successful. Visit http://www.smart-shop.com today for details on this and other vital topics to help your business grow.

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Andrius Zabulionis
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