Ecommerce Templates > General Help > Search engine friendly options

Search engine friendly features

search engine friendly

We believe we have most angles covered when it comes to offering search engine friendly shopping cart software. Ecommerce templates offers the ability to use search engine friendly URLs with no extensions or queries, static pages which are easy to crawl by visiting search engines as well as unique titles and meta tags for category, product and product detail pages and ALT information for all the store generated images. ECT also supports which provides on-page mark up to help the major search engines better understand your products and provide richer results in the search engine listings.

At Ecommerce Templates we also provide an SEO Service to add any of the below features to your existing ECT store.

Search engine friendly URLs

It is possible to make the URL structure of the ECT generated URLs even more search engine friendly by removing any files extensions or query parameters by using URL Rewriting - (Your server must support this and your host may need to carry out some of the steps for you if on a Windows server), leaving you with the cleanest URL possible, This should also help in your offline marketing efforts too, making it much easier to show and spell out the URL of particular products and categories. This feature requires a minimum version of ECT of 6.4.

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Dynamic title and meta description tags

It is possible to dynamically generate the title and meta description tags for your categories, product and product detail pages. Not only are they dynamically generated but you can also add you own unique information such as company name to the title tag. In version 6.4 you can also set the title and meta description tag through the product and category admin pages on a page by page basis.

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Converting dynamic to static URLs

The default URL for a products page would be something like but it is possible to change this to something even more search engine friendly like You can also do the same for the category pages and the product detail, the information is outlined below.

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Dynamic title and meta description tags on static pages

One of the advantages of setting up static pages is that you can add your own meta and title tags manually page by page. It is however possible to use dynamic title and meta description tags if you prefer. The method is the same as described above but with a couple of small differences.

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ALT Information

By default all the product pictures and product detail pictures will have the ALT information dynamically generated by the value you have added for the product name. So if your product name is "Blue Widget" then when your mouse passes over the picture the name "Blue Widget" will appear. All the other store generated graphics include ALT Information too.

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Category identifiers

In Version 5.7.0 it is possible to change the category identifier from a number to text, for example from products.asp?cat=29 to products.asp?cat=Laser+Printers. Use the following simple instructions to add the category identifier feature.

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Product name in product detail dynamic pages

If you are not using static pages and want to include the product name in the URL of the detail page such as /proddetail.asp?prod=My-Product-Name rather than /proddetail.asp?prod=prodid you can follow the following simple instructions

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Product name in <h1> tags

From Version 6.3 you can choose to have the product name on the detail pages in <h1> tags. This is a recommended feature for many search engines as it highlights the importance of the product name. Even if search engines choose to ignore the headings for SEO purposes it's a useful way of styling the product name on your detail page.

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Structured data / Rich snippets /

Structured data helps search engines understand the content of your pages, making it easier for them to display and format relevant search results. It means this information can used to generate rich snippets ie detailed information relating to the user's search. This might be in the format of a product review or rating or simply the product name, price, currency, reference and manufacturer.

As this information stands out from the rest of the search engine results, it's likely to lead to a much higher clickthrough rate for sites displaying rich snippets.

We have done all the work for you so as long as you are running a minimum of Ecommerce Plus, Version 6.3, search engines will be able to crawl your site and pick out the structured data from your pages.

Google have provided a Structured Data Testing Tool where you can enter the URL of your products page and see what information they can gather. If you haven't set this up yet you can have a look at the information by entering an URL from our store, such as

To enable automatic updates of products for Google you need to set the item condition and availability tags and we've now added parameters to allow this. If you set the parameter in vsadmin/includes.asp / vsadmin/includes.php...


...then the condition is set to "NewCondition". You can override this with the parameter...


Where the condition is one of...
DamagedCondition / NewCondition / RefurbishedCondition / UsedCondition

To set the availability you can add the parameter...


If you are using Stock Management then the availability is set depending on stock. If not, then an item is set to InStock unless the product does not have the "Sell" flag set where it is set to OutOfStock.

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Further reading

We also have some tips about search engine optimization (SEO) This is only very general information and we do recommend reading up on the subject. A great place to start would be on Webmaster World.

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