Since its launch in 2008, Magento has steadily grown and has now become the most preferred OpenSource E-commerce platform. The user base is steadily increasing and as of July 2011, there are 65847 websites using Magento.
It's not only the shopping cart functionality of Magento that has online merchants squealing in delight, it's the Web Marketing tools too! One of the major reasons behind Magento's success is its Search Engine friendly outlook. Magento comes packed with amazing SEO features that make it very easy for a merchant and his SEO guy to drive huge traffic on to the site. Here is the list of those features that make this platform, an online marketing cakewalk:
- Manage all friendly URLs
- Manage Title/Meta tags for each and every product, category, and page
- Ability to generate XML Sitemap for Google’s indexing service
- Ability to add products to Google Base for shopping results
- Google Analytics Integration
With the above mentioned features, Magento allows you to attract new customers very easily. The ability to generate search engine friendly URLs is the most loved feature without doubt. Magento allows you to specify the URL key on every static, content and product category page, so now you can pick the keyword and add it to the chosen page’s URL independently from the Magento page name.
Magento has inbuilt tools to help you manage Title/Meta tags for- product-category and page. As Artur explains in his post on page titles and meta description tags for optimising Magento for search engines. For the content pages titles, all you have to do is take the 'CMS' route through 'Manage Pages' and then reach 'Page Title'. For the meta description, take the same route, except after 'Manage Pages' go to 'Meta Tags', and then edit as per your requirements.
(Source: E-commercewebdesign.co.uk )
The similar procedure can be used for category pages. For the product pages title, Magento by default displays the product name as the page title, you can optimise it further by putting all optimised page titles and descriptions into the product import file. As Artur says, “In my opinion, the best, the quickest and the most feasible way of optimising Magento product page titles is to automate page title generation using product and category names in conjunction with static strings ”.
Magento lets you generate Google XML Sitemap – System > Configuration > Google Sitemap.
With this you can customise different frequency and priority value for different types of pages among other things.
With the integration with Google Base, Magento lets you add products to Google Base for shopping results. System –>Configuration–>Google API–>Google Base. Just login with your Gmail Id and you are ready to map the magento product description fields to Google base.
You can track your users with the default Google Analytics plugin in Magento. It can be activated through- System –> Configuration –> Google API –> Google Analytics. Then you need to enter UA number of you site (as shown in your Google Analytics account settings).
With these tools, you can customise your site for the target audience very smoothly. A rapidly growing online community is already engaged in building extended functionality in the form of plug-ins and add-ons, like email marketing and newsletter integration.
How OsCommerce lags behind Magento?
OsCommerce and Magento have been compared endlessly, with more votes in favour of the latter. In case of Search Engine Optimisation, there is no competition. Magento is the clear leader. Why?, very simply put- OsCommerce does not have SEO Tools for meta tags and URLs. Yes, you have to get plug-ins and add-ons to get the same on you OsCommerce supported website. Even through OsCommerce has a simple framework and is easier to edit, while Magento can be a problem without proper guidance, so it is better for Web developers only. But being light and easy to install, does not make up for the Search engine friendly tools that OsCommerce lacks.
You need to download several OsCommerce SEO modules including:
- meta tags module
- and a search engine friendly urls module
The entire procedure of getting a plug-in and then getting on about online marketing, seems tedious. That is why the built in SEO tools of Magento have made it a clear winner!