Promoting an Ecommerce Site
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The majority of merchants will be using a some form of shopping cart to display and sell their goods. However if you wish the contents of the shopping cart to be read by search engines then must ensure it is search engine friendly.

Check your shopping cart meets the following conditions.

  • The title of each page of your store should be unique and revelent to the items being sold on that page. Check the title of the page in your browser, some shopping carts, especially database driven ones are unable to do this.
  • The description and price of items been sold should be easily read by any search engines visiting your site.

Our shopping cart meets those criteria and is available from the URL above.

Search Engines
Submit to the 3 main search engines, Google, MSN and Yahoo. You can ignore the rest, as they will provide only a tiny proportion of the visitors to your site. Once your site is established you can pretty much guarantee the others will find your site anyway by following links elsewhere on the web.

The most important of these is DMOZ or Open Directory Project. Its data been used in directory searches for some of the most important search engines including Google, Netscape and AOL. However because of the extremely large number of submissions received the waiting for a site to be reviewed can be considerable. Submit to the category most revelent to your business. Only those sites that are considered to be of reasonable quality and content are included.

Most of the other major directories such as Yahoo are now "paid for inclusion". Only submit to these if you think the business generated will cover the cost of any fees.

Links are vital if you wish you website to rank well in search engines. The number of links combined with their quality is a major factor in how search engines determine rankings.

If you decide to exchange links with other site then ensure it is in a similar sector as your own. Check the quality of the link. Is the content of its page relevent to your site. Do not link to directory type sites that have hundreds of automatically generated outward bounds links.

You will probably receive many emails from webmasters that use programs or scripts  to automatically generate requests for links.

This usually start out something like this,

Hi there,
I have found "your domain" by searching Google.

As both of our websites has a similar theme,  I have added your domain
to my website.

Ignore them, as search engines are begining to filter out this type of link, so it is likely to be of little benefit in either traffic or rankings.

One way of spotting the automated emails is that they never mention you by name. They begin "Dear Sir/Madam" or simply just "Hi" or "Hello".