When choosing a Shopping Cart platform for your E-commerce business you might have assumed that most cart systems will be equally capable when it comes to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
In fact, many of the features needed to help Google understand the relevance of your product and category pages are often only available by paying an additional charge or, in some cases, not available at all.
Many business owners realise this only too late and only once they have uploaded thousands of product images, product descriptions and stock information.
This table shows all of the key SEO features you should be looking out for. I have also included a score for each feature based on its importance to your site’s Google ranking.
If you are uncertain about the significance of any feature click on the icon to view a short video explaining the feature in simple, non-technical language. (Sorry, this feature is not compatible on some mobile devices)
I have included most of the most popular Shopping Cart platforms in the table below. If you have any thoughts, requests or feedback please leave a comment below
Use the scrollbar below to view the full table
|SEO Feature||Feature explanation||Feature weighting||Magento||WooCommerce||Shopify||BigCommerce||SquareSpace||Volusion||3DCart||GoDaddy||Weebly||Wix||MoonFruit||1&1||BigCartel||PrestaShop||ZenCart||osCommerce|
|Independent Navigation Links||[AnythingPopup id="10"]||10||Add-on||Custom||Custom|
|Independent Page Titles||[AnythingPopup id="16"]||10||Custom||Custom||Custom|
|Independent Page URLs||[AnythingPopup id="15"]||9||Custom||Custom||Add-on||Add-on|
|Independent Meta Descriptions||[AnythingPopup id="6"]||9||Add-on|
|Independent Image ALT Tags||[AnythingPopup id="13"]||3||Custom||Add-on|
|Independent H1 Headings||[AnythingPopup id="11"]||7||Custom||Custom||Custom||Custom||Add-on|
|Canonical URLs||[AnythingPopup id="3"]||7||Custom||Add-on||Add-on||Add-on|
|Integrated Blogging Platform||[AnythingPopup id="12"]||10||WordPress||Add-on||Plugin||Plugin||Plugin||Add-on||Plugin||Add-on|
|Social Sharing buttons||[AnythingPopup id="9"]||8||Facebook Only||Add-on||Add-on||Add-on|
|Auto XML Sitemap||[AnythingPopup id="4"]||9||Custom||Add-on||Add-on||Add-on|
|Use Own Domain Name||[AnythingPopup id="7"]||10||Premium only||Premium only||Premium only||Premium only||Custom|
|Own IP address||[AnythingPopup id="5"]||2||Self-Hosted only||Self-Hosted only||Self-Hosted only||Self-Hosted only|
|301 redirects||[AnythingPopup id="14"]||4||Existing Domain Only||Premium only||Custom||Custom||Add-on||Custom||Custom|
|Robots Noindex||[AnythingPopup id="8"]||2||Custom||Custom||Custom||Add-on||Add-on|
Use the scrollbar above to view the full table
= Available as a standard feature
= Not available even at extra cost
Custom = Requires additional coding or customisation
Add-on = Feature available with Add-on or Module only
Premium = Available in subscription tiers above basic only
Self-hosted only = Only available if hosted on your own server
This is an independent study by Richman SEO Training for which I receive no incentive (financial or otherwise) for recommending or favouring one vendor over another. Nor do I receive any affiliate commission from any of the cart vendors listed on this page. If you would like to see how to improve the SEO for your eCommerce website, please read about my SEO Audit Service.
This research considers the merits of each shopping cart platform only in respect of its Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) features. It does not take into account other important digital marketing criteria such as cost, maintenance or provider reputation.
While you will find comparative studies on several of these criteria, do be aware that many will change frequently. I would recommend that you carry out your own assessment by visiting the individual websites of each short-listed vendor.
The weightings given to each feature have been loosely based on Moz Correlation Data. Where Moz correlation data was not available, I have used my own judgement and 15 years’ of professional experience.
While some features such as an integrated blog may not traditionally be seen as an SEO ranking factor, for most e-commerce sites a blog will probably be the most likely method of gaining links to the site. For that reason I have assigned a strong weighting to those platforms which included an integrated blog as a standard feature.
Each platform was awarded a score only where the SEO feature was included as part of the standard package without further customisation, upgrades or add-ons.
The only exception was made in the case of WooCommerce which, although it does not include an integrated blog, is so closely integrated with a free WordPress blog that it was scored on the basis that this feature was included.
If you would like to hear more thoughts about online marketing, please follow me on Twitter Follow @DannyRichman