I recently was given the chance to perform technical optimize on an e-commerce site that dealt with selling vacation packages and cruises… Regardless of what they were selling it’s always good to follow a few simple rules for best optimization practices:

Use descriptive URLs

It’s best to have descriptive, static looking URLs on your site. For example:

http://www.mysite.com/cruises-1.html

looks a heck of a lot better than:

http://www.mysite.com/index.php?product_id=1&
category_id=22&cart_session_variable=somelongstrangetexthere

and it’s easier for your customers to remember when and if they decide to return to your site. Search engines also like simple, descriptive page names that relate to what your page is about.

E-commerce URL Plugins

If you’re using the popular zen-cart or oscommerce shopping carts you may want to give Magic SEO URL a whirl as this was a fairly simple install for both carts, it works very well and their support staff is responsive. The only downside is that the $89 plugin license works with just one site at a time and the author places a non-removable link at the bottom of your site’s index page.

Use hyphens, not underscores

Try to use hyphens "-" and not underscores "_" when using spaces to separate keywords within your page names.

Keep your pages closer to your root directory

A page at http://mysite.com/pageA.html can be seen as more important under certain circumstances than a page such as http://mysite.com/directory1/directory2/pageA.html

If you must use page variables…

If you absolutely must use dynamic looking URLs, all is not lost. Try to keep the number of page variables at two or less and nothing too long or funky looking. DO NOT use the term "id" in your variables. Google has been known to disregard pages using this variable identifier.

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