Mastering Search Engine Optomization (SEO) is one of the most daunting tasks in eCommerce Store management. Fortunately Shift4Shop makes this easy to manage with our built in SEO tools.
Shift4Shop merchants have an area of the Shift4Shop Online Store Manager solely dedicated for the various SEO functions and settings available to your Shift4Shop powered ecommerce store.
This area can be accessed by going to Marketing >SEO Tools and it will contain the following sections and settings:
- Custom File Names
If using Custom File Names for your site, this setting will allow you to enable the custom file name functionality as well as update your store to actively use the custom file names. Click here for more information.
- Enable Canonical URLs
This checkbox will add a special HTML tag to your site's <head> code which specifies the absolute URL that should be considered as cannonical for your site. This can be beneficial to search engine algorithms by specifying how multiple URLs with similar content should be returned to users searching for information about your wares and services. More information on canonical URLs can be found here. We recommend always having this checkbox enabled.
This section allows you to edit your site's robots.txt file which is used to control how your site is indexed by search engines. Clicking on the "Edit Robots.txt file" button will take you to a section where you can edit both your robots.txt file and your robots_ssl.txt files. More information on the store's robots.txt files can be found by clicking here.
A quick note regarding your store's robots.txt files. Editing the robots.txt files is an advanced SEO feature and should be done with care. However if necessary, both robots.txt files have a restore default link that will reset them back to their original versions.
- Hide Category Header/Footer from Pagination
If your categories are set to paginate - meaning that they are listed as page 1, page 2, etc - search engines may read the content in the header/footer of the category and penalize you for having similar content. To prevent this happening, you can hide the category header and footer when the category goes onto its second page.
- Sitemap URL
The URL listed here will be the URL you specify to either Bing or Google Webmaster Tools as the location of your store's Sitemap.
- Refresh Sitemap
Although our Sitemap is set to automatically refresh at a regular interval, this "Update Sitemap" button is available in case you'd like to update it manually for a specific reason.
- Sitemap Submission
This section will contain two links that will automatically submit your store's Sitemap to both Google and Bing Webmaster Tools
- Products Index
Here you will be presented with your store's Product Index URL that can be submitted to search engines for refined indexting.
- Categories Index
Here you will be presented with your store's Category Index URL that can be submitted to search engines for refined indexting.
- Manufacturer Index
Here you will be presented with your store's Manufacturer Index URL that can be submitted to search engines for refined indexting.
More information on Sitemaps and Index pages can be found by clicking here.
- Store URL
This section is a quick, visual reference to your site's current "Store URL" as set in the Settings >General >Store Settings section of the Shift4Shop Online Store Manager.
- IP Canconicalization
For merchants with top level domain names and dedicated IP addresses (for domain specific SSL certificates); this setting will redirect requests for the IP to the store's main domain URL.
- 301 Page Redirects
The "Edit Page Redirects" button will allow you to configure and manage your site's custom 301 redirect pages. More information on 301 redirects can be found by clicking here.
- Disable WWW Redirect
Under normal circumstances, someone going to your domain name without the WWW prefix will be automatically redirected to the www.domain.com URL. This checkbox will disable that basic functionality. However, it is important to note that this should only be done in very specific situations since it can potentially cause duplicate content to be reported to search engines and hurt your rankings.
- Home Page Redirect
This section serves as a reference that your is always set to redirect the home.asp and index.html to the site's home page.
- Override Meta Tag Editor Validation
By default, Shift4Shop validates your store's meta tag information to ensure it is formatted properly. Under normal circumstances you should always have this validation enabled. However, if you or your SEO manager have a specific need to override this validation for some reason, you can place a mark in this checkbox to disable validation altogether.
- Enable Product Dynamic Tags
Your Shift4Shop store typically creates meta tags dynamically based on information that is present on your site such as product information, descriptions, product names, etc. This is enabled by default in order to provide more organized information to the various search engines. However, should you have a need to turn this ability off, the checkbox is available for this purpose. Simply unmark the checkbox to disable dynamic product tags.
- Home Page Meta Tags
In this area, you will see a button labeled "Edit Meta Tags" which will take you to the store's Titles and Content edit section specific to the home page. From there, you can freely edit your home page specific meta tags and SEO options.
Open Graph Meta Tags
For social media, Open Graph Meta Tags are used to specify what content is shown when your product pages are shared. Shift4Shop provides these open graph meta tags by default on all of your product pages. They can also be edited as needed. However, if necessary, you can always revert to your original open graph meta tags by clicking the "Restore Default Tags" link.
Towards the top right of the page you will see a "Social Links" area. These links offer a way in which you can link to your other social media channels online such as twitter, facebook, etc. Clicking on the +Icon next to "Social Links" will expand the selection allowing you to enter your Social Media URLs.
Click here for more information on using Social Links
Clicking on the +Icon next to "Google Analytics" will allow you to integrate your store with Google Analytics.
- Tracking ID
Here's a small text field where you can input your Google Analytics Tracking ID. By entering the tracking ID in this field (and saving) the store will automatically be populated with all of the special coding Google asks you to add to your site's pages. More information on this can be found by clicking here.
- Google Webmaster Tools Verification Meta Tag
Here you will find a larger open text field. Similar to integrating your store with Google Analytics, Google Webaster tools requires a validation/verification script to be added to your site's pages. We've made this process much easier by providing an open text box that can be used to add the script automatically to your site. More information on this can be found by clicking here.
Product Page Rich Snippets (Microdata)
This section will contain a list of the most recent Product Page Rich Snippets that are installed on your site. More information on rich snippets can be found by clicking here.
With the various SEO Tools and functions located all in the same area, we hope to make the daunting task of SEO Management easier for our Shift4Shop Merchants.