A 4 minute read by Erin Hill, SEO Specialist
Commerce Cloud by Salesforce is one of the leading ecommerce platforms for retailers. It’s superb customer shopping experience across channels and streamlined approach are just some of the reasons why companies are making the switch. But when it comes to marketing and specifically search, does Commerce Cloud make the cut? Good news! Commerce Cloud has many native search optimization functionalities built in, but it’s also extremely customizable for webmasters to develop individualized SEO solutions for their business.
Here at Swarm, we’ve put together a list of the most impactful, out-of-the-box SEO features built into Commerce Cloud:
1. Customize your page titles and meta descriptions with easy to access fields: Title tags and meta descriptions are important on-page optimization elements. They are used to tell search engines and visitors what any given page on your site is about in the most concise and accurate way possible. Commerce Cloud has customizable meta tag fields and capabilities that include bulk imports and auto-generated meta tags that allow for easy uploads and optimizations.
2. Generate SEO-Friendly URLS: URLs should be as short as possible while helping users and search engines understand what the given page is about. Using hyphens (-) instead of underscores ( _ ) to separate words is SEO best practice. Commerce Cloud constructs custom URLs that can define product attributes, descriptions, or geography.* They also have URL rules that can be administered to account for potential URL issues. For instance, there is a Blank Replacement rule that replaces spaces with a dash and the Character Replacement that will replace special characters like “&” with a dash.
3. Ditch duplicates and with canonicals: Search engines want content to have one official location, and that location is called the canonical URL. By building consistent base URLs, Commerce Cloud can create canonical tags. These canonicals are important because when search engines see the same content on more than one URL, they may devalue one or both of the URLs for containing duplicate content. In the event that both URLs are indexed, links pointing to each version could cause both URLs to compete against each other, which can result in lower rankings for both URLs. Aside from duplicate content concerns, canonical URLs also help send the best authority signals to search engines that lead them to the best version of that page.
4. Transfer rank with redirects and URL mapping: Permanent 301 redirects are used to send a user from one URL to another. Redirects are essential when it comes from transferring rank from a legacy page to a newer, more relevant page. Commerce Cloud has the ability to set mapping rules and to create 301 permanent and 302 temporary redirects.
5. Tell crawlers which pages to index with your sitemaps: Sitemaps help humans and robots navigate a site efficiently, which allows pages to be indexed and updated on a regular basis. Commerce Cloud has built in sitemaps that you can separate by categories, content, images, products, and more.
6. Create your own customized 404 Page: A 404 page is what a user sees when they try to reach a non-existent page on a site. A custom 404 page will help people find the information they're looking for, as well as providing other helpful content and encouraging them to explore your site further. Commerce Cloud out of the box provides a customizable 404 page.
7. Find 404s with the broken URL analyzer: If pages are removed or are broken, Commerce Cloud has a tool that can detect these 404s. Locating broken links is important to overall site health and plays a role when it comes to monitoring the ebb and flow of referring domains. If a referring domain links out to a broken page, you’ll want to know that so you can fix the page or if the page was removed you can implement a redirect.
8. Create a custom robots.txt: Robots.txt is a text file that instructs web crawlers how to crawl pages on your website. You are able to define which parts of your site you do or don’t want accessed and/or indexed by search engine crawlers. While search engines won't crawl or index the content blocked by robots.txt, they might still find and index a disallowed URL from other places on the web. Like sitemaps, the Robots.txt file is built into Commerce Cloud and users can easily make updates to add or remove pages.
9. Add image alt tags easily with image fields: Commerce Cloud has built in fields for image alt tags that webmasters can easily optimize. Image alt tags, content close to images, and image filenames are important because they are the primary ranking factors for image search traffic. And by including keywords within an image alt tag, search engines can get a better idea of what kind of queries the image may be relevant for.