An important feature to look for in ecommerce software is the ability to customize head tags for each product page. This is important for search engine optimization purposes, as search engines look to the information contained in the head tags to ascertain the subject matter of a page.
Head tags are often given the misnomer “meta tags”. This misnomer is only partially accurate, because while metadata is a subset of head tags, the important tags we are referring to are the title tag and the meta description tag. The title tag is a head tag but not a meta tag, the description tag is a meta tag contained within the head tags of a web page source code.
The title and description tags are extremely important for search engine optimization purposes. As such, it would be a grave mistake to ignore them. Unfortunately, most ecommerce software available today will generate a head tag and description tag that is used throughout the site, regardless of the content of any particular page.
For example, say you are selling clothing. You have various types of clothing on your site, men’s shirts, women’s blouses, slacks, and skirts. In a typical ecommerce software configuration, the system will generate a set of title and description tags that are static throughout the site. In this case the title tag might say something like this: “Online clothing store”. The description tag might read like this: “We offer quality clothing at affordable prices”.
The problem is this: search engines rank pages, and not sites, and if each of your product pages contain identical head tags, as described above, you are losing the search engine visibility you would desire for any particular product. For example, the head tags given above would not assist the search engines in ranking a product page for the term “women’s blouses” or “men’s slacks”.
Therefore, an important search engine feature of any ecommerce system would be the ability to customize the head data for each particular product page. This way, each page would contain product-specific information within the head tags, which would then increase the search engine visibility of that particular product for relevant search queries.
In the example above, a product page buried deep within the ecommerce software which was an attractive women’s blouse would contain the following customized head tags:
Title: “women’s blouse womens blouse blouses”
Description: “Hip, sleek and attractive women’s blouse, perfect for casual business environments or a night on the town.”
In this way, search engines are provided much more information on the product in question. The customization of the head tags in this manner would then allow the particular product page to appear high in the search results for relevant queries, such as “women’s blouse” or “women’s blouses”. Again, it is important to remember that search engines rank pages and not sites, therefore each particular product page should be individually optimized for the contents of that page.