SEO Best Practices

URL Best Practices

Salesforce recommends the following actions when constructing storefront URLs optimized for external search engines:
  • Create URLs that are 70 characters or less.
  • Use name attributes, rather than ID attributes, as they are more meaningful.
  • Use encoding to manage non-alphanumeric characters.
  • Specify a trailing slash for all URLs, so that search engines do not penalize you for having URLs with and without trailing slashes that both point to the same content.
  • Include the name of your business in all URLs.
  • Use the description meta tag correctly so that Google can create search snippets for products. Descriptions should be:
    • unique
    • contain some keywords, but not overuse them
    • be relevant and specific to page content
    • be 156 characters or less
  • Create canonical URLs for variation products.
  • Don't use odd capitalization of URLs (lowercase preferred). This includes your company name, if it normally includes mixed case.
  • Don't have pages from subdomains and the root domain access the same content. For example, don't have domain.com/page.htm and sub.domain.com/page.htm contain the same content.
  • Create redirects if parts of the URL are removed.
  • Make links in the page meaningful and unique.
  • Have categories in the URL only nested two or three levels deep. This is accomplished by flattening your site navigation where possible.

General SEO Best Practices

Salesforce recommends the following SEO best practices:

  • Learn, understand, and stay current with SEO trends.
  • Follow the recommended process for keyword maintenance.
  • Continually create content in support of your merchandise.
  • Give careful consideration to your site copy to ensure that relevant terms and keywords are well represented.
  • Don't focus on just one search engine, take a multi-pronged approach.
  • Take advantage of all the free tools on the market.
  • Identify where paid-for subscriptions and tools can provide real value and time savings.
  • Don't forget PPC in your search marketing strategy.
  • Rationalize use of Flash and other dynamic site elements; employ workarounds to support spider crawling. Consider including parallel pages and flows using traditional HTML that can be indexed. This lets the content be indexed, even if it's in a format that is not normally indexable. For example, if you have a flash presentation of your new fall line, you might want to create a dummy HTML page that is indexable, contains the correct keywords for your flash presentation, and that redirects the user to the flash presentation if presented as a search result by Google.
  • Use HTML tags correctly. Google and other search engines prefer you use semantically meaningful code, such as h1 or other heading tags that are used to present important information, rather than to create style effects. If you use headings, lists, and other HTML tags to convey information about the significance of the text and confine styling to your CSS, you produce cleaner code with a better SEO ranking.
  • Generally, construct URLs that are brief and meaningful.
  • Consider adding canonical URLs.

See also Common SEO Pitfalls.

Content-Creation Best Practices

Commerce Cloud generally recommends using a CSS file for a consistent and sophisticated look and feel. Using CSS along with clean tagging also has SEO benefits, which are described below. The toolbar adds formatting through span styles, which are not optimal for SEO. Commerce Cloud has several recommendations about how you tag content that can improve the SEO results for your content and create cleaner, more maintainable code.

HTML5

If you are using HTML5, Commerce Cloud has the following recommendations for coding content:
  • Control the look and feel of your content through CSS, not through the selection of HTML tags. The HTML tags should reflect how important content is, not how it should look. External search engines use tags to determine what content is most important for your page, so if you use tags in a meaningful way, your SEO results improve.
  • Use tags in the following ways:
    Tag Usage
    b Text that should stand out, but has no greater importance than the rest of the text.
    cite Book titles or other published media.
    em Text in an alternate voice or mood that should be emphasized by screen readers or other interpretive devices. This improves the experience for blind customers or other customers that need to use screen readers to access your storefront.
    i Text that is in an alternate voice or mood, but has no greater importance than the rest of the text. For example, a phrase in a foreign language or the Latin taxonomy of a plant or animal.
    strong Text that should stand out, and which has greater significance than other text. For example, the name of a sale, the name of a product or brand, or a keyword for the page.

HTML4 or Earlier

If you are using HTML4 or earlier, Salesforce B2C Commerce has the following recommendations for coding content: