SEO Tips

Exclude zenid query parameter from your Google Analytics to get better site reports

To track the customers and save their information, Zencart utilizes cookie and session. You will see Zencart usually automatically appends a random string to the end of your links on the very first page of your visit to your site.

For example, if you are not on your website now and you open it in a new window, you will the links look like this:

If set up correctly, when you click on one of those links, on the next page load you will see all link appear without the zenid string. Also, if set up correctly, those links with zenid appended to them should never be displayed to search engine (check your settings under Admin-Configuration: Prevent spider sessions should be set to True).

However, that setting does not prevent zenid appears in some of your reports you get from Google Analytics however (assume that you use G.A). For example, if you check your “site overlay” you might be in for a surprise, most of your links might have a 0% click rate, and you know this cannot be true. If you look closer, however, you will discover that the zenid is in those links. This perhaps can be explained by 2 reasons:

1. Although zenid is never shown to search engine spiders, it does get shown to normal visitors for the reason given above.
2. In any case, the links with zenid are recorded by Google Analytics and since each customer is assigned a different zenid per visit session, the links then appear to be different links

(from Google Analytics point of view, the 2 links above are totally different)

The cure to this is surprisingly easy. Google knows that some parameter(s) in your links should be ignored, and it allows you to do so by the Exclude query parameters setting which only takes a few minutes to do. For all Zencart store, zenid the one you MUST exclude, and depend on the customization you have done on your store you may decide to exclude some other params as well.

I hope this info will help you to use G.A more effectively in the future.

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Using SEO in Press Releases for Small Business Exposure

At this point in Internet commerce SEO has become one of the number one methods used to market small businesses, websites, and forums. Keyword rich articles are found all over the net, blog posts are often written as spam posts for anchor links, and even medium and large businesses have begun taking advantage of this new form of backlinking.

Quite often it is misused, which makes many people wary of using there backlinks. This is why it is not only crucial to take care in using effective content to host such links, but in finding more creative ways to get them out onto the Internet. Using press releases is a great way to do this legitimately, and have those press releases picked up for mass distribution.

Press Release

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Best use of top level domain for multinational businesses

A top-level domain or domain name (TLD) is the highest level of domain names in the root zone of the Domain Name System of the Internet. For all domains in lower levels, it is the last part of the domain name, that is, the label that follows the last dot of a fully qualified domain name. For example, in the domain name, the top-level domain is com, or COM, as domain names are not case-sensitive (Wikipedia). There has been a continuing problem with the Internet in recent years, and that problem is trying to figure out exactly what TLD’s should be used for what type of website. For many people this doesn’t matter to them, other than the inconvenience of trying to remember whether is a .com (a TLD once meant for businesses), a .org (a TLD once used for non-profit organizations), and an International domain, such as .cn, .ca., .ly, or a multitude of others.

In the end the whole process of using a specific TLD in a URL has become a moot point…no one actually pays attention to the original meanings, and just buys whatever domain they feel will be most profitable for their venture. But skipping away from the usual Internet users, let’s look at the people that this problem does effect: those that are looking to create a site full of content that is available on an International scale, but easily picked up by search engines.

This is where the real problem begins. There are three different options you have in this situation, and each one has it’s up and downsides. In the end, you have to look at the three choices you have and decide which one will end up being most beneficial to your situation and desires. Keep in mind that no one will offer you the perfect solution, and that is just an unfortunate consequence of using International content for SEO. But you can create major improvements, which is still all you can hope for in most facets of SEO.

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Move your Zencart store to a new domain/subfolder – SEO Tip

This is a very common issue, as much as you would try to avoid doing it, sometimes you have to move your zencart folder somewhere else, either to a new subfolder or to a new domain. In such cases, it is very important to redirect all visits to the old links to the new locations.

Below is a nice snippet that will help you accomplish the dirty job.

// index.php on old site
// Get the requested page and redirect to new site url
// from skipwater - yellow1912 - gjh42 20081213
   $new_domain = ""; // if you do not change domain, simply enter the current domain here
    * example 1:
    * site: -> $new_store_path = "";
    * example 2:
    * site: -> $new_store_path = "sub1/sub2/";
    * example 3:
    * site: -> $new_store_path = "sub1/";

   $new_store_path = "store/";
   // do not edit code below
   $request_type = ((isset($_SERVER['HTTPS']) && strtolower($_SERVER['HTTPS']) == 'on') || (isset($_SERVER['HTTPS']) && $_SERVER['HTTPS'] == '1') || (isset($_SERVER['HTTP_X_FORWARDED_BY']) && strstr(strtoupper($_SERVER['HTTP_X_FORWARDED_BY']),'SSL')) || (isset($_SERVER['HTTP_X_FORWARDED_HOST']) &&  strstr(strtoupper($_SERVER['HTTP_X_FORWARDED_HOST']),'SSL')) || (isset($_SERVER['SCRIPT_URI']) && strtolower(substr($_SERVER['SCRIPT_URI'], 0, 6)) == 'https:') || (isset($_SERVER['SERVER_PORT']) && $_SERVER['SERVER_PORT'] == '443' )   )  ? 'http' : 'https';
   $qstring = ($_SERVER['QUERY_STRING'] != '') ? '?'.$_SERVER['QUERY_STRING'] : '';
   header('HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently');
   header("Location: {$request_type}://{$new_domain}/{$new_store_path}{$qstring}");

Place the snippet above in your oldsite/path-to-zencart/index.php (you should rename the current index.php to index.php.back and create a new index.php file just for this purpose).

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Add your url to the content people copy from you – great for SEO

The number one signal that search engines use to determine how relevant your site is, and therefore how high your site ranks, is the number and quality of links that link back to your site. Tracer automatically adds a link back to your site when content is copied and pasted. When your content is pasted onto a blog, Twitter, or another web site it has a direct impact on your search ranking.

By seeing what words and phrases users are copying from your site you can better understand how you might select your keywords, meta-tags, tags, and even AdWords.

Also, is an increasingly popular place for people to find interesting web sites and content and generates visits to your site when content is copied. (Read more:

A Screen Shot of Tynt's Analytics dashboard

You just have to place one single of line of Javascript on your web pages, and whenever a copy action occurs, Tynt’s software tracks it, records it in your Tynt analytics and places a link back to your site in the “pasted” version, all done automatically. While some people will still remove that link manually, the automatically added link makes it easier for attributors who want to give you back links (credit links) to do so. As your content flies around the web, so will your links.

Try it to day at

(By the way, I have just installed Tynt on our blog and site as well)

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Search Engine Optimization’s useful “toy”: Wordle

I have recently found Wordle, “a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.”

Wordle generated tag cloud of this post

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