OK, this blog today is one for all of the international OpenCart store owners who want to target their store specifically for international markets. With Google’s updates and the general war against SEO, it has actually become very difficult to target OpenCart against specific countries whilst maintaining a good search ranking in all of them.
For example, say you have an OpenCart store on gb.mystore.com which targets people in the United Kingdom, but you have another store on fr.mystore.com which targets French customers instead. Many people would believe, with the Google Panda update in mind, that you would need to rewrite the entire site with fresh content otherwise you would incur a duplicate content penalty from the Search Engines.
This isn’t true.
Of course you will need to translate the text properly (and I recommend you use a proper translator rather than using something like Google Translate ) so that your customers will feel at home in it but it can still be the same content as your GB store.
Optimising Your OpenCart Store For International SEO
All you need to do is tell google that the content is duplicated here in another language because you are targeting a different demographic, you will need to put a into the OpenCart header of your French store which looks something like:
I would recommend always linking back to the English alternate if you can as this is Google’s primary language (or at least the language it most widely supports) and it keeps it neat if everything links back to one. This tells Google that there is an alternate version of the content, explains why and allows it to choose which version to show. Most likely if someone is searching for something on www.google.fr it will show up the fr.mystore.com version of the page rather than the english one so you can continue to target your store for the same keywords across different countries.
Adding Your Link Code To The OpenCart Header
You will need to add the code to the OpenCart header which can be found at:
- catalog/view/theme/[YOUR THEME]/template/common/header.tpl
From a marketing point of view, I would always advise having different landing pages for different demographics, especially cross-country, so your content should change marginally and perhaps only the product descriptions are the things which stay largely the same. But make sure the link is displayed on all versions anyway!