Sunday, April 13, 2008

Prostores No Homepage Meta tags

Are you one of the Prostores, an eBay company, subscribers who has seen little to non sales from your Prostores webstore?

One major problem could be the lack of homepage meta tags. By Default Prostores does not have the ever important meta tags for your homepage. This is the portal, main entrance to your site. This is the most important page of your site and Prostores has no meta tags supported from the start. With no meta tags to describe your homepage it isn't hard to see why few visitors are coming to your site. As the search engine spiders don't have the extra help given them through meta tags your homepage generally will rank very low if even at all. Meta tags are not the all important determining factor, but they greatly assist the search spiders to thoroughly understand and know what your page is about, thus indexing the page correctly.

You can add meta tags to the most important page of site - your homepage - but it can be a hair pulling experience for those just learning the unique to Prostores SSML code that they use. As this SSML code, as far as we have researched is not used anywhere else, obtaining help via the internet is very very limited.

A search on Prostores discussion board should yield results on what code to use and where to place it to have proper meta tags on your homepage. Chances are this discussion board is the only place you will find help. The code used by Prostores, from what we see is purposely used as to prevent you from actually fully customizing your site. Use php or asp for example and there is virtually unlimited coding help you can find, as well as the ability to take what you learned with you because everyone uses it. Prostores surely doesn't care as they don't even provide the basic fundamental meta tags for your homepage.

Go ahead and become a SSML wizard, your knowledge is only good using Prostores. Ever decide your unsatisfied with them like the many of subscribers are now and what can you do? All the time you spend mastering SSML is wasted and useless as no one else uses it.

One extra note to anyone who changes any coding in the Prostores templates, always keep a copy of your template code before setting a baseline. Prostores terminology for making a backup is setting a baseline which gives you a point to revert back to that you know worked. Often times when making changes like adding the meta tags to your homepage they will work. That is until 4 - 5 months later when you reset a new baseline. Then these coding changes you made to improve your site a few months back mysteriously disappear causing you lots of hair pulling and rework of work you already did. Keep this in mind when making custom code changes.


At 3:47 PM, Anonymous ProStores Guy said...

Here is a great little post on how to address this.

The key point being that with a simple code snippet, you can very easily add meta keywords and a meta description to your ProStores home page and other non-product info pages.

And it should be noted that our product pages dynamically generate meta tags based on product information.

Thanks -
ProStores Guy

At 3:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go ahead and become a SSML wizard, your knowledge is only good using Prostores....All the time you spend mastering SSML is wasted and useless as no one else uses it.

Not that I'm saying ProStores is the solution of all time for EVERYONE entering the ecommerce definitely has its faults/limitations just like just about ANY other ecommerce package (unless you are a master programmer or have a master programmer provide a fully custom solution for you). But it is worth noting that:

A. basic HTML/CSS is used to change most design features such as color, spacing, tables, etc. so you definitely don't have to know SSML to change the appearance of a ProStores storefront
B. SSML is very similar to javascript, and many popular javascripts can be implemented with little or no modifications - obviously, there are quite a few javascript resources available.
C. many other very popular ecommerce packages, such as Miva Merchant, also include their own code languages as well, so it's not like prostores is the only one that includes something like this with their packages.

i, too, was very surprised to find that the main storefront pages did not include meta tags out of the box, especially considering that prostores does already generate meta tags for all of the product pages. but a simple search on the prostores discussion board quickly revealed an easy solution; the discussion board is an extremely valuable prostores resource since many store owners, prostores staff, and certified designers all FREQUENTLY participate.

Ever decide your unsatisfied with them like the many of subscribers are now and what can you do?

you're. (sorry)



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