Salesforce Commerce Cloud (previously known as Demandware) is a the platform of choice for many of the world’s biggest ecommerce brands, including Adidas, Lacoste and Puma. From an SEO standpoint, the platform can be used highly effectively to eliminate technical issues and optimise landing pages without having to depend on pricey additional development work.
From our work with Salesforce clients, we have developed several strategies around SEO optimization unique to this platform, and identified challenges, especially related to duplication and indexing. Find 2 of our most useful SEO hacks below, related to duplication and page meta tags.
1. Fix duplication issues arising from search refinement functionality
Category landing pages in Commerce Cloud allow for users to refine product selection displayed, according to various search refinements, e.g. size, colour, minimum and maximum price, etc. When users select one or more refinements, additional strings are added to the URLs, potentially adding an infinite amount of new URLs for Google to index, creating duplicate content which harms rankings and waste valuable crawl budget. An easy way to get around this is to disallow Google from accessing search refinement URLs, using the robots.txt file.
To do this, take note of the specific characters added when any refinement is selected, e.g. style/price and then add lines to your robots file (also easily edited in CC backend), preventing robots from accessing these pages. You only need 3-5 lines total to fix this issue, e.g.
Another option is to customize your search refinements so that specific refinements allow for SEO friendly URLs to be generated for colours, sizes and/or styles where necessary. Following from this, you can also use page meta tag rules to customize titles and descriptions, see below.
2. Use Page Meta Tag Rules Effectively
The latest version of Commerce Cloud allows for meta tag rules to be applied to a large number of pages, without having to manually edit on a page by page level.
The meta tags you can implement using the rule functionality include the following:
- Page Title
- Meta Description
- Open Graph
You can also apply these to different types of pages, e.g. Home Page, Product Listing Pages (individual product pages), Product Category Pages and Search Results Pages
Used properly, page meta tag rules can allow you to perform the following tasks:
a) Targeting colour variants for product category pages
Once you have configured URLs for search refinement pages that you DO want indexed, e.g. colour variants, you can create a rule whereby the colour is added to the front of every category page title when a colour is selected.
Title without rule applied: Product Category | Domain
Title with rule applied: Red Product Category | Domain
b) Remove duplicate or unnecessary pages from Google’s index with robots tag
If you find yourself in a situation whereby a number of URLs are appearing in Google’s index that should not be there, e.g. Search Results pages, you can easily remove these from the index by specifying a rule that automatically places a noindex robots tag on all pages that share certain characteristics. Another example where this would be necessary are in cases where the previously mentioned filter pages are being indexed, in spite of being added to the robots file. Using page meta tag rules, you can simply specify that any page with a particular filter/search refinement selected will automatically contain a noindex tag.
This is particularly useful given Google’s recent announcement that noindex directives, (NOT disallow directives), in the robots.txt file will no longer be respected and need to be replaced with a noindex robots tag, on a page by page basis.
If in doubt, chat to a Salesforce SEO expert. At MediaVision, we have developed proven strategies with both developers and ecommerce managers, for maximizing SEO on the platform.
The client below saw over 10% visibility growth following a reduction in duplicate pages and search refinement targeting using page meta tag rules over the course of a year.
Get hold of us on 0845 006 0709 or email now to find out how we can help.