Step-by-Step Guide to Implement SEO-Friendly URLs in Opencart

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Opencart is a renowned open-source e-commerce solution that allows businesses to create and manage their online stores effortlessly. One essential aspect of online success is search engine optimization (SEO), which involves optimizing various elements of your website to improve its visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). One crucial factor in SEO is URL structure, as it plays a significant role in attracting both search engines and potential customers to your website. In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide to implementing SEO-friendly URLs in Opencart.

1. Enable SEO URLs in Opencart:
The first step is to enable SEO URLs in your Opencart store. To do this, log in to your Opencart admin panel and navigate to System > Settings > Edit. Choose the Server tab and enable the Use SEO URLs option. Save your changes.

2. Modify the .htaccess file:
Next, you need to modify the .htaccess file located in the root directory of your Opencart installation. This file is responsible for configuring URL rewriting on your server. Download the .htaccess file from your Opencart installation and open it using a text editor.

3. Replace the default code:
Within the .htaccess file, locate the section that starts with “# SEO URL Settings.” Replace the default code in this section with the following:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^sitemap.xml$ index.php?route=feed/google_sitemap [L]
RewriteRule ^googlebase.xml$ index.php?route=feed/google_base [L]
RewriteRule ^system/storage/(.*) index.php?route=error/not_found [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !.*\.(ico|gif|jpg|jpeg|png|js|css)
RewriteRule ^([^?]*) index.php?_route_=$1 [L,QSA]

4. Save and upload the file:
After modifying the .htaccess file, save it and upload it back to the root directory of your Opencart installation. Make sure to overwrite the existing .htaccess file.

5. Update the SEO Keyword for categories and products:
Now, it’s time to update the SEO Keywords for your categories and products in Opencart. Log in to your Opencart admin panel and navigate to Catalog > Categories. Select a category, and in the SEO Keyword field, enter a search engine friendly URL for that category. Repeat this process for all categories and products in your store.

6. Test the SEO URLs:
To ensure that the SEO URLs are functioning correctly, open a web browser and navigate to your Opencart store. Visit a category or product page using the SEO URL you configured earlier. If everything is set up correctly, you should be able to access the page without any issues.

7. Submit the new sitemap to search engines:
After implementing SEO-friendly URLs in Opencart, you should update your sitemap and submit it to search engines. A sitemap serves as a roadmap for search engines, ensuring that they can crawl and index your website more efficiently. Use a sitemap generator tool or a dedicated Opencart extension to create a sitemap and submit it to search engines like Google and Bing.

In conclusion, implementing SEO-friendly URLs in Opencart is a crucial step for optimizing your online store for search engines. By following this step-by-step guide, you can enhance your website’s visibility and improve your chances of attracting organic traffic. Remember to regularly monitor your website’s performance and make necessary adjustments to your SEO strategy to ensure long-term success.