How to enable and set-up SEO URLs in OpenCart 3?

Welcome to today's post, which is in high demand right now due to businesses across the UK seeing the value in bulletproof search engine optimisation. Grab a coffee, and work step by step through this handy tutorial on how to enable and set-up SEO URLs in OpenCart 3.

What is an SEO URL?

An SEO URL is generally a shorter, keyword focused and minimalistic version of the standard URL. It aims to be more in sync with the search engine algorithms and actually improves your sites ability to index above the competition.

Why would you need an SEO URL?

If you don’t already see the value in SEO, and you’ve just clicked on this post by mistake, allow us to give you some valid reasons as to why you need to keep reading.

  • If you are analysing your google analytics data, having simple and effective SEO URLs will save you time, as you will easily be able to cross reference the URLs with the product, category or information page on your website.
  • If your website has fully optimised SEO URLs, the indexability of the site will become much stronger which means you’ll have a stronger chance of increasing relevant traffic to your website.
  • It also makes your website look more professional, which can work for you in other areas such as customer satisfaction and trust between business and client.

How do you enable SEO URLs in OpenCart 3?

Log into the Admin panel for your store.

Navigate to the “Systems” tab and then select “Settings” from the drop-down menu, you will then see the screen below.

Edit your store by selecting the icon depicting a white pencil encased within the blue box.

Navigate to the ‘server’ tab, and then select ‘yes’ on ‘enable SEO urls’.

Ensure that you save your work at this point, and then follow the instructions below.

Part II

Edit server file via FTP client such as FileZilla. It should be noted that there is huge risk to your site should you not possess the relevant knowledge. In the future we will release a detailed tutorial however in the meantime please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we would be happy to quote you for this.

Locate the filename titled, ‘.htaccess.txt’, once you have - rename it to ‘.htaccess’.

Your SEO URLs are now enabled, here’s how you create, edit or remove them.

Navigate back to the OpenCart admin panel of your website.

Select Catalog, then from the dropdown menu, navigate to Products.

Edit the product by selecting the icon depicting a white pencil encased within the blue box. In this example we are going to edit the apple cinema 30”. Then select the seo tab.

Input into the keyword section what you want your SEO URL to look like, remember that you can’t use spaces and we wouldn’t recommend using capital letters. It’s also good to make it clear what product/ category you’re referring to in the SEO URL, this will aid your customers who are trying to find specific content.

How to check your SEO URLs via the bulk editor

If you’ve been changing all of the SEO URLs on your website, you may want to check you’ve not missed one accidentally. You can also remove and edit by bulk, your whole store’s URLs.

Locate and select, design, from the dropdown menu select, SEO URL. 

When you are trying to update your SEO URLs, it can often be difficult to reference the product ID numbers, which is what OpenCart references them as to the actual product or category URL you are trying to change.

Edit your SEO URL by selecting the icon depicting a white pencil encased within the blue box.

  • Query, this is the non SEO friendly slug for the URL(note that this is the default OpenCart parameters).
  • Keyword, this is the SEO friendly slug for the URL (note that slugs should feature no spaces, so separate the keywords with hyphens (-)).
  • We recommend keeping your SEO URLs lowercase to match your domain.

Rounding up - What next?

We hope that this tutorial gives real value and insight into how to enable and use SEO URLs in OpenCart 3. If you need help at any point in this process, please get in touch and we will be happy to help. Due to the impacts of the coronavirus disease (COV-19), our preferred method of communication is via [email protected]

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