Google Rich Snippets – SEO Structured Data (microdata) for OpenCart
OpenCart is a great free, open source PHP cart software.
Unfortunately it’s quite thin with regards to new SEO techniques.
This add-on will solve the lack of structured data (microdata) and will enable you to show rich snippets for your links to products inside the Goggle’s (and other search engines) results.
Please note the fact that using this module does not automatically mean links to your products will show rich snippets immediately. Google takes its time to show this and the introduction of rich snippets for your website’s products depends on more factors (such as domain authority, time since your site is technically ready for rich snippets, etc.).
Installation is easy and the script comes with full instructions.
There is no need to modify any core files. The script is a vQmod XML.
What the script does
Google Rich Snippets – SEO Structured Microdata adds small pieces of coded information to your product pages.
This kind of information is known as structured data (or microdata) and it helps build snippets for your products in search results and build better contextual search results.
This is very effective for SEO itself and for click through rates.
If you would like to see an example of the effectiveness for a small ecommerce site take a look at the picture that I shared here:
(you don’t need a dropbox account, just close the message that invites you to create one)
For that site I installed this exact add-on at the beginning of September. You can see how the traffic goes up.
Example of snippets:
- Breadcrumbs data (structure)
- Stock level
- Reviews (aggregated)
… all directly inside the search engine result.
The following info is passed to search engines:
- Product name
- Product image (thumb)
- Product description (automatically shortened)
- Product model
- Aggregated rating (worst rating, best rating, number of reviews)
- Price (and currency in ISO code)
- Special price (if special)
- Seller (what is defined as shop owner)
- Condition (set manually to “new”)
- Availability (stock)
RDFA Data (XMLNS class):
- Breadcrumb data (where the product is in the structure of your site)
How to install
Before installing, make sure you have vqmod installed.
It’s easy to install and is required for almost all OpenCart plugins.
If you don’t already have it, it can be downloaded here: https://code.google.com/p/vqmod/
- Unzip the provided zip file file on your computer
- Use your FTP client to copy the xml file inside the initial zip (that you unzipped at point to your vqmod/xml/ directory
The script will start working immediately after one of the product pages is accessed with the browser.
Since it does not need to do complex searches (like other plugins on the same topic) it should work with most themes. It basically just adds data, doesn’t remove or replace anything and doesn’t touch your core files.
Tested on Open Cart 126.96.36.199 with Default and Sellya theme.
To test the script’s functionality:
- Go to this page (it’s Google’s own testing tool):
- Click on “Fetch URL”
- Enter the URL of one of your product pages (not the shop ULR, not a category or subcategory URL)
- Click “Fetch & Validate”
- If it is working in the right pane you should see at least 3 categories:
a. Product (1) – all good (with green)
b. Breadcrumb (a number showing the link depth with regards to the structure of your site) – all good (with green)
c. Custom Search Result Filters
If it is not working you will only see point c. – Custom Search Result Filters
Note: If you have no reviews for the product you tested with it is normal to see an error in the review section. It only means that it will start pushing review structured data once you get your first review for that particular product
If the script doesn’t seem to be working correctly, please try the following steps:
- Make sure you’re using OpenCart version 1.5.6.x
- Check /vqmod/logs/xxxx.log (where the xxxx is the current day of the week). Often helpful error messages can appear here.
- Make sure vqmod is properly installed, that /vqmod/logs, /vqmod/vqcache, and /vqmod/mods.cache have 777 world-writable permissions. Additionally load http://www.yoursite.com/vqmod/install in a browser to make sure it’s properly installed.
- Try clearing the vqmod cache by deleting all files in /vqmod/vqcache. Additionally clear your browser cache before reloading.
- Occasionally, poorly written modules can conflict with Google Rich Snippets – SEO Structured Microdata.
To see if this is the case, create a folder /vqmod/xml/disabled and move ALL of the XML files into it with the exception of the provided xml file and vqmod_opencart.xml.
If Google Rich Snippets – SEO Structured Microdata starts working, you can move each of the XML files back one by one until you find the module causing the conflict.
You can then disable only this module.
Due to the low price of the script (of which the author only receives a part), in-depth support is not always available, but if you have any questions, suggestions or bug reports, you can message me using envato’s messaging system.
For bug reports, please include the relevant log file from /vqmod/logs