SEO Assessment Physiotherapy Store

21st May 2017no responsesSEO

Homepage redirects to /index.php

Visitors to the homepage are currently redirected to as opposed to index.php. This is unattractive to end users and also means that authority to the homepage is immediately lost upon arriving at the site via leakage.

This can be achieved via redirection rewrites through the htaccess file located in the web hosting root folder.

The appropriate code to use appears to be:

RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^.*/index\.php RewriteRule ^(.*)index.php$ /$1 [R=301,L]

However the following should also work:

RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^.*/index.php RewriteRule ^(.*)index.php$$1 [R=301,L]

Regarding htaccess.

Please note cubecart has built in functionality in the admin section to assist with modifications to the htaccess file. A note of these setting should be made prior to modifications to the htaccess file in order help prevent conflicts.

To use either “Apache Rewrite” or “Apache Directory ‘Lookback’ And ForceType” it is required that a“.htaccess” file is created in the root directory of your store. To do this please open a text editor such as Notepad or TextEdit, copy and paste the contents of the text area opposite into it and save it as“htaccess.txt”. Upload this file to your server and rename it to “.htaccess”.

In order to use htaccess redirects properly the mod_rewrite module for Apache should be enabled. This may involve contacting your web hosting provider.

Remove Meta Keywords Tag

The site currently has the built-in functionality to provide Meta Keywords (As seen in the document source: <meta name=”keywords” content=”” />). This has not currently been utilised however saying that, the meta keyword tag ought to be removed as meta keywords are no longer considered beneficial for SEO purposes. Bing has explicitly stated that it’s considers meta keywords as an indicator of spam websites whilst Google has stated that meta keywords provide little to no benefit for SEO. There does not appear to appear to be an option in the admin section for disabling this functionality, however this may be achieved via extensive modifications to the cubecart core. Modifications to this area are non resilent in nature (get overwritten in the event of site upgrade) and should be approached with alot of care so as to avoid breaking backend functionality. If meta keywords can’t be removed in their entirety; which may well be the case; meta keywords may be utilised to a small degree provided a strong emphasis is placed upon avoiding keyword stuffing.

Global Browser Title

The default title attribute cross site is currently not set. This can be set via the following URL. > Meta Data.

This ideally should be keyword rich and display the company name.

Creation of Image Sitemap

An image sitemap should be created and submitted to Google webmaster tools. This will help enhance site visibility via Google images.

Over use of H1 Tag

Each page should only have one H1 tag and this should pertain to the main topic of each web page. There are currently two instances of H1 on the homepage. This is partially because the site logo is wrapped in a H1 tag. An immediate and easy fix would be remove the H1 tag wrapping the logo/site title and to use the H1 tag for just the page title of each page. This may be achieved via modifications to the main theme template of the site.

IP Location

The website is currently hosted in USA. Google gives favour to websites in the countries where the site is hosted. If a greater frequency of UK based customers is required, then it’s worth considering migrating the site to a UK based hosting provider.

Strip HTML extension

HTML Extensions are unnecessary (unclean) segments of the URL structure that diminish the positive impact of the URL structure (especially in instances where the URL structure is keyword rich). They are also undesirable in terms of a usability perspective.

They are a couple of options for stripping html extensions from the URL’s sitewide:

It can be achieved either via modifications to the htaccess file: Details of which are located at the following URL

or via the use of a 3rd party extension. 3rd party extensions reduce the likelihood of errors being made in terms of implementation , however the reliance upon which, may lead to the possibility of conflicts in terms of unsupported upgrades and the like.

A 3rd party which I’ve found that should resolve this issue is, however please note there is a cost attributed to this product, and is not guaranteed to work with your version of cubecart. The ideal approach would be via modifications to htaccess.

Enable SSL

Google has recently announced that it now favours site which use SSL encryption. As appropriate SSL should be enabled via the admin section of the site.

Enabled SSL should be turned on, alongside force SSL.

Strip Excess Characters From URL extensions

For example: Again this may be achieved through modifications to the htaccess file of the site; however it may be possible to isolate this specific example in the backend of the site; and the + character replaced to the “-” (hyphen) character instead. Hypens are desirable alternative as Google considers them a word separator and thus helps Google understand word pairing in URLs.

Remove Google Verification Meta

The site is currently verified with Google webmaster tools via the use of the <meta name=”google-site-verification” content=”ByAPWBKOgo6mJMqw7mxkvewpPBBM3VT2SfTbgSTjNvk” />  meta tag. In actual fact, there are currently two of these meta tags: One of which I presume is from an old GWT account. These tags should be removed as they have an negative impact of the text/html ratio of the site, and alternatively the site should be verified by the recommended method of FTP verification. Details of which are given in Google webmasters tools and will be provided in the backend of Google Webmaster tools once the verifications tags are removed and verification fails.

Creation of HTML Sitemap

A HTML Sitemap page listing all pages/products on site should be created. This page should be located at and should be linked to from within the site wide footer. This will ensure that all pages are linked to internally within the site, will assist Google in its ability to crawl the site, and will help ensure that all pages onsite are considered credible. The creation of a HTML sitemap is also desirable from a end-user perspective.

Remove HTML Comments

HTML comments are excess code which whilst of use to developers have a negative impact in terms of SEO. <!– content : Stocking Over 7000 product lines offering immediate availability and next working day delivery of 95% of orders received. –>. Any instances of HTML comments should be removed as appropriate. An exception to this is the use of the following snippet which is intended for cross browser compatibility purposes.

<!–[if lt IE 7.0]>

<script defer type=”text/javascript” src=””></script>

<link href=”” rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” /><![endif]–>

<!–[if IE 7.0]>

<link href=”” rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” />

<style type=”text/css”>

#customerPhoneNumber {

font-size: 32px;

top: 105px;




CDN Links for jQuery

The site currently makes use of jQuery. Site loading times can be improved significantly by the use of a Content Delivery Network to deliver the jQuery required on site. A content delivery network provides trusted offsite repositories for common scripts. It’s enables greater security.

jQuery’s CDN provided by MaxCDN

To use the jQuery CDN, just reference the file directly from in the script tag:



<script src=”//”></script><script src=”//”></script>

To see all available files and versions, visit

The CDN reference should replace the following snippet. <script src=”/js/jquery.min.js” type=”text/javascript”></script> It’s likely that this modification needs to be made in the main theme templates of the site.

Combine External JavaScript

There are 11 JavaScript files served from They should be combined into as few files as possible.


Ultimately this would mean creating one (or as few as necessary)JavaScript files and placing the JavaScript from within the other JS documents in there and calling just the new file. As a recommendation I would keep jQuery separate from this new file(remove locally in its entirety) because of the recommendation of using a CDN to provide jQuery content.

Reduce Inline CSS

There are a number of instance where CSS attributes are used inline within the HTML document. Inline styling is a legacy/bad practice approach towards website styling. Ultimately the excess code in the HTML document has a negative impact on the text/html of the site, with more excess code putting down the perceived relevancy of the keywords in the site.

The use of inline CSS also has a detrimental impact on site loading speeds by preventing the parallel loading of HTML alongside CSS assets.

Examples of inline styling include:

<br style=”clear: both;” />

<div style=”font-size: 10px;”>

In instances where inline styling occurs, the offending CSS styles should be removed from the main HTML document and placed in the main CSS (cascading style sheet) of the site instead.

Missing Alt Tags

Whilst a number of alt tags have been added to images site wide; there are a number of instances where they are absent. For example: <a href=”“><img height=”235″ width=”674″ alt=”” src=”/images/uploads/NewProductLarge.jpg” border=”0″ /></a>. Alts tag should be added where absent and should be both meaningful for end users as well as keyword rich.

Move JavaScript to Document Footer

Following the logical progression in the way that web pages are rendered, it’s appropriate that the main document is loaded prior to enhancements such as JavaScript. As such any instances of JavaScript should be moved to the footer of the HTML document. This is ultimately a web design best practice which helps enable the website to load faster. A faster website load time is factor favourable for both end users and search engines.

Tel Markup Contact

In order to enhance user engagement for mobile phone users tel markup may be added to any instances of the contact number onsite. Tel mark-up means that the contact number is marked up in a format the search engines can understand and also enables onclick functionality for Skype, Mobile phones etc. thus enhancing the user experience.

Minify HTML

In order to boost site loading time and to positively impact the text/html ratio of the site, Document HTML should be compressed. This ultimately means stripping excess characters like spacing out of the site. This aspect can be achieved by copying and replacing template source html and using it in a tool such as

Special considerations need to made to avoid minifying PHP and JavaScript alongside the HTML, as minifying non HTML elements may break JS/PHP functionality.

CSS Issues
There are a couple of CSS issues whereby if product descriptions are too long they skew the layout of the results page. From a consumer perspective this should be resolved.

There are a number of instances of display:none; used within the CSS of the site. These should be avoided wherever possible as display:none is considered by Google as indicative of keyword cloaking.

Leverage browser caching

In order to speed up site loading times browser caching should be leveraged. This involves making modifications to the htaccess file of the site. The following code should be added to the htaccess file:

<IfModule mod_expires.c>
ExpiresActive On
ExpiresByType image/jpg “access 1 year”
ExpiresByType image/jpeg “access 1 year”
ExpiresByType image/gif “access 1 year”
ExpiresByType image/png “access 1 year”
ExpiresByType text/css “access 1 month”
ExpiresByType text/html “access 1 month”
ExpiresByType application/pdf “access 1 month”
ExpiresByType text/x-javascript “access 1 month”
ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash “access 1 month”
ExpiresByType image/x-icon “access 1 year”
ExpiresDefault “access 1 month”

Details of this functionality is detailed here:

Address Mark-up

The address contact details should be marked up with <address>Address here</address> in order to help the site achieve greater relevancy in localised search queries.

Addition of Google Plus, Facebook Likes etc.

Considering that Google now uses social signals as a factor in ranking websites, it’s appropriate to add Social sharing and like buttons to each page of the site (as well as products). This will also help enhance user engagement as well as social exposure towards the brand. There are quite a few cubecart modules publically available that could be used in order to implement the integration of this aspect.

Conversion Recommendations

In order to boost conversion rates, it’s recommended to add social proof in the form of site wide accreditations from external Government or Professional bodies. These may be added as images to the sidebar or site footer. The greater the number of authoritative endorsements the greater the likelihood of end users purchasing your products.

Author: Peter Wootton

Top Ranking SEO Expert & Consultant - Ranked Top On Google For "SEO Manchester". Specialist in Technical SEO.

No Comments on SEO Assessment Physiotherapy Store

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