Post by rog_ashbury » Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:29 am

Version 1.4.8

Two web sites:

http://www.lyndoe.com
http://www.shredders-uk.com

I've used SE friendly URLs but since I changed from my old Perl based sites to OpenCart both sites are now almost invisible in Google whereas my old sites were very high and I mean 1st/2nd page for many search terms.

This is killing my business. One big problem I have is that for shredders for example I used to have a web page for each manufacturer. Now I can't because there's no way of including them AFAIK in the OpenCart google site map feed. And my 'SE friendly' manufacturers pages that OpenCart generates just don't seem to cut it with Google. For example, a search for Ideal shredders used to find my old site on page 1 of Google and I got a lot of business from it - now I don't appear at all despite being indexed apparently.

This has set my business back years - I have nice looking sites but potential customers can't find me.

What do I need to do?

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Post by Moggin » Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:42 am

I don't know the answers, not being an SEO guru, but some first thoughts:

1. The SEO URLS have spaces in them, which are being translated as %20 in the address bar. No idea if this affects Google's ranking, but replacing the spaces with dashes will make the URLs more readable

2. 'Content is king', the usual mantra - we learnt this by accident, with a prehistoric but high-ranking website.

So for the shredder website, perhaps try repeating the word 'shredder' and the manufacturer's name as often as possible. Eg,

Category Name - Personal/Home Office Shredders
AURORA AS6185B Shredder (product name)

- and in the product description, add a heading which repeats the product name again, say as an <h3> item or in bold:

AURORA AS6185B Shredder

(- and to pile it on, repeat it in the description..)

"The AURORA AS6185B Shredder features include <rest of description>"

...it's kind of repetitive but maybe it'll help. Maybe the manufacturer name should say 'Aurora Shredders' too - while 'Fellowes' is instantly recognisable, Aurora and Ideal are generic brand names that could apply to bathrooms as much as office equipment. :)

The meta description field also needs as much detail as you can muster (though we've yet to do this ourselves, so maybe we're not the best example...)

I hope this will help a little, though it doesn't itself explain why the older site got better ranking. Is there anything else about the old site that is different, that might give a clue?

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Post by i2Paq » Thu Dec 09, 2010 7:40 pm

I have an old osCommerce store and osCommerce is know for its bad SEO.

I have no SEO urls but my content is unique and Google finds me perfect.
Personally I think that SEO urls are highly overrated and seen as the "magic" thing to get the highest Google ranking possible.

Make sure your content is unique and to the point.Do not use the same content for every product you sell.

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Post by Moggin » Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:44 pm

@rog - as a PS, the Ideal manufacturer page lists 20 shredders on page one, but only says 'shredder' in 3-4 places
http://www.shredders-uk.com/ideal%20shredders

So Google may be indexing the generic, common word 'ideal' on this page, not really linking it to the word 'shredder'.

Whereas adding the word 'shredder' per the suggestions above would load the page with 25+ instances of Ideal Shredder! - and leave customers/search engines in no doubt that this is the site for Ideal Shredders. :)

It's strange, but we too were half-way through entering titles/model numbers for our products, before realising we hadn't entered the TYPE of product we sell. :D

- For reference, Google have updated their PDF on search engine optimisation
http://static.googleusercontent.com/ext ... -guide.pdf

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Post by rog_ashbury » Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:21 pm

Mogg, you've mentioned what I touched on in my original post. A big problem with Opencart is that the pages that come up when you click on the brand links only consist of a list of product links. You can't have a separate image in them or any text eg along the lines of what you can put in the category pages which would give you an opportunity to get some key words in for the SEs to latch onto. This is a big failing I think. I presume that if you added your own brand pages (a) they might conflict with the ones generated by OpenCart and (b) you couldn't get them into your Google site map feed anyway.

I think your suggestion of loading names/descriptions with key words is an excellent one and I've already started doing that in my external spreadsheet so that's a start. But I'm getting a bit worried now as I changed both sites over to OpenCart at the end of the Summer thinking I'd be well placed for the return of business in the Autumn and the sites are actually performing worse in the search engines now than the old ones they replaced were. And unfortunately I've deleted those ???

Roger

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Post by Xsecrets » Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:30 pm

rog_ashbury wrote:Mogg, you've mentioned what I touched on in my original post. A big problem with Opencart is that the pages that come up when you click on the brand links only consist of a list of product links. You can't have a separate image in them or any text eg along the lines of what you can put in the category pages which would give you an opportunity to get some key words in for the SEs to latch onto. This is a big failing I think. I presume that if you added your own brand pages (a) they might conflict with the ones generated by OpenCart and (b) you couldn't get them into your Google site map feed anyway.

I think your suggestion of loading names/descriptions with key words is an excellent one and I've already started doing that in my external spreadsheet so that's a start. But I'm getting a bit worried now as I changed both sites over to OpenCart at the end of the Summer thinking I'd be well placed for the return of business in the Autumn and the sites are actually performing worse in the search engines now than the old ones they replaced were. And unfortunately I've deleted those ???

Roger
yes the manufacturers are going to change in 1.5 I believe they are getting a landing page like the categories, but I'm not sure I just know they are changing.

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Post by rog_ashbury » Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:30 am

That will be a great help I think.

Something I've found - if you put the term 'discount shredders' into Google which I've modified my template to put into the heading of my home page (Discount Shredders from 10 Top Manufacturers) then my web site comes top of page 1 on Google after the paid for ads!

So the site is indexed and ranking very high in Google for certain terms - but not terms that are on most of my OpenCart product and other pages. There's something about my OpenCart set up that is not cutting it with the SEs and I need to find out what it is. I've now added the word 'Shredder' or 'Shredders' to my manufacturers and product names as suggested by Mogg and I think that'll help. But I don't think it'll completely do the trick somehow, although you never know. The manufacturer landing pages will be good though.

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Post by jayman » Mon Dec 13, 2010 8:37 am

First google is seeing your site as new which does not give anybody pull or weight in the search. You may find a new site ranking well for some terms but after the honeymoon period of a couple of weeks google ranks the site accordingly. Google factors url age a lot in it's ranking, first thing I would do is fix your urls get the spaces out and put dashes or underscores. Second would be writing unique content about each manufacturer in your information pages ex. give each manufacturer it's own link. Three add a little bit more text in the product descriptions not just the descriptions from the manufacturer as you are obviously competing with them and sites like ebay and amazon.

The last piece of advice which should have been thought of before moving an established site that has high ranking, is to 301 redirect all of your old urls to the new ones and you would have never lost your ranking at all. That's what killed the site not opencart seo urls. Another piece of info is change the link name of "links" on the right hand side of your site to something like friends or partners, google does not usually give any weight to pages with that term to get away from link farms and such. I personally when doing seo for my sites and looking for potential new links avoid site that have a page called links as it will do either one of us any good.

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Post by Moggin » Mon Dec 13, 2010 8:55 am

Some intelligent suggestions here, which will help all of us. Thanks, jayman.

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Post by rog_ashbury » Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:42 pm

Hey, that links is a hack. Don't know where it came from and it shouldn't be there. I've now removed it and it's a bit worrying because there's obviously a door somewhere for hackers to get through.

I'm working through the rest of the suggestions plus other ideas I've had to clean up the URL structure in the hope that that will help. I did a 301 general redirect from the old site to the new but it obviously wasn't enough.

I think it will definitely be a big help when the manufacturers have their own landing pages.

Thanks for the help everyone and any more ideas, please keep them coming as I'm grateful for everything and admit I've got a lot to learn.

Roger

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Post by rog_ashbury » Wed Dec 15, 2010 12:19 am

Something I've noticed about manufacturers that isn't helping at all

If I enter a manufacturer as Aurora Shredders, it's products show as per the following example

{website name}/aurora%20shredders/Aurora_AS610-C4_personal_shredder

However, if I enter the manufacturer as simply Aurora (ie single word), the name disappears completely as far as SEs are concerned and products then show as follows

{website name}/Aurora_AS610-C4_personal_shredder?manufacturer_id=7

If possible, I think this is something that needs to be corrected ie when the manufacturer's name is a single word it still needs to appear in the 'SEO friendly' URL string. This must be a reason why some 'juice' is being lost in the search engines. It would also be nice as well, and I know it's an extra field, if we could have two versions of the manufacturer's name, the version that appears on the Home page eg Aurora Shredders and the seo keyword version ie aurora_shredders so we can choose to get rid of the %20 spaces, although that's not really critical I'd have thought.

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Post by SapporoGuy » Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:26 am

I just did the manufacturer description patch and am working on making the manufacturer more like products/categories.

I am going to step up and say that the manufacturers need to be more than just some place to say that we sell "P&G" products here. The reason is that their are some shops that don't need manufacturers but could with a little help turn that part of the code into something more useful for their shop. I'm gonna use my manufacturers as a per area/state/province filter search type of thing. Still working on it but I also just a post that a user was thinking of using the manufacturers color variations.

so, to prevent bloat, the manufacturer area should be thought a bit more and expanded upon.

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Post by rog_ashbury » Thu Dec 23, 2010 6:12 am

Good news and I'm very grateful for all the effort that goes into OpenCart behind the scenes. I wish I could do something to help but I wouldn't know where to start and you have my admiration.

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Post by SapporoGuy » Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:58 pm

OH, there's lots that you can help with!

1.) easiest -- donations to the developer(s) of opencart.
2.) help people out here at the forums. You'd be amazed by the amount that you can chip on just by being a user
3.) provide ideas and comments

It's not just about money or code. I really do believe that helping at the forums is a big part. Especially when you consider the amount of time that a developer can devote to code versus answering similar questions all the time.

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Post by Winthrop » Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:32 pm

this mostly happens to the flash sites .
are you using flash site ?

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