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Retail Store SEO Recommendations

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by Raintopia, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. Raintopia

    Raintopia Newbie

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    Hey guys

    I'm fairly new to SEO and am still learning the ropes. I have an online shop and would like to know what the best method(s) would be regarding SEO. For eg. Do i concentrate my efforts on category pages rather than product pages as they can be added/removed? If so how would this work regarding keywords?

    Help would be appreciated cheers :)

    Mark
     
  2. Topher

    Topher Registered Member

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    There isn't a cut and dry answer for what you are asking. If you sell products like "1/4 inch blue copper studded nails" it would make more sense to optimize for the category "nail". However, if your category has too much competition i.e IPod. It might make more sense to target longer tail key words like "rubber ipod case". The point here is, your going to have to do your research. Get a list of all your keywords and see what kind of traffic they get and how much competition. Base your decision from your research. There is an ecommerce thread on BHW that has some good info. Search for it. GL
     
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  3. the_demon

    the_demon Jr. Executive VIP

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    I would probably do your SEO in 3 phases.

    1) Root Domain
    2) Category level
    3) Product pages

    You want the link juice to flow from the "core" outward. In theory over time you will need less links to rank your product level pages. Think of wikipedia as a good example. Individual pages rank well because the "core" of the domain is so powerful.
     
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  4. Raintopia

    Raintopia Newbie

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    Hey the_demon, cheers makes sense. For root domain seo, as i cant add keywords to the business name or domain url, do i just concentrate on meta description (although i know that doesn't affect ranking). The front page is categorised so i cant add copy.

    Thanks to Topher too :)

    I tried to pm you demon but im under 15 points.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011
  5. ozone100

    ozone100 Newbie

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    It all depends on how big your site is. If you have a large site with many product pages than I would focus on category pages to a) increase category traffic and b) pass pagerank to product pages. If you have a smaller site than I would link build directly to the product pages (assuming there is search for specific products in your niche). Otherwise stick to focusing on the homepage and category pages.
     
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  6. meatro

    meatro BANNED BANNED

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    Your homepage should definitely be the primary focus of your SEO campaign, as with most. Being an e-commerce site, it's going to be easier to first optimize your homepage and your categories. Your homepage for your main goal (iPod, MP3 Players, etc.) and your categories for what they are.
    Code:
    Homepage
    -- MP3 Players
    ---- iPod
    ------ iPod Touch
    ---- Zune
    ------ Zune 16GB
    -- Accessories
    ---- MP3 Players
    ------ iPod
    -------- iPod Cover
    ------ Zune
    -------- Zune Adapter
    
    or
    
    Homepage
    -- MP3 Players
    ---- iPod
    ------ iPod Touch
    ---- Zune
    ------ Zune 16GB
    ---- Accessories
    ------ iPod
    -------- iPod Cover
    ------ Zune
    -------- Zune Adapter
    
    So of course you're going to optimize your homepage for the place to get MP3 PLAYERS and ACCESSORIES.

    Then optimize your categories for whatever they are. The IPOD or the ZUNE, ACCESSORIES, etc.

    A big part is your navigation, your URLs and your onsite SEO.
    Your navigation should always be user friendly first, but allow for SEF as well. Your navigation should dictate your URLs and everything else that identifies a page, category or product such as titles and breadcrumbs.

    The navigation above dictates the following URL:
    site.com/accessories/mp3-players/zune/zune-adapter
    or
    site.com/mp3-players/accessories/ipod/ipod-cover

    These URLs identify everything. Product, child categories, parent categories. The main thing, they always contain your KEYWORDS. No matter what section of your site they go to, this should contain your keyword.

    The breadcrumbs should mimic the URL.
    Code:
    Home > MP3 Players > iPod > iPod Touch
    Your title should always be the URL/breadcrumbs BACKWARDS. This allows your site to identify itself as well as product pages, especially since product page titles can end up being pretty long.
    Code:
    16GB Zune > Zune > MP3 Players > Your Ecommerce Store
    If that gets above Google's page title cut off limit, a large section of your title will be truncated.
    Code:
    16GB Zune > Zune > MP3 Pla..
    Even if it gets truncated, it contains the KEYWORD for this particular page. :)

    Of course you want each page to be unique in every other possible aspect as well, including the meta description. You should also have a good sitemap. But clearly laying out your navigation, site/URL structure and other identifiers will help Google to navigate your site much better. This will increase the effectiveness of your off-site campaign, link building and whatnot thereby reducing the amount of work you will be required to do. Of course, you should always be increasing your off-site SEO. Just in case; you never know who's lurking in the SERPs.

    Also, I believe a good amount of quality content is just about mandatory on the homepage. I hide some on my site, it's all there, but it's contained in a slider that doesn't slide with nearly clear buttons that don't say anything. Tons of content in those back slides. ;)

    As for optimizing for long tail product keywords, if you're planning on staying a while, I would say wait to see what those should be. Focus now on getting your homepage built up and letting Google navigate your site and get the idea that you're an ecommerce store selling MP3 players and accessories. Once that's been established with Google, knocking down long tail product keywords will happen all day long on its own.. Depending on the competitiveness of your niche and how saturated it is.
     
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  7. superseostar

    superseostar BANNED BANNED

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    I think you should choose long tail keywords for your shop. And Focus on those less competitive keywords that can bring good traffic to your online shop. Don't try to do SEO for competitive keywords that will take you long time to boost them on the first page of google. Good luck with your online shop.
     
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  8. Raintopia

    Raintopia Newbie

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    Wow guys thanks for all the input :)

    One thing that baffles me is how i can incorporate keywords into the main catagory titles. For EG, the main category is 'beanie hats' there's no room for manoeuvre there and i know' beanie hats' is obviously a highly contested keyword. Where do i start with that?

    Is there anyone that would be willing to take a quick look at my site and point me in the general direction.. sorry if that sounds cheeky, i'm still learning.

    Cheers :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2011
  9. Getwhatchuwant

    Getwhatchuwant Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    With a large e commerce site it is almost impossible to optimize for all the products you carry, it is best to keep it general like you would in the real world.

    If you are a hardware store, advertise yourself as a hardware store. You CAN add some popular or rare items to your homepage description.

    So it can look like this: Welcome to Raintopia's hardware store, your best source for the new Decker and Black Turbo jack Hammer.

    You have to make it look real, having hammer, nail, screwdriver etc... in all the Meta on your homepage does not look natural and not what a typical legit business would do.

    But as others have said you then go on to link your products/categories to your main page then your category and product pages.
     
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  10. Raintopia

    Raintopia Newbie

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    Thanks for that. The meta description does not influence Google though does it? I create variation in all my meta descriptions keeping it relevant to the particular category/listing. Is that the right method? Cheers :)
     
  11. Getwhatchuwant

    Getwhatchuwant Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    yes the category meta should reflect what is in that category. While it may not actually affect serps it does alert the search engines as to what that page is about.

    keep in mind that you CAN rank pages even with crappy meta just by back links.

    I have a retail site that I outsource all the work to. I do nothing but market, the downside is I have very little control regarding what the urls say and the meta says. So the meta itself is ok when you click on a category it does say the category in the meta but the url says something like this http://mysite.com/catID#1234 which sucks or SEO but I still manage to rank them by linking and also posting the urls on social networks.

    If you have control of how the url's show up you have a nice lil advantage.
     
  12. Raintopia

    Raintopia Newbie

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    Thats good, all my url's are SEO friendly and relevant to the product. So if i put my researched keywords into the url and the meta description as well as the copy, should that suffice?