Jump to content



Photo
- - - - -

SEO and Website Themes the big companies are doing now.

seo marketing themes templates

  • Please log in to reply
23 replies to this topic

#1   discxpress

discxpress
  • Members
  • 526 posts
  • Real Name:Lecarl Butler
  • Gender:Male

Posted 20 December 2016 - 05:40

Hello,

 

As I browse around the internet looking at websites of the major players, I notice a few things they all have in common. I haven't done anything with OSCommerce in a while but I thought about the SEO discussions and decided to post.

 

One is how their headers are set up. Search in the middle, logo to the left and something administrative or special to the right. I know that's not too exciting for some of you. And they all have a very special deal at the very top. Seems like that's where they "set the tone" if you will. From what I'm seeing, not much investment goes into rest of these multi-million dollar websites. Headers are dazzling but the rest is not so.

 

Another is they invest much in banners and pictures. All I see are large banners that capture theme or an ongoing special. Also, themed images for categories also. Click on the categories and see a lot of product pictures and prices. That's it. With those images they are X-selling and upselling. And yes a huge banner at the top of every category.

 

Finally, I notice a network of internal linking and ratings stars.

 

I do realize everything I mentioned been important for on-page seo but there's more emphasis on them now than ever. So I guess that's the trending content structure for large e-commerce sites. There's nothing major when it comes to the literature side of content but there's a lot going into the visual aspects.

 

What do you guys think?


Edited by discxpress, 20 December 2016 - 05:43.


#2   MrPhil

MrPhil
  • Members
  • 7,016 posts
  • Real Name:Phil
  • Gender:Male

Posted 20 December 2016 - 15:28

Some thoughts:

 

It's always been important to have your most important content "above the fold" (visible without scrolling), and on the left (minimize L/R scrolling). The upper left is the "sweet spot" that first catches the eye. Put less important stuff (admin, etc.) down the page and to the right, but be careful not to get your important keywords too deep into the page.

 

I guess they assume everyone these days has either broadband or unlimited data plans. Pushing out huge images and banners may be eye candy for people attracted to bright and shiny things, but for those paying by the byte, or still on slow connections, that's a way to lose customers. Maybe sites figure they can afford to lose such people, if it results in higher sales overall, or maybe they've just forgotten the basic principles. If you miss the huge Flash animations and loud music of yesteryear, don't worry -- they'll be back :(. Data always expands to fill the pipe.

 

I wonder if there are any "adaptive" libraries that sense connection speeds and send a minimal page on low bandwidth connections?

 

Cross selling and upselling are important for any business, but it's not good to look pushy and greedy. That turns off most customers. Internal navigation must be intuitive and somewhat redundant (e.g., "next page" button available in several expected places).

 

Have you had a chance to look at the internals of these pages? Are they responsive or otherwise mobile-friendly? Are they using CSS-driven layout rather than tables? Do they put the most important text (keyword heavy) at the beginning of the page, and use CSS to position it arbitrarily? Finally, is there yet a push towards all-https sites, as even a minor ranking improvement could be well worth the cost?



#3   discxpress

discxpress
  • Members
  • 526 posts
  • Real Name:Lecarl Butler
  • Gender:Male

Posted 20 December 2016 - 19:59

Some thoughts:

 

It's always been important to have your most important content "above the fold" (visible without scrolling), and on the left (minimize L/R scrolling). The upper left is the "sweet spot" that first catches the eye. Put less important stuff (admin, etc.) down the page and to the right, but be careful not to get your important keywords too deep into the page.

 

I guess they assume everyone these days has either broadband or unlimited data plans. Pushing out huge images and banners may be eye candy for people attracted to bright and shiny things, but for those paying by the byte, or still on slow connections, that's a way to lose customers. Maybe sites figure they can afford to lose such people, if it results in higher sales overall, or maybe they've just forgotten the basic principles. If you miss the huge Flash animations and loud music of yesteryear, don't worry -- they'll be back :(. Data always expands to fill the pipe.

 

I wonder if there are any "adaptive" libraries that sense connection speeds and send a minimal page on low bandwidth connections?

 

Cross selling and upselling are important for any business, but it's not good to look pushy and greedy. That turns off most customers. Internal navigation must be intuitive and somewhat redundant (e.g., "next page" button available in several expected places).

 

Have you had a chance to look at the internals of these pages? Are they responsive or otherwise mobile-friendly? Are they using CSS-driven layout rather than tables? Do they put the most important text (keyword heavy) at the beginning of the page, and use CSS to position it arbitrarily? Finally, is there yet a push towards all-https sites, as even a minor ranking improvement could be well worth the cost?

@MrPhil

 

You raise some very interesting points. Yes they begin their branding to the sub-conscious with the logo, then the search bar and maybe a shopping cart or a complimentary service just to the right. It seems to me they use everything above the fold for limited time offers. And carry those over to parent category pages. All the written content, if any, is at the bottom near or in the footer.

 

I imagine they know an estimate of those still using slow connections through market research. They just simply exclude such shoppers from their target audience. 

 

The excessive cross-selling and up-selling will make your eyes glaze over. "We recommend this", "other shoppers bought that or viewed this" and so on. Maybe it's attractive to those who are most attracted to shiny objects. And they ramp it up during the checkout process. In my opinion, Barnes & Noble and Kohl's are more eye friendly.

 

I don't know how to look at internals. However, looking at their page sources they use DIV's for tables and powered by a boatload of javascript. It seems as if most of their content is in their CSS files. I don't understand the purpose of that. Maybe you can help me. I see that most of the major shopping sites are all https, even product pages. Hackers opened the giants' eyes on security. I take that as a hint to move forward with 100% secure. 



#4   MrPhil

MrPhil
  • Members
  • 7,016 posts
  • Real Name:Phil
  • Gender:Male

Posted 20 December 2016 - 22:05


I don't know how to look at internals. However, looking at their page sources they use DIV's for tables and powered by a boatload of javascript. It seems as if most of their content is in their CSS files. I don't understand the purpose of that. Maybe you can help me. I see that most of the major shopping sites are all https, even product pages. Hackers opened the giants' eyes on security. I take that as a hint to move forward with 100% secure. 

 

Old-fashioned webpage design (pre-CSS) used tables nested within tables nested within tables... to precisely lay out the desired page. With the advent of CSS, page design could be fine-tuned through it to create much lighter pages (much less in the way of HTML tags, etc. compared to the text content). This is faster loading, easier on people using screen readers, and improves SEO since there's less clutter for the bots to wade through. Having lots of Javascript is questionable (speed penalty and some people still refuse to enable it), but some of that may be related to responsive design libraries such as Bootstrap.

 

Obviously, HTTPS (SSL) should be used wherever there is sensitive data (cleartext passwords, payment information, addresses, etc.) that could create problems if someone tapped the line and was sniffing packet contents. Google has announced that it will start penalizing non-SSL sites in its search rankings, so it's not surprising that most major sites have gotten on the SSL bandwagon. Just always keep in mind that while SSL encryption greatly reduces the chance of someone snooping sensitive information (although this barely slows outfits like the NSA or CIA who have unlimited computing power), it does nothing to stop malware planted on your PC (browser) or on your server from harvesting data while it's in the clear (unencrypted).



#5   discxpress

discxpress
  • Members
  • 526 posts
  • Real Name:Lecarl Butler
  • Gender:Male

Posted 20 December 2016 - 22:34

 

 

Obviously, HTTPS (SSL) should be used wherever there is sensitive data (cleartext passwords, payment information, addresses, etc.) that could create problems if someone tapped the line and was sniffing packet contents. Google has announced that it will start penalizing non-SSL sites in its search rankings, so it's not surprising that most major sites have gotten on the SSL bandwagon. Just always keep in mind that while SSL encryption greatly reduces the chance of someone snooping sensitive information (although this barely slows outfits like the NSA or CIA who have unlimited computing power), it does nothing to stop malware planted on your PC (browser) or on your server from harvesting data while it's in the clear (unencrypted).

@MrPhil

 

In your expert opinion, what sensitive data could be snooped out on product pages? I'm thinking it's to hide the path the shopper is traveling through the website or to mask sensitive data stored by the browser. Other than that, I'm clueless.



#6   greasemonkey

greasemonkey
  • Members
  • 1,068 posts
  • Real Name:Scott
  • Gender:Male

Posted 21 December 2016 - 13:47

Hello,

As I browse around the internet looking at websites of the major players, I notice a few things they all have in common. I haven't done anything with OSCommerce in a while but I thought about the SEO discussions and decided to post.

One is how their headers are set up. Search in the middle, logo to the left and something administrative or special to the right. I know that's not too exciting for some of you. And they all have a very special deal at the very top. Seems like that's where they "set the tone" if you will. From what I'm seeing, not much investment goes into rest of these multi-million dollar websites. Headers are dazzling but the rest is not so.

Another is they invest much in banners and pictures. All I see are large banners that capture theme or an ongoing special. Also, themed images for categories also. Click on the categories and see a lot of product pictures and prices. That's it. With those images they are X-selling and upselling. And yes a huge banner at the top of every category.

Finally, I notice a network of internal linking and ratings stars.

I do realize everything I mentioned been important for on-page seo but there's more emphasis on them now than ever. So I guess that's the trending content structure for large e-commerce sites. There's nothing major when it comes to the literature side of content but there's a lot going into the visual aspects.

What do you guys think?


I have just completed a similar "redo" of our BS store - removing all side boxes, adding category images index content mod, spending MUCH more time on banners/images, working on nav for all devices.

My 2 cents... the thought of content has changed. It's not just textual...it's visual. Although google (etc) scrape our sites for text, they also monitor VERY closely how our customers interact (how long they stay, how many pages etc etc) with our sites.

"Pretty" sites with easy navigation keep our customers engaged.

Engaged customers buy more.... and therefore keep you ranking high..... which gives you more customers.

#7   burt

burt

    I drink and I know things

  • Community Team
  • 12,504 posts
  • Real Name:G Burton
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK/DEV/on

Posted 21 December 2016 - 14:15

This is also a "by-product" of Responsive Design. Responsive designs tend to be quite "flat" with squares (or blocks) of content which move around...as that need for things to move around is quite important, the design has to be quite flat...

So, how to keepa flat design while also giving a bit of eye-candy? Easy answer = carousel/slider

This is a signature that appears on all my posts.  It is not specifically aimed at you.

 

IF YOU MAKE A POST REQUESTING HELP...please state the exact version of osCommerce that you are using. THANKS
 
If you are still on the old style osCommerce, it is time to move to Responsive.

 


#8   greasemonkey

greasemonkey
  • Members
  • 1,068 posts
  • Real Name:Scott
  • Gender:Male

Posted 21 December 2016 - 16:43

This is also a "by-product" of Responsive Design. Responsive designs tend to be quite "flat" with squares (or blocks) of content which move around...as that need for things to move around is quite important, the design has to be quite flat...

So, how to keepa flat design while also giving a bit of eye-candy? Easy answer = carousel/slider


Agreed... it sure was easy to do a quick redesign.

Add a few modules, take a few away... move the sort order... all in seconds or minutes.

#9   MrPhil

MrPhil
  • Members
  • 7,016 posts
  • Real Name:Phil
  • Gender:Male

Posted 21 December 2016 - 17:36


what sensitive data could be snooped out on product pages? I'm thinking it's to hide the path the shopper is traveling through the website or to mask sensitive data stored by the browser.

 

From a customer's viewpoint, might they be looking for (or at) something, a tad embarrassing if someone else were to find out? Obviously it's visible on their screen, and known at the server, but people would be happier that third parties are not able to "look over their shoulder" while they're looking at kinky "adult" stuff. In some countries or localities, that could even get you in legal trouble, though there's also the issue of when your order actually arrives at your house!

 

Other than that, a customer might be more comfortable knowing that no one (other than the shop owner) can see what they're looking at, or searching for, I can't see any reason that products would be encrypted (SSL used) to the benefit of the merchant. It could make a customer more comfortable that no one sees they're shopping for incontinence aids or adult diapers or something that could reveal a medical condition, much less for a trashy movie or something kinky.

 

I'm not sure why someone would want to hide the path they took through the site (it's in the breadcrumb trail), while allowing search terms to be seen, or products that will arrive in a plain brown wrapper (isn't that a tip-off?). Maybe there's a reason that someone can think of.



#10   discxpress

discxpress
  • Members
  • 526 posts
  • Real Name:Lecarl Butler
  • Gender:Male

Posted 21 December 2016 - 19:09

@greasemonkey your two cents was definitely on target. Engagement is the key. Satisfying the customer's visual needs is one way to engage them. Who wants to by a toy but forced to read through a bunch of text. Great pictures and a list of the most important features. I was reading an article and the author was saying that it's best to direct the consumer to what they need as soon as they land on your website. So I gather that the shop owner needs to make the sales funnel as efficient as possible to convert a visitor into a buying customer.

 

@burt Responsive design is so flexible which gives the shop owner an edge over bigger sites. Most of the big boys had to create another website just for mobile. While responsive OSC is one website fits all. And yes the carousel is the answer. One just have to be somewhat creative with the images for the slider or have a budget for a graphics design artist.

 

Hence I have very little graphics design talent although I have some artistic inclination. Lol. 

 

@MrPhil I see your point. After reading about site security, the answer to hiding what the customer is viewing is to go HTTPS on all pages. What are your thoughts on that? I'm onboard with complete site encryption.

 

After a chat with Cloudflare, one way to achieve that is to use a CDN and use their SSL certificates and then install a SSL cert on your origin server to encrypt the communication with the CDN. From what they said, they encrypt all pages in case of a hacker attempt. Another way is to make all pages on the website HTTPS. Which way is the better way is the question.

 

Thanks.


Edited by discxpress, 21 December 2016 - 19:14.


#11   Dan Cole

Dan Cole
  • Community Sponsor
  • 1,681 posts
  • Real Name:Dan Cole
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 21 December 2016 - 19:53

You'll get a good appreciation from this article, on how mobile is starting to really shape search engine results.  SEO is definitely changing.

 

Dan



#12   discxpress

discxpress
  • Members
  • 526 posts
  • Real Name:Lecarl Butler
  • Gender:Male

Posted 21 December 2016 - 21:26

@Dan Cole thanks for the great read. SEO will become more based on user intent and internal linking. The internal linking should focus more on keeping the potential customer in the sales funnel. 

 

I'm not surprised the backlinking ranking factor is declining. It's very difficult to get quality backlinks these days. And the notion that bigger brands fall in rankings because of their influence is a plus for the small guy (this was surprising to me). I guess reputation and domain authority comes into play there.

 

I don't know what to think about keywords not being in the title tag.

 

Thanks for sharing.



#13   MrPhil

MrPhil
  • Members
  • 7,016 posts
  • Real Name:Phil
  • Gender:Male

Posted 21 December 2016 - 21:46

After reading about site security, the answer to hiding what the customer is viewing is to go HTTPS on all pages. What are your thoughts on that? I'm onboard with complete site encryption.

 

 

I think that over time, customers are going to come to expect complete site encryption, and be wary of any non-SSL site, even if some (sensitive) pages are SSL. Supposedly it's not as great a performance penalty as it used to be, and Google is wielding a Big Stick to "encourage" SSL. Since most shopping sites are going to need SSL anyway, for selected pages, there shouldn't be any extra cost to the site. Configuration might even be a bit simpler, as you don't have to worry about whether a page is going to be SSL or non-SSL: everything is SSL/https. You (the site manager) might have to pay a bit more attention to banner ads, externally sourced images, etc. that they're accessed with https, but most of the effort should be at initial setup, with only a little attention needed when updating external content.



#14   discxpress

discxpress
  • Members
  • 526 posts
  • Real Name:Lecarl Butler
  • Gender:Male

Posted 21 December 2016 - 22:56

@MrPhil Is it best to make all pages in the root of the store SSL? What about the images?

 

Thanks.



#15   Dan Cole

Dan Cole
  • Community Sponsor
  • 1,681 posts
  • Real Name:Dan Cole
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 22 December 2016 - 03:15

@discxpress  With googles push to make site wide SSL the standard I think all site pages should use SSL for SEO purposes and of course that means that any images, links etc that are called will need to be accessed using SSL as well.

 

Dan



#16   frankl

frankl

    One of the originals...

  • Community Sponsor
  • 512 posts
  • Real Name:Frank
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sydney, Australia

Posted 22 December 2016 - 04:06

@discxpress Have a browse through this thread http://forums.oscomm...havent-already/


Let's make things easier for new osCommerce users http://forums.oscomm...bles/?p=1718900  Getting there with osCommerce 2.4! :thumbsup:


#17   discxpress

discxpress
  • Members
  • 526 posts
  • Real Name:Lecarl Butler
  • Gender:Male

Posted 22 December 2016 - 04:43

@Dan Cole In your opinion, what would be the best way for sitewide SSL?



#18   Dan Cole

Dan Cole
  • Community Sponsor
  • 1,681 posts
  • Real Name:Dan Cole
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 22 December 2016 - 12:29

@discxpress I think the steps in the thread Frank referenced is the way I would proceed....in fact I'm about to do that myself.  I have a new server going on line and it will be HTTPS from top to bottom.

 

Dan 



#19   discxpress

discxpress
  • Members
  • 526 posts
  • Real Name:Lecarl Butler
  • Gender:Male

Posted 22 December 2016 - 19:03

@frankl @Dan Cole In browsers, my website address looks like http://mysite.com. Which edit to .htaccess will I make? And I know that I must make the changes to the configure file also.

 

Thanks



#20   frankl

frankl

    One of the originals...

  • Community Sponsor
  • 512 posts
  • Real Name:Frank
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sydney, Australia

Posted 22 December 2016 - 20:18

@discxpress

 

All the instructions are in the thread I linked you to. Read the whole thing through and take notes.


Let's make things easier for new osCommerce users http://forums.oscomm...bles/?p=1718900  Getting there with osCommerce 2.4! :thumbsup: