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burt

Open discussion on SEO

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Let's have an open discussion on SEO and what is good, and what is not. I found this excellent blog post that has a great infographic. Have a read and then come back and let's get the best ideas plugged into the osCommerce core...

 

http://contentverve.com/seo-copywriting-10-tips-content-ranks-infographic/

 

 


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Thanks Gary, the timing of this post is spot on for me as over the past several days I've set aside other matters to bone up on and work on SEO on a couple of my sites. Thing is there's so many different takes on what's the "best way" that folks like me, still relatively new to the game, are befuddled.

 

For example after an hour or so of googling I came up with several "best ways" to write a title tag. One says no more than 70 characters another says up to 80 is better.

 

I've settled on using the SEO Doctor add on and am chipping away page by page to get the SEO score as close to perfect as possible

 

Since I'm no expert maybe some of the things I'm doing to make SEO Doctor happy may not be all that important but I am doing them anyway.

 

Some things I've done to the code to come along is

 

- make sure there's is a h2 tag somewhere there on the page. My OOB OSC code did do that.

- got ride of the model number on the product info page as it was showing up in the h1 tag and that didn't make sense or wasn't needed for the type of products I have. Meaning I don't think humans are going to keyword the model number to search for my product line.

 

One thing I can't do anything about because of LOCS (lack of coding skills) is address the ALT image tag issue that comes up when you use more than one image per item in an OSC 2.3.3 shop level. When I have more than one image SEO Doctor points on that there is an image with no ALT tag

 

SEO Doctor initially told me I had some page indexing issues due to canonicalization. So I removed an add on that handled that and use the built in canonical tool that comes with 2.3.3. That fixed some things up for the most part. However when I sort a category, two things happened that SEO Doctor flags out.

 

One...SEO Doctor doesn't like the canonical URL that results for some reason

Two...SEO Doctor notes that my SEO friendly URL now has a "sort" and "page" at the end.

 

Not sure how big a deal either of those flags are but that's what I am seeing.

 

So anyway...maybe some of the above can be address with core updating.

 

As well, I reviewed the link you gave and already see I have some hours ahead of me to bone up on SEO copywriting.

 

Thanks


I am not a professional webmaster or PHP coder by background or training but I will try to help as best I can.

I remember what it was like when I first started with osC. It can be overwhelming.

However, I strongly recommend considering hiring a professional for extensive site modifications, site cleaning, etc.

There are several good pros here on osCommerce. Look around, you'll figure out who they are.

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Very interesting link, thanks Gary, it went straight into my bookmarks :) Will have to re-read it carefully and in depth though.

 

 

One thing I can't do anything about because of LOCS (lack of coding skills) is address the ALT image tag issue that comes up when you use more than one image per item in an OSC 2.3.3 shop level.

 

Like Steve, I too am looking at doing some further/better SEO work on my site, and one thing I cannot do at present is fix the missing alt tags for multiple images. Searching the forums I read that the issue lies with the bxGallery, but that doesn't help me fix it. :blush:


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Another interesting article, now you need to learn about author tags!!

 

http://www.searchenginejournal.com/seo-in-2013-7-surprisingly-simple-factors-that-will-take-the-lead/57092/

 

HTH

 

G


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It appears that the majority of the burden falls to the shop owner who has to write good/useful content related to their products and get customers engaged on social networks. The shop owner also needs to be able to have fine grain control over their title tags, and meta tags.

 

With the way google seems to be ranking pages now it seems that even if you have decent title/meta tags and lowsy content you will still get outranked by a site that has lots of social activity and well written/useful/relevant copy.

 

The currently available option (Header Tags SEO) only serves to keyword stuff which we know doesn't work anymore. It does allow you to edit the title and meta tags on the product edit page but it is far too bloated in all other aspects.

 

Having the ability to edit each product pages title and relevant meta tags on the product edit page would probably work for most shop owners. Also the open graph meta tags for facebook and twitter postcards would be nice additions to someones shop.


Matt

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Alt Tags for Images

Should never be used for SEO purposes. They are used to describe a representation of the image for those who cannot view them.

 

In 2.3.3 there is an extra input in the multiple images feature which is for (eg) the embed code of a youtube video. if you have no use for that, this could easily be changed to insert the "alt" text for the relevant image. I did in fact do this on my own site, worked very well.


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Do we need to keep meta keywords ? I haven't used these on my sites since the last decade or so.

 

Title: 10/10. Ultra Important. Needs to be editable on a product, category, manufacturer and page.

 

Meta Description: 9/10, not as important. I think should be editable on product, category, manufacturer and page.

 

Canonical URL: 10/10. Needs to be created automatically as in 2.3.3. We can look at inconsistencies once we decide what needs coding.

 

Image ALT: 0/10 (for SEO). This is nothing but (for SEO) keyword stuffing.

 

Social Links: Which ones are important these days? Obviously Facebook, obviously Twitter, obviously Pinterest. Are there others?

 

Other ideas please!


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Seems to me that this SEO thing is like tuning a carburetor, a dark art, which few if any can do well and they certainly don't give away what they know easily.

 

I can only comment on my site, as it is my only experience of the the issue, so its worth mentioning that the site has a large amount of content in what is a very niche market, so its probably relatively easier for me compared to say I had a site trying to sell chocolates, flowers or spectacles for example.

 

At present the site has in excess of 240,000 indexed pages on google, about a 9 months ago I added the SEO Pro Urls add on and uploaded an xml site map to google. To be fair I have no where near used the add on, as it was intended, I've added some category meta descriptions and a few other thing, but am in a catch up situation, which will probably never be resolved. Before I added these, the site had about 90% of its currently indexed pages, so whilst they have made a difference, it is mostly in terms of what google displays after a result, not the amount of pages indexed.

 

Before I kicked off with the osc site, with its predecessor, I did invest a little money in google ads for around 4/5 products, say a clothing brand name and then say gloves, helmets, trousers etc, that was maybe 3/4 years ago now, but those same search strings still bring first page results .. all smacks of nepotism to me.

 

Here's the thing I really don't get about SEO at all, most of my competitors, get much higher results than me on what I would generic terms rather than specific ones, so say for example, search for "beta trials parts", we appear as the seventh result, the majority of those above use do not have "beta trials parts", they have aftermarket parts which happen to fit a "beta"

 

My take on this, is that all results above my site, bar one, are much older sites than mine, so their position for that search string is sort of set by their historical presence despite the fact that the content they are directing to has little bearing to the actual search string ?

 

So it appears good content is the deal, but if others have been around for longer than you and flooded the market with inappropriate keywords, meta tags etc, you are still going to have to wait a while, before you surpass googles history


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Just as important is seeing the result of all of the SEO work. For example, recording the search keywords potential customers have used on search engines that have been directed to your store. v2.3 does not have a Services module implementation like v3.0 does but it does have a modular Header Tags implementation that can be [ab]used for this.


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Just as important is seeing the result of all of the SEO work. For example, recording the search keywords potential customers have used on search engines that have been directed to your store.

 

Google Analytics header_tags module would be perfect for this I think...is anything more needed than this would you think?


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I have a twitter cards module, easily available.

Pinterest is coded in 2.3.3.

G+ button is in 2.3.3.

Canonical is in 2.3.3

 

We need a facebook module.

 

If someone comes up with clean code for a bunch of new header_tag modules; product title, product meta, manufacturer title, manufacturer meta, category title, category meta, page title, page meta.

 

Would we be just about there? In terms of codebase needed ?


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* Not limited to Google Analytics :D

 

Eg: (Search Engine - Search Terms - Total Recorded)

 

Google - applejack tshirt - 3

Google - pinkie pie pants - 1

Yahoo - rainbow dash pillow - 1

Bing - millie lunchbox - 1


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Just my opinion, I may be wrong, but I think that nowadays the really big thing is to promote yourself on the social networks, however, due to various occupations, I personally don't have much time to dedicate to that, and I certainly can't afford to hire an employee to do that.

It seems that sites that have a big presence on social networks are regarded more highly by search engines and therefore have better positions.

 

I find it very hard to get people to share your products on FB, Twitter, Pinterest, forums and such, or to like your FB page for example. What do the others think about that?

Has anyone here bought FB ads and did that bring any results?

 

Other ideas please!

 

Gary, as you know I have added a disqus box to my product pages, though so far it hasn't brought much activity, then again, I should be able to spend more time on disqus myself.

In any case perhaps adding some sort of discussion option on product pages may help. Just a thought, am nowhere near an expert on SEO.


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With content being king, I think it would be helpful to be able to add articles or links to articles to the category and product listings.

 

Dan

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@@burt Most of the Header Tag modules are in the Modular SEO Header Tags addon --see the link below. Code improvements and additional modules are always welcome.

 

Regards

Jim


See my profile for a list of my addons and ways to get support.

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Gary, as you know I have added a disqus box to my product pages, though so far it hasn't brought much activity, then again, I should be able to spend more time on disqus myself.

In any case perhaps adding some sort of discussion option on product pages may help. Just a thought, am nowhere near an expert on SEO.

 

That would depend on your market. Facebook Comments would also be an option to use (in place of product reviews).


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To continue the conversation, on Github, there is a script to implement easily : http://inpage-seo-checker.eventsofa.de/

 

This script allow to see different information on the page with a warning.

 

What do you think on this tool ?



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What do you think on this tool ?

 

I'm not familiar with this particular tool but the concept, of feed back to the webmaster on the page SEO content would be handy. It would be nice if it was on the admin side so it would be right there as you work on your pages.


I am not a professional webmaster or PHP coder by background or training but I will try to help as best I can.

I remember what it was like when I first started with osC. It can be overwhelming.

However, I strongly recommend considering hiring a professional for extensive site modifications, site cleaning, etc.

There are several good pros here on osCommerce. Look around, you'll figure out who they are.

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Should I Really Join Facebook? Read it all the way through-It's a good laugh! AND really quite true!!A good laugh for people in the over 60 group…... there are a few under 60 who can relate too, I'm sure!!

osc_seo.jpg%20

missing image please click >> wow just appeared below at the bottom of the page

 

 

When I bought my Blackberry, I thought about the 30-year business I ran with 1800 employees, all without a cell phone that plays music, takes videos, pictures and communicates with Facebook and Twitter. I signed up under duress for Twitter and Facebook, so my seven kids, their spouses, my 13 grand kids and 2 great grand kids could communicate with me in the modern way. I figured I could handle something as simple as Twitter with only 140 characters of space.

 

That was before one of my grand kids hooked me up for Tweeter, Tweetree, Twhirl, Twitterfon, Tweetie and Twitterific, Tweetdeck, Twitpix and something that sends every message to my cell phone and every other program within the texting World.

 

My phone was beeping every three minutes with the details of everything except the bowel movements of the entire next generation. I am not ready to live like this. I keep my cell phone in the garage in my golf bag.

 

The kids bought me a GPS for my last birthday because they say I get lost every now and then going over to the grocery store or library. I keep that in a box under my tool bench with the Blue tooth [it's red] phone I am supposed to use when I drive. I wore it once and was standing in line at Barnes and Noble talking to my wife and everyone within 50 yards was glaring at me. I had to take my hearing aid out to use it, and I got a little loud.

 

I mean the GPS looked pretty smart on my dash board, but the lady inside that gadget was the most annoying and rudest person I had run into in a long time. Every 10 minutes she would sarcastically say, "Re-calc-u-lating." You would think that she could be nicer. It was like she could barely tolerate me. She would let go with a deep sigh and then tell me to make a U-turn at the next light. Then if I made a right turn instead. Well, it was not a good relationship...

When I get really lost now, I call my wife and tell her the name of the cross streets and, while she is starting to develop the same tone as Gypsy, the GPS lady, at least she loves me.

 

To be perfectly frank, I am still trying to learn how to use the cordless phones in our house. We have had them for 4 years, but I still haven't figured out how I lose three phones all at once and have to run around digging under chair cushions, checking bathrooms, and the dirty laundry baskets when the phone rings.

 

The world is just getting too complex for me. They even mess me up every time I go to the grocery store. You would think they could settle on something themselves but this sudden "Paper or Plastic?" every time I check out just knocks me for a loop. I bought some of those cloth reusable bags to avoid looking confused, but I never remember to take them with me.

 

Now I toss it back to them. When they ask me, "Paper or plastic?" I just say, "It doesn't matter to me. I am bi-sacksual." Then it's their turn to stare at me with a blank look. I was recently asked if I tweet. I answered, No, but I do fart a lot."

 

P.S. I know some of you are not over 60. I sent it to you to allow you to forward it to those who are.

 

 

We senior citizens don't need anymore gadgets. The TV remote and the garage door remote are about all we can handle.


To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.

 

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A crazy Irishmans views on SEO

Still with a half of barrel of home :sunny: brew to go.

Last 6 months I have been really surprised or should I say blown away by the requests for Facebook feeds or lets say better social media feeds.

I work mainly with mainly young start up businesses ... simply speaking they have a limited budget using mainly osc as open source platform with a kick in the ars** from me as selling platform

.Ok guess I do not need to say it ANY website has to be responsive or have mobile site capabilities SEO here and SEO there if you can not see it on a tablet or phone huh bo bah no sell !!!

 

BEST SEO IN THE WORLD WILL NOT BRING THE SALES if the customer does not see and press the buy button.

whether I like or not. ( I personally am not such a great fan of a social media ).

 

So hope no one is annoyed about the joke above but social media in my opinion is now part of SEO maybe the most important excluding / links and content I studied for more years than I care to mention

 

will maybe even start a discussion as regards top level domain or subdomain which % 99 of my partners think is irrelevant bots came to me 6 x times more on top level rather than subdomain so CATALOG /INSTALL / OH / but maybe tomorrow.

 

I believe call it intuition or what ever that the new search algorithms are based over social activity feeds ( Irish Kelt myself) so burt you know that as well that is why you are doing the social media stuff / twitter my confirmation you are definitely on the right track .

 

It has to be going this way or else the big BOT GOOGLE is stupid

 

OK 1/4 barrel guess I will have a hangover tomorrow S****


To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.

 

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I have a twitter cards module, easily available.

Pinterest is coded in 2.3.3.

G+ button is in 2.3.3.

Canonical is in 2.3.3

 

We need a facebook module.

 

If someone comes up with clean code for a bunch of new header_tag modules; product title, product meta, manufacturer title, manufacturer meta, category title, category meta, page title, page meta.

 

Would we be just about there? In terms of codebase needed ?

 

Had a lot of hits in the past from the manufacturer meta,/ title ! more than I thought


To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.

 

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Just my opinion, I may be wrong, but I think that nowadays the really big thing is to promote yourself on the social networks, however, due to various occupations, I personally don't have much time to dedicate to that, and I certainly can't afford to hire an employee to do that.

It seems that sites that have a big presence on social networks are regarded more highly by search engines and therefore have better positions.

 

I find it very hard to get people to share your products on FB, Twitter, Pinterest, forums and such, or to like your FB page for example. What do the others think about that?

Has anyone here bought FB ads and did that bring any results?

 

 

 

Gary, as you know I have added a disqus box to my product pages, though so far it hasn't brought much activity, then again, I should be able to spend more time on disqus myself.

In any case perhaps adding some sort of discussion option on product pages may help. Just a thought, am nowhere near an expert on SEO.

 

Hi Elizabeth sorry Isa (w00t)

 

Had the same thoughts really not a Facebook fan but got far enough to know that spent a lot of time etc.. my (opinion only ) you must create a page this is different from a profile and this page then you can pull better the codes into a live site most of the other stuff is not so interesting

had to create a developer profile on face book to see the codes man oh man oh man enough to do with osc :D so have not looked again


To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.

 

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Disappointing that there are not more points of view from "normal" shopowners on this ultra-important aspect of any website...

 

I guess the average Joe doesn't care about SEO and what potentially goes into the core of osCommerce?


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Disappointing that there are not more points of view from "normal" shopowners on this ultra-important aspect of any website...

 

I guess the average Joe doesn't care about SEO and what potentially goes into the core of osCommerce?

 

Lots of variables there Burt so it's hard to say why for sure but It'd be interesting to have a site survey of users sometime and see where the osC participants are/ What percentage of professional coders, shop owners, dabblers and so on.

 

Maybe some don't understand what concept of the core exactly is and what's being asked here. Seasoned osC participants will know, but if you asked a newbie or even somepne who's been around for a short while what the core is you'll get the deer in the headlights look i think.

 

Maybe a fair portion don't know or aren't confident enough about SEO to speak up. That combined with so many varied opinions on what proper SEO is right here on osC such as where someone posts that such and such is critical to SEO, then along comes the next guy refuting that.

 

It's frustrating and befuddling I think, to folks like me, who want to learn and have to filter out this or that BS out.

 

The post you made that started this, with the SEO copywriting link, kept me busy most of the day yesterday boning up on those 10 points. Learned a lot,..I wasn't even aware of the longtail keyword concept. But I'll be using it. But I only spent my time researching the stuff in that llink because I consider you a reliable source.

 

Back to the point, maybe it's just that the average Joe or Josephine just doesn't know enough to feel comfortable to chime in.

 

I'm thrilled that the SEO modifications are being considered. Not only will it help the shop owner but help the image of the osCommerce brand itself.


I am not a professional webmaster or PHP coder by background or training but I will try to help as best I can.

I remember what it was like when I first started with osC. It can be overwhelming.

However, I strongly recommend considering hiring a professional for extensive site modifications, site cleaning, etc.

There are several good pros here on osCommerce. Look around, you'll figure out who they are.

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