Latest News: (loading..)
discxpress

SEO and Website Themes the big companies are doing now.

29 posts in this topic

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
vampirehunter and bruyndoncx like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

bruyndoncx likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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).

discxpress likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

discxpress likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

discxpress likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

discxpress and kymation like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

discxpress likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@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 

discxpress likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@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

 

In a nutshell:

  1. Obtain and install an SSL certificate, so you can use https: wherever you need/want to.
  2. Update the two configure.php files to show SSL in use, and https: instead of http:, per instructions. There may be other stuff (such as changes to cookie paths); I haven't looked at it in detail.
  3. In .htaccess, add rewrites to change any incoming http: to https: (existing http: customer bookmarks and search engine entries).
  4. Watch your banner ads, etc. to make sure they're using https: instead of http: (avoid non-SSL content on an SSL page errors).
  5. Keep apprised of updates to osC, such as using secure paths for cookies, etc. (recently discussed).

There's a fair amount of labor to convert over cleanly to SSL, but once it's done, there's no additional work (except for checking that any new add-ons, banner ads, etc. don't have http: hard coded).

discxpress likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Frank,

Your information is very helpful for me and I have implement it to improve its appearance over Internet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello,

 

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine's unpaid results—often referred to as "natural", "organic", or "earned" results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine's users; these visitors can then be converted into customers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@jamiehennings

 

SEO is a very complex science. It involves on-page seo, off-page seo and user experience. With over 200 ranking signals, no site will get all of them exact. It's best to use "white hat seo" and avoid penalties.

 

The most sound thing a website owner can focus on is raising Domain Authority. That's a lot of work and mostly takes time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 19.4.2017 at 7:48 AM, discxpress said:

SEO is a very complex science. It involves on-page seo, off-page seo and user experience. With over 200 ranking signals, no site will get all of them exact. It's best to use "white hat seo" and avoid penalties.

The most sound thing a website owner can focus on is raising Domain Authority. That's a lot of work and mostly takes time.

3

You have mentioned here white hat seo and I know there is black hat seo which invloves link buying, clacking etc. I am wondering how often the black hat seo change its weapons. For instance, will black hat seo expand its tactic? Is it possible that at some point of time some white hat seo strategies may become black hat seo strategies?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now