In the first part of this series I talked about the product and the tools used for the online store. In this part I will talk about the store owner’s poor SEO practices that in the end didn’t even matter.
He Actually Screwed Up in Terms of Best SEO Practices
Looking over my friend’s site, I discovered that he didn’t follow ANY best practices for SEO. Sure, WordPress and Woo handled the title, h1 and h2 action, and maybe some meta, but what about the rest?
Well for starters, he named his images poorly. They had nothing at all to do with the product name. The image name, alt text and title tag of the surrounding anchor (for a lightbox popup) were all a product code that meant nothing to anyone but him, but still he ranks, even in image search. This is all based on the product title in the H1 and title tags. There’s really nothing else that exists uniquely. He picked a really good domain name though which has great key words and his brand. That shows up to the right of his product names in the browser title.
Even the post slug uses the meaningless (meaningless in terms of search) product codes. And get this… his product description was labeled “Product Description” in h2 tags and the description is the EXACT same for every single product. There is one subtle difference in some cases and that is because some products only have two sizes instead of three.
His home page has very little copy. It contains just a tiny description of what the site offers. By the way, there is only one type of product offered, just several hundered different styles, each with 2 or 3 sizes, and a few (maybe 5) different colors. He created a unique product page for all colors (but not for sizes).
So, how the heck is he ranking? Great question. Let me explain how he laid out the site and spent hours refining the end user experience, worrying nary of the ol’ search engines.
Setting Up a User Friendly eCommerce Site for High Conversions
This guy has a knack for creating a great user experience. It’s really his only concern during the build. He buys products from enough web sites to know exactly what he would want to see. He has been effective in changing the UI for many major online stores with his suggestions and frustrations.
So with those accidental skills in mind he got to work on his own store.
I’m going to provide his secret, in all it’s glory. Check out the next part of this series where I walk through the home and product pages of his web site and explain how they are displayed. I also talk about the mysterious category cloud that he used as a secondary nav of sorts.