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    New to SEO, many questions


    Howdy folks

    Sorry in advance if this turns out to be a long winded post.

    I'm new here. I've been a web designer for 15 years but I never got too far into SEO stuff. But I just recently started an online store (selling CDs and band merchandise, etc) and I really want to be listed good on all the major search engines for obvious reasons. My goal would be that if someone were to type in a band name or album, my site will pop up in the list hopefully somewhere on the 1st page.

    So starting with google.. I set up my google webmaster account and submitted my site. My ecommerce software generates my xml sitemap automatically which is nice. Anyway, I submitted it over a week ago. I have thousands of product pages and my sitemap has over 15000 links. However, when I look at my webmaster stats, it says there's only around 1800 urls in the web index... why? can't it just add everything? What could be preventing Google from adding my whole sitemap? Or does it only add urls in chunks and one day it will come back and decide to add more?

    Every product has keywords in it that at the very least contain the artist, album and genre. As I edit each product individually I'm also adding meta descriptions too. My page titles contain the band and album too, ie "Metallica - Master of Puppets CD - Bleeding-Ear.com"

    The only way I've been able to see my site appear in google at all is to put my URL in the search box.

    I also submitted my site to bing, they indexed ONE url so far.......


    Anyway, just wondering if anyone has any tips or ideas on how I can get my site indexed and featured better? At this early stage I don't mind being low on the list at first, but I would like to at least BE on the list somewhere. Can anyone help? my site is bleeding-ear.com if you want to take a look at the code or whatever.

    Thanks

    Tim

    Comments on this post

    • distinctseo agrees : 90% of all your efforts should be getting links. the other 10% in unique content.
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    First of all nice site I like the way it looks and works so that's a good start

    Now to the SEO. Have you read the stickies on here and other posts about general SEO and what your first steps are to starting of and SEO campaign for your site? If not please read those and then come back to ask more specific questions about the parts you don't understand or ain't quite sure on.

    IMO you could do with some more content/text on your site, also an about us page is always good to tell your visitors a little about what you do and how you started etc etc.
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    thanks for the response

    I was reading some of the stickies, I just wanted to get some of my questions out there. I am working on adding more text to my site. But, I'm a while away from "launching", I want to get every product updated with a photo and product info paragraph or at least list of tracks on the album. Basically I just got a big spreadsheet from my supplier and imported that into my ecommerce software. But then I have to go back into every product individually (over 10,000 .. ugh) and find a pic of the album cover on the web somewhere, and add descriptions but those I can get from my distributor's site at least. After that, I'll have to go into the band page for each band and add in the keywords, descriptions, etc. The site is totally live and functional so I figured I may as well take a few orders here and there if people find me, and then start advertising, etc, after I'm done all the data entry stuff in a few months. And I figured it would take a while for the SEO stuff to catch on too, which is why I wanted to at least get a band name, album name, keywords and price for each product first

    I read about making a smaller sitemap like for just new products. If I do that, would I want to just overwrite that every week with new urls, or should I save it as an all new file every week and submit it as a new file?

    is having one huge sitemap file with 15k links hurting me? Would I be better off making a sitemap with say 500 links per page? Or 1 sitemap for each band? or maybe separate sitemaps for each "featured" band with a list of links to all of that band's products, and then another sitemap for every product?
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    Not sure about the sitemap, I have always just used the one sitemap which has always worked fine for me but maybe others may have better advice on that.

    With your content, you NEED to make sure its original and not just copy/paste from your distributors site. If you just copy for their site you will end up worse off as that will be seen as duplicate content which is not good for SEO.

    You should make sure that each page/product has its own totally different content, also make sure that all your metadate is different on each page/product (titles, keywords and descriptions should be for just that product/page and not be the same).

    Once you have all your on site SEO done you will then want to move on to off site SEO. If you have a search on the forums and google you will find more indepth information on all the above and linking.

    have a search for "on-site SEO", "meta date optimisation" and "duplicate content" for a start.

    Hope thats helps a little mate
    Regards,
    Nath

    P.S. Could someone please give best advice on sitemap as this is something I'm not too sure on as I only ever used the one sitemap per site.
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    hmm... so will I have to write something all new for each product? or if I just change a couple words it will be good enough? Coming up with something unique for 10,000 products will take me about 12 years to finish

    Would I be better off skipping the paragraph and going with a pain old track list? thing is that will be the same on tons of sites, like amazon, etc. they all list the tracks on the CDs.. but, I kinda need to also since people want to know the songs that are on it

    I don't know if this helps but I've also been renaming a lot of the image files like "artist-name-album-name.jpg"

    thanks for the help so far

    edit: also, for now anyway, a lot of pages have the same keywords as my homepage. Like the band pages that list every product for a band. I have to go back in and change them separately and haven't gotten to it yet but will eventually. But by default my ecommerce software adds the same generic keywords to every page unless I specify it differently.
    Last edited by tkline; Aug 2nd, 2010 at 10:39 AM.
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    Originally Posted by tkline
    Would I be better off skipping the paragraph and going with a pain old track list? thing is that will be the same on tons of sites, like amazon, etc. they all list the tracks on the CDs.. but, I kinda need to also since people want to know the songs that are on it
    I can't see listing the tracks doing you any damage as this is something that most music site will do so I'm sure google know this is just a standard for a music site (not saying they do but it would make sense that listing the tracks will help even if every site is doing it).

    Originally Posted by tkline
    so will I have to write something all new for each product? or if I just change a couple words it will be good enough?
    Not really sure on the best advice for a music store as the music will be the same on most sites, but if it was me doing the content I would prob keep the main text about the band/albums, list the tracks (as this is important for a music store IMO) and then make sure to add some of my own content or views on the bands or albums to make the site a little different.

    You could also add a section to each page for user/visitor comments to help with adding more original content. Now as with any site you will get spam doing that so you will need to moderate it and make sure to on let real comments on your site.



    Originally Posted by tkline
    I don't know if this helps but I've also been renaming a lot of the image files like "artist-name-album-name.jpg"
    Yes using keywords as your image name will help you so good move, but make sure its a descriptive name and not spammy, so just as you put above should work well for you IMO.
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    Originally Posted by tkline

    I'm new here.
    Welcome!
    Originally Posted by tkline
    I've been a web designer for 15 years...
    It shows, nice work.

    Originally Posted by tkline
    but I never got too far into SEO stuff. But I just recently started an online store (selling CDs and band merchandise, etc) and I really want to be listed good on all the major search engines for obvious reasons. My goal would be that if someone were to type in a band name or album, my site will pop up in the list hopefully somewhere on the 1st page.
    Very competitive. I would steer away from Metallica and look towards filling a specific niche.

    Originally Posted by tkline
    So starting with google.. I set up my google webmaster account and submitted my site. My ecommerce software generates my xml sitemap automatically which is nice. Anyway, I submitted it over a week ago. I have thousands of product pages and my sitemap has over 15000 links.
    No problem with 15k links on a site map.

    Originally Posted by tkline
    However, when I look at my webmaster stats, it says there's only around 1800 urls in the web index... why?
    The higher your trust in Google's eyes the more pages it will crawl. Read about Pagerank.

    Originally Posted by tkline
    Every product has keywords in it that at the very least contain the artist, album and genre. As I edit each product individually I'm also adding meta descriptions too. My page titles contain the band and album too, ie "Metallica - Master of Puppets CD - Bleeding-Ear.com"
    Again brother, your competition has been doing this since Lars and James were in diapers (ok maybe not that long, but you get my point) No experience in SEO, new site, you are 3 years out converting on Metallica.

    Originally Posted by tkline
    Anyway, just wondering if anyone has any tips or ideas on how I can get my site indexed and featured better? At this early stage I don't mind being low on the list at first, but I would like to at least BE on the list somewhere. Can anyone help? my site is bleeding-ear.com if you want to take a look at the code or whatever.
    Find a niche. Do something better, more interesting, funnier, sexier, louder than your competition. You will need a hook. I gotta go to work. Good luck!
    Last edited by KernelPanic; Aug 3rd, 2010 at 03:55 AM.
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    just hire an seo company. all your questions will be asked.

    Comments on this post

    • joshz : but will they be answered as well?
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    hehe well, I don't want to hire a SEO company for a few reasons. 1, can't afford it. 2, I've been in the web business long enough to be able to learn this stuff myself in time why pay someone for something you can do yourself?

    I don't expect to be showing up in metallica searches right off the bat I was just using that as an example. I don't expect to be on the front page for a search like that but I would at least like to be somewhere, even if it's 30 pages down at least I know where I stand. RIght now I don't think I'll come up at all.

    so by "The higher your trust in Google's eyes the more pages it will crawl." do you mean just the more people start using my site, google will detect it and start crawling more and more? So, it really just takes time and i gotta wait it out?

    I went for "metal" as my niche I was going to do it all.. country, top 40 stuff, whatever. But metal is what I like, so I figured i'd be better off focusing on what I know and expanding later (much later) if its successful. I found a distributor who specializes in metal as well to make things a lot easier for me. Early on I don't expect people to find me doing searches for iron maiden, I think they'll find me because I'll be listing it all, like those little obscure bands from norway that sing about gross stuff. Or 80's hair bands that no one seems to care about anymore.

    Once I get all of my products updated the next phase of my site will be to have a big blog style metal news section updated daily, and of course every mention of any band in a news item will link back to their product pages. I'll be doing more original content there, just scouring the web and taking what other music news sites are reporting and put it into my own words. So I'm hoping that will help a lot with SEO as well.
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    Metal is not a niche, it's a genre, naked, high altitude speed metal is a niche... IMO I still think you are learning to swim for the first time in the Niagara River rapids, but you got gumption.

    Read every post here going back 6 months. Build 2 more web sites to use for practice. Read every blog post, and watch every video by Matt Cutts.

    And ask specific questions here as needed.

    Good luck!
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    thanks for all the advice.

    I was looking at my analytics and I popped up on a search for black sabbath I'm just gonna have to keep researching and working on my content and give it time. it will be several months until I'm ready to fully launch the site anyway so I'm hoping in that time I can get more of my site crawled and stuff. I'll probably start with some google ad words for advertising when the time comes so maybe that will help get me listed too.

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