I am new to this section of the forum, so for all you that don't know me 'hi!'.
A CMS website typically has between 8 - 20 pages, and the content is inputting by the client. I support them on this which works well, since they want to learn and it's not a mammoth task.
An eCommerce website is a little different as your site could quite possibly have over 2000 products. Data input can be a LONG and BORING job! Now, how do you handle eCommerce data entry?
Normally when working with WP or Drupal the only way to add products (for many) is to manually add them. Recently I purchased a template from templatic.com and they advised I do this. Now unfurtunately I've been working on this for around 4-hours and I've only managed to do half of the products. I still have a lot more to do.
Prior to this, I was unaware that there would be some many products. What would you do? Another pressing issue is for the client to get sales. In order for them to get sales, people would have to find them.
I recently visited somebody in my small lonely country who launched their eCommerce site a couple of months ago. They are now complaining to me that they're not getting any sales on their website. Luckily for me I was not the one involved in their site. The issue is that the website was not at all SEO and people cannot find them. They were given advice by the company to give another x amount of money in order to SEO them. The poor lady is not creating her own Facebook page attempting to push up sales. I told her the grim truth that in the end she'd probably need a new website as a result of it's platform, design and broken structure. She did not seam much pleased.
Can you see the dilemma in question? In order for us to sell, in particular with eCommerce, their website needs to go additional work so people can find them. That won't sound to music like their ears to many prospects.
Most shopping cart (ecommerce) applications (abantecart, open cart, ertc) offer data import tools. You can use excel to load all your data. You can load data manually if you do not have to many products to enter.
As for ecommerce SEO, this is similar as for any other site. YOu need to pick the market, keywords, etc.
The WordPress theme I am using does not offer such a service, which is very tiring to fill all in. In terms of ecommerce, what platforms do you recommend. Do you recommend using WP, Drupal or one of those open-source platforms you've suggested.
I am using a templatic theme called store.
I would tell the client to enter the products themselves because that is part of reason of using WP – ease of management. What are they going to do – call you every time a new product needs to be entered. That seems counter productive to using a CMS in the first place.
Option 2 would be building a import which may or may not be feasible depending on data that is available from vendors. Of course that gets much more costly requiring custom program. However, could *possibly eliminate the need to *ever do manual data entry. It all depends on what the vendor/distributor can provide in accessing their data: feed, spreadsheet, api, etc. Some may offer nothing in which case perhaps it is time to look for a new vendor/distributor who does.
You would never find a template that offers this functionality out of the box. You might find a CMS that provides some support but massaging in some context would be required. I know Drupal has a feed api but probably would require some custom work to get everything working exactly as envisioned.
The way the site has been built in terms of semantic mark-up matters very little in terms of SEO. Even if it is a complete train-wreck from 98. Most of it has to do with content that is managed by them. I would tell them to look into marketing and/or copywriting services because that is not my expertise as I'm sure(?) it is not yours.
I would have to see the site in question though to do anything other than speculate which is obviously all this is. As to the quality of services rendered before I would also have to know the cost to say whether or not the job by the previous provider was acceptable or not.
Probably a rethink in content rather than structure. Again without seeing the site all I can do is speculate but from the sounds of it I would hand it off to someone who specializes in web content and writing. Possibly someone who specializes in the products which they offer. Many of the hard hitter eCommerce stores write their own summaries for products or key products. I think doing so provides significant SEO advantages in comparison to those copy and pasting the manufacturer descriptions. Something to look into.
What are they going to do – call you every time a new product needs to be entered.
Nope. The CMS has functionality to add products. It's quite easy. They've already been given training to add them.
I think doing so provides significant SEO advantages in comparison to those copy and pasting the manufacturer descriptions. Something to look into.
Looking at how SEO works, I think this will provide a significant advantage. Search engines hate copy-paste content, and it would be great if I could get the website ranking no1 for all those terms. I am a little unsure on how popular those terms are, maybe I could look into it. Apart from this WP as a CMS offers so many SEO tools which are pretty amazing.
Granted the CMS does not provide an import feature, but I can work this in in the future.
I would tell them to look into marketing and/or copywriting services because that is not my expertise as I'm sure(?) it is not yours.
Yep, not my expertise Marketing I can do a little, copy writing is something I've done a little of, hardly an expert. I feel that if the correct content is in place with the correct page structure, heading, sub-heading etc. then you stand a good chance of ranking well. There are other things that could be looked into, but in the end if their website does not sell, who're they going to blame?
Really, they should blame themselves because their products probably suck. A website is not a magic potion to make money. It takes additional investment in marketing with a *decent idea to do so. I wouldn't say that to anyone's face but that would probably be the truth. As someone rendering a service I would probably tell them to look into marketing and/or copywriting services which would not have been part of my original contract beyond what was initially provided. I know my limits and I would starve on the street before I attempted to sell writing and/or marketing services of my own.
LOL! To the point, but as truthful as it get's. I think you're completely right. There are so much more things you have to do to have a successful eCommerce website. I know a few people here locally who specialize in social media optimization, which for some reason seams to be a craze at the moment. I think SEO is more important which can is a lot easier to do.
On another note, would it not be our job to tell them if something would work or wouldn't? I mean we could easily research on popular terms searched and see if what they are trying to sell is searched for at all. This would make a huge difference in SEO.
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