I'm working on a page trying to get ranked higher for the term "circuit breakers" in Google and want to make sure I'm doing everything right so far. Here's a page from another site that ranks very high for the same terms, and is not wikipedia:
We Sell New & Obsolete Circuit Breakers! | RELECTRIC
I couldn't find any links pointing to that page from other sites, so that tells me the content of that page is all that's really helping the PR.
Here's the working page I've been spending time on:
New Circuit Breakers, Used Circuit Breakers, Obsolete Circuit Breakers
Are there any obvious improvements I can make or anything I'm forgetting in terms of SEO? I'm making full use of the H1 tag, IMG alt tags, meta tags, keywords in the content, keywords in the A tag pointing to this page, etc. I'm not sure I can build links pointing to it effectively, since it's an e-commerce site (difficult to build links without spamming). The page is fairly new, less than a month old, so I know that's working against us right now. But I just want to make sure I'm using best practices and am not forgetting anything. The next step will be to make sure all the manufacturer pages linked on that page are also ranking high - maybe that should be the first step actually. Either way, advice is welcomed.
I wanted to also mention that our product pages for that category (where the model name/number lives, and the Buy It buttons are located) are starting to rank pretty well - far better than the more generic terms. I know that's typically the case and should theoretically be where we make the money. But my boss wants to really improve our general term ranking for our category pages.
Thanks in advance for suggestions/thoughts.
As simple as that? Below the category icon links okay you think?
Bringing this back so as to not start a new thread about the same topic. I've had very little luck getting some of our sites to come close to ranking as high as as our competitors for a few keywords (like circuit breakers and "manufacturer name" circuit breakers). I've applied all of the recommendations I could find, and have used techniques suggested by Bruce Clay - I've seen little improvement in the rankings. Yet, I see the same competitor (relectric.com) at the top of the results for almost every single keyword we're trying to rank for and I can't figure out what they're doing that we are not. The biggest frustration is when you look for product model numbers for almost any manufacturer - do a Google search for KA36200, BAB1020, or FD63F250. Those are all similar products from different manufacturers. That shop comes up at the top on all of them (relectric). I tried looking for external links pointing to their product pages that would help their ranking but I don't find any. So it seems it all comes down to on-page SEO. Some of our shops (baybreakers.com and westcoastpower.com) show up on the first page sometimes, and sometimes as high as the middle of the first page. But rarely are we in the top 3, and it seems we can never beat relectric. Some of our shops are down on the 2nd or 3rd page, and they're structured similarly to the ones that rank pretty well.
I'm just wondering if anyone might have some ideas as to what makes their site rank so well for their product pages. I can't see that they're getting help from external links, not for all their product pages. So if it's on-page, what are they doing to dominate the results for every product? It just doesn't seem obvious when looking at their product pages. I see that they have tabs on the page, which allows them to store more keyword content without having the page look stuffed. But that's about it.
The fact that you can't see any links pointing to your competitor's site doesn't mean that they don't exist. How did you go about looking for the links? Did you do a Google search with the link: operator? This is notoriously inaccurate, and frequently under-estimates the number of links.
Also, which of your competitor's pages did you do a link check on? It could be that there are many links pointing to their internal pages. If you just checked their home page, you won't see these links, but they will still have a positive effect on the ranking of the site overall.
The only other thing I can suggest is that the competitor has about twice as much text on their home page as you have. That's not necessarily significant. I can't judge whether they have twice as much information. But, in general, search engines like pages with a lot of useful text on them.
I've been using a tool called MajesticSEO to find link data, for both their homepage and the specific product pages in question. Bruce Clay believes it to be one of the most accurate tools available. The product pages don't seem to have more than one external link pointing to them, and that's from another site that they own, which I would hope Google wouldn't give much weight to. Recently attended one of their week-long training courses. Got back and implemented a bunch of their techniques hoping to make up some ground on the competitors... almost no improvement so far. Pretty disappointing. And it's even more frustrating when I see one of our competitors stuck at the top of the results for everything. It's pretty difficult to get legit links from relevant sources pointing to an e-commerce site these days. I can't find any links pointing to them that should give them much value in the rankings. And their on-page efforts don't seem to be all that much different than ours - again, at least not enough to warrant them being number 1 almost all the time.
I know they have links pointing to their homepage, but not all their products pages. I know their homepage has slightly better ranking than some of our shops but not by much. I certainly didn't think it was enough to make all of their product pages rank at the top for every product model query. I've even added direct links on some of our landing pages pointing to our "best" products in hopes of cutting down the clicks to get to them and bringing them more juice - no improvement.
I think you're over-using your keywords, they're almost every third word, it looks like keyword stuffing and Google is probably ranking you down because of it. The About Us page is better, the Home page is really bad, your other three main pages hardly have any copy on them at all. Going into the shop, most of the pages do not have the words "circuit breaker" anywhere, you could easily add a long call to action paragraph at the end "whatever you need from transformers to circuit breakers give us a call at...", even on a page with no circuit breaker content you need to find a way to get the keywords in there once at the start, once at the end and ideally once somewhere in the middle too.
Google is looking for a balanced use of keywords across the entire site, not a single page stuffed with the keywords then 20 pages which don't mention them at all, you need to balance it all out much more, make the quote/sell/contact pages become one page and add a couple of new pages there which are all text giving you the opportunity to drop in some more keywords on the primary pages, eg "the history and development of the circuit breaker", "list of circuit breaker brands we stock" kind of stuff.
It's also not a huge deal but make your META title different to your page title as well, and you almost certainly will need to find a way to build backlinks.
Thanks for looking over the site as a whole for the term circuit breaker. I'm guessing you looked over our WestCoastPower site linked in the first post. I'll look over the content again to see if I can add the circuit breaker keyword to more of the non circuit breaker pages.
Maybe you can look over my questions in post #4 as well, focused on product pages? Compare these 3 pages and see if you can tell me why one ranks #1, the next ranks around #10, and the third ranks on the fourth page of results for the term KA36200:
http://westcoastpower.com/shop/Square+D/Circuit+Breaker/KA36200 (page 4)
The only thing that stands out is that the 1st result has a lot more text because they tabbed their product info. The keyword to text ratio is about the same though. And the 2nd and 3rd Google results for that same search bring up pages that have less text than BayBreakers and WestCoastPower pages. So I can't see that it's simply just the text amount. I can only find one inbound link for the top spot page, and it's coming from another site they own. This is the trend for just about any other popular circuit breaker model number that you search for. I can't figure out what they've done to land the top spot for virtually every model number.
With SEO it can be very hard to be totally specific, but looking at those three pages;
The term appears something like 8 or 9 times on the page, it is spread mostly evenly across the page and half of those appearances are in bold/heading text, textbook good SEO copy.
The term appears something like 13 times and there are several instances where the term is "stuffed" in the "condition of..." paragraph and the last paragraph. OK SEO text but pushing a little too hard, the META keywords also over-use/stuff the term.
The term appears about 7 times, only two are headings and there's stuffing right at the start;
"KA36200 Square D Circuit Breaker
We stock Square D KA36200 Circuit Breakers , new, used, and obsolete - full 1-year warranty
Part: Square D KA36200 Circuit Breaker"
Schizophrenic SEO text where the word generally isn't used enough and when it is it's stuffed closely together.
I cannot guarantee these are the reasons why the rankings are as they are but in my opinion WCP needs to just balance out uses of the keyword across the whole page better, it really can be down to tiny adjustments especially with e-commerce product pages which are always going to be quite similar from site to site, I would try a few different copy/text solutions on different product pages and see which template gets the best results.
Actually, Relectric has the term KA36200 appearing 18 times in the body, you just can't see it because they mask it with the tabs - which I thought would hurt them a little since that seems kind of spammy, but apparently it doesn't. I guess maybe I need to see about adding tabs to help better distribute the keywords throughout the page among more content. That seems to be the way the top results have it done and they're obviously not getting penalized for it. And I'll try to make it look less stuffed. And just to be clear, it didn't used to be that stuffed on Bay Breakers, but in an effort to make improvements in ranking, I added the keyword a little more which hasn't helped.
Sorry I did miss the tabs, and the "Conditions FAQ" does look a little stuffed, but the tabs add more copy so as you say it stays fairly well spread, that PDF is going to be included in what Google sees as well.
It's very easy to go too far when you're really trying for something, all it takes is one or two well optimised competitors to make life really hard. Keep working at it, but do all the changes in one go and then leave it to sit for a little while, typically if you keep fiddling Google doesn't like that either. The last site I optimised I fiddled way too much because it was stuck on page 3, I left it alone for two months and it was in fourth place.
Thanks Steve. Good point about the constant fiddling. I'm hoping I'll have a similar experience as you - I've been working so hard at this for such a long time with these sites that it's getting a bit deflating. I guess I'm looking for some reasons to be optimistic, as well as to better understand what I'm not doing well enough to get killed across the board here. I'll go through and will see about doing another round of copy edits and address the stuffing and then will just leave it alone for a bit.
As somebody with a fair amount of knowledge about electrical work and components, I would judge your site as a moderately useful catalogue, and fairly poor source of information.
Google have no interest in catalogues and rank a site for its content information value; behold the source of your ranking problem.
A secondary challenge, is that although circuit breakers are sold to the same buyers that may purchase transformers, it is not a core subject of the main site subject and as such relating pages will rank lower.
One key issue that many companies/webmasters/IT-managers seem to overlook, is that Google have no intention of being your free marketing and advertising instrument, because they are an information provider/broker. If your site does not excel in providing information, it will not rank prominently.
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