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What's wrong with my Miva site?

Posted on 2006-05-24
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
My website fashions2you.com is a Miva site. On looking at the statistics, it appears the site is potentially being overlooked by search engines.

What am I doing wrong? I've got a redirect on the index page so I can have the search engines identify the keywords; is that spoiling something? [Miva won't let me at the META tags, etc.]

Any recommended improvements to the site, or in other advertising venues (e.g., PPC, banner ads, etc?)

Thank You



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Question by:DataDesignIT
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Expert Comment

by:desertcities
ID: 16759125
Hi Datadesign,

Immediately I noticed a problem, and it's partially what you alluded to yourself, is that your main landing page is meta refreshing to another page, and I'm not quite sure why you're doing that.  Moreover, the text on your landing page is colored (cloaked) almost to match the white background which search engines frown upon a lot.  It could even get your site banned.  

I would recommend making a standard index.html main landing page, put some of your better selling items on it, change the color of the text to black (or not to match the background color), add more headings, make better use of your <title> tags by removing your website name and using only relevant keywords that describe each of your web pages, drop the meta refresh and instead use more text links to internally connect to all of your other web pages, and so much more.

Here's a very good, easy-to-read, SEO tutorial you will find valuable:
<http://www.seo-guy.com/tutorial.html>

If it's a matter about the Miva shopping cart page, then why don't you have a normal index.html main page along with other .html pages that include your clothing items with more detailed descriptions and heading and links to your it your Miva .mvc page for checkout?  I use Miva on a few sites but I use plenty of .html pages with text links and only call upon Miva for check-out and searching.

Also, I didn't see any links to 'buy' or to 'add' to my shopping cart.  You should have those for each product item, right next to it.  I did see the quantity add box on your secondary pages of an item.  So do tell your customers to click for more information, or to see a larger picture.  Clothing sells better also when customers can see a real person wearing it.  

In short, start with redoing your main page not to meta refresh to another page. Imagine the search engine spiders beginning to read your main page and 'poof' they are taken away?   If you can't figure that out with Miva, contact their customer support as they offer excellent help.  Remove the cloaked-like white text on the main page and make it a different color then the background.  Add more content, more descriptions, more text links and more headings.  But before you do all of that, give yourself an SEO tutorial with the link above.

After you do that, you will soon notice the major search engines coming back more frequently (some of your pages have not been updated in Google's index since last year) and your sites ranking improving too.

Good Luck!

Mark





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Author Comment

by:DataDesignIT
ID: 16761191
Mark-

Thank you for your insightful comments; I looked through the tutorial. I will implement what you mentioned. As a start,  I made the changes you recommended--in terms of modifying the Index page, tweaking the title, using headings more liberally, and adding additional links. (The site has been updated with a new index.htm page.)

Admittedly, the site is sort of an odd hybrid--in that it's not truly e-commerce, but is more informational (call-for-details) website. I don't know if there's any sort of SE penalties associated with that. Long-term, there will be potentially a trule transaction online using PayPal, or a CC.

I've read about blacklisting. Is there anything posssible to return to an SE's good side?

Thanks again.
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desertcities earned 1000 total points
ID: 16762690
Hi Datadesign,

I just took a quick look at the site and yes, much improvement.

The meta-refresh was probably the culprit that inhibited the search engine spiders in fully indexing your site.

You want to also create a Google Sitemap too as this will help the Google spider to work with your site and spider it efficiently.

To read more about the Google Sitemap, go here: <http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/>

Here's a very good, free, online Google sitemap generator.
<http://www.auditmypc.com/free-sitemap-generator.asp>

It creates the sitemap.xml file you need for Google.  Simply, you generate the sitemap.xml file, upload it to your website, then open an Account with Google, free, then upload the sitemap.xml file.  From there, Google will give you another file (html) to upload to your site, then Google verifies that and very quickly your site can be indexed.

Also, if you can make use of the ALT text image attribute that would be beneficial to help users who cannot see your images.  Plus, Google and Yahoo index image files as well.  It doesn't increase your page rank, but it can help expand coverage of your site.

I just checked your site and I don't believe it's banned.  Google still has links to your site and your outbound links (www.datadesignit.com) is not banned either.

Just give things time and continue making your pages SEO friendly.

Continued Good Luck!

Mark
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Author Comment

by:DataDesignIT
ID: 16766214
Mark-
Thanks for the thorough and prompt follow-up and directions. It's truly appreciated!
-Tom
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:desertcities
ID: 16766548
Your very welcome!

Thank you, too.

Mark
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