SEO - Should i start from scratch?

13 replies
Hello Everyone

I am running an E-Commerce store (as a hobby) for 2 years and barely made some sales. As I have learned a lot regarding SEO in this time i have the follong questions for the more experienced users then i am.

Situation:
  1. Most product images have bad filenames for SEO
  2. Many products have already 1 or 2 url forwardings due to slug changes for SEO
  3. Overall Keyword strategy is rather bad
  4. The database has grown too big and has too many orphaned entries



Questions:
  1. As i don't have a lot of traffic (approx 100 visitors per week), would it be wise to simply start from scratch?
  2. Would Google and others need long to "forget" the old urls on my site and see it as "all-new"?
  3. What makes more sense, Restart from scratch (i can import all my products via excel) or spend endless hours replacing all images wiht new ones and looking for urls with too many re-directs?


While i know, this is a question which possibly can't be simply answered A or B, i for myself as SEO novice think it would be easier to simply start from scratch as i do not have a lot to use.
Am i wrong on this?

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I'd be happy to share knowledge/help against help from my side if you need anything graphic design wise

Have a good day everyone

Daniel
#scratch #seo #start
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  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    You need more backlinks and more brand recognition. Don't waste time SEO'ing your site. Google loves popular sites. It's smart enough with image recognition and stuff these days to know what's in your images.
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    • Profile picture of the author DanDust
      Hello Brett

      thank you for your answer.

      I sure need more backlinks and have been trying to, but it seems hard to get some if you have not a huge budget.

      What confuses me the most is, that if i have been searching on Google for "Dodge Charger T-Shirt" my results on image search showed up under the first 10 results.
      But since a while, they do not show up at all (maybe somewhere on page 3-4).

      In my opinion, when selling printed t-shirts, the user will look in Image search results first?

      Brand recognition: I have been posting images and threads on FB, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter frequently and keep doing it. Unfortunately, people are not interested in the brand in this niche as much as in others. They are probably only looking for the right print?

      Thank you for your kind help and have a great day ahead

      Daniel
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  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    Im an SEO guy... IF you know how to use it works.. if you don't.. you go 2 years with barely making anything = Im not bashing you here, im simply making a point.

    Starting over seems a bit rash.. adapt to what you know to be good practice and follow through with that.. BUT understand you have greater issues at hand.

    E-commerce is the simple act of having goods that you sell.. in order to do this you need the attention of the people that will buy what it is you have to offer. You have basically sat for the last 2 years and waited for your SEO to kick in. #1 this says a lot about your level of patience.. and PATIENCE in this game is a very good thing.

    However.. I suspect that waiting is what you have been doing.. and NOT acting.. what content have you added to your site in the last 2 years? To provide a bit of contrast.. at a MINIMUM, I would have created a piece of item specific content for the site at the very least once a week.. and probably closer to daily...

    This over the course of the last 2 years would have widened your potential reach in SEO by 100 pages ( again at a minimum ) and should have been closer to 300 to 600 pieces in extended reach.

    You maybe doing work.. but you are not doing THE WORK needed to make this work. ATTENTION is where the effort has to be placed. How to place buyers in front of the product you are trying to sell.

    In TODAYS market space you really should be all in with social media... every free and available waking minute of your day that is not consumed with family, work, or sleep.. you should be pouring work into this project. you should be out gaining ATTENTION for the products on your store and creating sales...

    Waiting for SEO to work.. and this is even the case for me... is a LOSING game

    We do not live in a world that is "build it and they will come" that is for movies.... you need to build it, and work HARD at making something of it
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  • Profile picture of the author DURABLEOILCOM
    Continue building out your website with SEO if you do not know how to do SEO hire someone to help you or simply forget SEO and focus on cheap Pay Per Click on Bing Ads and Google Adwords.
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  • Profile picture of the author gnugent
    One way to get get backlinks for free is to leave comments on the posts of other sites in your niche. The better your comment, the more likely it is to be accepted for publication. A blog that has lots of engagement means that your link is going to be exposed to its readers so you will get a little extra traffic as well.

    People don't go onto Facebook to buy stuff. They want to see prat falls, cat videos and all that kind of stuff. So trying a hard sell in a FB post won't work. You need to lead them over to your site or pages on your site so publish informational posts. They don't have to have images. If you want to sell, do a soft sell like "read more about these designs here" and link to a blog post about those designs. You can have your Buy Now links in that blog post.

    Another thing you can do on FB, is edit your personal profile to talk about your business rather than you specifically. Make sure to include all relevant links in your FB sidebar. If your FB posts are interesting, people will naturally click on your name to check you out and then be led on over to the links on your profile page.
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  • Profile picture of the author GDIIT
    SEO still works today, but for me, not as effective as before 5 to 10 years ago. That is because the internet is now very saturated. To rank in google using keywords would be hard nowadays, especially competing with those websites who are already popular. One of the best things you could get more traffic in your website is by using social media.
    Social media presence today is the most effective way to promote your business. There have been a lot of businesses who have been successful by taking advantage of social media sites to promote their products. You don't need to pay or spend a hefty. Create social media accounts and post relevant contents regularly to get more followers and viewers to your website.
    Another thing you can do is to be present on forums related to your niche. For example, if your niche is photography, you would need to be active on forums and/or chat groups that shares things related to it.
    Lastly, you would need to have a blog on your website where you post contents and share them on your social media accounts and forums.
    Once you have established a community in the internet, that's when you will see good results.
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  • Profile picture of the author Quenton Fyfe
    I wouldn't be very keen to start again.

    You seem to be very keen to get your keywords into image filenames and page names. Yes, ideally you put keywords there - but it's not a big ranking factor. It's not like dropping the right keywords into your filenames is going to rocket your site to the top - it won't.

    If it was me, I'd be spending my time building more links to the website, or adding more content with decent (useful, unique) descriptions.

    If you ARE thinking of starting again - make sure you know which URLs have inbound links pointing at them - you don't want to break those or you'll go backwards rather than forwards. If they don't fit your new naming scheme then use a plugin to 301 them to your new pages so you don't lose any link juice.

    How are you doing with Pinterest? Could work well in your market, especially if you have any designs that appeal to their female demographic. Post regularly (schedule in advance with Tailwind), and try to find relevant group boards to post to.
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  • Profile picture of the author zadseo
    You should do some social. SMM is the best way to introduce your brand with your customers... Insta, Facebook, Pinterest, stumbleupon, twitter and Reddit are the great platforms...
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  • Profile picture of the author DanDust
    Hello All

    Thank you for your kind help, i'm overwhelmed!

    Please don't get me wrong, my main goal with SEO is not to have my site or pages ranking nr.1 for a keyword. I'd rather want my pictures to rank high in Google image search.

    As far as i understand my customers, they Google for "Ford Mustang T-Shirt" and check the image results. Once they see what they like, then click the image link.

    I had my images rank quite well in the past and then changed filenames as i had to upload new images of all shirts. Since then it' seems to be different even if the filenames weren't better before.

    To summarize it:

    - I will try to get more backlinks
    - I will not start from scratch (even if I'd like to start with a clean canvas)


    Final and most important question for me:

    Does Google image search take the keywords from the post/site into consideration or only the image title and alt tags? Does it read the Html code where the image has been inserted or only the attachment page of the image (Wordpress)?

    Does it make sense to add an Image sitemap even if i use YOAST and they say it's not needed as they include the images in the post sitemaps?
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    • Profile picture of the author oskarjose
      Originally Posted by DanDust View Post

      Hello All

      Thank you for your kind help, i'm overwhelmed!

      Please don't get me wrong, my main goal with SEO is not to have my site or pages ranking nr.1 for a keyword. I'd rather want my pictures to rank high in Google image search.

      As far as i understand my customers, they Google for "Ford Mustang T-Shirt" and check the image results. Once they see what they like, then click the image link.

      I had my images rank quite well in the past and then changed filenames as i had to upload new images of all shirts. Since then it' seems to be different even if the filenames weren't better before.

      To summarize it:

      - I will try to get more backlinks
      - I will not start from scratch (even if I'd like to start with a clean canvas)


      Final and most important question for me:

      Does Google image search take the keywords from the post/site into consideration or only the image title and alt tags? Does it read the Html code where the image has been inserted or only the attachment page of the image (Wordpress)?

      Does it make sense to add an Image sitemap even if i use YOAST and they say it's not needed as they include the images in the post sitemaps?

      Until now search engines do not have the ability to identify images directly, so they are based on algorithms that analyze the context in which the image is located to determine its relevance in terms of search, in other words, the image itself it is not considered, but rather the associated "html alt" content, the title of it and the content of the page that surrounds it.

      Another thing, the name of the file is irrelevant, so nothing has to do if it is called "Ford_Mustang_T-Shirt.jpeg or" hjshajhsk990.jpeg "what is important is the context of it.

      also keep in mind that search engines not only give strict results to the keyword but also show the context that may associate the keyword, an example is that if you search for the word Egypt, the first thing that comes out are images of the pyramids of Giza.

      I hope I've been helpful. Greetings and success with your project!
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  • Profile picture of the author kuchenchef
    I have rather good experiences with the Google image search. But before thinking about filenames and social media strategies, better take a good look at your website through the eyes of a customer in the year 2019. Is it optimized for mobile devices? Is it fast? Or is it an out of the box Wordpress installation with masonry, drag&drop builder theme and Yoast seo that needs 5 seconds to load a single page?
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    • Profile picture of the author DanDust
      Hello Kuchenchef

      The WP site is optimized with CDN/Wp-Rocket/Manual Script deferring and all the Hooza needed and loads with 20 products on the initial page load in about 1-2 seconds. This is due to a cookie being created for the currency converter. Without currency conversion, it loads even faster.

      That being said, i think the site is ok from the technical aspect and will maybe receive a dedicated mobile version to satisfy Google page speed as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author JeanHuff
    Keep on building your site out in case you don't understand how to perform SEO forget SEO or hire a person to assist you and concentrate on Pay Per Click Bing Advertising and Google Adwords.
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