Home – New Forums Tell me straight… Please review my website…

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  • #987299
    theholidayshoppe
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    Hello all,

    Would love some advice on my website… http://www.theholidayshoppe.com.au

    1. What needs reviewing? (i.e. logo, website, idea etc…)
    a) I’m happy for constructive criticism on all aspects of the website. I’ve only been online for approximately two months so certainly haven’t formed any strong brand recognition for anything here.
    2. What does your business do?
    a) My business is an online gift and decoration shop with the aim to provide quality decorations from overseas that you can’t find here. Swedish, German, Finnish and American products mostly with some Australian designers as well to cover the boutique gift side of the business. These are all themed around the holidays.
    3. Who is your target market?
    a) My target market is ex-pats that have moved here and found it difficult to get the holiday specific items that they remember from home. It’s also anyone who loves to decorate and celebrate the holidays outside of Christmas.
    4. What specific concerns do you have?
    a) I have found that while I am getting people coming through, I have low conversion rates. My question is how do I increase conversion rates? Is there something about my website that isn’t convincing people to buy?
    b) The organic searches I was getting have now disappeared which would be because I made some updates to my keywords, page titles and page descriptions. I failed to follow the ‘change one thing and measure success’ rule and am paying for it now. I’m not being helped in Google Analytics to determine where my organic searches are coming through as they mostly say ‘not provided’ due to the privacy settings around Google searches. So, how do I determine my keywords to generate more organic searches? What would you use to search for me?
    c) I’ve been debating printing up some quality postcards with something eye-catching on the image side and my logo, shop details, description and a discount code on the other side and doing a letterbox drop in various suburbs where I think my target audience would be. Do you think this would benefit an online store? I do have contacts in other states who could help me reach a wider audience.

    Thank you very much, I do realise there are a lot of questions there.

    Kind Regards,

    #1161978
    JohnW
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    Hi Holiday Shoppe,
    You seem to have a lot of problems.

    1. No Home page content.
    It looks like this is all that a SE can read of your Home page:

    “The Holiday Shoppe | Online unique holiday gift & decoration shop
    A boutique online shop for all of your holiday gift and decoration shopping. Free shipping on holiday and seasonal gifts and decorations from around the world.

    Loading The Holiday Shoppe Pages

    See me on…
    facebook
    pinterest
    Email”

    2. How will people navigate your site?
    If I search for a product I could land on a page like these, as they are the only ones that contain any information:

    They are “dead end” pages. People can’t explore your site from these types of pages because there are no navigation links on them.

    This is so user un-friendly that I suggest most people who land on them will hit their back buttons and shop somewhere else.

    What does your Google Analytics program tell you? Try your landing page report.

    • Do people who land on your product pages have an average number of pageviews of close to 1.0?
    • Do they have a time on page of less than 30 seconds?

    Metrics of this nature would make me question my shopping cart program’s capabilities.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1161979
    theholidayshoppe
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    Hi John,

    Thanks for your input, I am getting some quite varied SEO results and am desperately trying to get to the bottom of it! I really appreciate you looking at my site and giving me feedback. I can only learn and improve!

    1. No Home page content.

    That you see no home page content interests me as I actually have a fair bit of content. I have images with alt text and titles, a few paragraphs about the site as well as H1 and H2 tags. When I look at my home page via http://www.theholidayshoppe.com.au/?_escaped_fragment_= I get a lot of SEO content. What would stop the SE tool you used and Google from seeing these?

    2. How will people navigate your site?

    I don’t have a lot of people landing on my product pages, I assume because I have brand, type and occasion pages and they are generally searching for a brand or type of product over a specific item. When looking I realise I do need to review the descriptions on these pages, I will get to that as well. Some of my stats when landing on a product page are around 16 pageviews and others 1 or 2 but the majority of visitors come through to the brand, type or occasion pages and most to the home page. This however, could change over time, unfortunately I’m limited by the construction of the site right now.

    Thanks again for looking, I’ll keep looking at what changes I can implement from your suggestions.

    Regards,

    #1161980
    Hatching_It
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    I won’t go in to as much detail as John has because I think he’s raised some very good issues.

    Instead, I’ll go to the cause.

    You’re using Wix, which yes, costs you $0/month in expenditure but unfortunately it costs you in other ways, like not selling anything on your website. Wix is also not very extendible for the Australian marketplace (no Australian payment gateway integrations, no Australia postal system/couriers etc..

    My advice: Get something built on a proper platform. Hit up Matthew Keath on the forum, his business builds basic eCommerce websites for somewhere around $1000 from memory (might be less) and yes, it will cost you some money but it will actually make you money – therefore paying for itself.

    Wix has it’s place, but not really in Australian eCommerce yet.

    Maclean

    #1161981
    theholidayshoppe
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    Thanks Maclean,

    Still waiting for my reply to John to appear, I was really interested that he couldn’t see any of my content. As I knew they were running an AJAX application I was checking my content using the /?_escaped_fragment_= tag but assumed I would still be found on Google as I was getting traffic from organic searches.

    Unfortunately Wix doesn’t cost $0 in expenditure, my aim wasn’t to save money but I was more time-poor and didn’t want to have the security concerns of maintaining my own credit card receipts. This seemed a viable alternative, I did have concerns and these just really verify them.

    Thank you for the referral, I’ll have a look. I guess with the work I’ve done that at least they will get the general ‘look and feel’ I’m after but take it outside Wix and improve on my ideas. So, I suppose that leads me to my next question…Is there any feedback on the general look and feel of the business and website that’s there? I don’t want to move along a path if it really isn’t appealing.

    I do understand what John is saying about the ‘dead’ pages, that’s another limitation I’m faced with as well as the ability to categorize my products below one sub level making it difficult to move between product types within the holidays, making me maintain ‘By Type’ and ‘By Brand’ menu options. This was really annoying me. My plan was to have the shop based around the holidays, then within each holiday be able to view the products by type or brand if that’s what the user wanted. I imagined people Googling ‘Easter Gifts’ or ‘Gifts for Mum’ and then arriving in the part of the shop they needed.

    Thanks again, I’ll check out Matthew. Would love some feedback on the look and feel of the website from anyone as well.

    Cheers,

    #1161982
    Stuart B
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    Wix #itsatrap

    On the upside you’re probably the first person with a wix site which actually looks nice. :)

    #1161983
    theholidayshoppe
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    Haha, yes it is and, thanks for the compliment Octopus Labs!

    #1161984
    martin.firth
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    Howdy!

    Thanks for letting us take a look at your site. The general feel is not bad, but I can immediately see why you are lacking in conversion.

    When people visit a site, they aren’t concentrating nearly as much as we are when building one. If the site doesn’t vaguely resemble what they are looking for at first glance, they won’t probe much further.

    Your header is too big, and not descriptive enough. For me, your logo is outside of the browser edge, so I can’t see the company name properly. You need to reduce the space at the top of the page, so people can immediately see (without scrolling) that you are selling stuff.

    See below, and good luck.

    Martin

    Original:
    15i690w.png

    Recommendation:
    erh1tk.jpg

    #1161985
    kmo
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    Hi Michelle,

    The logo is a little out for me also. However, overall I think the look and feel is nice. Your images are lovely and clear.

    Best of luck. Products look great!

    #1161986
    JohnW
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    theholidayshoppe, post: 187319 wrote:
    Thanks Maclean,

    Still waiting for my reply to John to appear, I was really interested that he couldn’t see any of my content.

    I do understand what John is saying about the ‘dead’ pages, that’s another limitation I’m faced with as well as the ability to categorize my products below one sub level making it difficult to move between product types within the holidays, making me maintain ‘By Type’ and ‘By Brand’ menu options.
    Hi Michelle,
    SEs are written to “read” HTML code. They have limited ability to read Ajax code which is what I understand is the basis for the Wix CMS.

    What you need to do is view how Google (not me) “reads” your pages.

    To do this, start with a “site” search on Google. You enter this search query in G:

    site:.theholidayshoppe.com.au

    G will tell you it has indexed 155 pages from your domain.

    Now click on the green down arrow beside your page URLs and select the “cached” link.

    In the right-hand corner of the grey header of the linked page you will see a link to: “text only version”. Click it quickly. If you don’t, Wix will over-ride it.

    This is how I grabbed the info in my previous reply.

    For shopping carts, you might expect 80%+ of SE referrals to land on internal pages. That is unlikely to happen with your site as it is currently published.

    SEs don’t like “dead end” pages as most of yours are. Then there are the other problems you allude to. All contribute dramatically to death by lack of SE.

    It looks like Wix is killing your SE referrals.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1161987
    theholidayshoppe
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    Thanks Martin and kmo,

    I’ll have a look and change those now. Everything helps, I really appreciate everyone having a look!

    Cheers,
    Michelle

    #1161988
    Hatching_It
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    John your post intrigued me so I decided to have a quick look at the page source and found this little gem commented in to the middle of the page

    So, Google is apparently seeing this, which is much better – http://www.theholidayshoppe.com.au/?_escaped_fragment_=

    So I guess the only thing you lose is page names within the optimisation which count for very little in the big picture.

    Maclean

    #1161989
    theholidayshoppe
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    Thanks John and Maclean,

    I know just enough to get me into trouble…so that is really helpful.

    That little snippet you’ve posted Maclean is what made me start looking at my pages with the /?_escaped_fragment ‘tag’ to see what was being crawled. I was worried that I had fallen into a trap though and Google wasn’t really seeing anything. Saying that, I’m still not convinced that Google is really seeing me though because, no matter what I do, I can’t seem to get my site to rate other than with my business name (I’d be really worried if I didn’t come up on a Google search then!). But, I’m not giving up on my SEO until I can get moved off Wix as I don’t just want to stay in the ether until then. I think I need more, and quality, page content and product descriptions, which I’ll need no matter what.

    So, I have started looking to move off of Wix and get something built elsewhere, mostly because the limitations I’m facing are real, structural website issues that I think make navigation harder than it should be.

    I really do want this shop to get going.

    Cheers,
    Michelle

    #1161990
    JohnW
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    Hatching_It, post: 187454 wrote:
    John your post intrigued me so I decided to have a quick look at the page source and found this little gem commented in to the middle of the page

    So, Google is apparently seeing this, which is much better – http://www.theholidayshoppe.com.au/?_escaped_fragment_=

    So I guess the only thing you lose is page names within the optimisation which count for very little in the big picture. Maclean
    Hi Maclean,
    Yes, I also saw this bit of SEO info on the Home page but I believe the site is not implementing it – for what little it is worth (IMHO).

    The site search shows that Google reads the Home page as I described it. G does not read it as theholidayshoppe.com.au/?_escaped_fragment_=.

    Try a site search and see for yourself how most pages are “dead ends”. This is a SE referral killer of the first order.

    I have trouble identifying much in this site that supports SEO.

    SEO is not done with keyword or description meta tags. Description meta tags have no more ranking relevance than the same words in page text. SEs don’t even read the keyword meta tag.

    The most important SEO attributes include:

    • Site Home page
    • Page titles
    • Site structure
    • Site design
    • Page URLs
    • Internal link text.

    The Wix text you reference does not address these mission critical SEO elements and few are implemented on the site.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1161991
    theholidayshoppe
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    I’m looking forward to getting off Wix, I just don’t have control over those things on it. I think I’m going to have to find another way to get my name out there other than Google ranking which is a killer.

    I think I may be going old school and printing the postcards and doing a letter drop sooner rather than later hoping that it draws some attention!

    Cheers,
    Michelle

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