The market they/we focus on is mainly new, used, and obsolete electrical equipment, primarily circuit breakers. I've done substantial keyword research for the homepage and main category landing pages, and also the product pages. It's all pretty straight forward for this industry. You get most of the searches looking for Manufacturer Name Product Type, like GE Circuit Breakers. It's pretty competitive and we have one competitor that essentially dominates the market for just about every top level and category keyword that we're competing for. They also dominate for virtually all of the product model numbers, which is where we feel we have the best chance at competing and converting.
I recently attended a week-long Bruce Clay training through my new employer - learned some interesting new techniques. Came back and tried to apply several of them and haven't seen the jump I thought I would. I ran a little test, identifying our top 5 products for each manufacturer and linked them on the landing pages, hoping to bring more juice to them and also help users find them. I went through the funnel, looking at the categories and products and made sure they were pretty damned optimized, rewriting much of the content and making sure the keywords were prevelant in all the right places... trying not to keyword stuff. The goal is to be in the top 3 of the results for our product pages and landing pages. It didn't result in much improvement. Any products where we are competing with that dominating competitor, we can't seem to do better than 7th or 8th in the results. Anything in the Circuit Breaker category, whether it be that keyword combo or anything involving that product type has proven very difficult to do well with. And we want to improve because that's the bread and butter of our business.
What I've been focusing on the past couple weeks is product page rankings. The nature of our business is that circuit breakers (and other electrical equipment) fail and need to be replaced. Most of the time, the customer knows the model number they need and they search for that model number on Google. Sometimes they include the manufacturer of the circuit breaker, sometimes they don't. But it's pretty safe to say that we want our product pages to come up when a model number is searched - both with and without the manufactuer name included in that search. I've been trying to compare the on-page SEO efforts for the following pages, with the keyword searched being "KA36200":
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I'm trying to see why some of our shop sites are doing so poorly compared to some of the top results. There doesn't seem to be much difference between our site product pages and say, result #6, which has less content than we do. I can see the top results having more content through the use of the tabs. That gives them the opportunity to stuff more text and more keywords in the page without it looking to spammy. Should I expect to improve by tripling the amount of text to the product pages and using tabs to hide the technique like they do? There's really only so much you can say about a product, but I can fill it up with information about Used vs. New, and more info on our warranty and other things. I just don't see how that alone would catapult us up to the top 3. I also did some backlink checking using MajesticSEO for the top result to see if they have links that help them - only one external link pointing to them, and it's from a site they own. So it would seem their on-page efforts are what is helping them most.
I'm really hoping to get some insight from other SEO folks. I've asked for help in other places online only to have people give vague and generalized SEO help and others want to be paid for consulting. It would be nice to have some peers give me some ideas and recommendations that I obviously am missing here. I'm starting to pull my hair out here. I'm expected to improve our rankings and I've only had a little success so far. I don't claim to be an expert, but most of the techniques that I've used on my other ventures and even the new ones I learned at Bruce Clay don't seem to be helping with our shop sites. Could their overall domain PR be playing a bigger role in all of their product page results?
Edited by Jill, 15 November 2012 - 04:13 PM.
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