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I must be doing something wrong -- my SEO seBlows

Started by on Feb 18, 2010 – Contents updated: Jun 04, 2014

Feb 18, 2010 04:53    

So here's my situation.

I run a [url=http://birthdayshoes.com]fan site for Vibram Five Fingers[/url]. You may have heard about these things or seen them -- they're the weird five toed foot glove shoes that a ton of people are getting into generally, but also specifically to run in them.

The site has grown since inception in mid April 2009 to being the go-to source for news/reviews/user stories/photos/and all around information about "VFFs." It presently pulls in around 2000 visitors/day -- average pageviews >4 per visit. Time per visit averaging close to six minutes. It's got about 600 feedburner subscribers, and all the other stats are positive. The site gets consistently positive feedback and is, SEO aside, doing great.

But as for SEO, I'm dumbfounded. Google [vibram five fingers] and I show up midway down page 4 (say around 36ish) -- behind I might add a review I did on my personal site.

The site's page rank is only 3, so I'm sure that comes into play, but I just don't get how a site with more information about Five Fingers than any other site on the net -- the official website for VFFs included -- could not be on page 1.

So I'm now wondering if I'm doing something wrong. One of the primary forms of posts on the blog there is user submitted stories/reviews and photos. So most of these posts I use the link to post for the images and I *was* writing an intro, then putting in their blockquoted emailed story and ending in a wrap up. Here's an example:

http://birthdayshoes.com/traveling-in-vibram-five-finger-kso-to-cancun-user-review

In trying to figure this out, I wondered "maybe Google is ignoring all that blockquoted text thinking it's duplicated material -- even though it's not!" so I went back and replaced all the blockquote tags with a specific CSS div class that would give the same visual styling but not make Google think it was duplicated content (b/c it's definitely *NOT*).

Also, I implemented pretty URLs the other day. Not sure why I hadn't done that in the first place. Details.

Anyway, I just can't figure this one out and I feel like it must be something really obvious. There's just no good reason the site should show up below one-off reviews of VFFs by other bloggers in a basic search for [five fingers] or [vibram five fingers].

Definitely doing something wrong.

Feb 18, 2010 11:27

There is nothing wrong really. You site just isn't well optimised for the keywords "vibram five fingers". I would start by looking at your on-page SEO factors. If you do the search "birthday shoes" where do you come in the results? Position 1 - so right off the bat that tells you what your site is better optimised for other than "vibram five fingers". Once you have your site better optimised for "vibram five fingers" you then need to get going on the off-page factors and link building is the first thing you should be doing. As an example, the site in position one is http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/ and they have 14,500 back links to their domain with a good percentage linking back to them as "vibram five fingers". You have far less back links to your domain (2,790) and the majority of them are linking back as "birthday shoes" or "vibram five finger fan site" for which you come at position 1 again.

That should give you enough to go on for a while :)

L

Feb 18, 2010 21:21

lturner wrote:

There is nothing wrong really. You site just isn't well optimised for the keywords "vibram five fingers". I would start by looking at your on-page SEO factors. If you do the search "birthday shoes" where do you come in the results? Position 1 - so right off the bat that tells you what your site is better optimised for other than "vibram five fingers". Once you have your site better optimised for "vibram five fingers" you then need to get going on the off-page factors and link building is the first thing you should be doing. As an example, the site in position one is http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/ and they have 14,500 back links to their domain with a good percentage linking back to them as "vibram five fingers". You have far less back links to your domain (2,790) and the majority of them are linking back as "birthday shoes" or "vibram five finger fan site" for which you come at position 1 again.

That should give you enough to go on for a while :)

L

Thanks -- definitely am starting to be a lot more proactive with the use of "vibram five fingers" in my permalinks and titles.

No way I catch up to the official site, but if I can swing doubling my backlinks, that'd be a start.

Feb 23, 2010 15:00

So one friend took a look at my site and his instant thought was "you have as your h1 tag 'birthday shoes'" ... light bulb.

So what I did was re-style the header of the site so that the "birthday shoes" was just a div and the subtitle, which is more descriptively accurate, is the h1 tag. It'll be interesting to see if that has any significant impact on my SEO. Something to think about for anyone using the evocamp template, too (that's what is the base skin I customized for birthdayshoes.com)

Mar 15, 2010 15:35

NealO wrote:

So one friend took a look at my site and his instant thought was "you have as your h1 tag 'birthday shoes'" ... light bulb.

So what I did was re-style the header of the site so that the "birthday shoes" was just a div and the subtitle, which is more descriptively accurate, is the h1 tag. It'll be interesting to see if that has any significant impact on my SEO. Something to think about for anyone using the evocamp template, too (that's what is the base skin I customized for birthdayshoes.com)

BTW another thing that may have been causing SEO issues is that the layout of evocamp puts the micontent (middle) column above the blog post content. That, in conjunction with the nav bar links, ends up leaving the content of the blog fairly far down in the raw HTML, which may (or may not) affect crawling accessibility. I know that for my site, my midcontent column was actually taking awhile to load, which meant that the important stuff took even longer to load.

Incidentally, having looked at that and then decided that I didn't really want 3 columns on individual posts, I killed midcontent on single posts. So here's the main blog:

http://birthdayshoes.com

And here is a single post:

http://birthdayshoes.com/kick-back-and-relax-hammock-time-in-kso-vibram-five-fingers

Additionally, I killed the navigation section (just turned off all widgets) and stuck my navigation at the top of the far right sidebar, so that again, this HTML loads after the individual posts.

Any feedback you guys have is much appreciated!

Mar 20, 2010 07:36

NealO wrote:

lturner wrote:

There is nothing wrong really. You site just isn't well optimised for the keywords "vibram five fingers". I would start by looking at your on-page SEO factors. If you do the search "birthday shoes" where do you come in the results? Position 1 - so right off the bat that tells you what your site is better optimised for other than "vibram five fingers". Once you have your site better optimised for "vibram five fingers" you then need to get going on the off-page factors and link building is the first thing you should be doing. As an example, the site in position one is http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/ and they have 14,500 back links to their domain with a good percentage linking back to them as "vibram five fingers". You have far less back links to your domain (2,790) and the majority of them are linking back as "birthday shoes" or "vibram five finger fan site" for which you come at position 1 again.

That should give you enough to go on for a while :)

L

Thanks -- definitely am starting to be a lot more proactive with the use of "vibram five fingers" in my permalinks and titles.

No way I catch up to the official site, but if I can swing doubling my backlinks, that'd be a start.

I'm new here and have done plenty of seo work in the past. http://birthdayshoes.com/ has between a 98 - 100% rating for the keyword "vibram" and 97% for the fingers. All in all your site is very relevant and should rank higher, (http://www.vibramfivefingers.com) doesn't rank well for "vibram five fingers" even though they have it in their url. As a matter of fact, the google algorithm doesn't rank them at all. Other sites all link back to them using the "vibram five fingers" key phrase in the page title and anchor text which helps their ranking. Also your home page title does nothing to help your seo. You might believe so because its the first words in the title, but it isn't right (seo expert advice). Using the proper page titles will help you move up in the rankings. If you contact me for assistance, i'm very sure I can help you.


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