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 Can non-biz content affect SEO for biz?
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DeeAnna
Advanced Member

USA
262 Posts

Pre-sales questions only
(More Details...)

Posted - 02/05/2020 :  08:54:09  
Hello there!

I had a marked drop in retail sales this past holiday season. I've run my particular business long enough to know sales vary from year to year, but this was a huge and unusual reduction in sales. I'm trying to figure out what might have gone wrong and what I can do to improve matters.

Here's one concern that I can't answer fully on my own, so I'm hoping y'all will help --

I've had my business website for about 18 years. (https://classicbells.com/) About 5 years ago, I created a section on my biz website for articles I've written about soap making, a hobby of mine. (https://classicbells.com/soap/soapystuff.html) Over the years, this content has become increasingly popular with soap makers.

The latest report from Google shows the traffic to the soap making section has been MUCH higher than to the main business part of my website. Granted, it's the off season for my business -- people's interest in sleigh bells is near zero right now. But it looks like this trend was happening even during my busy season -- traffic to the soap making section was in the same order of magnitude as the business.

So here's my concern -- Could traffic to these soap making articles be hurting the ranking for the business part of the website? Could I reasonably expect to see an improvement in the SEO rankings for the biz if I remove the soap articles and host them elsewhere?

Many thanks to all for reading this and for offering insights and advice.

Regards,
DeeAnna

Classic Bells, Postville, Iowa, USA, http://classicbells.com/

Marshall
Ecommerce Template Guru

USA
1577 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2020 :  09:35:15  
Do you have links in your articles to related products on your site? As long as you do that properly within the context of your article (meaning no random or spam like links) this should help. Use relative keywords in the link. It may bring customers to your site, albeit through the back door, so to speak.

Marshall
CENLYT Productions - ms designs
Affordable Web Design
Custom Ecommerce Designs
Responsive Websites
Cenlyt.com

DeeAnna
Advanced Member

USA
262 Posts

Pre-sales questions only
(More Details...)

Posted - 02/05/2020 :  09:45:41  
I see your point, Marshall -- good suggestion. Unfortunately, the articles are about soap, and the business is about sleigh bells and leather. I'm not sure there's a good way to link these two disparate things. :) --D

Classic Bells, Postville, Iowa, USA, http://classicbells.com/

dbdave
ECT Moderator

USA
8804 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2020 :  10:05:12  
Hi DeeAnna, what you are suggesting doesn't seem likely, but I suppose it may be possible.
I wonder if google promotes a website based on "what it's about" and now it thinks your site is about something different than what it used to be.
That's complete speculation on my part, but plausible.

David

Marshall
Ecommerce Template Guru

USA
1577 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2020 :  10:10:07  
I try. But that begs the question, why do you have something totally unrelated to what you sell on the same website? Therein may lie the problem with SEO. Proportionately, based on a really quick look (emphasize really quick), seems you have more text about soap than sleigh bells. Just my 2 cents worth.

Marshall
CENLYT Productions - ms designs
Affordable Web Design
Custom Ecommerce Designs
Responsive Websites
Cenlyt.com

DeeAnna
Advanced Member

USA
262 Posts

Pre-sales questions only
(More Details...)

Posted - 02/05/2020 :  11:04:27  
"...why do you have something totally unrelated to what you sell on the same website?..."

I wanted to share the soap related content with my fellow soap makers. I either pay for a new website domain and hosting and all that, or make use of a resource I've already got set up and running.

The soap section is about 15 mB total. The sleigh bell info section for the biz contains over 40 mB worth of articles and pictures. And over 800 products listed in my store, which are almost entirely related to what I do in my biz.

"...Google ... now it thinks your site is about something different than what it used to be..."

Yeah, that's exactly my concern too. But I don't know this to be true, and I hate to leap into changing something if it ain't broke.

--DeeAnna

Classic Bells, Postville, Iowa, USA, http://classicbells.com/

dbdave
ECT Moderator

USA
8804 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2020 :  11:18:58  
quote:
I wanted to share the soap related content with my fellow soap makers. I either pay for a new website domain and hosting and all that, or make use of a resource I've already got set up and running.



Most hosting plans allow sub domains.

soap.yourdomain.com might be (have been) a viable option.

I would search google for answers to the question about your (alternate) content having an impact on seo.
Also, check your google webmaster tools (no longer called that) for answers and possible issues.

Edited by - dbdave on 02/05/2020 11:19:48

DeeAnna
Advanced Member

USA
262 Posts

Pre-sales questions only
(More Details...)

Posted - 02/05/2020 :  11:52:51  
Thanks for the idea, dbDave. I'd never paid a lot of attention to subdomains and why I'd want to use one, but splitting this content into a subdomain might be a good solution for this situation. I'll check if my hosting service does allow me to add subdomains -- I believe it does, but not certain. --D

Classic Bells, Postville, Iowa, USA, http://classicbells.com/

Sinbad
Administrator

65850 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2020 :  18:28:45  
Hi DeeAnna, I agree with Marshall having non related information that is more popular than the main purpose for the site is not good. Second I notice this meta tag
Basically it says follow links on the page

<meta name="robots" content="FOLLOW">

The correct tag is to tell the search engines to index the page and follow all links on the page. Notice the tag in lower-case
<meta name="robots" content="index, follow" />

Also the anchor text (any text that is linked to interior pages) for the links on the page really don't do much for your keywords.

Also I don't see any Google Analytics code if you want the site to be friendly with google then it needs to show it. Sign up for a google analytics account and use the code here in your includes file https://www.ecommercetemplates.com/help/ecommplus/parameters.asp#analytics

One more thing to help with the SEO search engine friendly urls https://www.ecommercetemplates.com/help/search-engine-friendly.asp

I would also recommend running the site through https://validator.w3.org/ and fixing the ones you can first. Then for the ones your not sure about post back here I'll try to assist.

If this all sounds like too much shoot me a email. Nows the time to get the site rolling again.

Winners never quit, quitters never win
CSS and Responsive Designs
User Manual for Ecommerce Templates

SethDunford
Starting Member

USA
3 Posts

Pre-sales questions only
(More Details...)

Posted - 05/11/2020 :  05:59:16  
I think that it would be better for you to make separate websites - one about soap, and the other about your business. This way you could see the traffic clearly, especially since the topics of soap making and sleigh bells. I see some other guys adviced you to use subdomains, but as for me I would rather make a separate website, unless you can find a way to somehow mix the two topics.
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