Search Engine Optimization (SEO) shapes your website so search engine bots ranks it higher. Main goal with SEO is to get to top list in search engine, mostly on Google, Bing or Yahoo!, with selected keywords or phrases. There is huge number of tutorials that describes in detail how to do SEO for websites and in 99% of cases you do not need any SEO expert - you can do it by yourself. Even it is very important to have website optimized for engines, do not forget that you are doing web for users and not for crawling bots and loosing too much time with optimization will not bring that result, rather that spent it on content for your web.
Following article describe practices on how to do SEO for osclass classifieds, as you will not find too many tips for classifieds on Google. Osclass is not well SEO optimized and therefore it is required to use SEO Plugin for osclass, I have used All in One SEO Plugin developed by our team, that perfectly fit needs of osclass optimization.
No one knows all secret of SEO and how engine's alghoritm works, therefore you may find different opinions on particular problems. Am I wrong? Maybe, but you are here and reading this article, so I could argue...
Let's do Search Engine Optimization!
Basic rule on SEO is - "do not cheat, do not try it", algorithm will recognize it. There are 2 basic factors - terms in optimization:
- On page optimization - your content, structure, headings, speed of your site, duplicity and all elements that are related to your site
- Off page optimization - backlinks and referrals from 3rd party sites linking to your osclass, blogs, advertisement
All in One SEO plugin consider both factors. On one side it allows you to fully manage backlinks (links placed on your site, following to external sites) as well as manage referral links (links placed on external websites, following to your site) - these are off page. Regarding on page factors, it allows to define titles, meta titles, meta description and structure of meta tags on your classifieds.
Reminder: meta keywords are not considered as SEO element anymore and is waste of time to care about keywords. Remove them, ignore them.
Off page SEO factors
These factors are related to third party sites pointing on your osclass. We can call this topic with word "backlinks" as well. Backlink is link placed on external site, that points on your site. Building backlinks used to be very popular and there were backlink farms etc, but it's weight has decreased significantly in last years. Why? Because it is easy to cheat.
Anyway you still need some backlinks to be able to start and you get them i.e. from friends that has website, on forums, in comments, or simply buy some backlinks. It is very popular to use also directories, but I would say links from here does not have too much value.
Backlink points to your web and should be placed on external websites so Google can find our market place, however there are few rules you should remember on:
- Links from larget, well known and higly ranked sites are much more worth (1000 links from PR2 site has less value then 1 links from PR4 site)
- If link has attribute rel="nofollow", it tells search engine not to follow this link. In other words, link is ignored and your osclass do not get any boost
- If some website contains your backlink and you have no link to this site on your web, it has much more value
- Make sure your backlink is not placed in footer or on special page called "backlinks" - engine put very little weight on such links
- Repeating links (like in footer) has less weight
- Content of link is very important and should contain keyword, it is recommended not to place just link to external website, but also wrapping text related to topic on your site, so it looks like article
Sample backlink code:
OsclassPoint.com offers <a href="https://osclasspoint.com">osclass themes and plugins</a> for best price
No matter how importants are backlinks, do not waste too much time with them. 50 links are sufficient for start and later on people should share your osclass site without your knowledge - that will really boost your SEO.
On page SEO factors
Most important in SEO is to have content on your classifieds, it must be rich, unique, no duplicates. Text in footer and header is not considered as valuable content as it is repeating, therefore remember to keep these sections clean and easy, do not place links to external websites to footer as well.
Problem with classifieds and osclass itself is that people use to copy & paste content from classifieds to classifieds that makes it less valuable. Alternatively you can have problems to get any content to your site from start, so let's take a look on how to start and how to maintain your osclass.
Is domain name important? Yes, it is, domain should contain keyword of your business.
How to get content to osclass
Basic issue with classifieds is to start and get some listings - you know that no one will spent time on your site adding it's listing to classifieds that are empty. Really good practice in first months is to copy listings from other classifieds to your. Owners will probably not be angry that you promote their products and you get content. However, remember that copy & paste will not work, you should modify each listing (title and description) a bit, so content is not duplicate, but unique. Search engines will slowly start to crawl your website. As you are doing web for people and not for search engines, do not forget to copy at least 2-3 pictures for each listing, it will bring more trust to users browsing your site and they may start to add their own listing.
This is not required if you starts classifieds for your business, i.e. selling books, antiques, used electronics... Even in this case make sure you do not copy & paste your listings to other sites as well, content is most valuable on site that has been crawled by engine first, so others are considered as copies or duplicates.
You can try to contact also some companies - resellers and offer them your site as place for publish, they will not argue if you will do their job and add their listings for them. Later on they can start adding listings by themself.
Search Engine Optimization is never ending as well as having classifieds, you will need some hour each day to maintain your listings. If you still do not have enough submissions from users, at least little rewrite title and description in newly published listings so they are not copies from other sites and make sure users do not duplicate listings on your site.
It means that if you have 5 identical listings on your site, that is bad and you will get very little value - simply said it's spam. Rich and unique content is a must and you should put all effort into this. Review each new listing that is published on your osclass and avoid to have listings of types drugs, sex content, weapons, love helpers and india krishnas etc... engines do not like them as it's spam as well.
To make sure your site does not have duplicates, we recommend to use Spam Solution Plugin that will take care of duplicates, banned words and bad words as well. When same listing is posted by same user multiple times, older listings are automatically removed or disabled. When user use banned word in title or description, this user is banned and listing not published. When user use bad word, this word is replaced with *** to not discourage your users from "bad" content.
If you have enought time for validation of listings, use Item Validation Plugin that disable each new listing until it is validated and approved by you, however remember that validation should be fast and quick, you should not hold listings more than few hours on validation, users will not like it and leave your site.
You can create content by you as well, write some tips and instructions for your customers, how to sell more successfully, when not to buy product, how to identify fraud listing, how to use your classifieds etc. Avoid using too much adverts on your site, even it earns you money, it helps to loose customers.
If you read carefully above rows, you already know basics what to do regarding content:
- unique and rich content is basic
- avoid having duplicates on your site
- remove listings offering sex, weapons, drugs, help in love...
- make sure your content is unique comparing to other sites - update titles and descriptions
- it was proven that listings with pictures are 7x more successful comparing to listings without pictures
- create own content - tips, blog,...
- less advertisement is better
Meta tags setup - title, meta title, meta description
Osclass pages except listing page does not use to have too much content, it's just board showing links to listings, therefore listing page is most important. We will take a look on setup of home page, search page and listing page. In this section we will be talking about title and description, but explain what is what:
- Title - shown in page tab of browser. Usually same as meta title, plugin allows to have same or different
- Meta Title - shown in search engine as title for your page, should have 50 - 60 characters length and should contain keyword on that you want to attract users to visit your site
- Meta Description - shown in search engine as description for your page, should have 150 - 160 characters length and should contain keyword on that you want to attract users to visit your site
All in One SEO Plugin will help you configure home page, search page and listing page and static pages. Others are not too important for SEO, we will consider title and meta title are same. Words in these tags should be precisely choosen and be rich, words at start has higher weight than words at right of tag, so at least title should start with keyword that attracts your customers and identifies your classifieds. Seo plugin allows you to set own delimiter for tags, mostly it is dash (-).
We will talk about SEO setup for Osclass Point Marketplace and why it was choosen like that.
Title usually contains sentence that describe your osclass, description brings more details what kind of classifieds you have and why people should go to your site.
Meta title: Osclass Marketplace - Plugins and Themes - OsclasssPoint
Meta description: Osclass plugins and themes to increase traffic and income on your classifieds. Best prices and high quality identifies OsclassPoint as favorite market for osclass.
In title there are few keywords - Osclass, Marketplace, Plugins, Themes and at the end we have name of our site, so when people search for osclass themes, osclass plugins or osclass market, there is match on all keywords. Description contains same keywords, possitives of our marketplace, what kind of market it is and why to buy there.
Search page - categories, locations, search keywords
On search page selection of words here is very important, it can get too long very easily and you must consider if each word has value to be in title or description
Meta title: Advertisement - Osclass advertisement and banner plugins - OsclassPoint
Meta description: Monetize your classifieds with advertisement and banner plugin. Create banners and earn money now!
Now we are looking on category Plugins - Advertisement. In title is name of category (Advertisement), then it's custom meta title defined in plugin for this category (Osclass advertisement and banner plugins) and at the end there is name of our marketplace. Description contains custom meta description for this category only, having few keywords we are looking for.
On our osclass location is not important and is not used in meta tags, search keyword is set to show first when entered. On location consider targeting of your classifieds in terms of Geo. Is it for 1 country only? Then put only region and city to title. Is it for multiple countries? Then you should have just country and city here - having country, region and city may get too long.
Listing page (product, item)
Tags on item page and it's content itself is most important page for your osclass, as content here used to be non-repeating, unique, rich and long enough, therefore meta attributes must be choosen in respect to your osclass.
Meta title: Backoffice Manager Plugin - Backoffice - OsclassPoint
Meta description: Delete comments that were not activated after XX days (you can define number of days)delete comments that were marked as...
Title contains title/name of listing/product, category name and name of our market place. It's short enough and contains key information, however our marketplace is not looking on location. If your is geo-located, place here at least city to tell users where is located listing. Region name may be helpful as well, if your title does not get too long. Description contains first 160 characters of product description, therefore we must take care that all listings' description start with rich content and not just links etc...
No matter how well you construct your meta tags, Google and other search engines may not use them. If engine identifies title is not objective, does not contain keywords and it can be generated better by engine itself, it will generate it and replace yours.
Hope this article helped you a bit with default configration of your osclass to be Search Engine Optimized!