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ProductivePC
VP-ASP New User

USA
199 Posts

Posted - May 12 2004 :  01:03:49  Show Profile  Visit ProductivePC's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Okay, here is a controversial subject. This has been touched on a few times in some other posts but nothing that actually has any pertinence has been brought up. There is some major issues that have to deal with the HTML generation that I believe are important enough to speak about here.

Problems and reasoning why

HTML generation does not generate more than 1 product page even if that product is in multiple categories.
Reasoning Why: The HTML pages are not meant to replace the Shopping Cart so this is presumed not needed AND the HTML pages are just there to be indexed by the search engines and not really for people to navigate.

On 1 half of the coin
There is a huge flaw in this thinking. Let us take this one step further. Okay, the pages are for the search engines to index, they index it, they absolutely love your relative content rich now HTML generated webpage and place you number 1 in a high keyword phrase. This is the same page that is "not for people to navigate". Well, people are going to navigate it because it is in the search engines. A work around you say "have a redirect as soon as it hits that page". Well, this sounds great for anyone that doesn't know anything about SEO however, if you use a meta redirect with a refresh of 0 for instant transfer or a CSS redirect, this is something that red flags the search engines known as a deceptive redirect. This is not a good thing. You can use an HTTP redirect to get by the bots however then you have human interaction and as we all know, it is a cut throat game out there. You have SEO's out there dying at the chance to compete with you and find one flaw in your number one spot so that can report you to be investigated by a real person so this method of operendi does not work either and all because they enjoy it.

On the other half of the coin
You do not want the same content on multiple pages either. A suggestion, that will only be feasible if you have a low amount of product items, to most people to get around this is to create a separate item listing for each category item. This will give you full control over the text that is written for that product and the name that is on there as well as it will work with the current HTML Generation. This can be done easily from the database instead of the admin interface. You would be there all day adding products if you went the admininstrative interface route. If you run an Access Database then it is an easy road, if you run anything else, than I cannot help you :( but I am sure someone in this forum can :)

The Next and Previous buttons do not generate along with everything else
Reasoning Why: The HTML pages are not meant to replace the Shopping Cart so this is presumed not needed AND the HTML pages are just there to be indexed by the search engines and not really for people to navigate.

Okay, this is a MAJOR issue! We have already established that people are going to come in on those pages and that a redirect is not the proper answer and only the wrong way to work around the problem.

Now you have a second problem. Joe Nobody comes in to shop at the store and enters your site through your most popular search term. He enters it through one of your HTML generated webpages and sees that this is the category that he wants however not the product. This page happens to be the very first page in your product line. Where are all the rest of the products? How do I get there? Well let me see, oh look over towards the navigation links. I see the same category but am I not already in that category? hmmm let me click on it.... [continued on next post]


Wayne
www.WorldFamousGiftBaskets.net

Edited by - ProductivePC on May 12 2004 01:41:54

Edited by - ProductivePC on May 13 2004 23:27:20

ProductivePC
VP-ASP New User

USA
199 Posts

Posted - May 12 2004 :  01:04:28  Show Profile  Visit ProductivePC's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Joe nobody clicks on the link and sees the same exact product he was just looking at... confused; joe nobody clicks his back button not being familiar with anything else and goes back to his google search for the next site away from your site and you lose a sale.

Solution: If the page navigations were on the HTML generated page and the HTML generator output all the products in all of the categories even the duplications than joe nobody would have entered your website via the HTML generated, search engine queried website that is in the search engine database and been able to navigate through your products with no problem not knowing whether he was in a shopping cart or HTML pages.

If a user enters via those HTML pages, the only time that user should be sent into the shopping cart is when he clicks add to cart. Everything else as far as navigation should function the same as if he were into the shopping cart.

My biggest suggestion is to integrate an automated ISAPI rewrite for the URL's so that all of the pages will be indexed.

Just a thought about the problems that will arise from the current way things are in 5.0


Wayne
www.WorldFamousGiftBaskets.net
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greatphoto
VP-ASP Super User

USA
304 Posts

Posted - May 13 2004 :  21:54:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Wayne! This is a good study of issues with the static html pages that I've been wondering about. Being new at this, I wasn't sure that there was an issue here, but it kept seeming like it didn't add up. If the static HTML is there for the search bots, then that's how the customer will enter your site when they click the link in the search engine. It needs to be very clean and flow easily for them. Otherwise, they'll just be confused and will leave.

Before I had even heard about static HTML pages for dynamic shopping carts, I stumbled on many of them through search engines while shopping. They never made sense and the navigation didn't work right, and it just seemed like a bunch of random products thrown together. I just always hit the back button and got out of there quick because it just seemed like a cheap page with broken navigation and unclear layout....not worth killing time on.

Anyway, you have my support in searching for answers on this topic. I'd sure like to hear from Support on this. It seems that a full solution would be to duplicate all the categories, subcategories, and navigation in static html, so that the static navigation operates just the same way as the dynamic. For my site, I think the search bots would get better hits on my sub-category pages than on the individual product pages, but I don't think sub-cagetory pages are created for the bot to see.



Edited by - greatphoto on May 13 2004 22:19:35
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greatphoto
VP-ASP Super User

USA
304 Posts

Posted - May 13 2004 :  22:16:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Wayne-

I thought of something simple that might help. You wrote

"Joe Nobody comes in to shop at the store and enters your site through... your HTML generated webpages and sees that this is the category that he wants however not the product... Well let me see, oh look over to the right I see the same category but am I not already in that category? hmmm let me click on it.... Joe nobody clicks on the link and sees the same exact product he was just looking at... [and leaves in confusion]"

This makes better sense to me after having visited your site. When you say he "looks over to the right" you mean that he sees your right-hand navigation bar (this is at first confusing because many of us use LEFT-hand navigation) that links to each top level category. When he clicks this, he immediately sees the first product in that category. This occurs because 1) you don't use sub-categories, and 2) you show only 1 product per page.

I don't presume to know the best layout for your marketing, but an alternative design would work smoother for the navigation scenario you describe. If your right-hand navigation link took you to a view of thumbnail photos of the 15 or so products in that category, I think your problem would be solved. After Joe Nobody decides he wants to see other products in the category, he clicks the category in the right hand navigation bar as you described. However, instead of coming back to the same product, he gets a view of all 15 products in the category. He is then free to click on any one of them which takes him to the large "Extended Products view" (provided in the VP-ASP option package) which shows the single product with full description on a single page just as you have now. This approach has the added benefit of not requiring your customers to page through scores of pages looking for just the right basket. They can see all the thumbnails with a brief description at one glance.

Nathan

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ProductivePC
VP-ASP New User

USA
199 Posts

Posted - May 13 2004 :  23:26:15  Show Profile  Visit ProductivePC's Homepage  Reply with Quote

Thanks Nathan,
Unfortunately, I was not the one to first develop the Gift Baskets shopping cart. We are currently working on setting up pages just as you have described

Yes, a little presumption about the navigation of a website was imposed in my description but I think the jist of it all still came across.

Thank you for your suggestions and your time in looking into it.



Wayne
www.WorldFamousGiftBaskets.net
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Cam
VP-ASP Super User

Australia
361 Posts

Posted - May 15 2004 :  07:56:44  Show Profile  Visit Cam's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I must admit I am a bit lost as to what you are trying to say here.

Can't you just alter the template that is being created by the static page generator so it is seamlessly integrated as part of your site?

The HTML Generator only creates the extended page. So no need for next and back buttons.

For example on our demo site we have gotten around this by changing the way it works slightly so it creates asp pages instead of htm pages.

http://www.yourvirtualstore.net/os500/free01.asp

This page looks almost exactly like a normal product page.

http://www.yourvirtualstore.net/os500/shopexd.asp?id=6

I agree more could be done with the static page generator though.

One of the things we have ben throwing around is modifying it so it actually trawls through the categories first and then the products and basically generates static product multi display pages and static extended products pages so it is almost a fully working site with correct navigation so you can have a product display page as well lots of products if they somehow get to that one.

As this is generated you could add some kind of bread crumb which, if clicked, would take your visitor up a level and into the real product listing.

Don't know how worthwhile this would be though. Welcome any opinions.

Thanks
Cam.

*************************************
Cam Flanigan
YourVirtualStore Sales
e-mail:
http://www.vpasp.com/sales/shopcustcontact.asp
web: http://www.yourvirtualstore.net

Build you own YourVirtualStore!!!
www.yourvirtualstore.net
*************************************
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greatphoto
VP-ASP Super User

USA
304 Posts

Posted - May 15 2004 :  09:11:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Cam!

Thanks for the examples. Your site doesn't have the same problem because you show multiple products in a category - not one per page. After following your first link above (from a search engine) if the customer wants to see more products in that category, he clicks "Seating" on the left. He then sees all the products in the category and it makes sense. On Wayne's site, he will come back to the same product. This will be confusing.

You requested opinion on having the static html generator "trawl... through the categories..." The benefit for me in doing this is that I have a LOT of description information in the category pages headings (xdisplaycategoryfiles is set to Yes, file is referenced in catextra - I even extended shopdisplaycategories.asp so this would display there) that may be good fodder for the search bots.

If static HTML is created for the category pages, there is a question of where the links should connect to the "real" dynamic cart. My first thought for the customer was that every link in it should link back to the real dynamic page, so as to get them to the real cart and its built-in navigation quicker. The downside to that is I don't know how it will look for the bots. Having a complete fully inter-linked static version of the cart may be better for the bots. Opinions?

Can you give an example on your demo site of where your static html links in to your site so the bots can find it? I couldn't find it right off (which is probably good!) ;-)

Nathan

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ProductivePC
VP-ASP New User

USA
199 Posts

Posted - May 15 2004 :  19:48:37  Show Profile  Visit ProductivePC's Homepage  Reply with Quote


Hi Cam,

If you take a look at the WFGB website you will see what I mean. Keep in mind that I was not the one to orignally program this shopping cart. I am the one picking up the pieces.

This is problem number 1
Currently as I understand it; please correct me if I am making an incorrect statement; the HTML generation does not generate the navigation buttons or number links on the website. So my product page here will not look exactly like the HTML generated page. It will look like it minus the navigation buttons at the top. This is devastating to the way that this particular shopping cart is set up.

If someone navigates in via a search engine then they will see the HTML generated page without any navigational buttons. The only thing they will see are the links that are setup to the righthand side. If they click on these links it will take them immediately into the first page of the product category.

IE. You are on the first animal gift baskets HTML generated product page, You came in via a search engine. There are no navigational buttons so you click on the link to the right that says "Pet Gift Baskets". You come back to the same gift basket. Now you are confused. Sale lost.

We are currently having the navigational buttons customly programmed in so that when you click generate it will generate the HTML navigation buttons as well.


====================================================================





Wayne
www.WorldFamousGiftBaskets.net

Edited by - ProductivePC on May 15 2004 19:59:06
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ProductivePC
VP-ASP New User

USA
199 Posts

Posted - May 15 2004 :  19:57:22  Show Profile  Visit ProductivePC's Homepage  Reply with Quote


This is problem number 2
Again, please correct me if I am incorrect.
If you have 1 product in 7 different categories, the HTML generation will only generate 1 HTML page, whichever is first. This should generate all of the product pages for all of the categories not just 1 of them. Now, if you are taking care of a website where there are only 50 or so products and you are running an access databse this is not a serious problem. As a matter of fact it is more advantageous and beneficial to create a new line item for each product in each category because you do not want duplicate text on 7 different pages on your website as this throws a red flag with google search bots. However; if you have 2000 different products running a MySQL database this is not an easy task to perform.

All problems would be solved if the HTML generation in the VPASP cart would create an exact duplicate of someone else's website in HTML, including navigational controls, product pages for multiple categories, and anything else that is not there however; I think those are the only things that I know of off hand.

Hope it helps

Wayne



Wayne
www.WorldFamousGiftBaskets.net
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ProductivePC
VP-ASP New User

USA
199 Posts

Posted - May 16 2004 :  19:41:11  Show Profile  Visit ProductivePC's Homepage  Reply with Quote


Let me correct something from above. When I say an exact duplicate, I mean all the way to the point of where the user clicks on Add to cart. As soon as they click on the Add to Cart button then this should transfer them into the cart. Up until that point the HTML pages should function just as well as if they were in the Shopping cart.

Hope it helps



Wayne
www.WorldFamousGiftBaskets.net
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jsbeads
Starting Member

USA
39 Posts

Posted - May 20 2004 :  06:59:13  Show Profile  Visit jsbeads's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Okay I am not sure what all this is about I use 3.5 and wrote my own html generators. These are pretty much just doorway pages for spiders.

I am not sure how VP creates the HTML but you want the person to find and land on your page then go to your store.

I've looked at the SEO issues involved with doorway pages, you don't want to do a 302 redirect, search engines see these as Spam pages.

What I do is add this code to the top of each one of my html pages. Of course each page has itís own xxx109 (these are all generated by programs)

<body onMouseOver="location.href ='http://mystore/shop/shopexd.asp?id=xxx109';">

This causes a redirection to my product number xxx109 when the user places a mouse anywhere on the page.

Since most people will come into your site with their mouse somewhere over their browser they get an immediate redirect. Spiders do not see this as a redirect because they do not use a mouse.

Be sure that your landing page has correct keyword density and content to be hit by a spider.



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jackbox
VP-ASP New User

United Kingdom
72 Posts

Posted - February 10 2005 :  15:06:21  Show Profile  Visit jackbox's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Must admit I've spent over a year turning version 4.5 into a more SEO friendly beast and because of that I have to work with what I've got. The 'raw' version of VPASP whilst functionally very good is not exactly a sales generator. You can dress the cart up rather well but you really have to open up the cart a little more if you want all pages listed. I've not found a spidering problem (even with the long URLs it generates providing you give any visiting bot a clear path to most areas. To do that I used the left and right hand menu scenario as a template, listing subcats and that solved virtually all the issues mentioned.

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jackbox
VP-ASP New User

United Kingdom
72 Posts

Posted - February 10 2005 :  15:59:21  Show Profile  Visit jackbox's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I might add, the ONLY code on the sites index page is:

<!-- #include file="shop$db.asp" -->
<%
ShopPageHeader
response.write "<center>"
home=getconfig("xhome")
Response.write "<p align=center>"%>
<!-- #include file="includefront.asp" -->
<%
ShopPageTrailer
%>

Which goes against the grain as a full time SEO but the include file for the home page (includefront.asp) which is the central content for a left/right hand menu, is spidered beautifully. Well worth hammering away at the template side.

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