SEO is all about increasing traffic to websites, being ranked higher by search engines and also about making search engine results more relevant to user’s search queries. There is so much of information about SEO that’s doing rounds just now that sometimes it becomes difficult to sift the chaff from the grain. Optimising pages for SEO is the bane of every website owner- so let’s take a look at how we can do that without being overwhelmed.
Page title well optimised
Your title tag is important as Google displays it very much as it is in the search engine web page. It should be explanatory but short and not appear to be contrived. The more natural it is, the better and greater are the chances of people clicking on it. Ensure that you don’t have more than one title tag for each page. Although having keywords in your title tag is a good thing, make sure that it isn’t stuffed in there just because it’s a keyword. Make your title tag crisp and expressive- that’s more likely to catch the eye of users and search engines.
Although a lot of attention is given to page title and headings and links, the URL is often overlooked. Most of the URLs are system generated and hence taken for granted- while this may still work, if you want to really maximize your SEO, you need to spend some time on it. URLs should be clean, short and must make users feel like clicking on it. Don’t separate words in a URL using underscores- use hyphens instead. A word of caution here- don’t change the existing URL of a particular page just because you happen to think of something better. It’s better to leave it as it rather than change it and make it inaccessible to those who use the old URL.
Breadcrumbs allow users to track their path and find out where they are with reference to the home page. Adding these small pointers helps google determine how well your website is structured. The entire path that users travel through is clickable- in the sense that regardless of where the user is, they can find their way back to the home page. Users get an idea of where a particular page is located with reference to your website, and can easily travel to another or previous without having to use the back button. This makes for easy navigation and Google favors anything that helps users stay on track.
Well-developed product name
Naming products have always taxed marketers as they are torn between choosing a generic name that people are likely to search for and a name that they think will rank high when people search for their product. Remember, the product’s name must be unique, better than that of the rivals hosting the same product, but at the same time it should be descriptive enough to tell you what the product actually is. If people don’t get an idea of the product just by its name, then marketers are missing out on a chance of getting the product in front of people. Don’t go in for fancy, obscure names- go in for one that you know will help shoppers find you in search engines. Be creative, but think the user-way.
Unique value added description
What do users look for in a product description? Information, key features and specifications and information about the product. A word of advice- never reproduce manufacturer information as it is- make it more user oriented, add a little value and be brief. It helps to put yourself in the shoes of the customer and think the way he thinks- usually you will come up with something that is unique and has value-add. Good product descriptions is good SEO as it gives website owners an edge over their rivals, makes Google sit up and take notice and reward them with higher rankings.
Unique quality and relevant product images
Images spice up web pages and helps users understand information better. Never use an image just for the sake of using it- it has to be meaningful and relevant to whatever you are trying to tell users. While using images, ensure that they are small, have the right name and are surrounded by alt text that’s relevant- it’s good SEO. Never give an image an empty alt attribute- users are not tempted to open them. Google rates images with ‘good alt text’ very high. The best way to send a message across to your readers is through articles that have relevant images and images that have ‘alt text’.
When you have a lot of similar products, that answer to the same keyword, it makes sense to consolidate all of them and have just one strong product page that has all the info, the reviews, the images, the product descriptions. This way all the products that are alike will have just one URL. Users just need to visit that single product page for all the information that they want- at best, you can allow users to choose product options so that they can select variations of a particular item. Don’t forget to redirect all URLs to the single product page.
Ultimately, all the work that you do on your website is aimed in a particular direction- get buyers to buy your products. So you should make that easy for them with the “Add to Cart” button. To make it even easier and more attractive for buyers and prospects, don’t forget to mention shipping info, buying options, delivery guarantees, replacements and returns. Make the button stand out prominently and easy to find.
Targeted headings and sub-headings
Headings need to stand out so that readers and search engines know immediately what the page is all about. Formatted headings help shoppers find what they are searching for quickly. When keywords are used in headings, it helps to activate SEO. No-one likes big walls of text, so it makes sense to break content into formatted headings and sub-headings. Wrapping headings in appropriate heading tags—h1, h2, h3 and so on guarantees good presentation and good reading.
Internal Link to Relevant Products
Internal link building is not just about linking- it’s linking relevantly. These links are placed on your site and they help connect other pages on the website. This way users can move to relevant pages and read content without having to go through the full site. When search engines crawl your website content, a link tells it that a particular page is important- connected internal links helps establish the prominence of other valuable web pages. Users too get an overview of the different categories of products and what they’re likely to find in the sub-categories.
Product related video
Though building a large number of links is important, nothing can equal high-quality content- good content automatically attracts links and that ups the ante on SEO. Videos are a powerful way of driving home a message, but any video won’t do. It should do something for your users, help them in some way, attract them and urge them to do something- otherwise it’s good money down the drain.
Unique user generated content
No matter what algorithms change, this one will remain- engaging content is the engine that drives a website, attracts traffic and gives search engines material to evaluate and assess them. New, updated, trendy, interesting content is what is going to keep your website alive and what is going to draw them to you.
Content may be in the form of blogs, reviews, new ideas that are put forth by website visitors. It may also take the form of comments about your products and services and suggestions. All this gives an insight into what customers and consumers think about what you’re offering and you get to identify the kinds of keywords that will be useful in SEO optimisation.
In an age that’s being dominated by mobile devices, it only fair and sensible to ensure that your site is mobile-friendly. Users expect to see your site on their smartphones in the same way that it looks on a desktop. So don’t disappoint them. Images, videos and all information should render properly on mobile devices. Google too recognises this and will reward you for being mobile responsive.
SEO is an ocean of dos and donts and those who take care to optimise their websites for it will stand to gain.
Take a look at the infographic below created by Wired SEO for more useful Tips.
(Click to enlarge infographic)
Article created by: DCP Website Designers in London
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