SEO is short for 'Search Engine Optimization'. When you enter keywords or longer keyphrases into search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, they look for that content in web pages on the internet. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of optimizing pages on your online store or website so they that they show up in searches for certain keywords and gradually rise in search engine rankings for these keywords.Create A Marketplace Or An Online Store >
When internet search engines - Google, Lycos, Excite, Yahoo and all - started getting popular over the turn of this century they were quite basic in their operation. You could 'stuff' keywords in your web page and in your web URL (your web address) and hope to get ahead of other websites and come up in search results. Over time, Google and other search engines have become more intelligent and actually look for relevant content on your website.
You cannot just repeat the words 'running shoes' 50 times on your website. You need to have some content around running, healthy living, exercising and footwear on your website that engages your audience. Moreover, these search engines actually look for social proof. You improve your SEO if other websites of repute (think bbc.com or cnn.com) link back to your webpage and support your claim of being a knowledge leader in the field of exercising and running and being a provider of quality running shoes.
Your HTML page title is what appears on search engines, and that is usually followed by your HTML page description. Some search engines might decide to pick some another chunk of text for the page description from your web page if that sounds more relevant to what the user initially searched for. And of course, your page title needs to be backed up by relevant content on your web page.
Even better if you have backlinks from reputable websites, online publications and educational institutions, and not just free websites like Facebook and Linkedin and Twitter. Use your own logic - whose opinion would you trust? One person on Facebook? 200 people on Linkedin? The Washington Post or The Wall Street Journal? www.mit.edu? Or some unknown website from nowhere? You can bet search engines are smart enough to distinguish between all of these so try and get recommendations from the best sources you can get.
How do you get a backlink to improve your website SEO? Well, you can always ask a friend who has a slightly better known web address than yours - small steps are better than nothing. Large online publications have their own criteria for publishing stories and featuring companies and content. You need to have some a story or some content that would be of interest to their readers before they link back to you or mention your business.
Have you got something interesting to say about business or technology or travel or personal health that no one has published yet? Did aliens land in your backyard last weekend and tell you the secrets of the universe? A lot of online publications are usually on the lookout for good content. So if you have something interesting then reach out. Or try and get links from smaller or local websites that may be more interested in your business.
Keyword usage, content writing and backlink generation are some of the search engine optimization tactics you can use. You could spend a few months improving your website SEO and just when you think you have figured out how Google works they go and change their algorithm and the way they rank your website for your favorite keywords. The short term tricks and the details may change but the best way to stay on top is to ensure that you have quality content on your website and you keep your audience engaged on your website and they recommend your web pages to others on a regular basis.
Now there is typically a difference between the way brands convey product information and the way we search for things online. The corporate in you will say 'Men's Casual Wear', whereas someone will go and enter 't-shirt black' into Google. Brand communications tend to be formal and legible, whereas most of our keyword searches veer toward the retarded. And search engines have their own criteria of throwing up information based on these sometimes semi-legible search keywords.
The idea with SEO is to connect your website with what your customers are likely to search for. So think of the keywords that are likely to be used by your customers and try to use them in your website. You will need to use these keywords in different parts of your web page.
SEO starts even before you start building your website. You need to build SEO into your website structure. Now lets say you are in the online clothing business and your specialty is handmade shirts for men. So you build a website that looks like this:
- Premium Menswear
- About Us
- Contact Us
Now the problem is that while 'Premium Menswear' may look very impressive, it is highly unlikely that someone looking for shirts will type in 'Premium Menswear' into their search engines. You're better off with a structure like this:
- Handmade Shirts
- About Our Shirts
- Contact Us
See, you've already scored two points for the keyword 'Shirts' in your website structure. Of course if you have a larger operation you could use a structure like this:
- Our History
- Our Clients
This structure scores you points for the keyword 'clothing' as well as 'shirts', 'shoes' and 'ties'. We've also thrown in 'fine tailoring' so we stick out from the crowd and score a few points in the 'exclusive' department. But simply adding more pages is not enough. You now have to generate text and meaningful content for each one of these pages for them to make any impact on search engines. Simply having them once in your navigation links is unlikely to get you any traffic. So start small, read up a bit on search engine optimization and build up your web property as you go along.
After your structure is done you need to start working on SEO for the rest of your page. There's no point optimising your home page for the keyword 'shirts'. Its better to optimise your 'Shirts' page as that page is the one with all the 'Shirts' juice. Use alternate words like 'handmade menswear', 'tailored clothing' and 'handmade menswear from London' for your home page. All the words specific to shirts go into your 'Shirts' page.
So how do you exactly SEO your web page? You start by using your keywords in the page title - this is the title of your Blipteam Product or Info Page. Use it a few times in your description text. Do this without spamming the page - search engines are wise enough to tell that you are stuffing keywords into your page without providing any value to your readers / customers.
Write about how you tailor your shirts, about how your clothing will benefit your customers, convey your passion for handmade tailoring in your content (remember to use the word 'Shirts' while in the throes of passion..). Next, Blipteam offers a 'Search Engine Optimization' section where you can enter an SEO title and description for your page. So your SEO title would read 'Handmade Shirts - Tailored To Perfection' and your SEO description could be 'Handmade clothing from London's finest tailors. Premium shirts, shoes, ties and belts - the very best of handcrafted menswear in the UK'.
You've scored points for 'Handmade clothing', 'London's finest tailors', 'Premium shirts, shoes, ties and belts', 'menswear' and you've managed to provide some geographical information in your search engine optimisation page description. Of course, you need to use all these keywords elsewhere in your page content as well for SEO to kick in properly.
Now the problem is there's probably hundreds of premium menswear stores out there (or maybe not, we know nothing about premium clothing - our cargo pants have holes in them...). So how will your website make a serious SEO dent in search engine land? Here's when you need to start being specific. Use terms like 'belts with handcrafted buckles', or 'fine tailoring from this particular neighborhood of London'. Talk about the type of fabric you use - fine clothing enthusiasts might pick up on that.
Overall, you'll need to do some keyword research while planning your website. Find out peripheral words and longer keyphrases that may be used by your customers. Find out if they are looking for 'expensive men's formals that will impress business associates' or 'handmade shirts in the UK'. Its all in the details. Experiment, perform an SEO check and see what gets you results over a period of time. Chase the SEO leads that get you some traffic, overhaul the pages that are lagging behind on search engines.
Making your content search engine friendly is one of the first steps in getting your website or webstore out there to the public. You will require patience to master it for your business, as changes can take several weeks to materialise and your overall SEO strategy only shows results over a few months.