We’re already midway through October, so that means the biggest shopping holiday season is just around the corner. If your business is looking to maximize its potential, now’s the perfect time to start Search engine optimization activities and strategies that will pay dividends later.
SEO shouldn’t be a set-it-and-forget-it strategy, but some things do take a little time to bake. Focusing on SEO right now can show big returns later on this year.
SEO might not be the most agile marketing channel, but it’s definitely a mistake to ignore it or put it off until it’s too late. Here’s a few quick tips to help your business’ SEO before holiday 2019 gets into full-on madness.
If you already know you need help, feel free to contact us about our SEO strategy offerings.
SEO meta content
Don’t overlook the basics! Creating optimized page titles and meta descriptions should be a staple of every SEO strategy. Search engines still find this content incredibly valuable. It dictates how search engines display your website and brand in organic search results.
If you’re not filling out these fields when creating pages in your content management system (CMS), there’s a very high chance that search engines will just grab random parts of text from your page and display that in search results. This typically leads to a poor user experience because you spend a lot of time creating a great website and on-page content but allow auto-generated snippets to prevent people from visiting your website.
For websites with several hundred (or thousand, or hundred thousand) pages, the idea of writing titles and descriptions for all pages can seem very daunting. Don’t force yourself to sit down and write it all at once.
We recommend starting with your top-performing landing pages and any specific pages you would like to target for improved organic search performance. It’s always a good idea to create optimized SEO meta content for all your pages, but you’ll probably see a greater return on investment of your time by focusing on the pages that get the most traffic.
Best practices for titles and descriptions can change pretty frequently, but you should be safe with page titles around 50-55 characters (under 600-pixel width) and descriptions that are 150-155 characters. Remember to include your brand or business name in the titles, so users know exactly what site they’re visiting, and using a call to action in the description to attract visitors.
Quick tip: Use a basic site command search to get a quick preview of how your site appears in search results. Just go to your favorite search engine and type in “site:YourDomain.com.” This should display every indexed page of content and what the search engine is typically showing to users.
For example, here’s what Google displays for a site called Example.com:
Usability & accessibility
One of the newest trends to make its way into SEO is optimizing for usability and accessibility. While these are not technically a part of the SEO algorithm that determines rankings, usability, and accessibility impact how users experience your website. As search engines evolve their standards of quality, it won’t be too long before having an accessible site is required to rank highly in search results.
You can perform a quick audit of your site for free and it only takes a few seconds. Using Google’s Lighthouse testing tool, you can quickly get an audit completed just by using Google’s Chrome browser.
Quick tip: 4 steps to run a Lighthouse test:
- Open your website in a new tab
- Right click and select Inspect to open Developer Tools (or use Control + Shift + i)
- Select the Audits tab
- Run audit
There are some configuration options to fine tune the report’s output, as well as throttling options to simulate different connection speeds and devices. We recommend running multiple different tests to find potential issues under different circumstances. When it’s done, you’ll see a score for each audit and a detailed list of recommendations on fixes or issues to review later.
Holiday theme content
People love content, so search engines also love content. With everyone gearing up for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and general holiday shopping; now is the perfect time to start planning and crafting new content. Don’t wait until the last minute to slap together a quick top-10 list that looks like every other top-10 list. Start the research and planning process now to give yourself plenty of time to develop some really great content.
Do you have a big sale planned in November or December? Tell people about the discounts and savings you can offer them. Include additional information like shipping times, deadlines for specific date delivery, gift-wrapping options, how much wrapping paper the box needs to actually cover the whole thing, etc. This is your opportunity to create a great experience with a potential customer that goes beyond the basics.
Quick tip: Utilize Google Trends to research potential content topics or themes that are rising in popularity. You can see the latest trends in search by region and even find related topics and themes that are perfect idea starters for content pieces.
It’s not too late
The holiday season can get pretty hectic in a short amount of time. Don’t let the craziness blind you from starting these simple SEO strategies now.
If your business needs help crafting an SEO strategy, contact us today. DEG, Linked by Isobar has the experts and experience to help make SEO simple and effective for your business and customers.