The key to SEO as with content marketing is to be genuine
A while back Supplybunny.com reached a point where we had enough products to justify a more thorough SEO review. The main objective of this was to increase traffic acquisition without resorting to directly increasing ad spending.
Since ads were going to continue to run, I did not want to spend an inordinate amount of time on this. So I decide to apply the 80-20 approach – getting 80% of the way there with 20% of the work.
After a couple of iterations here are things I’ve found most effective:
Understand the intention of your users by understanding the query types they execute. Are they looking for information or are they looking to preform an action? In light of this, the order, spelling and punctuation are all hints about what kind of content you have that would target different intentions.
Your keyword is not just the title itself but the title with the intent.
Your description should present the entirety of the useful information you have on your page in a condensed form. Put yourself in your users shoes and understand what they would like to see that would give them enough information about whether or not your site would be useful.
Your exact title should be exactly your title. That means in the page title uses an
h1tag preferably, near the top of the page as well as in the meta title. It should convey what your page is about but shouldn’t be overly long.
You should have a canonical tag with the absolute URL that’s as similar to the title as possible. Dashes are preferred to underscores and much better than
%20. For search result pages, you should generate static URLs with common parameters. (eg.
/products?category=chicken&discount=true) If you have a price parameter it’s nonsensical to generate static URLs for all possible ranges, but you can generate URLs for all your category filters for example.
There are apparently some ‘preferred traits’ that Google indexer prefers that I cannot directly attest to. The site should be easy to navigate. There should be direct actionable information. Professionally designed. Credible, legitimate content.
Having a responsive stylesheet at least is nearly a must and checking the Google page speed test and fixing the common errors also seemed to help.
With all of the above the final most important strategy/method/tip is to be as genuine as possible. Do not try to game the system by piling on as many different things as you can in order to get as many eyeballs as possible since your aim is not just to get as many as views possible but as many correct ones. I’ve seen this first-hand. With generic titles, we had more traffic but conversion was really minimal. However, by targeting the correct intent, as well as providing the information that would help our correct users make a decision resulted in less traffic but significantly more conversions with an overwhelming net positive.
Furthermore, if you’re targeting a niche where the user would have to go through several pages of results, if you present your information in the result and the user doesn’t even need to click your page you’re likely to form a positive impression since the user wont get frustrated if you were to use clickbait-y titles and descriptions just to lead the user to a page that is nothing like what they need. The worst example of this is alibaba.com since they have a huge domain authority score they do link building like crazy and are able to rank well for many terms. 99/100 of those terms however are complete garbage (irrelevant results, empty result pages, etc.)
An additional benefit is that you’re targeting the looking for information intent as a side effect. Users who are just having a cursory initial look at results for something but are at that stage only. If you’re presenting a higher quality result you’re more likely to attract the customer back once their intent is different since you would have already formed a impression of have the information that they need. Once again, this would only be possible if you are to put yourself in the users shoes and think about what information is needed for you to make an informed decision.
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