We were delighted to be invited back to the recent Autumn Fair at the NEC. The Autumn Fair is all about retail and is one of the biggest buying fairs for retailers in the world. We have had the pleasure of talking at the Autumn Fair and its sister show, the Spring Fair, for the past 2 years. Over the course of four days, we ran 1-to-1s discussing a mix of Social Media & SEO and spoke to lots of different retailers and suppliers. Here’s our round-up of the most frequently discussed search engine optimisation tips.
The right type of content is still one of the most important aspects of SEO but it is frequently overlooked, particularly by e-commerce sites that are often image based. Including text that has the right keywords makes your pages searchable and therefore discoverable by your potential customers so it’s essential that you include content on all of the pages on your site. No, or little, text makes it harder for search engines to crawl your site making it much less likely that your page will appear on a results page. Research your keywords using tools like Google’s Keyword Planner and Search Console and make sure that you include them naturally throughout your site.
Search engines can’t “see” images in the way that we do and they certainly can’t interpret what they may mean for your website and the products or service you are selling. All images that are uploaded to your site need to be labeled correctly using the alt tag or alt text. This alt attribute should be detailed and informative so that search engines can see the subject matter of the image. Using the alt attributes isn’t just for search engines – it is also important for users who are blind or partially sighted and dependent on screen readers.
Meta descriptions are the snippet of information that summarises the content of your page and usually appears below the page link and page title on the search results page. Whilst search engines all say that they don’t use meta descriptions as part of their ranking algorithm, they are still important. Well written and relevant meta descriptions will entice a user to click your link rather than someone else’s and increasing your click-through rate or CTR indicates to search engines that your site is a good result. In theory, the more clicks you get the more likely you are to move up the search engine rankings. Meta descriptions should be no more than 160 characters and don’t duplicate the same meta description across all of your pages. Each page should have a unique description which is relevant to the content on that page.
A slow loading site can be frustrating for users and low-speed sites tend to have higher bounce rates and lower conversion rates. It can also affect your search engine results as search engines can struggle to fully index it. Modern technology means that users have a certain expectation of how quickly they find information and can make a purchase so check your site speed regularly, for both desktop and mobile, and make sure that your pages are loading quickly enough. There are several different tools available including free tools from Google.
Blogging is one of the easiest and most effective ways to regularly add relevant and keyword rich content to your site. Blogs are also a great way of connecting with your audience and keeping them interested in your products and services and sharing blogs across your social media platforms can help drive traffic to your site. All of these can help with your search engine rankings. Combine this with the ability to showcase your knowledge, expertise, and products why wouldn’t you blog?
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