Exploring every thread: Learning SEO (part 2)
Welcome back to our next round of SEO and keyword preparation! If you missed our interview with our VP of Growth, Chris, be sure to check that out here. Now that we’ve set a foundation for how SEO is created and ranked, Let's get into the process and preparation to make sure you’re feeling ready to take this on for your own business.
Where did I start?
I got started with some keyword research and content before chatting with Chris. It was overwhelming with the tool options and my general lack of context for SEO but it wasn’t fruitless! My main focus was on finding the words that were most accurate for my products and were commonly used for similar items. My thinking was that if I could tap into the right words that would help connect me to similar searches.
I made some big changes to what I was naming my products based on this. For example, I was originally thinking of using ‘machine-made’ or ‘embroidered’ to describe my outsourced patches. But after some research with those coming up low on the rankings, I decided to go with ‘iron-on’ which was higher up!
Here are a couple of the resources I checked out.
What am I changing after the interview?
Chris spoke about how good SEO is driven by matching the search intent and by the cred you build within your industry. My first step was to look over my product descriptions and content to see if I was creating that duplicate copy which would tank my Google ranking - and I was!
I have two versions of my products: a handmade collector’s edition patch and a mass-produced version. I chose not to list these two versions as different variants of the same product and instead duplicated most of the product descriptions for the sake of consistency. After chatting with Chris, I’ve decided to refresh the descriptions so that I’m not creating duplicate content that could damage my search ranking. Chris mentioned that this is a very common mistake that people make when setting up their store, so I recommend checking your store for duplicate content as well!
Tip: If you need to have some duplicate content you can check out how Google will help give you control of it here by making it canonical!
Over the coming weeks, I will be going through each page and section of my site to make sure I’m leveraging my keywords consistently and that each page has an easy answer for ‘what is this page about’. I’ll be creating a record of my keywords so that I can do quarterly reviews to see if I can improve, expand and iterate easily! This will help me check back in on Google Trends to see what’s going on in my industry.I’ve also been diving back into some tools and articles. Here are some of them:
Tip: When you’re researching articles and information, check the dates it was posted. This is an area where you really want the most up to date information!
What is up next for my SEO improvements?
One of the main takeaways from my conversation with Chris was the value of creating social connections to improve SEO. So there were two routes I could go - one was the more traditional route to improve SEO with Google ads, the other with focusing on communities and marketing. I’m going with the latter because this seems like a natural fit to help promote my brand and improve my ranking at the same time.
I can see this being a natural route for a lot of merchants starting out because of the benefits to multiple areas of business! With this in mind, I’ll be introducing a new line of products with more of a focus on community outreach as well. Here’s what I’m lining up:
I’ll be running an Instagram giveaway following these rough guidelines. My requirements will be to tag friends and let me know what products they want next. I’ll then promote the post with an Instagram ad to see if I can reach a larger audience. This will be my first ad and I’ll be writing about that in more detail down the road.
I will be reaching out to more communities in the parallel markets Chris was mentioning. This will mean posts on Reddit, Facebook and anything else I can come across. As an easy win, I’ll make sure my theme setting to show social sharing is enabled to make sure anyone can share my products and site!
Overall I feel more confident about what I can control and how I can control it. I’ve got a long way to go to get higher in the rankings with such a saturated market but I’ve got some better tools to help rise through the ranks!