Effective Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a technique used to increase the amount of visitors to a website, to help customers looking for products you offer, find you.
Working with an SEO agency can be very expensive for any fashion start-up, but you don’t necessarily have to be an SEO expert to understand & plan a cost effective, free SEO strategy. Read our top tips on understanding SEO and how to implement an effective strategy for your fashion brand.
It’s increasing becoming difficult to be on the top position of the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) in Google with organic traffic/results; organic results refer to those that appear naturally on the page, rather than in the paid sponsored sections.
Search engine consist of 2 main elements: Crawling (scanning the website for headings, links, keywords, images by thousands of small bots to offer the best possible result) Indexing (Adding of a webpage’s content into Google) Picking the results (SERPS, providing the best results).
There are two pillars of SEO – On-page (everything you can do on your website, keyword research and content optimisation) Off-Page (all activities you do getting backlinks from other websites, create social profiles).
Here are our first 8 top tips to get you started with the most important elements:
- Goal setting – How visible is your website on the search engines? The aim is to get a high ranking on keywords. This gets you seen and provides credibility, are you’re visitors converting to sales? Target audience – Know your customers – who is your target audience, how do you target them and what do they search for online? Think about the demographic factors that might affect the way they search online.
- Competitor analysis – Are your competitors working with SEO? Research their visibility, traffic and revenue and compare metrics to your brand.
- Site structure – Is your website performing optimally? How fast is the content on your pages loading, check the speed of your loading page with tools like GTmetrix and Google Pagespeed Insights. Visitors will leave if you’re site doesn’t load in 3 seconds or less.
- Mobile optimisation – Do you have a mobile version of your website? Is your website responsive & mobile friendly? Check on this site: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly. If it isn’t you’ll be actively blacklisted.
- Keyword research -Use an automated keyword tool, like Google Keyword Planner. This will show you how many searches a search term has and it will help you find related keywords relevant to your brand. Generate a list of important phrases relevant to your fashion brand, and undertake keyword analysis for each landing page, taking in to consideration what Keywords your competitors are using. The idea is to include words that your target audience are searching for as well as think about seasonal fluctuations, such as the day, week and year, special time of year, gift ideas for valentine’s day, mother’s day, father’s day, Halloween and Christmas etc. Use Google Trends to get insight into searches with the most traffic overall, which continually gets updated. Enter a keyword and see how search volume has varied for that term over time and in different places. Long-tail Keywords may have lower search volumes, but visitors who find you this way are more likely to engage with your brand and give higher conversion rates.
- Content optimisation – The most important content factor is the Meta Title Tag as this is the first thing visitors see in SERPs. It describes your website’s content, which has a direct effect on rankings, so make sure it’s optimised. To optimise you should include keywords, placing keywords at the beginning. You have around 65-70 characters so be succinct and consistent. The Meta Description doesn’t impact your search rankings, but can increase click-through rates (CTR). It should serve as a short advertiser, it has to be within 160 characters, and always include call to action words. Check that the social media icons on your site go to the correct pages. Ensure you have the right plugins installed for what you are trying to achieve, and what you want the user to do.
- Internal links – These will allow users to navigate on your website from one page on the site, to lead to another page. It helps Google to crawl your website and improve your ranking for certain keywords.
- Link Building – Collect links from other relevant websites and then you can use several link building techniques, such as using your content to attract links organically. Consistent blogging, social media shares (share your content, promote, join discussions, comments on relevant posts and create connections) and referral.
Hopefully you’re now starting to get a better understanding of how SEO works. Don’t forget to look out for Part 2 for further tips to improve your SEO and website traffic. For more help with selling online and increasing sales BOOK A PLACE at our popular Selling Fashion Online seminar, 7th February at the British Library.
By Augusta Hajalie