Do Your SEO Housekeeping in Time for the Holiday Season
Janette Speyer, Web Success Team
With more people looking to the Internet for their holiday purchases, the first thing that comes to mind is to get that website’s SEO cleaned up and optimized for search. Why? Because you can’t expect users to buy from you, if they can’t find you! Don’t fall into the abyss of the failed and forgotten websites, and start early.
It’s the end of September and the holidays are just around the corner. Between Halloween and New Year’s consumers are set on a buying spree. This article by Internet Retailer, reports that eMarketer predicts sales will increase by 15.1% and US shoppers alone will spend: $61.8 billion in November and December.
In this post, we will discuss a few quick SEO tactics that will spruce up your website to secure a higher page rank so that your business will be searchable this holiday season.
1. Fix Those Links and Redirects!
Having broken links and 404 error pages on your website is bad for business. Fix them and make sure all 404 error pages and URL redirects take you back to the a reliable shopping page. Like any other business, search engines want to provide high quality customer experience, and sites with “Not Found” error pages won’t do the trick. Make sure your site is clean and all the links are working. This will help improve your ranking and your customer experience.
2. This Thanksgiving Stuff Your Turkey, Not Your Keywords
Loading your pages with tons of keywords in content and/or Meta tags is considered an unethical practice. Keywords should be targeted and relevant. It’s quality not quantity that counts. Although stuffing had been common practice to achieve high rankings in the past, it is no longer a viable method and adds no value to your rank. Keep your practices clean and simple so the search engines won’t penalize your business.
3. Shop for Gifts Not Links
Search engines do not like links that are bought and paid for and will penalize your site accordingly. Buying links for SEO can be viewed as a spam, which can prevent your site from ranking higher. Google’s Guidelines are as follows:
- Don’t use links that are intended to manipulate PageRank
- Don’t link to spammers or bad neighborhoods
- Do not have excessive reciprocal links or link exchanging
- Don’t buy or sell links that are irrelevant
4. Keep URLs Simple
Having excessive URL parameters and long titles with stop words like “to” and “the” are bad for both search and social media sharing. Search engines and some social media sites, have limits to the number of characters crawled for each. Make sure your content management system isn’t creating problematic URLs and that your URL patterns are clean and usable.
5. Stay Away from Bad Link Neighborhoods
Bad link neighborhoods are classified by questionable backlinks and interlink profiles. The rule of thumb is to avoid PPC sites, otherwise known as porn, pills and casinos. Who you link to makes a difference, and as outlined in number three, linking to bad neighborhoods makes your site undesirable and will damage your ranking. To see if you are linking to a bad neighborhood, use this nifty link checker tool.
6. Find the Keyword Balance
Each page of a website should target no more than three keyword phrases. Targeting too many keywords on a page detracts from the page’s relevance and reduces the value of your more important keywords. Keep on top of your analytics to make sure that your pages are optimized for the appropriate keywords and phrases.
Do Your SEO Housekeeping
If you want to increase your selling opportunities then do the SEO housekeeping necessary to gain the visibility. This online shopping season will be the biggest spend ever. Just do it!
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