Once a site has been fully optimized, there is still a lot work still to be done. The first pass at keyword optimization isn't always the best, making further edits necessary. After making the big, site-wide optimization edits to your site its often beneficial to go back and review things on a more granular level. You can find the areas that are up against more competition than others and explore further improvements that will be needed for even more improved success.
Unfortunately you can't know how well your SEO'd title tags will perform until you make the edits, wait for the search engine to index the page, and check the results. Depending on how deep your site is and the frequency of the search spiders coming back, even the most basic changes can take several days to a week to show in the search results.
When dealing with ecommerce sites you don't often get the luxury of making changes on a page by page level because everything is pulled from a database into templates. Generally it is counter productive to implement site-wide changes until you know how those changes will work. The last thing you want is for all your pages to drop in rankings at one time because you tweeked the global template for a new title or description.
Recently, working with a client, I was able to run some tests on the Title and description on a single product page. I went through several iterations, reviewing each for performance in the search results for a variety of keywords until finally settling on the title and description combination that gave me the best possible results for all the keyword combinations I was looking at. Not only did it get me top spots for over a dozen possible phrases, it also improved the likelihood of the search listings to get clicked when seen in the SERPs, based on keyword usage and positioning.
I started my test searching only for the model number of their product. This was a replacement product so the likelihood of the model number being searched is extremely high. We've got other pages optimized for the more generic keywords which are performing quite well, so at the product level the product model number was our best route.
I noticed first that the product ranked in the second position in a search for the model number (MN), but quite lower for search for MN product (i.e. "TM456-k widget"). The real problem is that the original title tag wasn't that compelling compared to the other sites in the top positions. So I set out to remedy this.
I moved the MN to the front of the tag and then followed that with some other product information and descriptive text. After a week Google re-indexed the page and the result was positive. The page moved to the #1 spot for the MN plus a few variations following that. At this point I did some more keyword research and found that the keyword variations I used were not as actively searched as others so I set out to make some more changes. I also lost five spots for MN product, which was no good.
At this point I started tracking for over a dozen keyword combinations using various qualifiers that were important. I was ranking in the top spot for seven different combinations but 2,3,4,5 and 7 for a few others that were important.
My next iteration of the title tag included the product after the MN and added a plural version of the product on the end. The results were promising. All but two of the phrases were ranking #1.
From this I made one more change, adding the manufacture name in there for good measure. It's a little known manufacture but one I know the client wants to brand for themselves believing it will benefit them as it becomes more recognized over time. By doing this I pushed one product page above the manufacturers website! Another check on the rankings and all is good.
I now have my winning combination on product title tags for this site and we can start making global changes. I'm sure that performance will vary from product to product but this is a good indication of what works. Not only are the rankings there but the title tag is probably the most compelling you'll find in the search results for these searches.
So with a bit of testing I made my already strong SEO Kung-Fu even stronger. Before making global site-changes, make sure your SEO Kung-Fu is strong too, and then you will feel the power of SEO surround you!
Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.
If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.
Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.
Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.
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