The biggest selling seasons of the year are upon us, and SEO’s notoriously long lead time means there’s no time to waste.
It’s mid-July now. Analyzing SEO performance and devising a plan of attack starting today would take two to four weeks. Plus implementation time, assuming resources are available. And after the optimization strategies go live, there’s still a roughly 30-day period in which search engines recrawl the site and determine algorithmically if the optimization merits a ranking change.
Fast forward three months and, if everything went according to plan, the site is ready to take the SEO competition by storm.
Manually optimizing pages one-by-one makes sense for the most important pages and valuable keyword phrases. Optimizing sites made up of hundreds or thousands of pages requires more scalable SEO solutions, especially leading up to this crucial selling season.
Title tags are the first place to start when optimizing for scalable SEO. Not only are title tags the most influential content element on any given page, they’re also relatively easy to optimize formulaically.
Whether the site is hosted on Wordpress, Magento or some other platform, it probably supports the ability to modify the default title tag structure. For example, a default title tag with the structure “<site name> - <page name>” forces every title tag to begin with the site’s name rather than the subject of the individual page. Swapping the order so that the page name comes first instantly makes every title tag more relevant.
In the same vein, optimizing the templates that underlay each page can have a scalable impact across thousands of pages. Look for opportunities to cross-sell by incorporating related links modules that improve SEO as well as average order value. Consider changing image-based navigation and display elements to text. Changes made once at the template level can reap continual SEO benefits.
Not all scalable SEO rests on the site owner’s shoulders, though. Companies like BloomReach and Rio SEO provide SEO software to improve content and internal linking. Others like Conductor and Chicago-based SEO Clarity automate the tedious but necessary process of SEO reporting to make analyzing a site’s performance and determining next steps more scalable. Still others automate the minute details of local search and social marketing, like Chicago-based SIM Partners.
Whether it’s done in-house or outsourced, focus on scalable strategies to decrease the time to SEO performance.
Jill Kocher is a seasoned SEO professional and all-around technogeek. By day, she manages Resource Interactive’s SEO practice here in Chicago and serves as contributing editor at Practical eCommerce. By night, Jill landscapes her home in the far northern suburbs of Chicagoland while enjoying a glass of wine and thinking about SEO some more. Family discussion centers primarily around SEO, analytics, social media, mobile apps, android, iOS, how-was-your-day and cats.