Search Engine Optimization. It's something we should all know about if we want our e-commerce websites to actually sell our jewellery instead of sitting on the internet gathering cyberdust, but how many of us start to glaze over at the mention of metadata, keywords and analytics?

In parts 4 - 7 of this series, Lesley H Phillips explains the habits of those all important search engine spiders and how we can use them to our advantage.

Why don’t I get sales or enquiries from my website /online shop?
4 Metatag description, 5 Page content, 6 Bold text, 7 Headings and sub headings

The metatag description is read by the search engine spiders and it advises them what your page is all about.  Therefore, if it doesn’t relate to the content of that particular page, you probably won’t rank for that page.  You might think that it’s not something that would happen on your website, but it can happen very easily.  Describing your products in general when you’re optimising your “About Us” page could mean that you’ve summed up what you’re about,  but not included any of the words that have been used on it.  Humans understand, but spiders don’t. If you’re penalised for one page, it affects you whole site’s performance.  Your customers will want to know what the page is about, so be wary of just writing your keywords in a list for your metatag description because it won’t grab any customers’ attention and the search engines will see that you’re doing this.  If you fail to write a metatag description, the search engine will pull the first few words / sentence from that page.  It might be an extremely boring summary to the customers “welcome to my site, my name is ……  and I live in a beautiful village with a river flowing through my back garden which gives me the inspiration to do what I do….” It doesn’t look too bad as a sentence on your About Us page, but as a summary of your landing page – how poor is that?  It probably won’t contain any of your keywords.  You won’t be penalised, but you really aren’t helping yourself.

Page content needs to contain your keywords.  Avoid keyword stuffing as this is deemed Black Hat. Your page needs to read well, if it’s written for the search engines rather than the humans, you’re likely to have made the mistake of incorporating too many keywords. Never, never try and hide keywords by changing the colour of your text to the colour of your background.  Spiders are wise to this and you will drop from the rankings faster than you thought imaginable!  Assess your competition when it comes to the number of words for your page content.  Firstly, if you’re trying to optimise keywords where you see major sites sitting in the first 5 positions – don’t even bother trying.  If site domains are a lot older than yours, don’t try and fight them.  Secondly, having found good keywords and sites which you can compete against, you could count the number of words they have used.  If they all have around 300 and you use 600, you’ll be different from the pack and not stand a chance.  Don’t copy their script (you’ll be found out! ), but emulate their SEO.

Bold text.  Use this for some, but not all of your keywords.  It tells the search engines that these words are important on your page, but if you tell the search engines that all your keywords are important, the spiders will get confused and feel that you’re ‘overdoing it’, thus ignoring your instructions or penalise you for it.

Headings and sub headings <H1>, <H2 - H5> are similar methods of ensuring the spiders know your important words.  The same rules apply as with bold text.

Lesley H Phillips

****'A Jeweller's Guide to SEO' - Parts 2 & 3****

****'A Jeweller's Guide to SEO' - Part 1****

****Introduction to 'A Jeweller's Guide to SEO' ****


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