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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Keywords and meta tags and SEO, OH MY!

Being new to trying to make a go of our independent website, I have to say these areas are HARD and can be overwhelming! You get your inventory online only to see that you are not really getting any traffic after months of work. Friends in the know say it's probably your meta tags. My what?? Yes, that's right, meta tags, keywords and SEO. Fixing them is tedious but it's got to be done if you want your items to be found. All you can do is go through each listing, one by one by one and get these right. The bad news is that you will not see instant results from your hard work, it takes time to see better bounce rates, traffic and sales. We have been concentrating on this for about 3 weeks and we have seen some slight improvement to our bounce rate. It's dropped from 65% to 59% which means our keywords are starting to attract the right visitors for our site. The good news is that by the time you are done revising all those original listings you should have meta tags and keywords down pat and your new arrivals should be in a better position to be found from the start.

These sites below helped us a great deal and we're sharing how we used these sites. We don't know yet if we're doing it right but we'll update you as we see results. These sites were recommended to us by the above people in the know at The Selling Lounge.

Use the first to help with the most popular keywords for your item. If you're revising a listing, you can plug the item url into the box and you'll get a whole list of keywords. Compare those to your original keyword choices. If you are working on a brand new listing type in your item and see what comes up. Word your description around the best keywords. In either case, choose which are best for your item and write your description around them. Make sure they are relevant keywords!
Google Keyword Tool

We used this second site to fine tune our meta descriptions and keywords. This one tells you the exact number of characters and keywords that are "robot" friendly. It also grades your keyword, title, and description relevancy. These concepts are hard to explain and the best advise is to learn as you go. You'll soon get the hang of how these three things relate to each other.
SEO Centro meta tag analyzer

We also came across this next site a week or so ago. It shows where your item is placed in the major search engines based on your keyword phrases. We still have a lot of work to do but this tool has shown some improvement in ranking for some of our listings. Any sign of improvement keeps us focused and motivates us to continue working on keywords, meta tags and SEO, OH MY!
Mike's Marketing Tools

Good Luck!

Don't put your shipping info at the beginning. I've always done this because many buyers don't read to the end but apparently this is all wrong if you want your items to be found in search. Search engines read only so much of the listing and they start at the beginning. If your shipping info or any info other than your item description is at the top, chances are your item will not be placed well in searches.

Share with us any SEO tips you may have picked up along the way. If you've used the above sites let us know if you found them to be helpful. Share your numbers with us and keep us motivated!

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