In the first part of this blog series, A Beginner's Guide to SEO: Identifying Keywords, we walked through the process and some tools for selecting search engine optimization (SEO) keywords. If you haven’t read that post, start there first. Now that you have your keywords mapped to your website pages (go you!), you need to do something with them. This will be the process of SEO implementation, but it is very important to complete that foundational work before diving into the actual optimizations on your website. Let’s look at five SEO elements you can easily optimize today.
1. Structure your page URLs with SEO in mind
Let’s start with our previous example of a webpage all about organic growing practices and organic wines. In this case, we selected the keyword phrase “organic winemaking” to focus this page on. Once we map this page to that selected keyword, you will then need to optimize the page to show up in the search engine’s organic (free) search results for the keyword, starting with the URL. If your website domain is www.ABCWines.com, then the URL for this page should be www.abcwines.com/organic-winemaking. As with any of the following steps, it is best to keep the keyword intact whenever you are utilizing it. Therefore, you would not want to change the URL to www.abcwines.com/organic-best-winemaking -- “best” should be removed. As a best practice, consider your keywords when creating new pages for your site. If you’re modifying the URL of an existing page for SEO, you will want to redirect the old URL to this new (nicely optimized!) URL. Ask your website manager or website builder customer service for assistance if needed.
2. Include keywords in on-page content
The copy (or the actual text on your page) is part of what the search engines scan when trying to understand what the page is about. Including your keyword in the copy helps with the keyword relevance to the search query – or the words that a user is types into the Google search bar. Keyword inclusion in your URL is a good start, but you’ll also want to include it in the copy, making sure to strike a balance when it comes to the readability of the text. In other words, you want to ensure the copy reads well and makes sense for your human audience, while also helping with SEO.
Here’s an example. You could have a sentence like “ABC Wines has been practicing organic winemaking for 20 years, and we have become the industry leader in the established practices and the organic winemaking processes that other wineries use today.” The keyword phrase is kept intact, used sparingly, and shows the search engine what the primary topic of the page is. When you were brainstorming keywords ideas after reading my first post, perhaps you had many keywords in your list that could apply to one page (i.e. “organic wines” and “organic farming” in addition to “organic winemaking”). These can be your “supporting keywords” and used sparingly throughout the copy to help the search engines -- and humans -- understand the theme of the page, while taking care not to steal the show from the primary keyword “organic winemaking.”
3. Leverage the title tag to highlight page theme
The title tag -- also called the “browser title” by some – can be entered as a piece of HTML code (if you or your website manager will be implementing these SEO elements directly in the code) or a field in you website builder (i.e. WineDirect). Here you have the opportunity to insert your keyword. The title tag is a short explanation of your page -- length should be 55-60 characters. Lead with your keyword, place the brand name at the end, and separate elements with pipes “ | ”. Let’s take WineDirect’s Enterprise Software page for example, and highlight the title tag:
4. Craft enticing meta descriptions
The meta description is a longer description of your page than the title tag, with a length of ~160 characters max. If you’ve ever written PPC (pay per click) ads, you can think of the meta description text as similar. Make it enticing and include your keyword. Ending with a compelling call-to-action (i.e. “Learn how we can help!”) is also a best practice. Here’s a meta description example from WineDirect:
Other HTML tags you can leverage in a similar way are the H1 and H2 (header) tags. The same best practices from the other tags stand true, but in this case, you would try to only include the keyword phrase. Using the ABC Wines example again, the H1 tag would just be “Organic Winemaking” and nothing else. Here is an example from WineDirect’s DTC Knowledge Center page:
Here’s what the H1 header looks like on the page:
5. Use internal links to help visitors navigate your site
Internal linking is the practice of hyperlinking within your site architecture to send users from one page within your domain to another. Optimizing the “web” of linking throughout your site's pages allows search engines to crawl through your content. Similar to the header tags, you will only include the keyword phrase, and keep it intact. For example, you may decide to link from your homepage (www.ABCWines.com) to your page about organic growing practices (www.abcwines.com/organic-winemaking). On your homepage, you would write text such as “Check out our organic winemaking!” and the “organic winemaking” text would hyperlink to this page: www.abcwines.com/organic-winemaking.
This may seem like a lot of work at first, but once you complete one page, you’ll get the hang of the process, and then just rinse/repeat across other pages. Small, but significant, these optimizations will provide long term results for your site and business -- especially when combined with the tips from WineDirect's infographic, 3 Ways to Grow Your Winery's Online Sales. Remember that SEO is FREE and can be your biggest revenue driver! One website I worked on saw 172% increase in website traffic from SEO work. You are next!
If your team needs website design assistance, WineDirect has a roster of certified designers available. A consultant at Modern Digital is always here to help do this SEO work for you, or if you want to do it yourself, Modern Digital can provide personalized one-on-one training for any digital marketing channel.
Download your checklist on how to evaluate a new DTC software partner for your winery.
Want to learn more about our DTC software? Speak to our team of DTC experts today!