SiteMaps

SiteMaps

Once you have built your site, you may think you are done and can sit back and wait.  Build it and they will come, right?  Well, not necessarily.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization – is next on your list to do.

Hopefully while you (or your web master) were building the site you created good content.  Content with keywords inside. Write for your customers, while blending in your keywords so that it all flows together nicely.  If you sell a product, describe it well.  You want to make sure that your home page especially has good content, introducing your site.  Linking to products on your site is helpful, as well.

Get Verified

Once you are ready, you should verify your site with Google and Bing, you will need that for your sitemap.

https://merchantmoms.com/knowledgebase/1089/Verify-your-site-with-Google.html

Sitemap xml

Sitemap

Sitemap

Most sites automatically create a sitemap.htm, html, etc., and is great for your site but is not the same as the sitemap.xml we are teaching you here.  You need both the one your site created along with the xml version in this article.

Google’s XML format was designed for the search engines, allowing them to find the data faster and more efficiently.

XML sitemaps are not a tool for search engine optimization. They do not affect ranking, but do allow search engines to make more accurate searches and rankings. It does this by providing the data that a search engine needs, and putting it one spot, rather handy considering that there are millions of websites to sort through.

Making your sitemap.xml has gotten easier over the years.   We recommend the tool at XML SiteMaps.  You can choose the free option that will create  your site map xml for 500 urls (pages).   This is perfect for many sites.  Once you’ve created the sitemap, you will load it to your site, similar to the way you verified your site, then let Google and Bing know that it is there. XML How to

Alternatively, we are happy to help you with your sitemap.xml.  We will create the sitemap.xml and the images.xml (helpful if you have images on your site of your items)

Help – Do This For Me

 

Keywords, long and short

Keywords, long and short

Keywords Are Buzzwords

Keywords or buzzwords are words that a person is most likely to type (or speak) into their search engine. 

You may also have heard of short and long tail keywords.

 

Short Tail  keywords are short phrases such as: counselor, christian counselor, childrens counselor

Long Tail keywords expand on the thought of the short keyword so christian counselor may become female christian counselor for children near …

Do you need to optimize for both?  

Not really, if you are optimizing for long tail keywords the short tail keywords will fall into place.  

Since the voice search explosion is here, it is even more important to pay attention to the long tail getting the questions answered that people may ask.. WHO HOW WHAT WHERE 

FAQ pages are great to use toward this.  The HOW do I make an appointment, WHERE are you located, WHAT services do you provide

 

Voice Search Text Search

Voice Search Text Search

Searching is searching, right?  Not necessarily. With the changes in technology, searching is changing to.  People would type in short phrases into their search engine to get an answer, where now they ask an entire question. THEN:  gluten free food NOW:  Where can I find gluten free foods near me? So for your website to address the new way people search : You need to answer the questions (be sure your product or service has all the pertinent information provided) .   After the Hey Google (Or Siri, etc) they often ask a question Where can I find …. What is … near me. Be sure your site is up to speed by being both HTTPS Secure and Mobile Friendly Update your location information if your site is also a ‘brick and mortar’ business, available to the public walk ins.  

Search is searching, right?

2020 !  Are You Ready?

2020 ! Are You Ready?

Voice Search Preparedness

Voice Search is becoming more popular.  People are finding  what they want simply by asking Hey Google, Alexa, Siri, etc.,  

Let’s start with the very basic things your site needs to be ready for voice search.

 

Mobile Friendly  be sure your site is available on whatever device that a person chooses to use.  You can see if your site is mobile friendly by typing your address here  

https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly

Responsive web design development in modern electronic devices

HTTPS Security do you see the safe lock in your browser on your site?  Does the address start with https://  ?  If not, this is another area to check right away.

You may not realize it, but the security of your site can affect voice search just like it can text search. If people (including robots) go to your website and it does not appear secure, they are going to leave.   Your shopping cart itself is secure, but you need to ensure your entire site is secure as well.

https://whynopadlock.com is a helpful spot to check your site

If your site is failing either of these test, we can help with either an upgrade of your current site or something brand new!

https://www.merchantmoms.com/contactus.php

Content is King

Content is STILL King!

  • Use high-quality content that is focused on your buyer / visitor. Bring the answers in front of your audience where they are, and they will find you.

  • Answer questions that a visitor may have . Having a FAQ section on your site is helpful for this.  Payment options, delivery and shipping.  Perhaps shop hours if you are a local store.  
  • Use a natural conversational tone ‘talking’ to your audience in a way that makes sense and doesn’t appear to be just a bunch of words.

  • If your business is local, use that information (keywords) in your content.  For example, if you have a local bait store that sells live bait, you may want to write content about live bait that uses local descriptive words such as the name of your town, city, or even the section of the city. For example, “What is the best live bait store near me in Eaton Rapids Michigan?”

Conclusion ...

  • Be Mobile Friendly
  • Be Secure
  • Good Content
Content Is King

Content Is King

content is still king on the web

One of the questions we are often asked at MerchantMoms is what more should we be doing on our web site to bring traffic (business, sales).

We will share our suggestions here in hopes that it will also help you.

Get Responsive!    In this day and age, it is more important than ever before to have your website work on whatever device a person happens to be using.  In April of 2015 we announced what Google released a significant new mobile-friendly ranking algorithm that many were calling Mobilegaedon .  To that end, we launched our responsive version in April also.

If you haven’t upgraded your site yet to be responsive, do seriously consider this.  You will need a responsive template.  It’s possible that what you have can be upgraded, otherwise a new one may be necessary.  It’s a worthwhile business investment (and write-off expense).

GET UPGRADE

Add SSL – this is another thing that the search engines (Google) are looking for is https throughout the site.  It used to be okay to only have it at checkout, but now they want to see it throughout the site.   You may have gone to sites (perhaps your own) where your browser complains that it isn’t secure.  That’s why.    NOTE:  You do need the latest responsive version above to have the SSL

SSL
Content

Content Content Content!  Content is still King on the web.  Words.  Words that entice your shoppers to buy from you, to find what they are looking for.

  •  A home page with only images doesn’t tell the search engines what you have.
  • Take the time to write good category and product descriptions. Think like a shopper – what would you want to know before you were to buy the item?  What do you look for when you are shopping online?
  • Consider a blog.  Adding a blog to your website is a good way to drive traffic, bringing people back and forth between the product you are telling about and the sale of the product.   It’s an opportunity to ‘chat’ about you, too, add fun and information.  Some people use the blog as their whole website, with WooCommerce as the shopping cart.

Other things that are also important for you to do are to  :