For the past month and a half I have been giving back to #sbs, offering free SEO to the weekly winners. Thus far I have reviewed a total of 19 websites, representing just over half of the 36 winners since 23rd October and, to the best of my knowledge, the advice has been very well received.
I’m sure some people still think this is a sales pitch, so I thought I would throw up a quick post to illustrate exactly what you’re getting in one of these reviews. In most cases, the focus is on SEO (search engine optimisation), although I have been known to touch upon CRO (conversion rate optmisation) where relevant.
So, if Theo Paphitis chooses you as a winner of Small Business Sunday, here’s an example of the #sbs SEO freebie I’m offering:
To: Weekly #sbs winner
Subject: #sbs SEO freebie for LaSenza.com
Congratulations on your #sbs win this week!
It may help if you read this really basic introduction to search engine optimisation. Should you require something a little more detailed, you can’t go wrong with Google’s (free) SEO starter kit.
I have taken a moment to review your website and have listed some possible improvements, below.
A sitemap file helps search engines crawlers navigate and index your content.
At the moment, LaSenza.com doesn’t have a sitemap, so I would suggest you head over to http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/ and create one as soon as possible. From the various file types that will be generated, you only need to save sitemap.xml and sitemap.xml.gz.
You should then upload the files so they occupy they reside at lasenza.com/sitemap.xml and lasenza.com/sitemap.xml.gz respectively.
Finally, sign up for a free Google Webmaster Tools account and register your sitemaps following the step by step guide. You will then be notified in the event Google finds any problems with either file.
In respect of lasenza.co.uk, you do have a sitemap.xml file but this times out while loading (see here). This may or may not be a problem (I’m not sure how patient the Google bots are), however I would suggest running the generator listed above and saving the sitemap.xml.gz file, which is essentially a zipped up version of what you have already. Don’t forget to register both files with Google Webmaster Tools!
Use of page descriptions
If you look at this site: search of your .co.uk domain, you will note the page descriptions are a bit hit and miss. This is because the <meta name=”Description”> tag hasn’t been fully utilised and in some cases is missing completely.
Every page on your website should include the following code just after the <title> .. </title> tags:
<meta name=”Description” content=”Enter a short (160 character max) description of your content here”>
Failing to do this can needlessly hinder your performance in the search engines.
Use of image names
In the context of SEO, images can be a very powerful asset if used correctly. Aside from appearing in image searches, they can also improve the SEO score of any given page.
To illustrate my point, consider this image of one of your bras (well, one of the ones you sell (I hope)). As it stands, the file name is “AW111_184.jpg”, which is of no benefit for SEO.
You have 70 characters at your disposal, so use them wisely. I always suggest the following format:
[Company Name] [Brand/Category Name] [Brief Description].jpg, for example:
La Senza – Womens Underwear – Black Padded Bra.jpg
You’re already the #1 result for “lingerie” searches, however you don’t appear on the first page for related terms such as “womens’ underwear”. Implementing the above changes is likely to result in many more first page positions.
I also note you use Google Adwords extensively. Improving the search engine score of individual pages can result in a lower cost per click which, for a website with as much traffic as yours, could result in substantial savings.
There are additional improvements, such as integrating social media sharing tools, however the changes listed above are likely to have the most significant impact.
Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
Smarter SEO Limited
Wolverhampton Science Park,
I always reach out to the weekly #sbs winners and from now on will be sending this post as an example of what you can expect.
If you have received an #sbs SEO freebie in the past, I would really appreciate it if you could leave some thoughts below.