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The Sock Retailer's Easy Guide to SEO

The Sock Retailer's Easy Guide to SEO

Why SEO is Your Best Friend in the Digital Aisle

SEO isn’t just a buzzword. It’s your golden ticket to the front pages of search engines like Google and Yahoo. SEO helps retailers like you draw eyeballs and, more importantly, convert those eyeballs into shoppers. Within the first six months to a year of implementing SEO, you could see an organic traffic increase of around 20-30%. We're talking about high-quality, ready-to-shop traffic that makes a real impact on your bottom line.

Now that we've jogged through the why let's take a leap into the ‘how’–getting to grips with the three fundamental types of SEO: Technical, On-Page, and Link Building.

Technical SEO: Fixing Up Your Digital Storefront

Technical SEO is like ensuring your physical store is easy to find and pleasant to navigate. It's all about ensuring search engine bots can effectively crawl and index your site. We're talking sitemap optimization, website speed, and mobile responsiveness. If your website pages cannot be accessed by the likes of Google, they won't rank in the search results, no matter how high the quality of your content.

Technical SEO: Beginner’s Guide

There are a few fundamental steps you can take to massively improve your website's accessibility. We'll discuss these briefly below.

  • Make your website mobile-friendly. (Remember, more folks shop from their phones than from their computers, so designing for the small screen is key!)
  • Speed up your website. (Because nobody likes to wait around. But also because the speed of your website is one of the factors Google uses in their algorithm.)
  • Switch to HTTPS with SSL security. (For customer peace of mind. But again, it’s also a ranking signal and if you don’t have it, you’ll rank worse than your competitors that do.)
  • Create and submit an XML sitemap to search engines. (So they can easily find all your pages.)

You can find more on the nitty-gritty in Google's Technical SEO Guide.

On-Page SEO: Making Each Page Shine

On-Page SEO is all about making each page on your site an SEO superstar. This involves optimizing elements like title tags, content, internal links, and URLs.

On-Page SEO: Beginner’s Guide

  • Make your title tags zing with targeted keywords.
  • Fill your site with high-quality, helpful content.
  • Add relevant internal and external links.
  • Use header tags to structure your content and make it skimmable.
  • When it comes to online footwear retailers, most of the action will come from optimizing your title and product description.
  • And finally, though we all like to have fun and infuse some playfulness into our copy, keep your product descriptions focused on the facts, so Google is crystal clear on the features your products have.

For the full lowdown on On-Page SEO, check out Moz's Guide to On-Page SEO.

Quit Hits for On-Page SEO

If you’re unsure which content to focus on first, a proven tactic is to use a tool like SEMrush to determine what keywords you’re currently on page two of Google for. Why? The percentage of people that go beyond page one of Google is quite low, so the biggest lift will come from getting those nearly-on-page-one results to the main stage.

Link Building for SEO: Making Connections

Link Building for SEO is all about getting other websites to link back to your website. It’s like networking for your site, and it tells search engines your content is top-notch.

Link Building: Beginner’s Guide

  • Create content so good that everyone will want to link to it.
  • Guest blog on sites that your customers frequent.
  • Get involved in industry forums and discussions.
  • Build relationships with influencers who will want to share your content.

There’s a lot more to learn about Link Building. We recommend checking out Backlinko's Guide to Link Building.

Attack Those Three in the Right Order

When trying to rank, understand that technical SEO is the foundation of everything. Poor technical SEO will water down the results of everything that follows, so start there, first.

Conversely, link building can be thought of as the “cherry on top.” It’s important, but only put the focus there once your technical and on-page work is in good shape. Exception: Local SEO is vital if your online store has a physical location! If foot traffic is as important as clicks, be sure to read this comprehensive guide to local SEO.

Considerations for Using a Partner or Agency

If the above guide has convinced you that SEO matters, but you don’t have the bandwidth, rest assured, there are plenty of consultants and agencies that specialize in SEO. Still, the industry has become more specialized in recent years and many technical SEO consultants might not be as savvy about link building, so it’s key to understand your needs and see how prospective partners might fit into the solution.

In SEO, Patience is Key

While the Internet often rewards instant gratification, it takes time for SEO results to show. Changes you make to your website will only be reflected after Google has crawled your site, and guess what? Google has a lot of sites to crawl!

When you have a massive site with lots of content (think: Amazon), Google might index your changes multiple times per day, but for most of us, it only happens every four days to four weeks.

Still, the payoff from SEO is ongoing, unlike pay-per-click, where the benefits stop the moment you cease paying.

The Rocky Road: Challenges to SEO Implementation

SEO is a bit like running a marathon in heels. It’s tricky but not impossible. Potential hurdles include steep competition and keeping pace with SEO trends. But you can overcome these challenges with diligent keyword research, regular website audits, and staying in the know with the latest SEO updates.

Tying Up: Conclusion

To wrap it all up, SEO isn't just important—it's essential for sock and footwear retailers who want to stand out online. Implementing SEO strategies may take time and patience, but the results build upon one another, leading to long-lasting success. So, pull up those socks, tighten those laces, and start your SEO journey today!

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