Since my job is awesome and provides me with the freedoms to explore options within my career, I quickly jumped at the chance to simply learn more. I’ve always been super curious and excited to learn, so when I was told that learning and personal development were encouraged, I was happy.
I poked around in parts of SEO that I wasn’t terribly familiar with, until I discovered the technical side. Fixing site errors and on-site optimization just clicked with me, and I was fully supported to test out all the cool new things I’d been learning. When I got the ranking results back that showed how well this stuff works, I was hooked.
(Tiny bit of background before I get into this, I work for a company that owns and operates nine e-commerce stores. The three-person team that I’m on has organic control of two of those stores.)
My first testing came about for AffordableScarves.com, our store that sells… affordable scarves. We use XCart for our shopping cart software, and once you get the hang of it, it’s actually super easy use. It’s also pretty SEO-friendly. We have a product team that inputs our new products, and while they’re quite awesome, they didn’t fill out any meta data for our products (eek!). But, this was good for me, because it gave me something to test.
I started testing by doing an overhaul of our fall scarves category. We take our own product photographs and write our own product descriptions, so we’re okay there. No products had set title tags or meta descriptions, but in the event of no title tags, XCart automatically uses the product name. Most of our product names have a keyword or two in them, but they’re just not optimal.
Pretty sure no one is going to be searching for the “Arlington Scarf,” which is a shame, because this is an awesome solid winter scarf for men.
So, that’s what I named it. I changed the title tag from “Arlington Scarf” to “Solid Winter Scarf for Men.” I wrote up a meta description, and sent the Arlington on it’s merry way as I tackled the rest of our fall scarves.
I created some keyword buckets based on the new title tags I’ve just made, mostly fall-related stuff like animal prints, pashiminas, shawls, etc. I sat back and waited to see how it would affect our rankings. (note- In the past, we’ve struggled a bit with our Affordable Scarves rankings. The keywords I’m testing are more specific, longer-tail keywords).
After just one week, we were seeing improvement in rankings:
After two weeks, we saw an even more significant increase in rankings.
For “knit loop scarves,” of which we have several, we saw some great ranking increases in just two weeks:
I ended up optimizing all seasons, and we’ve even got some good results coming in for our out-of-season buckets:
So yeah, on-site optimization works. It’s easy, fun (if you’re a nerd like me), and produces results… quickly.
Oh, and my cute sidekicks are back: