2 examples of a technique to use for retail SEO
Advice to create quality content is a recurring theme from Google. It’s the recommendation every time someone raises a complaint about their latest algorithm. It’s also what Matt Cutts recommends in response to almost any question from the broad brush, like ‘What’s the best way to rank higher” to narrow focus such as ‘how do we avoid duplicate content’.
If you have already created well-written content on your site describing your products and services, and cracked the keyword conundrum, (appropriate use in page titles and headings, not too many, not too few, plus a smattering of synonyms) you may be wondering what else you can do. One approach is to look carefully at your product pages; earlier this week on Smart Insights, Jimmy McCann showed 5 tips for optimising product pages to avoid the duplicate content red card and I've also written about this giving examples of SEO copywriting for product pages.
One genre of content which is often overlooked is brand overviews – simply writing about the brands you stock on separate pages. It’s a win-win on lots of levels. Search engine spiders recognise them as a large quantity of well-written content and there can be links to individual product pages or categories.
Customers may also find them interesting. It helps build trust, because it helps you be seen as a knowledgeable expert. But best of all, so few people do it, that you’ll probably steal a march on your competitors especially if one of your customers is searching for a specific brand.
How to write brand overviews
Here are some tips on what I think can go into an effective brand overviews.
- For each brand, write around 250-400 words and/or a short video giving a little bit of history, their ethos, where they’re based, a few facts about employees, output, countries of operation If the company was founded by a charismatic owner, then do talk about it – after all, people buy from people.
- Also mention, the type of products they make and why they’re different from the competition. It’s fine to mention product areas you don’t actually stock, but it makes sense to focus more on the ones that you do sell.
- The description should be completely impartial, as this is meant to be an information service to your customers. However, you can link from that page to your product pages. What you shouldn’t do is link to the brand’s website, as that encourages your viewer to leave your site. Use sub-heads to break up the text and add in keywords.
- Most of the source material can be obtained from the brand’s own website. It’s fine to repeat (and credit) short pieces of text such as a mission statement, but by and large try to make it all original text, and don’t cut and paste
The information you unearth will vary hugely in quality and length. Some manufacturers have a wealth of information on their sites, and others are so barren that it makes you wonder how they stay in business. If one of your suppliers has next-to-nothing on their site, then explain what you’re doing (and why it benefits them) ask for their own sales force presentation or sales brochure etc. If that fails, then you may have to resort to sending a list of questions asking for the basic facts.
The aim is to create a set of brand overviews which are uniform in length, style and tone of voice. Some will need to be cut down drastically, and others padded out, depending on your source material. You should have them written in such a way that it reflects your brand, and above all, make them sound interesting.
Here are two examples of brand overviews for two very different retail websites. The first is for a family-owned toy retailer with brand positioning of ‘fun for generations’. The second is from an automotive site, specialising in motocross parts, and the tone of voice is much more technical to reflect the brand personality. Yet despite the very different styles, the function is the same – build the brand, build the customer relationship and get better natural search rankings.
Brand overview page Example 1. AIRFIX
A whole generation of boys – now all grown men – have fond memories of spending hours gluing tiny plastic parts together to make Airfix models. An iconic UK manufacturer of scale plastic model kits, Airfix was founded by Hungarian refugee Nicholas Kove in 1939 and originally made rubber inflated toys.
After the Second World War, the company began making plastic models, moving into mass market production for Woolworths. The Golden Hind was launched in 1952, followed by the Spitfire a year later.
World-famous scale models
Airfix produces a wide range of kits aimed at scale model enthusiasts. Perhaps best known for its military aircraft, the company also makes model ships, model cars and motorbikes and military vehicles such as model tanks. The kits come complete with detailed instructions, paints, glue and brushes – everything needed to transform the parts into highly accurate models.
The company was the first manufacturer to introduce injection moulding when it moved into plastics, and Airfix has continued to innovate ever since. Today’s models still have the meticulous attention to detail of the original kits so fondly remembered, allowing a new generation to discover the delights of creating a life-like Messerschmitt and pinning it to the ceiling for all to admire.
Brand overview page Example 2. Motion Pro
With ISDT gold-medalist Chris Carter at its helm, Motion Pro has been producing high quality motorcycle tools, cables and controls for over 25 years. Carter’s passion for off-road racing led him to personally develop many of the company’s products, which are used and endorsed by motocross professionals worldwide. Motion Pro actively sponsors many pro and amateur MX riders, as well as a wide range of motocross and off-road events.
Motion Pro Motorcycle Tools
From changing tyres to synchronising carburettors, Motion Pro’s aim is to build tools that make difficult or time-consuming jobs faster and easier. Their tools are simple to use, yet the quality of materials and construction mean they will last for many years.
Motocross Bike Cables and Controls
Motion Pro manufactures some of the best cables and controls in the powersports industry. Working with the world’s top MX riders and mechanics, every part is developed and tested on the track and in competition. From standard fittings to custom bike setups, Motion Pro cables are designed to withstand the harshest conditions, and keep you riding for longer.
Image credit: Search Engine Journal