Updating SEO & URL redirects

Mareka
Trailblazer
195 1 23

Hi All,

When I started my store last year, I knew very little about SEO & URLs etc. After reading & watching heaps of tutorials, I realise I really need to do a LOT of work on my SEO, changing product titles, descriptions etc.  So I just need a little advice on the following

1. Should I repeat the product title within the description ?

2. Does the product title need to be the same as the product meta title ?

3. Should all of my product meta descriptions contain CTA words like buy, shop ?

4. Is changing the handle of a URL considered a redirect ? eg  treasureknot.com/products/sterling-silver-earrings change to treasureknot.com/products/silver-earrings.  If so, how many times can you redirect without causing issues.  The URL & handle I find all very confusing when it comes to redirects etc.

5. Does highlighting keywords within a description help with SEO ?

I would love to hire somebody to fix it all but unfortunately that is just not an option for me at this time.

Thanks in advance. My store is www.treasureknot.com

 

KieranR
Shopify Partner
254 21 75
  1. Personally I don't. Usually I find it better to use the desc space for different content to help entice a click rather than repeating yourself. 
  2. Nope doesn't need to be the same, but usually it would make sense for them to be similar. 
  3. Test it and see if it works. There's plenty of ideas out there to test just google "seo ctr tests" and try some for your own site. Although there's no point testing stuff though if you're not going back and measuring outcomes.
  4. Well when you change a handle in Shopify Admin, a (pre-ticked) redirect is suggested, which is usually a good idea. Changing a URL and creating a redirect are separate things. Also, not changing a URL at all for content that has backlinks and is already ranking/generating traffic, is the safest bet. But if you gotta change, then a redirect is a far better option than leaving the old URL to go 404.
  5. I assume you mean on-page content. I like to think bolding helps sliiiighly but it's one of 1000's of signals, so probably gets buried in the noise. From the original Stanford paper before Google was a household name: "Words in a larger or bolder font are weighted higher than other words.". I'd say there's likely still an element of truth there even all these years later. Dunno about highlights though, you could probably design a test for this somehow (probably at a much larger scale than just your store), but there's probably more useful SEO tests worth doing. Throw a couple bolds in and be done with it, the fewer the better.
Full time Shopify SEO guy, based in NZ. Sometimes freelance outside the 9-5.
Mareka
Trailblazer
195 1 23

@KieranR thankyou so much. Loved your down to earth reply. Great to get help from a "local" (I am in Australia).

Now I am going to be a pain. My product titles generally start with descriptive words that relate to my store eg sparkling, colourful, dazzling etc. I have changed the handles/meta titles already for some products at the start when I didn't really know what I was doing. Now that I am a little bit more savvy, I would like to change them again. Example :

Product Title:    Bejewelled Pearl Sunflower Brooch

Meta Title:   Freshwater Pearl & CZ Sunflower Brooch | Treasure Knot  (changed from Bejewelled Pearl Sunflower Brooch)

URL:   www.treasureknot.com/products/brooch-natural-freshwater-pearl-sunflower  (I think this may be the 3rd change ? re-direct box ticked)

If I wanted to change the URL again, ticked re-direct box, would there be any issues ?

As for "testing", to be honest, I have no idea how to do any of that at this point in time. I don't think I am ranking at all anywhere !

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KieranR
Shopify Partner
254 21 75

Haha yeah no worries! There are a few kiwis and aussies knocking around in Shopify land.

There's kind of an issue created when you create too many redirect 'hops'. You already have a couple: 

KieranR_0-1620862366136.png

 

Creating a 3rd is not ideal, it can cause some minor issues with passing link equity through the site properly and slowing down page-load times for users. But it's pretty easy to fix, just go to Admin > Online Store > Nav > URL Redirects and update the old ones. Your aim is to clean up the redirects in that list for this page, so find the old page URLs for that product, and update them to point directly to to the new page URL.

These kind of small things don't make much difference in practise though. It's more like if you have 10000 products, and they are ALL somehow dorked and have 3x redirect hops. If you fix a large-scale issue like that you might expect to see some cumulative improvement, but a single page with a minor issue like this - just a drop in the bucket, but worth fixing for "best practice" and making stuff load fast for users. So yeah, if you want to, it's probably fine to redirect again all good, tick the box that should be fine. But go back and clean up the old ones to point to the new page directly. 

Before you start renaming stuff for SEO it's usually better to start with some keyword data search result context before making naming choices. 

Just quickly I've pulled some keyword search volume data on brooches:

KieranR_1-1620862116726.png

^ that's from a tool called Ahrefs - although there are plenty of free or free trial kw research tools out there if you want to DIY. 

So based on that 5min look for this product, I think you're roughly on the right track with naming it using terms like "Freshwater pearl brooch" that get searched. Worth noting - the search volumes are pretty small! What starts to really make a difference is if you have a lot of products, and bulk rename them with terms that people already search for, it can have more of a cumulative effect. 

Also, it's not just the SEO title that's important, sometimes it's worth considering changing the actual name of the product itself, as well as other on-page content and sub-topics (beyond just a text-description) to incorporate terms that literally describe what it is (although this can be a brand sensitivity thing). 

Full time Shopify SEO guy, based in NZ. Sometimes freelance outside the 9-5.
Mareka
Trailblazer
195 1 23

Thankyou thankyou thankyou.

Regarding your last paragraph, this is where I get sooooo confused about keyword research. Naming my products to relate to the type of store I have as opposed to using just mainstream type product names. A lot of my product names do start with "colourful", "sparkling", "dazzling" which it seems isn't great for SEO. 

Thanks for all your help.

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KieranR
Shopify Partner
254 21 75

From a purely SEO pov I would suggest trying to limit the brand-isms to like 1 word at the front, pretty much like you've done. 

Keeping "freshwater pearl" together seems like a good idea in this case. Trying to keep "freshwater pearl brooch" together might be even better as a product name + title, with brand-isms around it. 

Search terms closer to the left, and all together and in the product name is generally helpful to rank for that thing. Yeah it's a fine line, on one hand you want to have your brand, but people are not really going to search for "Bejewled Freshwater Pearl Brooch" unless they've already heard about you. Also, there might be more important products with greater potential to focus on, this one seems to have very little search volume.

Full time Shopify SEO guy, based in NZ. Sometimes freelance outside the 9-5.
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Mareka
Trailblazer
195 1 23

So are you referring to the main product title or the meta title or both ? I guess I could use all my sparkling type words just in the descriptions ?

I had a look at all my redirects. An example I have - redirect from is /products/enameled-dragonfly-trinket-box, redirect to is /products/blue-green-dragonfly-trinket-box. If I want to do some tweeking (/products/trinket-box-enameled-dragonfly), I shouldn't or are you saying by changing the "redirect to", is ok ? Sorry, I am just struggling to get my head around it all.

The brooch was just an example, but yes, I think I am trying to focus on everything in my store. I really appreciate all your help.

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vinods
Shopify Partner
485 9 84

Hi @Mareka 

I am Vinod from Bombay India. I am a digital marketing consultant by profession providing professional website design abd development, Google and Bing ads email marketing and Conversion rate optimization services.

Pleases see below my revert. 

1. Should I repeat the product title within the description ?

Vinod - product title in product description is ok to get repeated provided it goes good with the content. 

2. Does the product title need to be the same as the product meta title ?

Vinod - No 

3. Should all of my product meta descriptions contain CTA words like buy, shop ?

Vinod - No 

4. Is changing the handle of a URL considered a redirect ? eg treasureknot.com/products/sterling-silver-earrings change to treasureknot.com/products/silver-earrings. If so, how many times can you redirect without causing issues. The URL & handle I find all very confusing when it comes to redirects etc.

Vinod - you can change urls and tick the option of redirect in shopify any time but as you are a store owner u should first be sure what product title you want to keep 

5. Does highlighting keywords within a description help with SEO ?

Vinod - Yes 

Do feel free to email me I will be happy to serve you my email is 

vinod.digitalcentrics@gmail.com

vinod@digitalcentrics.com

Thank you. 

Vinod

Vinod Sachdev.
Digital Marketing Consultant
Google & Bing Ads | Web Design & Development | Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
15+ years Industry Experience & Knowledge of Latest Web Technologies
250+ Clients Served - across USA, UK, Spain, Caribbean Islands, India & more.
625+ Paid Ads Search, Shopping, Display, Re-Marketing Campaigns Successfully Managed which achieved higher sales
100+ Custom Websites & Landing Pages Designed & Developed

email vinod.digitalcentrics@gmail.com | https://digitalcentrics.com/
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KieranR
Shopify Partner
254 21 75

So are you referring to the main product title or the meta title or both ? I guess I could use all my sparkling type words just in the descriptions ?

Referring to both the {{ product.title }} and the {{ page.title }} - keywords placed in both is generally good for SEO. Putting some glitzy brand terms (that no-one searches for) in the description as part of copy to make it sound good and entice a click (within 160 char not 320) seems ideal. The {{ product.title }} and {{ page.title}} will have more of an impact on SEO. The description text is not a strong SEO signal.

Again this is all from a purely SEO sense, not considering how you want your brand to look! Also, I have only checked one product, at a very surface level, with out any other context. I'm just spitballing ideas on the info I have at hand. My typical process would be a LOT more strategic and based on much more thorough keyword research before making a definitive recommendation like you are asking for.

If on the other hand you are an established brand like Nike, people will probably search for "Nike mens black shoes" so in that case you probably want your page to be titled "Nike mens black shoes"! But if no-one knows your brand already then the only real SEO play (right now) is category terms. It's all based on what people are searching for, how this fits your brand, how this fits your product and constructing a titling/naming convention that makes sense. There are not hard rules here.

I had a look at all my redirects. An example I have - redirect from is /products/enameled-dragonfly-trinket-box, redirect to is /products/blue-green-dragonfly-trinket-box. If I want to do some tweeking (/products/trinket-box-enameled-dragonfly), I shouldn't or are you saying by changing the "redirect to", is ok ? Sorry, I am just struggling to get my head around it all.

Redirects are fine when you have to use them, but just make sure you have one hop. To try and simplify, imagine ABC are old/previous URLs of a product & Z is the current/new URL.

Good: 

  • A -> Z
  • B - > Z
  • C -> Z

Bad: 

  • A -> B
  • B -> C
  • C -> Z

^ if someone tries to go to page A in the Bad example. Here's what happens: 301 redirect from A to B (one hop). 301 redirect from B to C (second hop). 301 redirect from C to Z (third hop). 

Three hops bad.

Full time Shopify SEO guy, based in NZ. Sometimes freelance outside the 9-5.
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Mareka
Trailblazer
195 1 23

Your URL redirect explanation & makes more sense to me now, thanks.  I have been told I overthink stuff way too much. Thanks again for all your help, very much appreciated.    I will leave you alone now

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