Semester two: SEO

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a tool used by businesses for increasing traffic to websites, with the optimal aim of increasing website visibility and search engine rankings (Pophal, 2010). Traffic is increased through SEO by incorporating keywords into website pages and products.

Keywords can further be referred to as focus words, these are words which sum up the focus of a website, page, or post; which when searched by consumers, will redirect them to the keyword content (Yoast, n.d.).  To increase website visibility and visitor figures it is imperative Modus Novels incorporate keywords throughout it’s website. Keywords chosen were, bookseller, magazines, fashion, and blog.

To monitor the effectiveness of Modus Novels SEO strategy a plugin called Yoast SEO was installed.

Firstly, Modus Novels used the Yoast plugin to evaluate how the current website was performing against SEO standards, the below print screen demonstrates the issues on the about us page.

 

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The plugin identified four red issues of major concern, firstly there is no focus keyword for this page, which can damage the websites visibility to searching consumers. The website further lacks a meta description; this is a small description of the page/website aimed at generating click views from search engines (Heijmans, 2016), the failure of Modus Novels to create their own meta description has resulted in one being automatically generated, which looks unprofessional and can fail to provide searchers with a clear picture of the website. Further errors identified there were the lack of pictures on the page in addition to a limited amount of text.

Modus Novels then attempted to fix some of the major errors.

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For this page, the focus keyword of bookseller was chosen, due to the shops categorisation as a bookseller it seemed a natural fit to be included on the about page. Further focus keywords chosen for other pages included magazines, fashion, and blog. Modus Novels then made a sufficient effort to ensure the focus keyword was used across the about page to increase rankings and visibility. This move has been proven effective as the Yoast analysis now features more green rankings than red. Furthermore, a meta description has been created which sums up the general aim and theme of the website, this description is also featured within the about page which creates synchronicity between SEO management and online content.

Some faults were not changed based upon the original Yoast analysis findings, in particular the shortness of text and no images. The Yoast SEO plugin can be criticised to be too restrictive on website creators, for instance, website visitors enjoyed that the about page featured less text than the average page, stating that it was to the point and easy to navigate. Furthermore, the plugin failed to identify that the about page did contain images in the form of a slide bar plugin.

The second page analysed was the blog page. This was done as the blog, though provides additional “sticky” content to Modus Novels, it can be considered as a separate entity to visitors as a provider of news in the fashion sector, therefore increasing search ability is vital.

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The screenshot indicated that no focus key word was set for the page, as a result it would be harder for those using search engines to find the blog page or be redirected to it via a search keyword. Furthermore, the page title is critically too short which may fail to appeal to those visitors who do locate the page. In criticism to the plugin, it was identified that the page contained 0 words, grading it with a red notification. Yet, the page is meant to have 0 words as it acts as a homepage to the blog posts, the plugin can be criticised as being too strict and restricting against creative elements if followed correctly. Overall due to this restriction Modus Novels have decided to edit the page title, meta description and SEO keyword to increase visibility, the results of which are displayed below.

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Making these small changes have enhanced the search ability and visibility of the Modus Novels blog page, allowing it to be distinctive from the main store by using a focus keyword that has yet to be used throughout the website.

To conclude the Yoast SEO plugin proved highly useful in allowing the designer of Modus Novels to increase visibility and evaluate its current SEO strategy, however it is found to be faulty and restrictive when it evaluated design elements of the website, such as text length and image use. To summarise the plugin is great for managing the basic SEO content features and less so for the more complex design decisions.

 

References:

Grensing-Pophal, Lin. (2010) “SEO And The Business Of Content”. EContent (Wilton, Conn.) [Accessed 20 Feb. 2017].

Heijmans, M. (2016). How to create the right meta description • Yoast. [online] Yoast. Available at: https://yoast.com/meta-descriptions/ [Accessed 23 Feb. 2017].

Yoast, (n.d.). The perfect focus keyword for your post or page. [online] Yoast. Available at: https://yoast.com/focus-keyword/ [Accessed 23 Feb. 2017].

 

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