Ecommerce: Create Dedicated Pages for Seasonal Sales Events

Solid advice for e-commerce websites from Google.

Easy win! If you have an e-commerce business and you are not doing this – yet – do it asap for an easy win.

Create a Dedicated Page for Seasonal Sales Events

John Mu tweet 9-9-21

On your website make sure you have a dedicated page, a page that is ONLY for e.g. Black Friday.

Then repeat and do this for the major Sales Events you participate in throughout the year.

One page – One event

You could have pages for:

Black Friday
Christmas
Valentine’s Day
Earth Day
Easter
Mother’s Day
and so on…

Do NOT Include Year in the URL

When creating these pages keep the date and the year out of the URLs.

If you were to create a new page each year, you’d end up with a lot of old, orphan pages on your site, which could negatively impact your site’s rankings down the road.

Instead, you will reuse these pages with fresh content each year!

❌ myshop.com/black-friday-sales-2021/

✅ myshop.com/black-friday-sales/

Then include the year in the title and perhaps add a few mentions on-page, so that the users know 100% that the sales are current.

Do NOT Use + Reuse One Single Page for All Events

What if you have one page, that is dedicated to all events?

Say:

myshop.com/sales-events/

Where you keep switching up content from one sale to the next.

This will not give you good results!

Google will remember your Easter sales content on the page when Mother’s Day comes around and you will miss out on ranking for, practically every sales event.

Instead, SPLIT each sales event onto its own page, as mentioned above.

More more thing.

Keep in mind not to go overboard with creating a page for every single tiny and imaginary sales event.

Focus on the main sales events – events potential customers search for and ones that are important for your business.

Alie Jules

Author
Alie Jules
Founder of Strategy x Creative

On The First Page of Google

cover of Optimized Sept 2021 issue

How to Rank on The First Page of Google?

How to get on the coveted first page of search results for your keywords? That is the big question.

In this first issue of Optimized, I tackle the question by analyzing results found for a keyword/search term on the first page, in order to determine how we can get on the first page and climb to the number one spot.

This analysis is comprehensive. I examine every result in detail, looking for gaps and opportunities to do better. Below you find the summary of the report. You can also download the full report (no sign up required).

Search Term: Best Jogging Shoes

July 29, 2021 | Desktop | Chrome browser

Here are the rankings from the top (1) to the bottom (10) on the first page of Google search results.
The Rankings

  1. Runner’s World
  2. Fleet Feet
  3. Run Repeat
  4. Esquire (UK)
  5. T3 (UK)
  6. NY Mag
  7. Road Runner Sports
  8. Good Housekeeping
  9. CNET
  10. Gear Patrol
Keep in mind, you will see some fluctuation with the search results. You can see movement both up and down, and slipping of the first page aka falling into the abyss which is the 2nd page and beyond.

If and when you reach the first page, it’s not guaranteed you stay there.

Summary of Key Findings – SEARCH

1. Every result was optimized for the best running shoes.
2. All URLs were HTTPS (secure) and .com
3. All results included the keywords best running shoes in their meta title.
screenshot of best running shoes words on title
4. Eight URLs included /best-running-shoes/ as part of the URL.
keywords in the URL

5. Nine results were published or modified in the last 3 months. Six were modified within the last 30 days.

6. Two of the results were from the UK. T3 recognized /us/ as the region, Esquire didn’t.
google search results showing UK results

7. Six title tags included the year 2021.

Year 2021 on meta titles
8. Two URLs included men’s running shoes, and two other women’s running shoes, and one included both, although no distinction was made in the search.
9. Eight of the meta descriptions were generated by Google.

10. None of the pages had video content.

11. The first page of Google did not have a featured snippet.

12. Four of the results were from sites that specialize in running. Five of
the results were from lifestyle sites.

Summary of Key Findings – ON-PAGE

1. Featured Image

Five of the pages had a featured image. Four of the image file names included keywords.

2. Keywords (KWs)

None of the pages included the keywords (KWs)  best jogging shoes. All of the pages were optimized for the best running shoes.

3. Word Count

The word count ranged from 1898 – 10419 words.

word count graph best jogging shoe results

4. Page Content

The page content of all the pages included a “the best shoe” ranking/rating
section and a how to choose the best shoes for you, type content.

5. Ads

Eight pages included ads. Ads on six of the pages were disruptive.

The First Page Results

1. Runner’s World

Summary

Runner’s World is certainly an expert in the running department and their SEO for search is dialed in, but the on-page experience was poor. Too many ads, poor organization of content, and overall subpar page quality left a negative impression. Both on-page SEO and UX can be significantly improved. This means there is a great opportunity for us to create better content.

2. Fleet Feet

fleet feet google search result

Summary

This result could be above the Runner’s World. There are many positives on this page from the page organization to user experience. The big negative is the potential keyword stuffing, which sites/pages can be penalized for.

3. Run Repeat

run repeat search result

Summary

This page has a lot of potential! It has more relevant, better quality, and the highest EAT (expertise, authority, trustworthy) content out of the top 3 search results. After a few adjustments, this page could be a top contender.

I will be closely looking at this result and the #2 result to make sure I’m creating better content than these two.

4. Esquire

esquire search results

Summary

This page should not be on the first page. Period. The result is UK-based and therefore completely useless to the user searching in the US. I expect this result to disappear from the first page, hopefully, sooner than later.

5. T3

t3 search result

Summary

The page has several issues, not the least with ads and questionable authority, but it also has some good things on it, especially the skimmable specs section. That is something I’ll keep in mind creating my page.

6. NY Mag

t3 search result

Summary

The content is ok, but it’s nothing special. It’s a bit different from the others so far, in that, it goes to the studies about the importance of picking the right shoes. But then, it doesn’t go into details about how to pick the best shoes, as some of the other pages by experts did. l though the page checks off all of the boxes to a certain degree, it doesn’t really address the user’s needs to the extent that it should or could. The page accomplished its mission, which, in my opinion, is to have lots of affiliate links on the page.

7. Road Runner Sports

t3 search result

Summary

This page should NOT be on the first page! It’s a category page of an online store for women’s running shoes. I suspect it’s going to disappear soon. The sooner the better. This page is completely irrelevant for the search intent. Just no.

8. Good Housekeeping

t3 search result

Summary

This page is specifically for women, although we didn’t make a distinction in the search for it. In addition, Good Housekeeping is not an authority, nor do they have the expertise on the best running shoes. This lack of trust makes me wonder if the only reason they are publishing these articles is to get affiliate
links and ads on the page. There were a lot of them.

9. CNET

t3 search result

Summary

This page is specifically for men’s running shoes. And it has similar issues with the Good Housekeeping page. Again I get the feeling that the only reason this page exists is to be able to add affiliate links and ads on the page. This page should be slip-sliding right off the page to oblivion (2nd page or further down).

10. Gear Patrol

t3 search result

Summary

I don’t have much to say about this other than it looks and feels so very similar to the Runner’s World page including the negative issues RW page has. This is another result I can see dropping off the first page.

There are better results on page 2 than this (I looked).

In Conclusion

The top three results had just about all elements dialed in, with the exception of the Runner’s World poor user experience and on-page SEO. I could see Run Repeat and Fleet Feet climb up above Runner’s World with a few adjustments.

Several of the results should not be on the first page. Not now, not ever. What’s going on Google? Seriously, though, I would expect many of these to drop off the first page, far, far away from it.

Sometimes what happens is that when you refresh an older page, you see a big boost in rankings and can find yourself on the first page. Whether you can stay there is a different story.

The results also tell me that there is room to get on the first page, absolutely.
And there is also room to get on the top. The top three results are the biggest competition (currently anyway).

There are a few good results I spotted on the 2nd page. You might see some new results pushing up on the first page soon.

Download the Full Report

In the October issue, I will go over, step-by-step, how I would go about creating a better page than the top results in order to rank at the top.

The Plan
1. Create + Optimize a page for Best Running Shoes (October Issue)
2. Create + Optimize a page for Best Jogging Shoes
3. Link the jogging shoe page with the running shoe page

BONUS REPORT – ADS

Download the report

Google Is Replacing Titles In Search Results

UPDATE 08.24.2021
Google has acknowledge that this was an update.

Although Google has not confirmed an official page title rewrite update, SEOs are reporting an uptick of instances where title tags have been rewritten by Google in the search results pages.

That is, what you wanted Google to show as the title in the search results, is not shown. 

The title tag replacements have included changes from reasonable to strange. Some replaced titles include some of or the whole H1 tag instead of the meta tag. Others, displayed random titles pulled from alt tags, and even from URL slugs! 

A Title Rewritten by Google in Search Results

What are we talking about exactly?

Here’s an example.

This is a Google search result for search term: Best Jogging Shoes

Google search results for best jogging shoes by vogue screenshot

☝ The title Google displayed:
How to Find the Best Running Shoes for You – Sneakers – Vogue

👇 The meta title of the page:
16 Best Running Shoes for Women in 2021: Comfortable Sneakers for Everyday Runner | Vogue

Vogue's meta title screenshot

And last but not least.

Where Google pulled some of the information to the title they displayed:

👇 H1 tag of the page:
The Race is On: How to Find the Best Running Shoes for you

H1 title from Vogue screenshot

All together.

How to Find the Best Running Shoes for You – Sneakers – Vogue

16 Best Running Shoes for Women in 2021: Comfortable Sneakers for Everyday Runner | Vogue

The Race is On: How to Find the Best Running Shoes for you

Google pulled a portion of the H1 tag into the title.

In short, Google says, we understand that your page is about how to find the best running shoes for you.

If you are about to hyperventilate right about now, don’t panic!

Keep reading.

Google’s goal is to try to show the MOST RELEVANT results for the users.

Is Google Rolling Out a Title Rewrite Update?

The title tags have been rewritten by Google for unspecified number of pages. So it could be that Google – being Google – is running tests or slowly rolling out the update without officially announcing it.

If this page title rewrite update gets fully adopted it means that Google will decide what it shows as the title, based on what it thinks your page is about. This is really no different than what Google is already doing with the page descriptions.

Google Rewriting Title Tags is Not New

Google has been using their choice for title tags here and there for a long time. However, the August 2021 changes to title tags seem to be widespread and with noticeable issues like this one.

White House Biden SEPRs title tag

We know this title tag is the result of the update because, in July, the title was:

Joe Biden: The President | The White House

☝ This is also the current meta title.

How do you adapt?

Right now I wouldn’t jump into making massive changes. Things are in flux. Let’s wait and see how the errors are fixed and where we are when things settle down.

Meanwhile.

Keep creating content that is crystal clear; one topic – one page.

After creating the content piece ask yourself:

Is Google able to read the page and understand – clearly -what the page is about?

Is the user able to read the page and understand – clearly – what the page is about?

The answer should be yes to both.

Using year (2021) in the Title tag

Thoughts and speculation

What does this rewrite mean to a popular SEO tactic, which is to use a year in the title?

That is.

You add 2021 in your title to show that your article is current.

Like this

The Best Running Shoes in 2021

And google changes it something else, like:

How to Find the Best Running Shoes for You

Using a year in the title tag has  been a great technique to use because you can republish on old post every year and just change a few things, including the year.

If Google determines, based on what it understand your page to be, that it doesn’t not warrant a year in the title, it can choose to remove it by rewriting the title.

Can you still use this technique?

For now, I think so. Because I see many results that still have a year in the title. It just means you need to make sure your page is relevant – to the year in question! 

Alie Jules

Author
Alie Jules
Founder of Strategy x Creative

B2B vs B2C SEO

B2B vs B2C SEO

Is B2B SEO different from B2C SEO?

Yes and no.

Whether you are in B2B or B2C space the purpose of SEO is to get more – quantity and/or quality – traffic to your website. The same SEO best practices apply to both.

Although both B2B and B2C SEO ranking factors are the same, and both need an SEO strategy and on-page optimization, each requires a different SEO approach. B2B SEO content marketing, keywords, audience size, and who the buyer differs from B2C SEO, all of which matters in building a successful SEO strategy.

Let’s take a closer look.

Are you a B2B or B2C company?

Or a hybrid?

B2C = Business-to-consumer means you, the business, sell products or services directly to the consumer. The consumer, the buyer, is the end-user of the product or service.

B2C companies include Walmart, Target, and Netflix.

B2B = Business-to-business company sells products or services to other businesses. A business is the customer.

B2B companies include General Electric, Salesforce, and Slack.

Companies can also be a hybrid of both B2B and B2C. Many SaaS companies operate as a hybrid. Amazon and Tesla are also in this category. Hybrids require yet a different SEO approach, pulling from both B2B and B2C SEO strategies and tactics.

Similarities between B2B vs B2C SEO

➡ The purpose is to get more traffic to your website

➡ Both have the same ranking factors

➡ Competitor + keyword research

➡ On-page optimization

➡ Technical SEO

➡ Link building

About On-Page Optimization

Both B2B and B2C SEO best practices include on-page optimization.

That is:

Create unique content: 1 topic – 1 page/post

Beef up thin content

Don’t stuff keywords

Refresh old content

Make sure technical SEO is up-to-date

Differences between B2B vs B2C SEO

1) Audience: larger vs smaller
2) Traffic Volume: low vs high
3) Buyer: many decision makers vs individual
4) Buying Process: longer, complex vs shorter, simple
5) Sales Cycle: short vs long
6) Keywords: industry-specific, low-volume vs broad high-volume
7) Content: informative, educational vs educational, emotional, or entertaining

1
Audience

Audience is one of the big differences between B2B and B2C SEO.

B2C SEO targets a larger audience. The goal is to drive a lot of traffic to your website. This means you typically pick a more generic, and broader demographic group e.g. dog owners, mountain bikers, or crypto enthusiasts.

B2B SEO targets a smaller, specific audience.  The goal is to get specific, interested, and qualified traffic to your website. For example, your product could be for B-corp, sustainable, eco-conscious organizations in manufacturing with 500-1000 employees, and 100+ million annual revenue. This target audience is small and very specific.

📝B2B SEO – Don’t focus on search volume.

B2B companies often imagine they will get a ton of traffic from the SEO efforts, but this is setting yourself up to disappointment (and it’s also not a good metric to gauge success).

Huge traffic increases are not the norm for B2B, because your target audience is small.

2
Traffic Volume

B2B SEO – Don’t focus on search volume.

B2B companies often imagine that they will get a huge number of incoming traffic from the SEO efforts, but this is setting yourself up for disappointment (and it’s also not a good metric to gauge success).

If your metric for success is a massive amount of traffic to your website, you’ll most likely want to fire your SEO, when you see the numbers.

For B2B it’s not about the amount of traffic you get to your website. It’s about the quality of visitors.

Traffic volume for B2C websites can be much larger. You are targeting a much broader audience. You may need this large number of visitors to your site in order to convert a small percentage of it.

For both, it is important to know who your potential customer is and build content to address their needs and wants.

3
Buyer

B2C is straightforward. The buyer is the end-user of the product or service you sell. Your SEO is built for and connects directly with the end-user.

With B2B it’s a bit more complicated. The buyer is the company and can include multiple decision-makers and stakeholders. Your SEO needs to get in front of the person/s doing the searching AND help the decision-makers make the purchase (eventually).

Here are some questions to answer when putting together your SEO and content marketing strategy in B2B:

Who do you need to target?
Who is doing the searching?
Who are the decision-makers?
Who makes the buying decision?
What is important to the buyer?
What information do the searchers need?
What motivates the decision-makers?
What information do the decision-makers need?

Make it easy for the B2B buyer to find the information they need to make the buying decision (eventually).

Because of the more complex purchasing process, more touchpoints are typically needed in B2B than in B2C. A lot of specific information needs to be communicated to the buyer in B2B both in the information-gathering phase and in buying consideration phase.

4
Buying Process

B2C buying processes are typically straightforward and simple.

Need a product or service > find one that meets the buyer’s criteria > purchase.

Or.

Want a product or service > find one > purchase.

Also, impulse buying. 😎

The B2C buyer can make a quick decision to purchase, even after just one visit to the website.

B2B buying process is more convoluted and lengthy. The search typically starts with information gathering, much before any buying intent. From an SEO perspective then, you need to address the information gathering and all the way to buying intent.

In order to get to the B2B purchase, your SEO content helps the people searching and the people making the decision to arrive at the purchase (there are more pieces to this puzzle).

This means your content needs to address much more than highlighting features of your products or services.

Knowing the length of the sales cycle is helpful in building your SEO strategy.

5
Sales Cycle

B2C sales cycle is typically short and fairly simple. The buyer can make a quick decision to purchase. Find something you need/want/like and buy.

B2B sales cycle is often complex and long. From initial search to sale, it can take months or more.

Even when a B2B company is actively searching for a solution to a problem they have (for example), it can take months for the slow gears to turn to get to the buy.

The old way was to push the potential buyers down the pipeline as fast as possible to get them in front of the salespeople and then push them to the sale.

This is not what B2B SEO is about. And if you are gating your downloads, white papers, etc. to get people’s information only to start calling them immediately – and frequently – you are shooting yourself in the foot.

Less and less people are

1) willing to give out their information, for anything and
2) excited to get a deluge of phone calls and emails when they are nowhere near ready to buy.

B2B SEO is not about trying to shorten the sales cycle.

The sales cycle is what it is. SEO’s job is to help the potential customer get the information they are looking for when they are looking for it, so they can eventually make the right decision to buy from you or not.

Sometimes it’s not.

6
Keywords

Both B2B and B2C SEO require keyword research and building a strategy to rank high on search results.

B2C keywords can get thousands of searches a month. But in B2B SEO you can target keywords that get 100 searches a month or less.

You will need to find and choose keywords for the information gathering and buying intent phases. These keywords are very different.

What people search for when they are looking for information vs. when they are considering a purchase is different. Make sure to include both types of keywords in your SEO strategy.

For B2B you will also need to find out what information the decision-makers search for (and need) and then build content marketing around those keywords.

7
Content

Creating content is at the core of a successful SEO strategy.

What that content is can vary quite a lot from B2C to B2B.

B2C buyers can be drawn to emotional and entertaining content, whereas B2B content is typically informative and educational.

Think impulse buying vs. logic based on research and how well a product or service solves a business problem.

Both B2C and B2B can leverage Social Media, however, B2B SEO is usually focused on organic search traffic. That is using a blog, that allows you to create SEO content.

B2B SEO content doesn’t mean creating boring content. Make your content thoughtful, and useful so that you are seen as the expert in your field.

The content builds your company as the expert in the field, the go-to source with deep insights.

This means that you can’t just claim to be the best and create generic or vague content.

Produce technical, research-based, detailed content. You build the buyer’s trust. After finding and consuming your content they know that you can provide the solution to their problem.

Both B2C and B2b SEO have their challenges and complexities. The path to a success with SEO is to let the buyer guide you, whether the buyer is an individual or a company.