Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is arguably one of the most important factors to successfully build a website and brand. At our most recent SEO Brunch on February 22, 2020, our partner MacMillan Search Consulting performed a 10-minute SEO audit on Mountain Littles. By using two SEO methods, organic and paid, MacMillan Search Consulting walked us through their process- here are the results of the audit!


Organic SEO

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  1. Branded – 36% of traffic is driven by brand traffic. This type of traffic is heavily influenced by brand awareness. Spikes in these types of traffic can be indirectly influenced by SEO by the rea drivers are PR, sponsorship, and other similar sources. With that in mind it always good practice to review what shows when users search results when you search your brand. (Pro TIp if you are searching a brick and mortar location outside of that region use a geo modifier in this case we will search “mountain littles canmore”). Your branded searches return great results and you are also doing a great job of leveraging Google My Business (e.g. products, reviews, and posts). A few minor fixes will really help you segment this traffic better in analytics, and really understand how Google My Business is performing:
  2. Update the main website URL in Google My Business to be secure – Currently, it is http://mountainlittles.com/ which redirects to https://mountainlittles.com/ and even though it ultimately ends in the right place google will provide priority to secure URLs. 

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  1. Use UTM tracking parameters to track GMB traffic – by adding “?utm_source=google-gmb&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=gmb” to al llURLs being used with GMB. This ensures this traffic is proprely attribute and makes it easier to segment in both Google Search Console (GSC) and Google Analytics (GA).  For example, the main URL would now be https://mountainlittles.com/?utm_source=google-gmb&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=gmb the first product link would be https://mountainlittles.com/collections/jax-and-lennon-clothing-co?utm_source=google-gmb&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=gmb, the same can happen with the posts.
  2. Non-branded traffic – Using GSC we can explore the product pages to determine which keywords we are in “striking distance”. Striking distance keywords are keywords where you rank in a decent position but not in a converting position (usually the top 3 spots). Although it’s not converting position a lot of the signals Google is looking for are there. By filtering for “https://mountainlittles.com/products” under page we can see we have a handful of terms within striking distance. For example, we average 11th position for the term “flushable cloth diaper liners”. Using a tool like Keyword Surfer we can see this phrase has 30 monthly searches. It might seem like low volume but has high intent. The page that is ranking for this is https://mountainlittles.com/products/diaper-liner-100-pack to optimize for this page we suggest:
  3. Review the title & meta description – the current result for this page in search results looks like below, we are seeing lots of opportunities to improve these results which will lead to higher CTR and ultimately better position.

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A lot of our suggestions can be rolled out at scale to all product pages. Using a SERP simulator we played around with this information:

  1. The brand name on the product page titles should be shortened as they serve little purpose on the product pages and take up a lot of “real estate”. Additional space can be saved by using a “|” as a separator. We would also recommend adding the exact phrase keyword to as close to the beginning of the title as logical. To save space and draw the eye we would also suggest abbreviating “pack” with “pk” and placing the quantity in brackets. Using the brand name will add an element of trust and potentially allow you to rank in secondary positions for the product’s brand terms. So the title, “Diaper Liner – 100 Pack – Mountain Littles Baby + Kids Boutique ” should become  “Bumkins Flushable Cloth Diaper Liners (100 pk) | Mountain Littles”
  2. The meta description is too long and is getting truncated. We would suggest rewriting this, to frame the reward better and be more compelling. Testing it for length with https://serpsim.com/. If you are having problems coming up with a strong copy for this we recently started playing with the tool https://www.copy.ai/prices. Using that tool and reworking the copy a bit to match the product we came up with “Save time & money with a convenient, eco-friendly alternative. Bumkins Flushable Diaper Liners are perfect for cloth diapers & easy to take everywhere.” With these 2 changes in place your result could look like:

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Start asking for reviews of products onsite –  Reviews are a great way to gain “real estate” in search results, they also draw the eye and increase CTR which, in our experience, leads to higher positions with time. Follow up with customers who have purchased these products and ask if they are happy and if so please leave us a review.

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Paid SEO

  1. Link Google Ads with Google Analytics – Google Ads is driving traffic to mostly the home page and it’s even driving revenue, but it’s not passing through key data into Analytics. With the link established, you can see Ads data in your Analytics profile including ads, keywords, and other important ad information. Linking accounts can be tricky if the Ads and Analytics accounts were set up on two separate Google accounts, but as long as one Google account has permissions on both Ads and Analytics account, linking the two should be painless. Other benefits of linking the two accounts include creating remarketing and audience lists based on purchases, adds to cart etc.

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  1. Consider Google Shopping Campaigns – Because you are using Shopify, setting up a Google Shopping ads campaign is an easy, low-effort way to showcase the products or product categories you want to the customers you want. With Shopping campaigns, you can spotlight individual products, groups of products, and even drive foot traffic to your brick and mortar store. To get started, you have to ensure that your Merchant Center account is linked with your Google Ads account as well as your Google My Business profile. You likely already have your Merchant Center linked with your Shopify store, so with a bit of setup and configuration, you can begin showing product ads to target users wherever you want, whether that be locally, regionally, or nationally.

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Did you enjoy learning from MacMillan Search Consulting what SEO opportunities exist for your business at SEO Brunch?
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