5 Ways to Check Your Website’s SEO

Ranking appropriately within search engines like Google and Bing is an integral piece of the modern digital marketing puzzle. But how can you tell if your site is optimized for search or if anything is holding you back? And if something is wrong, where and how should you focus your energy on fixes? Luckily, it’s relatively easy for business owners to self-diagnose SEO problems without costly tools or coding knowledge. Read on for five easy ways to determine whether you have a problem.

1. Google Yourself

What happens when you type in your business name, your products, or the types of services you offer into Google? Does your website appear on the first page of search results? More importantly, does your business appear above your competitors? If neither of these are true, it’s time to look under the hood and see what could be affecting your website’s organic search performance.

2. Check Your Meta Tags

Meta tags are snippets of text that describe a web page’s content; data that often don't appear on a webpage itself, but do appear in search engine results pages (SERPs). They are generally placed in the “header” section of a page’s underlying code, and are a primary element that affects any website’s search performance.

The Two Most Important Meta Tags...

  • Meta Title: Meta titles specify the title of a web page, and are displayed on SERPs (and within social media feeds) as the clickable headline for a given result. The meta title of a web page is meant to be an accurate and concise description of that page's content. Google typically displays the first 50–60 characters of a meta title.
  • Meta Description: Meta descriptions are HTML attributes that provide concise summaries of webpages, and appear underneath the green URL on a SERP entry. Depending on a user's query, Google might pull meta description text from other areas on your page. Google generally truncates meta descriptions to around 160 characters.

In other words, meta tags determine what searchers see when they seek out businesses like yours, and determine whether those searchers ultimately visit your website. You can view meta tags for any webpage by right-clicking within your browser window and selecting “View page source.” For example, if you look at the Good & Gold homepage, you’ll see our website’s source code, and, near the top, you’ll see our meta description for that page, which matches what you’d find when you Google “Good & Gold”:


Every page of your website should include these meta tags—without them, your website could be suppressed within search results, and searchers will be less likely to click through to your website.

3. Crawl for 4xx Errors

4xx errors are a type of HTTP status code, which are three-digit codes that express a server’s response to a browser’s request. Any status code in the 200 range means the request was successfully completed—the server gave the browser the expected response. Meanwhile, a status code in the 400 range indicates a “client error”—the request was made, but the site or page couldn’t be reached because of an error on the website’s side of the conversation.

Because a webpage’s ability to successfully load is a very important aspect of usability, too many 4xx errors can have a significant negative impact on your website’s search performance. So...how do you know if you’ve got a problem if these pages can’t be found? Simple. Use a handy tool like Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider to crawl your website for 4xx errors.

So how do you fix 4xx errors once you find them? That’s where the hard work begins. One solution is to use a 301 redirect, or permanent redirect, to direct these URLs to another page, such as the homepage. But this isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Sometimes, it can pay to allow a page to return a 404 error so that it won’t be indexed and repeatedly crawled by search engines. Other errors require different, customized solutions to avoid confusing user experiences. If your site is rife with 4xx errors, it’s probably a sign you should get in touch with experts like us to create a tailored approach that pays off in the long term.

4. Confirm Your Header Tags

One commonly overlooked element of SEO is the consistent use of header tags, or <h1> tags. These tags are pieces of HTML that are usually styled to be the most prominent text on a page, and essentially act as a giant arrow for search engines, screaming “Hey! This is what this page is about!”  

For that reason, header tags should always include relevant keywords and provide a concise and accurate description of a page’s content. For example, if you were to view the source code for this webpage, you’ll see that the header tag is the title of this blog post. These sorts of page-level keywords are influential ranking factors for SEO, while they also enhance your website’s usability and accessibility.

In other words, every page needs a high-quality header tag!

5. Assess Your Information Architecture & Content Quality

Information Architecture (IA) is the organized design of how information is structured. And a well-organized website, of course, is crucial for creating a pleasant (and high-converting) user experience (UX). But it’s also an important factor for SEO. Not only must a website provide an intuitive, well-structured taxonomy of content and information, but the way your content is organized within each page can also boost your SEO and help search engines to interpret your pages.

The best way to review information architecture is to take a look at your site map. Does it feel intuitive and easy to navigate. Is it a good representation of your business, and the scope of products and/or services you provide?

As for content: Are pages structured consistently, with an easily understandable hierarchy? Does each page contain the appropriate keywords, with original, engaging, accurate, and grammatically precise copy? Not only will low-quality content drive away your audience, but websites with duplicate content, incorrect grammar, and false information rank poorly within search engines.

We merge our dedication to innovative strategies and curiosity-driven design to foster growth and elevate brands.

View our work
0 minutes

How to Maximize Black Friday Cyber Monday Online Sales with an Effective SEO Strategy

Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) aren't just dates on the calendar; they're the ultimate shopping extravaganzas. It's that magical time when businesses pull out all the stops to offer jaw-dropping deals, and shoppers eagerly wait to snag bargains. But here's the secret sauce behind a truly successful BFCM: a well-crafted Black Friday Cyber Monday SEO strategy. It's like the hidden key that unlocks the treasure chest of online sales. In this guide, we'll reveal how you can work SEO magic, and pair it with Paid Media and Email Marketing strategies to maximize your BFCM online sales.

Why Plan Ahead?

BFCM isn't just another shopping event; it's the Super Bowl of e-commerce. Here's why savvy businesses gear up for this mega-event.

  • Peak Demand: Consumers are in a shopping frenzy, actively seeking the best promotions and deals. It’s the perfect time to win new customers or re-engage with past ones!
  • Year-End Revenue Boost: It's your golden opportunity to finish the year on a high note and make up for any seasonal lulls. BFCM is the moment to make sure you’re closing the year at a profit, which takes strategic planning.
  • Fierce Competition: Everyone's vying for attention from the same eager audience, so it’s crucial to implement a well-crafted SEO strategy that leverages a competitive advantage.
  • Long-Term Customer Acquisition: Black Friday/Cyber Monday can turn first-time buyers into lifelong customers, and your SEO strategy plays a vital role in connecting with the right audience. 

Mastering the Art of BFCM SEO

Now, let's dive into the steps to craft a robust Black Friday/Cyber Monday SEO strategy that will help your e-commerce business shine during this epic sales event.

Keyword Research and Optimization

SEO keywords are fundamental to search engine optimization (SEO) and play a pivotal role in helping websites rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).

  • Uncover A Keyword Goldmine: Research and identify high commercial and transactional keywords for your business. Focus on long-tail keywords with high purchase intent, such as "Black Friday winter shoes deals" or "Cyber Monday bags discounts." 
  • Optimize On-Page SEO: Inject your keywords strategically into titles, meta descriptions, headlines, and content. A sweet spot of 4 to 6 keyword mentions throughout your content is the secret sauce for BFCM SEO success.
  • Create BFCM Landing Pages: Design dedicated landing pages for BFCM deals and offers. These pages should load swiftly, provide comprehensive information about your promotions, and offer a user-friendly experience.

Content is the Queen of Everything

Leverage your blog section to its full potential by creating posts (or other website content) that highlight your BFCM offers, share bundle deals, and offer shopping tips. Inject as many keywords as possible to increase your ranking and presence in SERPs. Promote your content on social media to increase visibility and drive traffic from other channels to your website. 

There are also ways beyond website copy to cater your content for BFCM.

  • User-Generated Content (UGC): Encourage customers to share their experiences with your products. UGC builds trust and helps you uncover valuable keywords that your audience is using to search for and talk about your products. In addition to social media, your Google Business Profile is a great place to encourage UGC, along with testimonials or reviews on your website. 
  • Video Content: Video is a powerful and underused medium for SEO in the e-commerce space. Create product videos and optimize titles, descriptions, and tags with BFCM-related keywords. YouTube is a great space for this, as well as social. 

Behind The Curtain: Technical SEO

Technical SEO is not as intimidating as you might think— you just need to hone in on a few essential directions. Here are the most important parts of technical SEO to pay attention to:

  • Prioritize Website Speed: A slow site drives customers away, resulting in high bounce rates and lost sales. Optimize your website's speed and mobile-friendliness to provide a seamless shopping experience.
  • Embrace Schema Markup: Enhance your search results with rich snippets by implementing schema markup to provide search engines with structured data about your products and deals. This enhances your search results, making them more appealing to users. 
  • Optimize Everything For Mobile: Given the marked rise in the use of mobile devices for online shopping, it’s essential to ensure your website is optimized for mobile browsing. Google's mobile-first indexing prioritizes mobile-friendly websites.

Increase Foot Traffic With Local SEO 

Local SEO is a digital marketing strategy focused on enhancing the online visibility of businesses within a specific geographic area. It's all about helping local customers easily find nearby businesses when they search for products or services online. By implementing effective local SEO techniques around Black Friday/Cyber Monday, businesses can attract more proximal customers and ultimately drive more foot traffic and sales to their physical locations.

  • Optimize for Local Searches: Make sure your Google My Business listing is updated with your store hours, location, and special BFCM promotions.
  • Make Use of Local Keywords: Use location-based keywords in your content and meta tags to attract customers searching for local deals. For instance “best coffee deals in Portland”, or “BFCM grocery sales in Lake Oswego”. This way, customers looking for special deals in their area will discover your offers faster. 

Monitor Your Analytics

You don’t want to discover that your tracking is not working properly right in the middle of the year’s most important sales event!  Having correct tracking in place allows you to evaluate the results of your BFCM SEO strategy post-event, learn what went well, and discover what you can improve for your next big promotional event. Use the insights from past years to refine this year’s SEO strategy and adjust your efforts and tactics.

  • Track Everything, Everything, Everything: Correct tracking is your compass during the BFCM rush. Monitor results to identify successes and areas for improvement.
  • Stay Updated: Google rolled out a new reporting platform (GA4) in July 2023, so ensure your tracking setup aligns with these changes. You can read more about those changes here and here

If you need a last-minute audit of your GA4 property to confirm that it’s tracking and reporting properly, reach out today! Our GA4 Tracking and Reporting team is ready to help make sure you have everything in place to report and review the results of your marketing efforts.

Multi-Channel BFCM Marketing

Pair your BFCM SEO strategy and campaigns with a robust Paid Social Advertising or Email Marketing strategy. Our comprehensive guide to BFCM and Paid Media is right here; give it a read, and reach out if you need help setting up a well-crafted paid media strategy for Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Depending on your email service provider (ESP), you can also leverage robust segmentation to engage your audience and capture even more BFCM sales. Read more about cross-channel marketing strategy here

Now is the time to ignite your SEO strategy and propel your sales during this year's Black Friday/Cyber Monday season. Conduct thorough keyword research, optimize your site, and keep an eye on technical SEO. Ramp up your content marketing, encourage user-generated content, and embrace video. Localize your strategy for physical brick-and-mortar stores, ensure impeccable analytics, and pair SEO with your other marketing channels for a killer multi-channel BFCM marketing strategy. Make it count: elevate your brand awareness and customer base this BCFM!

Need some help creating a customized strategy catered to your brand and business needs? Let’s talk!

0 minutes

How To Preserve SEO During A Shopify Website Migration

Are you delving into the world of website migrations? Maybe you’re specifically focusing on how to preserve your SEO during a Shopify website migration? Whether you're a business owner exploring the perks of an ecommerce venture or a brand looking to revamp your digital presence, this guide will unravel the essentials for a smooth transition that keeps your SEO intact.

Understanding Website Migration: A Digital Evolution

So, what exactly is a website migration? Imagine it as a digital makeover; a process of moving your website from one location to another, often involving changes in design, structure, and even content. As ecommerce experts, we recommend Shopify, an ecommerce platform that offers unparalleled perks for your online store. But why do clients opt for a website migration?

Revamp Your Brand, Keep Your SEO

Brands evolve, trends shift, and businesses grow. A website migration can be triggered by a spectrum of reasons, including:

  • Rebranding: A fresh logo, a new mission; sometimes your brand needs a makeover to match your current aspirations.
  • Design Evolution: Keeping up with design trends ensures your website remains visually appealing and user-friendly.
  • Enhanced Navigation: Simplified menus and improved user experience (UX) lead to happier customers and higher conversion rates.
  • Upgrade to a Robust CMS: A robust Content Management System (CMS) like Shopify empowers you with more control and functionality.
  • Performance Boost: A migration can lead to faster loading times, reduced bounce rates, and ultimately, improved sales.

The Team Behind Migration

A successful website migration involves an orchestra of skilled players, each with their unique specialty:

  • Web Developer: The technical expert who orchestrates the entire migration process.
  • SEO Expert: A guardian of your search ranking, ensuring your hard-earned SEO value is carried over.
  • Analyst: Monitors data and translates it into actionable insights for improvement.
  • Web and UX Designer: Shapes the new visual identity of your site while keeping user experience at the forefront.
  • Content Writer: Creates compelling content that resonates with your audience and appeals to search engines.
  • Agency Partner: A professional agency can streamline the process, providing expertise and a smooth transition.

Preserving SEO: Your Ultimate Checklist

Here's a quick checklist to ensure your website makeover doesn't leave your SEO efforts in the dust:

Embrace the Future, Seamlessly

A website migration might sound daunting, but with the right team and approach, it's a stride towards an improved digital presence. Shopify's allure combined with a strategic migration plan will not only transform your website but also preserve and enhance your SEO efforts.

A smooth migration doesn't just ensure your website's success— it paves the way for your business to thrive in the dynamic digital landscape. So, whether you're diving into Shopify for the first time or giving your brand a facelift, consider a website migration. It’s a step towards a digital journey that's as exciting as it is rewarding. 

Ready to elevate your digital presence? Let's chat. Schedule A Call.

0 minutes

SEO Copywriting with a Human Touch

Copywriting with SEO in mind can feel like speaking two languages at once. You’re trying to successfully communicate with readers, which often requires being friendly, helpful, and entirely approachable. At the same time, you’re aiming to satisfy ever-changing search algorithms, which can be overwhelmingly technical and—in this marketer’s opinion—a little stiff. So, how do you write great copy that follows SEO best practices and appeals to readers?

1. Remember: Good copy is SEO-friendly by nature.

Search engines are designed to show people the most helpful, relevant information available. With the very same goal in mind, strong website copy is clear, concise, and easy to read. It delivers valuable information with a hint of your brand’s personality. Write with the reader in mind and your keywords will fall into place naturally. Resist the temptation to stuff each sentence with search terms.

2. Do your research. 

Create a list of keywords and phrases people might search to find your website or content. Not sure where to start? Answer the Public and Google Trends can help guide you in the right direction. The trick is to think like a customer; what would you search if you were looking for your own product or service? 

Your list should include keywords and phrases with a mix of search intent, meaning the purpose of someone’s search. Are they looking for information? Are they ready to make a transaction? Are they looking for a specific type of page, such as a blog or a clearance section? 

Complete your list by looking for possible combinations and alternatives. This will help ensure that you have plenty of options to choose from while writing, so you can find what flows best without wondering whether you’re on the right track.

3. Frontload your message.

In both short-form and long-form copy, place your main topic or keyword toward the beginning of the sentence, paragraph, or title. This helps search engines easily recognize what your web page is about. It also ensures that any snippets shown in search results will include your primary subject, sending a clear message to users and helping them spot your helpful content.

4. Tell a story.

Stories keep people engaged. As Yoast explains, “Storytelling is good for SEO because it will make your post nice to read. And, creating content that people like is exactly what Google wants.” Plus, the benefits go beyond pleasing readers. “If people like your content, you’ll also have a higher chance that people will remain on your website. Your time on page increases and your bounce rate will decrease. These factors will help tremendously with the ranking of your post.”

5. Read it out loud.

This may feel silly at first, but it works! Reading your copy out loud is easily the best way to identify phrases and sentences that feel forced, jargony, dry, or inhuman. It’s also a great way to understand whether you’ve stuffed too many keywords in one place: if it sounds like overkill to you, a customer will probably feel the same way. On the other hand, if you find yourself reading aloud and wondering “Wait, what am I talking about?” then it’s time to use more keywords from your list.

0 minutes

We’ve Optimized Our SEO Services

Why We're Making Changes

Google’s algorithms change all the time, but the basics remain the same. A strong structural foundation, a sense of trustworthiness of a site, and solid, compelling content are always core elements of an SEO strategy. Some websites need help with the fundamentals ,while others have been in spaces for years where winning can and will happen at the edges of advanced SEO tactics. We aim to always be flexible, but also disciplined enough, to serve those purposes and any in between.

What’s Staying the Same

At the top of our mind whenever we take on a new SEO project technical soundness. To that end, we always begin with an audit to identify and fix anything that may be suppressing search results, including:

  • Missing metadata
  • Redirect issues
  • Server errors
  • Other common issues

We’re also continuing to monitor for these sorts of technical issues on a regular basis.

What’s New and Improved

We’ve dedicated ourselves to taking a fully customized, strategic approach to search engine optimization. A client selling coffee nationally online is likely to have different needs than a winemaker with a strong local presence. Our approach to SEO strategy development reflects that and aims to:

  • Discover what competitors are doing and where the opportunities are
  • Home in on keywords that don’t just rank well, but will drive traffic and ultimately customers
  • Create a campaign-based approach that meets clients’ needs, allowing us to systematically approach improvements to websites including content and meta tag updates, internal linking changes, Schema implementations, site speed improvements, and more
  • Look back and determine wins from previous months and adjust accordingly, with a full strategy refresh every few months.

What’s the Goal?

Ultimately, it’s the same as everything we do: drive traffic and revenue to your website. But in many ways, organic traffic is your most valuable traffic—the users who are most urgently seeking your brand and products are generally arriving through organic search. Furthermore, SEO provides and gains uplift for and from all of your other marketing efforts. For instance, customers who learn about your brand on social media often come back through organic search to purchase, while customers who find you via organic search can be added to retargeting lists for your other advertising efforts. At the end of the day, SEO sits at the very center of all your marketing efforts, and we want to make sure its working for your business.