With the Google Penguin update there's much discussion about good SEO practices. The latest update has the power to obliterate websites that aren't playing by the Google link-building rules, regardless of their size or status.

Google uses link graphs to look at clusters of links around IP addresses and can easily see the sites using bad linking practices. It can see where bad links live and where they hide and like a giant digital bomb, it can rid entire neighbourhoods of them in one go!

There are lots of different strategies for improving SEO and link-building but we’ve focused on the most relevant and simple for fashion, retail and lifestyle brands.

Content, content, content! The single most important element of a good SEO strategy is relevant and engaging content on an attractive website. The easiest way to keep your content fresh is by adding a blog. However, bear in mind a blog isn’t another place to give the hard sell, it’s an opportunity to humanise your brand, give insight into your industry and give invaluable advice or guidance in your field. For fashion and retail brands this might include trend forecasting, style advice or how to find the perfect outfit, there are tons of ways to generate new and interesting content.   

Brands can also become guest bloggers on other influential sites or contact other bloggers and feature on their sites. The key is relevance; contact your peers and ask how you can help with their upcoming features and posts, don’t just send out generic content expecting it to be used, it won’t!  Build relationships and get to know your peers and influencers within the industry.

It’s proven that businesses that blog between 15-20 times per month get 15 times more traffic than those that blog only 5 times per month. Even increasing from 5 to 8 posts per month can massively boost your followers and as a result, links to your site. 

Understand your market, their needs, wants and desires and how they use the internet. Think about the language your target market uses. What keywords are they likely to use? If you have a USP (for example you stock ethical, handmade or locally produced pieces) use keywords that your target audience are likely to use. For example, 'dress made in Manchester', or, 'ethically produced dress' rather than 'black dress'. Incorporate these keywords into any copy that you produce whether that’s within product descriptions, press releases or blog pieces. 

Always use unique product descriptions. are great at this, using women’s names in their product descriptions to differentiate between styles. For example, ‘Laura printed tassel maxi dress’ and ‘Zoe open back detail dress’. Unique descriptions are what makes product stand out in search results.

We wrote about Pinterest and how it can be used to develop an online personality. Using the various social media platforms to post relevant, good quality content is also a great way to link build. 

Whilst social media links are important in improving performance in search, a brand should have a consistent digital strategy which combines SEO, content and social media. 

Twitter and other platforms are also a great way to target journalists, bloggers and influencers in the industry. Join in conversations and post links to relevant content whether that's to a press release, product or blog piece.  

Build relationships with peers, partners and relevant industry websites. Links from respected or authoritative sites in your industry can be the difference between being on the first page of search or not!

Good SEO and link-building practices are about quality not quantity. Like attracts like, so the more quality links you have to your site, the more you will naturally attract.

And finally, be patient. A good SEO, social media and content strategy takes time to show a return, but if executed correctly can massively improve your site's search performance. 

Get in touch if you would like help with your SEO.

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