Bike Shop Marketing

How to Improve SEO & Bike Shop Marketing with Better ‘Meta Titles’ on Your Website

Better Local Bike Shop SEO Starts with the Basics: Your Page Titles

Every good retailer knows that in 2019 you have to have a website. But these days, a “good” website isn’t just one that looks good. It’s one that looks good and performs well on search engines. As local bike shops face more competition on all sides – making smart, long-term marketing moves is essential. Your website should be one of them.

One of the best places you can start is by following some best-practices when it comes to your website’s “meta titles”. Just like a newspaper article’s title gives readers a good idea of its contents, your website is exactly the same. Search engine bots use this information (along with countless other “relevancy” signals) to assign a rank to your website for an ever-growing list of search queries. Want to show up for “BIKE SHOP in [YOUR TOWN]”? This is a great place to start.

But first, some definitions:

  • Search engine results page (SERP) : is simply the page you are presented with after searching for something on Google or Bing

  • Click-through-rate (CTR): is the percentage of people visiting a web page through a link or advertisement. For the sake of this article, we are measuring the CTR of your links in SERPs

  •  Bounce Rate: is the percentage of users who visit a particular page and navigate away from it without viewing any further pages.

Note: a high bounce rate is not always bad. For example, if users find a page on your website directly from search results, spend a good amount of time there, and then leave – you’re still showing search engines your website delivers value. On the other hand, if the user enters the page and immediately exits – the data tells search engines a different story.

This, is an example of a good meta title:

We’ve chosen a nonbike example – just to encourage you to not follow a specific format too closely. 

  • Regional identifiers: For the purpose of this article, the scope of the region was the entire city of Boston – so it makes perfect sense to make sure BOSTON is included in the title.

  • Timeliness: Restaurants and attractions change all the time – by indicating that this article was updated in 2019, TripAdvisor almost guarantees a click from searchers looking for the most up-to-date information. Did you just post a guide to this year’s newest crop of road bikes? Indicate it’s fresh in the title to increase the chance a local consumer clicks your link in search results (or when you share it on social media)

  • Searcher Intent: Just like including the year in the title, adding other details like (with Photos) can also help encourage a click. Every web user is different. Some people want to read, some people want to walk through an image gallery, others want to watch video. Indicating what they’re going to find when they click-through is a surefire way to reduce bounce rate. Do you offer Free demos? Make it known!

Best practices for your bike shop’s meta titles

Meta title length: 160 characters or less

Meta title format (service page): It depends…

[Primary Keyword/keyphrase] | [Store Name & Location] – Service Page

[Store Name & Location] | [Primary keyword/keyphrase] – Home page

Other than keeping it below 160 characters – there are no hard-set rules for the format of your meta title, but it helps to use a consistent format so your repeat visitors will know which results to scan for in a SERP. In most cases, it’s also best to include one or two keywords as well as your brand name.

As inherently local businesses, bike shops should be sure to include reference to your locality in both your title and your description. 

How to check your meta titles

Whether you have someone on staff update your website or you rely on an outside company, double checking your titles is as easy as going to google and searching for the following: “site:yourdomain.com” or – as Google helpfully reminds us, by using the  Google Search Console (advanced). Simply take a look – determine if the results need work, and provide a document of edits to your current provider. 

All you should need to say is: “Could you please update titles on the following pages to the attached versions?”

“How do I update my meta titles?”

This will depend entirely on how your website is set-up. However, most fall under two categories: websites that use a content management system (CMS) like wordpress and “static” websites – which are built from numerous HTML files. 

For WordPress Users

Updating this simple back-end HTML code is pretty simple. First, you’ll want to install the Yoast SEO – WordPress plugin. Yoast is the most respected and widely used SEO plugin available for WordPress (if you have a WordPress site, it might even be installed already). Once you or your web team have activated this plugin, the final step is to simply navigate to the page you’d like to update in the wordpress back-end and scroll to the bottom where you’ll find something that looks like this:

For websites that aren’t on a Content Management System

Chances are, if you’re not familiar with HTML, CSS, PHP, or any kind of code – you didn’t create your website yourself. This is why so many companies are opting for websites using a content management system (CMS) like WordPress – because editing most pages doesn’t require any coding experience at all. Don’t sweat it. 

For “static” websites, the meta title (and description) exist within the <head></head>. Updating this code is as simple as updating the html of the page and re-uploading it with your FTP program of choice. In any case – both solutions transform code into a nice and neat title that encourages your customers to click your result. 

Input:

Output:

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