This is the second article in a two-part series on pawn shop website SEO tips.
If you missed the first article, please read Pawn Shop Website SEO Tips: Part 1. In that article we discussed how to tackle some of the low-hanging fruit in pawn shop website optimization. This article covers some other aspects of search engine optimization that will keep you in good standing with Google, Bing and more.
If you’re feeling too overwhelmed to implement this SEO project at this moment, we have another place you can start. Read our post on how to optimize your PawnGuru profile. This will help you get the most out of your PawnGuru profile.
Ready to complete your SEO project? Continue reading for more tips!
More Ways to Optimize Your Pawn Shop’s Website
When you optimize your webpages, linking them to one another will help search engines understand what your site is about. You’re essentially webbing your pages together on your site to show how they relate to one another. This helps search engines return your site in search results for the most relevant search queries.
How To: Link a phrase on your webpage that represents another. For instance, if your page about “Silver Pawn Shop in Amarillo Texas” mentions the phrase “low pawn interest rate in Amarillo” in its body text, link that phrase to a page on your site dedicated to explaining your low pawn interest rates.
When other websites link to your site, such as in directories or blogs, it can help your ranking in the following ways:
- Passing link “juice” through to your site from another credible site, to improve your site’s “authority” in the eyes of Google, Bing, etc.
- Helping search engines understand what your site is about
- Driving traffic to your site and hopefully boosting your engagement metrics
How To: Reach out to some sites that have some sort of connection to the pawn industry, or that would be interested in writing a story on pawn shops. You can offer yourself as a resource and you might be able to offer a quote that gets used in an article.
This not only will get your pawn shop name out there, but it also might result in a link to your website.
Search engines also use images to understand the content surrounding your image.
An image on your page should contain an optimized “alt text” attribute that contains the keyword phrase you’re targeting on that same page. Alt text is read by search engines and also appears if your image doesn’t render for some reason.
How To: Alt text can be changed in the code of your website. Some website platforms, such as WordPress, don’t require you to dig into the code. They allow you to edit an image’s alt text easily.
If you do find yourself up against code, here is where you would change the alt text and an example of what that might look like for a page on your site.
<img src=http://example.com/uploads/joes-silver-pawn-shop-storefront.jpg alt=”pawn shop that takes silver in Amarillo TX”>
An accurate image title, which is the file name (“joes-silver-pawn-shop-storefront” in the example above), will also help search engines understand your site. You typically need to set the image title name before uploading it.
Search engines want your pages to load quickly in order to provide the best user experience for searchers. If they don’t load quickly, your site visitor will likely get frustrated and leave. This impacts your ranking.
Not only does Google take into account your slow page speed, but it will also take into account how quickly someone leaves your site.
How To: There’s a Page Speed tool from Google that allows you to test your page speed. Check both your desktop and mobile page speed. Google is placing increased emphasis on mobile-friendliness.
If your page speed is anything but optimal, take a look at the report they give you on what is causing the problems. The most common culprit of slow page speed is large images. You can use image compression sites such as TinyJPG or TinyPNG to compress those images and re-upload them.
If your website isn’t adjusting its size automatically to fit a mobile device when viewed on a smartphone or tablet, you need to fix that. As mentioned before, search engines are placing even more emphasis on this nowadays with ~80% of searchers using mobile devices.
How To: You must either find a developer, website plugin or switch to a different content management system that allows this functionality.
A sitemap is a map of your content to help search engines crawl your site and check for updates periodically. Does your site have sitemap, and is it submitted to Google and Bing? If you’re not sure, that’s okay, a lot of people have no idea. If you use a platform such as WordPress or Squarespace, your sitemap has likely been created for you automatically.
How To: Our best suggestion is to find out what your website platform is, browse their help forums and contact their customer support to see if this is offered to you.
If the answer is no, ask if there is a plugin they can suggest, or consider hiring a developer to create and submit a sitemap for you.
Start a blog! This will help boost your ranking when used effectively.
How To: Read Why You Should Start a Blog on Your Pawn Shop’s Website.
Now that you’ve learned the basic pawn shop website SEO tips, you are set up for success in competing in the online space to possibly overtake your local competition for new customers. You just need to implement them!
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, if this seems like too large of a project to tackle right now given your time restraints, another effective step you can take to improve your pawn shop’s web presence is to optimize your PawnGuru profile.
This definitely isn’t as time-intensive, and it is very simple. You can do it all by yourself. Click the link above to learn how to do this.
If you have yet to create a PawnGuru profile for your pawn shop, do so today! This allows you to claim a place in the largest, most trafficked pawn shop directory on the web.