If you’re an enterprise website, you need to do dynamic search engine optimization.
The problem? A lot of these bigger websites don’t even know what that means.
But don’t worry, after reading this post you’ll know exactly what dynamic SEO is and why it’s so important to marketers.
Watch the video or read the full article below.
What We’ll Cover:
- What dynamic SEO is
- How dynamic SEO works
- Category optimization
- URL structure
- Testing with dynamic SEO
What is Dynamic SEO?
Dynamic SEO involves using a set of principles to optimize many pages at once.
It’s a way to take the often manual process of updating multiple sections of a website and automate it.
If you’re a big, enterprise-level website, you don’t want to have to take the time to go in a optimize every single category, sub-category, product, etc.
Take a massive site like Macy’s. Nordstrom. O’Riley’s.
These kinds of sites could quite literally have thousands of categories and products. I don’t think I need to tell you the kind of time individually optimizing each feature would take.
With dynamic optimization, you can optimize sections of your website – and the many, many pages within each section – all at once.
How Does Dynamic SEO Work?
Dynamic SEO is best explained through examples.
So say, for example, you’re a major retailer and one of your categories is shoes.
In that category, you have all your different subcategories like shoe brands, colors, size, and so on.
Because there are so many of each, instead of manually updating you can use fields (category, color, brand, etc.) to dynamically pull information from your database to title, description, H1, H2, and more.
You’ll see a lot of larger retailers, travel and hospitality sites, or any type of sites with sequences of pages that relate to each other.
To see this practice in action, let’s take a look at how Dick’s Sporting Goods does it in regards to their title.
Basically, the team applies the same title format to dynamically pull information for different shoe brands.
So, if you search “best red nike shoes,” you’ll get these results.
See that? That’s an example of dynamic search results.
But maybe red’s not your color.
Instead, you want to look for the “best blue Nike shoes”. Your results?
But you’re not loving those options. So you hop over to see what Adidas has to offer with a quick “best blue Adidas shoes.”
Lo and behold, Dick’s has exactly what you’re looking for – in exactly the same format. Again, that’s an example of dynamic search results.
And it doesn’t stop there. You can insert a category like running shoes in there:
See? All the same, except for the designated fields: color, brand, and category. That’s an example of dynamic SEO content.
The template, then, would look something like this:
(color) (brand) (category) shoes | Best Price Guarantee at Dick’s
That, in a nutshell, is SEO for dynamic web pages.
Additional fields could be added as well to include price, etc.
But all that is for your tech team to handle.
SEO for dynamic web pages allows you to optimize as many pages at once in the best possible way.
Category Optimization for Dynamic SEO
If you’re using dynamic SEO across an entire category of products, it’s extremely important that you optimize your category template the correct way.
So let’s take a look at category optimization.
On a given page, you’ll likely have:
- A sidebar
- Small bit of text
- Category content
The first thing you need to really focus on for dynamic SEO content are the keywords assigned to that particular category.
With SEO for dynamic pages, you’ll generally have anywhere from 3-5 keywords for a given category.
You want to include the keyword in the H1, H2, any additional copy, any image alt text, etc.
In a dynamic content and SEO setup, those keywords are going to remain the same across the products or services listed.
Notice in Dick’s example, the word “shoes” is included in every URL. That’s because that’s the overarching category, and what searchers are likely to be typing in when looking for these products. It’s a great example of how to use SEO techniques for dynamic websites.
It’s also extremely important that everything you include on the category level is, in fact, relevant to that category – no one wants to see women’s running shorts starting showing up on the shoes page. It looks bad for your business, and it looks bad to Google.
Another thing about SEO for dynamic pages: because we’re talking specifically about larger sites, as you optimize your category pages you’ll want to pay special attention to any text links or pagination typically included at the bottom of the page.
Often, there will be hundreds of pages of pagination similar to what’s included on another category page. That’s typical with dynamic content and SEO.
That can create duplicate content and a roadblock for Google as they attempt to crawl so many pages.
To counteract any issues, marketers can use a noindex or nofollow, which tells Google not to follow or index those links, or use a rel canonical.
Another element to pay attention to is the sidebar (and subsequent subcategories) are optimized.
That’s another place to make sure you’ve keyword-optimized for Google and is especially key to pay attention to as you implement SEO techniques for dynamic websites.
For example, your template could be dynamically optimized for the following subcategories:
- Best shoes
- Best running shoes
- Best Nike running shoes
- Best red Nike running shoes
- Best red Nike running shoes size 9
URL Structure for Dynamic SEO
Another thing to keep in mind from an SEO standpoint is your SEO structure.
The first rule? Keep them short.
Gone are the days of www.example.com/a4bqrklsihtl9fjmly6weippbyortmlmyo.com
Those aren’t helpful – to your users or to Google.
Instead, you want clear, keyword-focused URLs. This will help Google recognize the content of your page and better crawl and index it.
That doesn’t mean keyword stuff, mind you. Include only the most important, target keywords at each category level (and don’t include any useless filler words; the target keywords will do.)
In this case, you’ll want the keywords in your URL to with the correct category – directory-style:
A few other notes on URLs:
- Use hyphens to separate keywords
- Never use more than 2,083 characters (and really, you should never get close to this number).
And here’s the thing about URLs: you want them to remain consistent, not dynamic.
Even the slightest change in your URL could mean a serious drop in rankings.
So once you’ve created your blue-adidas-shoes URL, it should stay consistent, even if the products, h1, title, or other on-page elements are dynamically updated.
Also, look for possible patterns and follow them. Do you put the color first in the URL for one running shoe? If so, then put the color first in the URL for all running shoes.
And go on like that with the rest of the attributes.
For example, let’s say you have a URL that looks like this:
What do you think the URL should look like for red, size 12 Adidas running shoes? You’ve probably guessed the answer:
What does that do? For starters, it makes it easy for power users to encode a URL to find what they’re looking for.
Savvy shoppers who are looking at a pair of blue Adidas running shoes will note that the URL has the word “blue” in it. If they’re searching for red running shoes, they’ll simply type over that with “red” and view the resulting page.
Testing With Dynamic SEO
One of the coolest parts of dynamic SEO, aside from the incredible amount of time it can save you, is the ability it gives you to test.
Say you have a website with thousands of different categories and want to test a different a title tag or description.
Using dynamic SEO, you can rewrite the tag for one section.
Then, within that controlled group you can monitor to see how it does in terms of improved click-through rates and performance.
If the test goes well, you can then take those edits and roll it out to the rest of the website.
Let’s take a look at Dick’s again.
The title they’re ranking for includes “Best Price Guarantee at Dick’s.”
But maybe they’re considering changing the wording up a bit to something more niche-specific like “Best Sports Selection Guaranteed at Dick’s.”
Now, Dick’s is ranking pretty good on Google, so it would be a risky move to go ahead and implement the change across their entire site.
So instead, they could use dynamic SEO to update one specific section and test from there.
Maybe they choose the shoes category, or go even narrow and run the test only on Nike shoes.
Then, the test title will only display in searches for Nike shoes.
After a given period, the higher-ups at Dick’s will be able to determine if the new title is getting a greater or lesser response to the previous one.
If they find that the “best sports selection” appeals to more to their audience and receives more clicks, they can continue to implement it throughout the rest of the site.
There’s another side to this coin, though. If you change the verbiage for a section that targets a specific market, that doesn’t mean the change will resonate with people in different markets.
In the example above, if Dick’s updated the text for people interested in Nike basketball shoes, that doesn’t mean that people shopping for Adidas running shoes will appreciate the new copy.
In other words, you may have to keep testing.
Wrapping Up Dynamic SEO
Dynamic SEO is a great way to ensure that large, enterprise level sites are optimized correctly – and in bulk.
Remember, this can be used for far more than just ecommerce sites, and can save you serious amounts of time.
As long as you have your fundamentals down – good category structure, etc. – dynamic SEO is an ideal option to speed up the optimization process.