Website Optimization Secrets To Get More People Seeing and Acting On Your Content
You’ve loaded your website up with blog posts, videos, and all sorts of other great content that your target market would love… if only they knew about it.
As it turns out, content creation is the easy part. The challenge is actually getting your work out there and seen by the right audience.
If you work in an industry where high value content is essential, then you know the frustration. You’ve spent hours toiling over a perfectly structured and elegantly written blog post or sales page, only for it to get lost in the ether. It’s probably somewhere in Google’s search results, if you scroll through enough pages … which, of course, nobody does.
However … if you take the time to give search engines what they want and your content will eventually get in front of your target readers. You’ve probably heard of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)– it’s become the holy grail of organic online marketing– but what exactly does it take to optimize your content for search engines?
Being indexed and ranked on the search engine results pages (SERPs) depends on many factors, beginning with the different elements on each page of your website. Optimizing these factors helps search engine crawlers find your website, index the pages appropriately, and rank it according to your desired keywords.
On-page optimization plays a big role in ensuring your online marketing campaign’s success. In this post, you’ll learn how to successfully optimize your website to ensure that your website is indexed and ranked on the SERPs.
The first step is in establishing the right keywords for your content. These are the words and phrases that people use to search for information. If people are looking for information about places to stay in on a trip to New York City, they might search for ‘NYC accommodations.’
Ask yourself a few questions to get started:
• What are the most important aspects of your content?
• What does your content promise to deliver?
• What are some broader relevant industry terms?
• You can then go on to focus on ‘long tail keywords’– those keywords that narrow down exactly what it is you’re publishing a little more. For example, you might be focusing on ‘hotels near Times Square.’
So think about the following:
• How does your content relate to your specific audience?
• Can you be more specific about what your content promises to deliver?
• What are some ‘niche’ terms that apply to your content?
• Now think about alternate keywords. What else applies? For example, condo rentals could also be referred to as ‘timeshares’. Or you could be talking about ‘hotels in Disney World for families with children’.
It’s a good idea to add a few extra relevant words or phrases … but be careful not to dilute your focus with too many vaguer terms.
Once you’ve established these three sets of keywords, you can start to apply them in different ways.
Creating An Optimized URL
Start off with a good foundation for where you’ll publish your content.
Having an SEO friendly URL is incredibly important. Make sure your URL matches your content with one or two principal keywords to describe what your piece is really about. This is extremely important when creating things such as blog posts that require a targeted ‘slug’, or URL ending.
Once you’ve created the platform or address for your content you can go on to begin creating it.
Content Length Matters (And So Does Quantity)
Longer content equals more potential for including relevant keywords and phrases, and is very much appreciated by search engines. Where possible, produce posts over 1800 words.
Next you’ll need to focus on the structure of your piece.
Think about the actual name of the post in terms of both the search and the reader engine too when you go to publish your piece. More on this in a moment.
H1, H2, H3
Include subheadings that reference your keywords for a little more reinforcement.
These subheadings will be flagged as more important points in your piece so make sure they’re relevant!
Again, make sure the subheadings serve a purpose for the reader and aren’t just there for SEO. They should tell people what the next section of content is about AND should tell search engines what they’re looking at.
Landing Pages and Buyer Psychology
Up to this point, we’ve been focussed on content pages, like blog articles, but your landing pages (those are opt-in and sales pages), are important too. Not that most of them will be found directly as a result of search traffic, but the amount of interaction with these pages are an important part of the signals they send to search engines about the value of your site overall.
Most of the traffic that comes to landing pages is either from a call-to-action in your content or paid traffic from PPC or elsewhere. An optimized landing page will work help for both SEO and PPC, while a poorly conceived landing page will show few conversions and indicate that you’re just throwing away your money.
In order to get this mix right, it’s best to focus your efforts on optimizing landing pages both for search engines and for your potential clients. By understanding how your audience thinks when they are searching for products and services online, you’ll be able to develop landing pages that not only speak to the questions they have in their head, but will also have a higher chance of conversion.
Here’s how it works:
Captivating, Keyword Focused Headline (Title Tag)
On your landing page, this is the most important 8–10 words you’ll write. Keep it both keyword focused and compelling enough to be clicked on above your competitors.
This text is the very first point of contact in search engine results so it’s a crucial component of your landing page optimization. Create descriptions that receive clicks through strong call-to-action.
Keyword-Focused, Powerful Headline
Make sure that your site visitors experience continuity when first arriving on your site from wherever they were before. The headline contains the optimized keywords and gives your potential customer a reason to stay on the page and engage with whatever is being offered. It also gives search engines the topical focus of your page.
Topically & Keyword-Focused Content
It’s very important that the content on your landing page focuses on the topic and goals your website is trying to achieve. Use the correct keywords and related phrases, but more importantly, make sure that the content will be useful to your site visitors. You’re not writing for the search engines, after all, you’re writing for people.
A good landing page gives specific and explicit instructions on what to do. Sit visitors should never feel unsure about the next step to take. Be clear and concise in providing the user with a motivation to take the next step. Have a clear goal in mind for your marketing process and know the desired action for your site visitors to take.
When grouping your keywords and creating the site structure, think about organizing your site within specific topics, what keywords you want to rank for, and what the general purpose of the site is. But you shouldn’t do this in a vacuum… it’s important to consider your prospect’s journey and make sure that the site structure will make sense to them when they visit.
Trust & Credibility Signals
Add testimonials and logos of companies you’ve worked with. This will send trust signals and social proof to your prospective clients and help add to your credibility. Encourage reviews or testimonials through social media and forum engagement, email surveys, and links to other places you may be listed online.
The importance of social signals shouldn’t be understated in significance when it comes to search algorithms. It only takes a simple plugin or code on your website to make sure that your content is easily shareable by your visitors.
Links, Links, and More Links
Outbound links to other relevant sites and pages are incredibly important. Not only will search engines appreciate them, but your industry contacts/colleagues/partners will too. Take a moment to first think about what you’re hoping to achieve with your content before you include outbound links– you don’t want to end up sending people elsewhere who could have spent more time checking out your content!
Similarly, including links within your site between pages once again helps to build upon the strength of your SEO strategy as it makes it easier for search engine ‘spiders’ to crawl around and create an in-depth map of everything you have to offer online.
Finally, search engines love to see traffic coming in from other relevant sites, so start getting in touch with your contacts within your industry and ask them to reference your site on their own. Links referred from sites that have a similar focus as your site will go a long way in cementing your own reputation with the keywords you hope to rank for.
Page Loading Speed
With all of this content, you do need to make sure you’re not creating a post that’s too heavy.
When indexing sites, a slow loading page will be to the detriment of your ranking as search engines take page loading speeds into consideration. Consider enlisting expert help to speed it up if your website is particularly slow.
SEO is a critical part of online success, but it’s not the only piece of the puzzle. And, for many businesses, it may not even be the most important piece.
To get a better handle on your SEO and website optimization needs, SET UP A FREE STRATEGY CALL to discuss your goals and how we can help you reach them.
Originally published at baeronmarketing.com.