Once Your Online Foundation is Grounded, It's Time to Optimize Your Website
Fourth in a Series
Customers are looking for what you sell, but can they find you in the crowd? Following these proven Search Engine Optimization practices will help you fight off the competition.
SEO is a combination of tech, marketing, and common sense, refined by the real-world response from your audience. It’s a detail-oriented process, so it’s important to conduct a Business Trend Analysis before you start and claim your Google Business Page. Also, be sure you have Google Analytics installed so you can measure your results and adjust your approach as needed.
Read on for some technical, marketing, and common-sense advice for optimizing the most important pages on your website:
Your Home Page
This is just the introduction to your website, so don’t try to jam everything about your business onto this one page. Aim to provide teaser content that will invite your audience to click further.
Tech Tip: Be choosy about which search terms you use in your Home Page meta tags. If you use the same terms on several pages, you’re just competing with yourself. Also, be careful not to let creativity get in the way of clarity. The menu and navigation should be well-defined and intuitive.
Marketing Tip: The basic Home Page message should be: “Yes, this is what you were looking for! Click around for more fascinating details. Or better yet, give us your email address so we can personalize a response.”
Some Common Sense: Use the same words that your audience uses when asking for your product or service, especially if your industry has its own lingo. You’re marketing to consumers, not colleagues. Check against your Bounce Rate. A lot of bouncing from the Home Page can mean folks didn’t find what they expected from their search query.
Your Products or Services Pages
Whether you have one offering or many, this is where you really have to promote yourself. Don’t be vague about what you are selling and remember that well-written content impresses more than hyperbole.
Tech Tip: Create unique and detailed page names, meta description tags, and H1 tags. Draw from the terms and customer profile generated from the Business Trend Analysis. A surprising number of your competitors will have left these tasks undone, which is a huge advantage for you!
Marketing Tip: Make sure these pages are polished with detailed descriptions and excellent graphics backed up by strong testimonials and reassuring trust marks. Important search terms should be included in the text (for the algorithms), but in a conversational way (for the humans).
Some Common Sense: While you want to give your audience everything they need to make that “buy” decision, sometimes what they really need is a second touch. Consider providing extra content via email rather than a download so you can reach out again later.
Special offers and one-time events are great options for Landing Pages, but they can be used for so much more. All the best techniques for Search Engine Optimization can be used on a very focused message, measured for analysis, and then perfected.
Tech Tip: Because landing pages are hyper-specific, you can hone in on a particular search term and deliver an exact result. You can also get really granular with your corrections and tweaks to see what works best.
Marketing Tip: This audience isn’t kicking tires, they know precisely what they want. Here is your chance to prove you have the answer they’re looking for. With no distracting menu to entice your users to wander around the rest of your website, your Call To Action takes on greater weight.
Some Common Sense: Your Call To Action doesn’t have to be a major decision – just lead them to take the next step on their customer journey. Try asking them to fill out a form, take a quiz, or download a document. Make the offering enticing enough that they will give you some contact info in exchange.
You can see why it’s important to have the right online foundation before you start optimizing your website. Once you have the Business Trends information in hand, you can concentrate on how to best use that data in your content and meta tags. And mirroring the info on your Google Business Page helps boost you in Google’s search results, too.
But if fighting with your competitors for space on the search engines is more than you want to take on, the Sprocket Website team is ready to do it for you. Just click below to get started.
Ask Sprocket to Fight Off Your Competition!
Photo by João Jesus from Pexels