Website Optimization Strategies
The Top 8 Website Optimization Strategies
Most business owners already understand the need to have a website, but it will take more than simply building an attractive looking site to thrive in this digital age. Your website needs to be optimized in order to rank much higher in the search results.
Since your potential customers will be using search engines to look for your business, you’ll need to optimize your site to make sure your customers will find you.
We’ve created a list of website optimization strategies to help you improve the quality of your website, integrate the right keywords into your content, and help drive more traffic to your site. Here’s Top 8 website optimization strategies that really matter.
1. Start With Keyword Research
When a user inputs a query into a search engine, search engine bots will crawl millions of websites online to find the most suitable web pages and these pages will be displayed in search results.
Search engines identify the most suitable pages using keywords. Keywords are the terms that a user inputs into a search engine when looking for information. Search bots will seek to identify the pages that contain the same keyword and other relevant keywords so as to display the most useful pages to the user.
If you want search bots to find your website when users are searching for products and services that you offer, you need to first identify the keywords that your customers are using. So, how will you identify these keywords?
You will identify the right keywords with keyword research. Below is a step-by-step process to help you find the right keywords:
Step 1: Brainstorm A List Of Seed Keywords
To do your research, you need a list of seed keywords that will be used at the starting point of your research process. These are terms that are related to your industry, business, and the products and services you offer.
Below are some tips to help you generate seed keywords:
- Terms that describe your products and services: for example, if you own a plumbing business in Downriver, Michigan – these keywords will be plumber, your city/town + plumbing, bathroom remodeling, and others.
- Terms that describe the problems & desires that will make customers seek your products/services: for a plumber, examples of these terms will be – slab leak repair, hot water repair, drain cleaning, etc.
- Terms that potential customers will use to look for you: these are the queries you think potential customers will type into Google. For example, “plumbers in Lincoln Park Michigan”
Step 2: Use Keyword Tools To Find Relevant Keywords
Here you will input your seed keywords into keyword research tools to find the “exact” keywords that customers are using to look for businesses in your industry.
There are many keyword research tools, but here we will only touch on Google Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest.
This is another really good keyword research tool that is free for a limited number of entries per day. Just enter your seed keyword and you get lots of relevant keywords and other useful information.
Step 3: Check Out Your Competitors
Search Google for other local businesses that offer similar products/services and create a list that includes the website links of each of these businesses. You will input each URL into the SEMRush Keyword Magic Tool to get the keywords that those competing businesses are ranking for.
Step 4: Select Your Keywords
You are now armed with a list of relevant keywords from your research, it’s time to pick the keywords that will be most useful to you.
Since you are a local business owner, you need to focus on keywords with high or medium search volume that are relevant to the specific customers that will be interested in buying your products and services.
To be certain that the keywords you have chosen are the right ones, type each keyword into Google and review the content of the web pages in search results. If the web pages displayed are what you believe a potential buyer will be searching for, then add that keyword to the final list. Repeat the process for each keyword on your list.
2. Fine-Tune Your On-Page SEO
This is where you put the keywords you discovered in your research to good use. You will integrate these keywords into the most important elements of your websites so that when search bots crawl your site they will be able to understand your content and see if it’s what searchers are interested in.
So, what are these elements?
This is the title of your web page and it’s the blue headline that searchers will click on Google when they want to access your website.
Optimizing your title tag will not only help search bots better understand your site, it will also improve the chances that searchers will click the link to your site. If your title contains the relevant keyword, searchers are more likely to click on your page title.
This is the structure of the link to your webpage.
Your URL must include the relevant local keyword, it must be short & descriptive, and a searcher must be able to understand what the page is all about at a glance.
This is the short block of information that appears underneath your page title in search results. It serves as the summary of the content of a webpage.
This snippet of information is very important because it influences how searchers judge the content of your webpage. If your meta description is well-written, it will convince the searcher that the content on your page is exactly what the searcher is looking for.
Headings & Subheadings
Along with your page title, URL structure, and body of content, Google search bots rely on your headings to get a complete picture of the content of your webpage. Make sure you integrate the keywords you want each page to rank for into its headings and subheadings.
You must also use the appropriate HTML tags for the different levels of headers in your content.
This is the main body of text on your webpage. Google will like to see the primary keyword you want your page to rank for and other relevant semantic keywords.
These semantic keywords are terms that are conceptually related to your main keyword. For example, if you want the landing page of your Brownstown, MI landscaping business to rank for the main keyword – “Landscapers in Brownstown, MI”, relevant semantic keywords will be – Brownstown landscaper, Brownstown lawn care service, Brownstown lawn maintenance, tree care, lawn mowing, and others.
To find the semantic keywords you need for each of your pages input your main keyword into the LSI graph tool and a list of relevant semantic keywords will be generated.
3. Improve User Experience And Page Speed
As noted earlier, website optimization strategies also involve improving the quality of your website for users. If users feel that your site is difficult to navigate or get the impression that your site is poorly designed, they will leave your site.
You must prioritize creating a smooth user experience in the design of your website. Below are a few tips to help you improve user experience on your site:
- Follow conventional design practices: the average individual spends hours online every day and is already accustomed to certain generally accepted website layout norms. It can be jarring for visitors to your site if they can’t find common web page elements like clickable page titles, the hamburger menu, a search bar, CTA buttons, and more on your website.
- Use colors and typography that will be easy for your site visitors to read: making your site bold and excessively colorful is not a sure way to keep visitors on your site. Your site needs to be beautiful, but conservative color choices and fonts that are easy to read will create a better user experience than sharp colors & overly stylistic fonts.
- Create a clear visual hierarchy: a web page is usually divided into multiple sections with headings, subheadings, and body text. To make it easy for visitors to understand the structure of your site, use the appropriate HTML tags to distinguish headings from subheadings.
- Speed up your site: slow page speed will not only negatively impact your page rankings, it will also turn off customers that are visiting your website. Research by Unbounce shows that pages that load slowly have a bounce rate of 38% while pages that load quickly have a bounce rate of just 9%. Speed up your site by compressing your images, removing heavy plugins, and reducing embedded videos.
4. Optimize Your Landing Pages For Sales And Conversions
This entails tailoring the content and elements of your landing pages to maximize your chances of converting your website visitors into paying customers. The best way to do this is to use web copy that will resonate with your target audience.
Here are some tips to help you optimize the web copy of your landing pages:
- Use page headlines that will evoke an emotive reaction from the site visitor by addressing the problems and desires of your customer.
- Highlight how your products/services will solve the problems or satisfy the desires of the potential customer
- Add Call To Actions (CTA) buttons to all your pages to motivate site visitors to take action
- Make the content of your web pages to be as clear and concise as possible
5. Do Technical SEO
If your website is mobile-friendly, you are good to go. If not, you can either change your theme to a mobile responsive theme if you are using a Content Management System or work with your local web designer on a complete redesign of your website.
This is how you organize your web pages. Your website must be organized in a way that search bots will be able to understand the hierarchical structure of your website.
The best site structure is a flat structure that is illustrated in the image above. With this structure, your web pages will be linked together in a way that search bots will be able to easily understand the relationship between your pages.
Broken Links & Duplicate Content
Search bots can’t crawl web pages that they can’t find. You connect the different pages on your site with links and you want to make sure none of those links are broken.
You can find and fix broken links with the Google Search Console.
Duplicate content will negatively impact your search rankings and you can find the duplicate texts and pages on your site using the Copyscape tool.
6. Publish Great Content
Blogging consistently is one of the most effective ways to push your website up the local search rankings. The more content you publish, the more pages for search engines to index on your website.
The best type of content to publish is long-form content. These are blog posts that contain more than 1500 words. Google loves this type of article because it believes that they are more actionable and address the questions of searchers in detail.
The consistent output of SEO-optimized long-form content will see your website rise through local search rankings.
7. Get Quality Backlinks
Google rates backlinks because it sees them as a vote of confidence from other sites vouching for the quality of the content on your site. However, these backlinks will only boost your site if they are from quality websites.
By quality websites, we mean sites with high domain authority in your niche. These will be the popular blogs in your niche and local news outlets. The more links you get from these sites, the higher your site will rank.
Reach out to the popular industry blogs and news outlets in your local area to ask for guest posting opportunities. When you guest post on other sites, you will be given the opportunity to include links back to your site.
8. Take Advantage Of Website Optimization Tools
The final website optimization strategy for you to consider is the use of tools to improve your site and attract more traffic. The best of these tools are:
- Yoast SEO Plugin: this handy plugin is generally accepted as the best SEO plugins for people that use WordPress. The plugin will analyze each of your web pages and blog posts and help you identify areas where you can optimize your page for SEO.
- Screaming Frog: this is a website crawler tool that will analyze your website to find common SEO issues like broken links and duplicate content. You can also use the tool to analyze your page titles & metadata and to generate XML sitemaps.
- Google Analytics: every website owner should link their website to Google Analytics to track key metrics and gain the insights needed to improve their website.
Final Thoughts on Optimizing Your Website
It is not enough to build a beautiful website, you must also optimize your site for visitors and search engines in order to get a better ROI.
In this article, we’ve covered everything you need to get started with website optimization. Make sure you follow the tips and steps outlined above to make improvements in the quality of your website, and Level Up your marketing results.