Web page optimization is an important step in search engine optimization (SEO). Today it is all about content. What value can you offer? Is your website content helpful? Does it show your expertise?
Equally important, does your content speak to a specific target audience? Have you effectively used personalization and customization (Learn the 60 ways personalization is changing marketing. Download Hubspot’s Personalization Revolution.) Yes, it’s important to drive traffic to your website, but if your content is not effective once the prospect arrives, the “sales” cycle will end there.
Conversion rates are important to track – where are people clicking? How long are they staying on a certain web page? Are they leaving a web page without clicking on your offer or call to action (CTA)? Install Google Analytics for free to start tracking this important data to better understand what web pages are working and what is effective. Special offer: Free Google Analytics Training.
Here are three steps to optimize your web pages:
1. Define your target audience(s).
2. Create valuable content that drives action.
3. Use simple SEO strategies to make sure your page is fully optimized.
Now let’s expand a bit on each step…
Defining your target market consists of building profiles for each group you market to – be specific when developing each profile in order to be most effective with your message. After deciding the groups you want to market to, learn about them! It’s not what you think is best, it’s what your audience thinks and wants. What are they saying about your product or service? What are their problems? What solutions are they looking for? Use Twitter, Blogs and forums to learn what your target market wants and needs….then build your valuable content around what you learn. Here is a worksheet to help you define your target audiences: Developing Target Audience Profiles
Each web page should speak to a specific target audience on a specific topic. Valuable content is helpful and useful – content that will make your web site visitors want to share on social media or bookmarking sites (easily add social bookmarking links to any page with Add This). For example, David Meerman Scott gave an excellent example that I really like and will paraphrase: A Tire Company should not write content about discount tires, upcoming sales or anything of this nature…instead if they wrote about “Top 10 Road Safety Tips” this is valuable content that will help their target market gain important knowledge and in return the tire company is indirectly promoting themselves as experts. When I need tires I will remember the value I got from this particular tire company and more than likely will contact them to inquire about tires. At the very least, if you have valuable content, the prospect will continue to follow you on social networks, will continue to subscribe to your newsletter, etc. Creating a following is essential because they help you promote your brand in a way you cannot do yourself. Here is a list of tips to help write valuable content: How to Create Valuable Content
In addition to creating valuable content that speaks to a specific audience, each web page should also have a call to action to drive action and keep the prospect moving through the buying process. For example, an Irish Pub could have a web page dedicated to the history of St. Patrick’s Day – then at the end of the content have an offer such as – “Click here for a free Irish food and drink guide.” Then in the guide at the end list some specials, coupons, or ask them to follow your blog, or ask the reader to post their favorite Irish recipe on your FB Fan Page. You get the picture – a call to action can be a free webinar, white paper or can be as simple as asking the visitor to sign up for your newsletter or connect with you on your social networks. The more creative you are and if you encourage interaction, the better your call to action conversion rate will be.
The last step is implementing some technical SEO tricks to optimize each web page which will help search engines properly index your page. Here is a list of tips:
- Select 2-3 keywords/phrases to use for your webpage. Remember to use different variations of these keywords/phrases. Each web page should use different keywords, which makes sense because each web page should be about a specific topic. (Free tool alert: Use Google’s Keyword Analyzer to find what keywords people are using to search)
- Use keywords specific to your web page in the title tag within your web page’s code (title tags should be 66 characters or less which is the amount of characters Google shows; Yahoo shows 100 characters, but keeping it short is best).
- Accurately describe the content on the page in 1-2 sentences for the description meta tag – again within your website’s code (description tags should be no more than 200 characters to help show entire description in Google’s search results).
- Use up to 50 keywords in keywords meta tag within your site’s code (aim for 200 – 500 characters).
- Choose a web page title that uses one or two of the keywords – make this an H1 heading.
- Use H2 headings as subheadings to break up the page making it easier for the visitor to follow and also use keywords in the subheadings that search engine spiders will pick up on.
- Try to use 250 – 500 words per web page – this is ideal.
- Do not overly use your keywords. Keyword density should be about 3-4% compared to the rest of the word count. (Free tool alert: Keyword Density Tool)
- Search engine spiders pick up on bolded words so bold 3-4 keywords per web page.
- Search engines spiders cannot read images so be sure to use descriptive keyword file names and also add ALT tags over images that also use descriptive keyword phrases.
- Use internal links by utilizing anchor text. For example, if you mention Facebook in your content, make the word “Facebook” clickable to another one of your web pages that talks about Facebook in more detail.
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