Website optimization isn’t just about being found online. Being engaging, providing good content that is useful to the user and giving every page a purpose should all factor into your website optimization strategy. Optimizing just one aspect of your website isn’t likely to help you accomplish your online marketing goals. Maybe your site ranks well, but doesn’t convert. Or you have a high conversion rate but not enough traffic. Make the mistake of forgetting about conversions? Seen that too. The truth is that you need to optimize your website for three different audiences. Search Engines. Your visitors. And yourself.
Let’s start from the top.
By following some basic site optimization rules for SEO, you can help better describe to the Search Engines exactly what is on your page. Without these basic optimizations in place, it’s unlikely that many people will be able to find your site, which is why it needs to be addressed first. Descriptive title tags that match page content, strong site URL structure, and interlinking articles are a few of the items you’ll want to check off your SEO checklist right away. Your ongoing SEO task list should be constantly growing, and it’s smart to focus on organic rankings – but don’t forget about website optimization for your users too.
Once you’ve taken care of the basic optimizations to satisfy the Google Gods, your site needs to be optimized for your visitors. Just as with your SEO task list, you will never reach the end of it because there is always more that you can do. First, make sure that your site allows visitors to easily buy your product, contact your company, join your email list, or visit a brand social media property on both desktop and mobile devices. Second, be sure to track those website conversions using Google Analytics, and any additional tracking software that works best for your industry. Third, don’t get too caught up in conversions.
It’s Not All About Conversions
Of course you want your users to convert on your website, but this shouldn’t be the only metric you judge optimization success or failure on. At least not right away. Over optimizing by asking for the conversion too early in the user’s visit can actually hurt performance, driving users away from your site. By providing high quality content on a user friendly website you will be increasing brand awareness (link) even among those who don’t take the call-to-action bait on their first visit. Nurturing your target audience through social media and multiple website interactions will produce more substantial long lasting effects for your brand than focusing on converting each user on their first visit.
When going through website optimizations, it’s also good practice to think about yourself – and your company. Making it easy to add and edit content, update images, and create new pages are some common examples, but you’re likely to find other ways that you can optimize your website management specific to your business. Automating data exports or adding import functionality might make your business processes much faster and more efficient. Spending time on site management optimization now is likely to save you time later, allowing you to get back to the rest of that task list.
Optimize for Your Audience
Data is your friend, and with Google Analytics tracking installed you should have no shortage of it that you can use to further optimize for your audience over time. Perhaps you discover that your best performing audience group is actually a bit younger than expected – shift content to discuss other topics that better fit their age range. Learn as much as you can about your top performing audience, and their behaviors online in general. Continuous analyzation and website optimization will help you reach the right audience, see improvement in visitor performance and grow your brand.
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