There are two separate categories of SEO:
On-page SEO pertains to how friendly your site’s content is to internet search engines. It comprises roughly 25% of how search engines score and rank your site. This is a relatively easy thing to improve.
Off-page SEO is connected to your site’s overall web “authority”. This authority is determined by what other websites say about your site. Improving your authority takes a bit more effort. We’ll cover this in greater detail in a later post.
For now, let’s focus on the basics of getting your on-page SEO squared away.
Hubspot offers a free Website Grader than will analyze your site for SEO effectiveness. The higher your score, the more effective your optimization is. Don’t be upset if your SEO score comes back lower than expected. On-page SEO is relatively easy to improve and requires much less effort to get favorable results.
Other key elements of on-page optimization include:
- Page Title-the text at the top of your browser window when viewing a web page.
- Meta Description-the brief site description in Google search.
- Headings-paragraph titles or text in larger or bold print.
- Cascading Style Sheets(CSS)-the back-end code of your website.
- Images-especially images with keywords in the file name.
- Domain Info-search engines favor sites that are registered for longer time periods.
- MOZ Rank– a general measure of your site’s online authority.
- Google Crawl Date-fresh content invites Google to crawl your site regularly.
- URL Structure-this structure is about how different URLs connect with each other.
Like the old commercial that stated “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature”, our goal isn’t to trick search engines. We’re simply creating an easier path for the search engines to find your site so they can direct more prospects to you.
By optimizing your website around the keywords most relevant to your business, you increase the likelihood of getting found by people searching with those keywords. This, in turn, drives better and higher quality traffic to your site.
Here are 3 simple keyword strategies from Hubspot to help you find the right keyword to bring customers to you:
1. Create a list of 3-5 keywords relevant to your business.
This isn’t the same thing as your brand name, it’s the words and short phrases that describe what your product or service is about. You’ll need to think like someone using a search engine to find your product.
2. Choose Keywords based on difficulty and relevance.
As a rule, very general words like “marketing” are highly competitive which makes it more difficult for you to rank well in search engine results. Your best bet is to choose less competitive keywords that are more specifically related to your business.
Fortunately, there are numerous tools like Google Keyword Tool and Keyword Grader Tool to help you determine how competitive your specific keyword is. Your terms must have relevance to your business as well as difficulty by not being too competitive.
3. Design and optimize your site around your keywords.
Once you’ve chosen your keywords, it’s time to incorporate them into your website. This will require some in-depth website optimization.
Your keyword strategy is to be ranked on the first or second page of search results. Any further back and it’s like you’re not there at all. For this reason, short search phrases are better.
This used to be the question when it came to creating and maintaining a decent website. WordPress for small business changed all that.
In the early days of website design, once you’d figured out your needs you’d hire someone to do the work of designing and coding your site from scratch.
Then when you wanted to update your site, you’d need to have geek skills or you’d need to have a geek on staff.
Thankfully, times have changed.
Today there are numerous Content Management Systems (CMS) including WordPress for small business, Joomla and Drupal to name a few. Good CMS makes it easy to update your website whether you’re technically-inclined or not.
You no longer need to have a degree in computer science to build and maintain a stellar website. CMS allows your site to shine even if your tech budget is small
You’ll first need to determine your needs, just like in the old days. But once you’ve incorporated a good user-friendly CMS, you’ll be able to update and tweak your site easily.
There are two benefits to being able to do this:
- -You’ll be lean and quick and able to make changes on the fly
- -By constant testing and adjustment, you’ll optimize your conversion rates
An added bonus is that CMS simplifies the process and puts the website back into the hands of the content creators. This means that your content doesn’t have to be filtered through another person’s interpretation before making it to the website.
Never forget, content is what really matters when it comes to demonstrating to your site visitors that they’ve found the right place.
Wordpress for small business has proven itself to be a robust, user-friendly CMS that’s flexible enough to work for nearly any functionality requirements.
Whether shaving time off your average mile or increasing your web site’s conversion rate, improvement first requires seeing where you are. Once you know exactly where you are, you can fine tune any of the conversion elements of your site to determine which are working the best.
By installing analytics software, like Google analytics, you can track your website visitor patterns and data to see how people are interacting with your site. This is because analytics track massive amounts of information and distill it down into the most useful details related to your site.
Analytics will show you exactly where your visitors are spending time as well as where they’re losing interest and bouncing away. This type of evaluation will also help you determine where your visitors may be experiencing friction.
It helps to remember that building a better website using analytics should always be considered a process and not a destination.
You build the best website possible. You get all the feedback you can before launching it. But the ultimate authority on whether your site is effective is how your visitors respond to it. Analytics will help you better understand what they like and don’t like about your site.
By paying close attention to what your analytics are showing, then changing elements and continually testing them, you’ll see your site and your conversion rates improve over time.
Building better websites using analytics is just one of the essential elements which must be integrated into your site to increase your conversion rate and generate more website leads.
A properly architected website will put them all together in a site that not only looks and functions great, but actually gets results.
Landing page optimization makes more sense when you consider that your small business website landing page is where the real action takes place. It may be a sales page, a video or content landing page, or an e-mail opt-in page.
Your landing page is where your website visitors go to take action. This means it’s essential that you know how well your landing page is optimized to achieve solid traffic conversion.
Practical Ecommerce suggests these three key optimized landing page metrics to accurately measure that success:
- Conversion Rate: This is the percentage of visitors that become leads or sales or some other desired outcome. To determine your site’s purchase conversion rate you’ll need to use your analytic tools. Next you’ll need to find the number of unique visitors during a given period and divide that by the number of sales transactions during that same period. A conversion rate of 2% or less means you have room to grow your business. Even a 1% boost in your conversion rate can equal big bucks.
- Home Page Abandonment: It’s important to look at your landing page much as you do your home page in terms of how many visitors arrive and then bail. With 55 percent of visitors leaving a site after the second click, your window of opportunity is short. That number jumps to a jaw-dropping 80 percent who leave after the third click. Strategically placed calls to action can help solve site abandonment issues.
- Cost Per Sale: To determine the average cost per sale, you’ll need to divide your advertising costs by the amount of sales. When considering a customer’s lifetime value, it may be worth it to take a loss up front in order to recoup much greater return by keeping the customer over time. Once you’re successfully managing the initial cost per action, you’ll find it easier to realize big returns on the back end.
An optimized landing page will avoid the simple mistakes made by webpages that fail to capture a visitor’s attention and call them to action quickly and easily enough.