Website Optimization is important to ensure that you receive website visitors that are interested in your product or services. This can directly lead to an increase in valid leads or sales.
When you optimize your website you ensure that you are attracting the correct visits to your site that can add value to your business.
What is Website Optimization?
Website Optimization is the process of making changes to your website to promote its ranking on Search Engines and to ensure visitors have an optimal experience.
Website Optimization is a portion of the full Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Based on a number of factors, search engines evaluate your website’s relevance and readability before assigning it a position or ranking on the search engine results page. The more relevance the search engines determine your website has for a given search, the higher the website will rank. When you consider that more than 60% of Internet users will not look beyond the first page of search results, it’s important to use search engine optimization to push your ranking as high as possible.
Why is it so important to optimize your Website?
When your website isn’t found by search engines or visitors, business is lost.
Many web designers just build a website according to clients instruction without any heed to keywords and search engine ranking. They produce websites with the old standard, home, about, services and contact us. This is no longer sufficient to achieve a high ranking website.
Websites that are re-designed with proper keyword research prior to go-live should have the ability to pay for themselves within 3-6 months by providing quality leads and sales. This does assume that the client has a worthwhile business. Brand new websites for a new company does take a lot longer to rank and optimise, but should look to pay for themselves within 18 months.
When designing the layout of an existing website, proper keyword analysis should take place first before any design or layout is decided.
Effect of a beautiful website without website optimization
Recently I was asked by a business owner to review a website designed by another established web designer. The client was really happy with the new design and feel of their website, but was struggling as they were getting even less leads from the website for the 4 months it had been live.
I first asked the client for 5 keywords they wanted to be found for. These listed 4 of the main business services they provided. When I checked their ranking for those, they weren’t higher than 50 for any of those keywords in Ireland. In Local SEO they were showing on the Google Map pack for one of them.
This aesthetically pleasing website, didn’t even have a page specific to their 4 core business arms. Due to the content they had on there, their keywords didn’t show on most of their pages. Search Engines didn’t know what their main business was.
Lesson – please don’t assume that your website designer knows all about SEO. There are only a limited few that include the time to research and develop your website to ensure it ranks highly and adds to your sales and marketing team.
Website Optimization Strategy
Modern SEO strategy is the process of organizing a website’s content by topic, which helps search engines like Google understand a user’s intent when searching. By optimizing a web page around topics first, you can rank well for long-tail keywords related to that topic. No longer is it good enough to rank for a specific phrase, you need to be able to rank for a topic.
Keep in mind that many users are now accessing websites via mobile devices. About 80% of internet users own a smartphone and they are spending more and more time accessing the Internet via their phones, especially as data costs come down and unlimited data is the standard.
Does your site look good on both desktop and mobile? It doesn’t necessarily have to look the same. It is more important that mobile users can see things without having to zoom in every few seconds and navigate easily throughout the site. A modern mobile responsive website is a critical must.
Make Website Navigation Easy
When a visitor lands on a website, they often look to the navigation bar to orient themselves with the page. The navigation bar is essential because it follows the site visitor throughout their journey on your site and serves as a tool to go back to the landing page.
For ecommerce websites, breadcrumbs definitely add value as visitors can go between categories to help find the item(s) they wish to purchase. Using product Up-sells, linked products and similar products can greatly increase your basket total.
Call To Action (CTA’s)
Do you have strong calls to action (CTAs) on your pages in locations that make sense? Site visitors who decide to buy or register for your newsletter want to know how to take the next step. You can influence user behavior and make this simple by using a strong CTA that’s easy to locate.
The text of the CTA button is crucial. Google doesn’t like “Click Here”, “Find out more” buttons – it recommends a contextual reference to the button “Newsletter Signup”, “Book Tour Now”
Website Audit Issues
Search engines including Google and Bing also want to display websites that don’t have many issues. These are often simple fixes which can help increase your ranking.
Top 5 Audit issues that affect Search Engine Ranking
- UnSecured Sites (HTTP v HTTPS with SSL certs)
- Broken Links (error code 4xx or 5xx)
- Links to inaccessible pages
- Empty Page Titles
- Duplicate Page Titles
These are just the top audit issues and many more can affect the ranking. I would always recommend that you do a full audit of your website regularly.
Website Optimization Tools
Below are a number of optimization tools for your website. These tools perform different functions from testing your website speed, to helping you configure your website for keywords, helping research keywords and giving keyword ideas.
Top Free Optimization Tools
Below are some of the tools I would recommend that help provide different functions. Most are free and then some have paid options with extra capabilities.
This is a must for all WordPress websites. Yoast provides SEO on your website for each of the website pages. You can configure your keyword term and it uses a traffic light system to guide you to the on-page optimization. It also provides tips to help you get that green light.
There is a free version of the plugin which is sufficient for most websites.
Think with Google
Web users expect your site to load at lightning speed, even on mobile devices. About half of them say they expect a website to load within two seconds and will abandon a slow page that doesn’t load after three seconds. Speed indeed does matter when it comes to keeping visitors on your site so they can see if they want to do business with you.
There are some tools out there that will allow you to check your site speed, including Pingdom and Google’s Page Speed Insights. These sites will also give you tips on how to speed up your site. Two simple things you can do to start are checking your server’s speed and optimizing any images.
As Google now uses Mobile Speed as a ranking factor for Optimization, I recommend using Think with Google. Tests your website loading speed on a 4G network. Also offers the added bonus of a free report to enable you to identify the issues causing the delay.
Top Tips to Speed up your Website
- Clean up the HTML Document.
- Optimize CSS Performance.
- Reduce External HTTP Requests.
- Minify CSS, JS and HTML.
- Enable Prefetching.
- Increase Speed With a CDN and Caching.
- Compress Your Files.
- Optimize Your Images.
Google Search Console
Google provide a free tool which helps monitor your links and performance. “Track your site’s search performance with Google Search Console and browse around for more webmaster resources.” It allows you to track your website indexing status and optimize visibility of your website.
Bing also has its own search console. It offers even more insights with its reporting tools and diagnostic tools. Many users just focus on Google but especially for business looking to succeed abroad, as it owns approx. 33% of the market globally when you include Yahoo which Bing owns. However this figure drops drastically when you look at the Irish markets.
You can setup reports to be delivered frequently to your inbox to save you time going back to the tool.
You can track some of the keywords visitors are using to find your website. Also where the visitors are coming from whether it be social media, organic searches, paid searches or links from other websites.
There are free and paid for SEO tools available on their website. It is a handy tool to help view page rank of your website and to track backlinks to your website.
Ubersuggest helps you generate keyword ideas for your content marketing strategy and production. This is a free tool and is good to help give an idea for keywords and ranking on both your website and top ranking competitors websites. It isn’t as accurate as some of the paid tools, but can help get you started.
Explore multiple search terms and terms in different languages in nearly real-time. Compare up to 5 groups of terms at one time and up to 25 terms in each group.
How to compare terms
- Open Google Trends.
- Search for a term like “java.”
- Inside the Topics box, click + Add term.
- Add another search term, like “coffee.”
To remove a term, hover over the search term box and click .
This is a free bulk keyword tool which will pump out large quantities of potential keyword phrases for your keyword. Do remember to stop the job after a few seconds as it can produce a large number of keywords.
Advantages are that it also includes the global search quantities for that keyword per month, the rough cost to pay per click (PPC) and the competition rating for that keyword. The ideal keywords to target are those applicable to your business with large volumes and low PPC and competition rating.
Google is perhaps the most powerful keyword research tool on the planet.
There’s the “autosuggest” feature for generating an almost infinite number of keyword ideas. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using Google for keyword research.
For starters, take notice of the “People also ask” box that shows up for some searches. These are free topic choices that you can use for your blog. By building your information store, it will add to your perceived expertise on the topic.
Search Engine Optimization – SEO Ireland
SEO services for website optimization address a variety of factors, including: keyword selection, adding and refreshing content, creating search-engine friendly design, building links, and resolving technical issues that may drive search engines away.
Top SEO tips – Optimizing your website for Search Engines
- Analyse and study your website.
- Review your competition’s website(s).
- Research keywords.
- Place keywords strategically throughout your content.
- Include meta descriptions, alt text for images and title tags.
- Develop some base traffic reports.
- Keep providing new quality content – blog posts.
- Get other websites to link to you – link building
- Reduce bounce rates – provide good user experience UX
- Increase traffic to your website through digital marketing
NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone Number. NAP is critical for businesses wishing to rank well in the local organic search results, because search engines like Google take the data into account when determining which companies to show for geo-targeted searches. What can businesses do with their NAP to boost their local search rankings?
For starters, make sure that your NAP is correct – both on your website as well as on other sites throughout the web. Local SEO experts believe that Google and the other search engines cross-reference your NAP information across a variety of websites as a validation that you are a legitimate business.
For example, it’s incredibly unlikely that a “made for SEO spam site” (i.e. not a real business) is going to have a physical address listed on their website let alone consistent NAP information on sites ranging from local directories and Yelp to the Internet Yellow Pages. The more “local citations” you can build up with consistent NAP information, the better.
Where should you enter your NAP?
In terms of local citations, it’s probably worth listing your business on any reputable directory – especially local directories and/or industry specific directories.
Conversion Rate Optimization CRO
Conversion rate is how many percentage of visitors on your website convert to sales or leads. Optimizing this is increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that convert into customers (ideally), or more generally, take any desired action on a webpage.
Your site’s conversion rate is the number of times a user completes a goal divided by your site traffic. If a user can convert in each visit (such as by buying a product), divide the number of conversions by the number of sessions (the number of unique times a user came to your site).
Conversion rate optimization is important because it allows you to lower your customer acquisition costs by getting more value from the visitors and users you already have. By optimizing your conversion rate you can increase revenue per visitor, acquire more customers, and grow your business.
Tips for Increasing your Conversion Rate – CRO
- Use tangible action verbs
- Testimonials from other clients
- Good user experience
- Clearly state benefits of your product or service
- Incorporate strong calls to action (CTAs) into every piece of content on your site
- Use buttons instead of links for ease of use for mobile visitors
- Minimise number of input fields in forms
- Recommend related products
Top SEO Company – Web Clare
Make your website work for you! Ensure your website is setup for search engine optimisation and conversion optimisation. Websites should be actively bringing in leads or sales for your business.
Web Clare are experts in SEO Ireland having increased sales and revenue for a number of clients. It’s amazing how changes over a few months can improve the growth for a few years for clients.
Get in Touch today to start growing your business.