Top 7 Ways to Optimize Your Website & Get More Traffic
When your website is optimized for search engines and conversions, your business gains higher visibility in search engines, adds to the user experience and improves your overall website quality. If you’ve been struggling to increase website traffic or don’t know where to start, this article will give you an idea of the work and expertise that goes into optimizing a website effectively to gain website traffic and conversions.
- Analyze & Audit
The first step any search engine optimization (SEO) specialist will do to optimize your website is analyze your current site to determine the necessary changes that need to be made and provide an audit that outlines current performance and recommended updates. During this process, the SEO expert will assess the site’s navigation, content, layout, aesthetics and back-end SEO.
This process also entails looking at your competitors’ websites to see what methods they’re using, including their website design, structure and keywords. Knowing their strategies will help the strategist hone in on yours.
- Make Website Updates
After the website and SEO audit are completed, chances are you may need to make some changes to your site. You want to make a lasting impression that encourages users to click around on your site or even come back to it at a later date. The goal of making these upgrades is to lead users to take an action, whether it’s calling you or submitting a form.
This all comes down to user experience in addition to how you create a funnel that leads users to complete the action. Your website expert can analyze which pages users are visiting the most, in addition to which ones they’re not, and make strategic determinations for how to convert these users into leads.
Another important aspect of website optimization is whether your website is mobile-friendly. In fact, more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the U.S. Page load speed is another one people don’t often realize has an effect on search engines. While these upgrades may require some additional design and programming features, they will make the reward well worth the investment.
- Keyword Research
Keywords are the search terms people use when entering searches into search engines. Keyword research is a practice your SEO specialist will use to find these search terms, analyze their volume and relevance, and determine if they’re a good fit for your website.
Having keywords in the back-end of your website as well as in the front-facing content is among the major factors that will help your site perform well in search engines. However, it’s important to keep in mind that search engines will penalize your website for improper keyword placement, such as keyword spamming. SEO specialists know these rules and employ the most up-to-date and best industry practices for keyword research and placement.
- Back-End SEO
Back-end SEO refers to an on-page SEO strategy that deals with the HTML source code of pages on your site. This includes integrating keywords into headers, meta and title tags, descriptions, URL structure and more. This SEO tactic essentially helps search engines quickly determine what each page on your site is about. There are various other back-end SEO factors that are more complex and involve coding, and you can hire someone experienced in back-end SEO to effectively implement this strategy in your website.
- Content Marketing
In the SEO world, content is king. It’s proven: high-quality content and link building (we’ll get to that later) are the two most important signals used by Google to rank your website for search. Having a strong, SEO-driven content marketing strategy will increase your company’s organic search rankings and lead more people to your site.
For many businesses, content marketing can be intimidating because it requires strategy, thought and time. You can’t just write a paragraph and call it a day. Research shows that long-form content of over 1,000 words consistently receives more shares and links than shorter form content. Experienced long-form content writers are well-versed in writing for SEO. Professionals will come up with a content calendar that outlines what to write each week and research and write the content needed.
When it comes to this type of long-form writing, it’s important to know that these writers are answering questions about a topic people are searching. Therefore, they dedicate the research and time needed to cover that topic fully and leave users without any unanswered questions.
- Off-Page SEO
Off-page SEO refers to your methods of optimizing your website externally, which includes link building, social media efforts, being featured as a guest blogger and influencer marketing.
Link building is an engagement that requires strategic digital communication in order to gain high-quality links to your website. When you have solid websites that have good authority linking over to your website, Google interprets your site as credible and will, therefore, rank it higher. When it comes to employing this strategy, 41 percent of large companies consider link building as the most difficult SEO tactic. In addition, guest blogging is a popular form in link building that utilizes your relationship to another related company, so you can get in front of their followers and target audience. No matter the strategy, link building takes effort and careful consideration.
Social media involves brand consistency in visuals and messaging, content creation and interaction. When your company expertly combines these tactics on social media, you have a great social media presence and can start building a loyal following. For more info on navigating the social media landscape, visit this blog.
Influencer marketing involves utilizing high-profile brand advocates (influencers), primarily on social media, to drive your message in an organic way. For example, you can reach out to popular influencers that relate to your target audience or your brand, and strategize how you can work together. They can try your product or service and, in turn, promote or rate it to their followers. Or they can host a giveaway or contest for your product. No matter the strategy you implement, influencer marketing is a powerful way to tap into consumers you might not be able to otherwise get in front of. To read more about social influencers, visit this blog.
- Leave it to the Professionals
Sure, you might be thinking there are plenty of how-to articles and guides out there that can help you optimize your website yourself. Or you may be wondering how you can hire someone to do this for less. But would you mount a TV by yourself if you didn’t already know how? Would you replace a belt in your car without any prior knowledge? If you watch YouTube videos and read how-tos, you may think you’ve got it figured out, but actually doing it is a whole other ball game and you run into the risk of messing it up. And the repercussions of doing it incorrectly could mean a hole in your wall or expensive engine damage.
This metaphor rings true for optimizing your website. SEO and website optimization take more than just research. It takes an experienced professional who is up-to-date on industry best practices and who has been practicing for a long time to be able to provide an audit, recommend optimal website updates, perform on-page and off-page SEO, analyze data, make adjustments and report the findings back to you. If you don’t start with an SEO and website professional, you may be paying more money to have them fix the issues with your website in the end. It’s important to know what you can do yourself and what you need to leave to the experts, and a reputable digital marketing agency can help you figure out that balance.
Making your website optimized for search engines is no easy feat. Make sure you hire a professional digital marketing agency that will work with you and even teach you things along the way. Before hiring one, ask them for background on their company and case studies of similar work, so you can truly vet their competence and expertise. In the end, you’ll be happy you did a thorough review, especially when you see the results.
Kick off your website optimization on the right foot. Appleton is an award-winning, full-service digital marketing and advertising agency located in Orlando, Florida. Appleton works with local, national and international clients to deliver custom content, persuasive online ads and expertly crafted campaigns. By implementing valuable and shareable digital content strategies, Appleton can create the perfect social and digital marketing experience for your brand and audience. Your Internet advertising goals are worth a conversation: contact us at 407-246-0092 or firstname.lastname@example.org.