12 Tips for Website Optimization
Website Optimization is an integrate part of the online marketing mix and more importantly play a part for search engine optimization. When your website is optimized not only will it more likely to retain visitors but it will be easier for Google or another search engine to index the site and in return be found. This optimization takes place through a couple of aspects of the design and content writing. First we will talk about the overall scheme and design of things. This includes the color scheme, design elements, and which design receives the best overall grade. Here are some tips to remember when dealing with design elements.
- Simple sites work the best. Easy to read, understand, and load. The average user spends 4-7 seconds when first arriving at a webpage to decide if it is worth digging deeper.
- Usability testing is important when first starting your page and equally, as your website grows and prospers. It should be revisited on a regular basis to make sure your site is optimized to its fullest. Usability testing makes websites easy to navigate and use for the end-user. This can be achieved by creating a persona, a more detailed point-of-view than a target demographic. The persona then would interact with your site by giving them a set of tasks and see if they can easily move from Point A to Point B. It should not take more than two clicks to achieve the outcome or you risk your visitors getting bored or frustrated. Google Webmaster should also be utilized in usability testing to make sure search engine can read your pages. Google Webmaster Tool makes sure your links work, spiders can crawl your page and Google can read and index your pages to their search engine.
- Website Conventions are important because as we all know people do not like unexpected. We are creature of habit and as so we like out website to have the same layout. This includes logo in the upper-left, slogan underneath, and when clicked returns you to homepage. Also, navigation menu is located on the left or top of the site. There is a unique value proposition on the homepage that gives something away for free in exchange for usually an e-mail address.
- For the overall design elements of your page and layout Google offers a website that is pretty useful. Taking part of a quote from the website can sum it up best. “Using Website Optimizer to test and optimize site content and design, you can quickly and easily increase revenue and ROI whether you-re new to marketing or an expert.” Google Website Optimizer
- A homepage should have great well-defined content about what it is you do or services you offer. It should also have a course of action that you want your visitors to interact with. This is your call to action. It should be well defined, easy to see and always above the fold. This means your visitor should not have to scroll down on the page to locate it.
The second important part of the website optimization process is the content writing. If there is one thing you should take away from any of this is that content is king on the Internet. Nothing, except link building, plays a more important role in getting found. Content and the layout of your content play an important part of Search Engine Optimization. This is due to the fact that there is so much out there and search engines love reading and indexing new original content. So here are some tips to help you write content for your website some obvious some not.
- Each page should have between 250-1000 words per page. We are a generation of skimmers on the web, not readers. If there is too much clutter on a page your visitors will not know where to read or just not take the time. Along with the word count per page, each page should be optimized for two to three keyword phrases. We will talk more about this in our Search Engine Optimization page.
- No keyword stuffing ever. This is the act of putting those two to three phrases over and over within the text with the thought of achieving a higher rank with Google. Google has a very complex algorithm that index pages submitted to them for their search engine. They might not catch you right away but they will and you will actually be downgraded for this. Keyword stiffing is never a good thing.
- You always want to write for your audience. They are the ones visiting your site searching for information, but at the same time you want to write content for the spiders indexing your site. This plays into keyword stuffing also. If you keyword stuff your content it will not read like a cohesive piece that your visitors will be able to comprehend.
- Content is important above the fold. The fold, as we learned earlier, refers to everything that is visible when a page first loads. It means all the content without scrolling down on a page. You might only get one chance to catch the attention of the user for that first 4-7 seconds, so put all of your important information above the fold without it being cluttered.
- When writing content for your webpage, you should keyword optimize it by placing the most relevant keywords up and to the left on the page. This means you should put more of your keywords towards the top left part of the page. This approach works two fold. Your visitors view web pages this way and spiders index pages this way also.
- Writing original content can be used to bring in more relevant links. Having new, original, and relevant content posted on your site will want other websites to link back to your site. This is important for your search engine optimization process because Google search engines place a lot of relevance in link building.
- Implement main keyword phrase by placing in the title, first sentence, the last paragraph, and throughout the copy of the body. The keyword density should be 5% or less. Secondary keyword phrases should be found within the subheadings and throughout the body text. The keyword density should be 1-3% for secondary keywords.