How to tweak your site to be optimized for SEO
I wrote an introductory post on SEO that gives you the raw basics on the idea behind SEO and how it works. Give that a read first!
Before you go shedding thousands of dollars on optimizing your website for SEO, take a step back and re-evaluate your focus. I mentioned in my last post that (on average) search makes up 30% of your total traffic. While this is very impressive, there’s a belief that SEO will perform miracles for your site. That isn’t necessarily the case.
In fact, without a strong foundation for your site, you’ll end up spending a lot of money on having an SEO agency build something that you could do yourself. In this post, I’ll dive into how you can think about SEO while building your site, and small tweaks that will make noticeable differences to your search engine traffic.
A Foundation for Organic Traffic
When looking at SEO, it can be helpful to think about your site as a physical store. Someone passing in front of your store (homepage) may not have actual intent, compared to somebody that approaches a store rep (Contact Us page) or inspects a price tag.
With that in mind, your website should be structured in a way that makes it easy for people who have intent to get what they want, and those who are unsure to find out more/be convinced. I’ve written about how to target people at different interest levels here.
For a simple software company, this could mean having a visible “Contact Us” or “Free Demo” button on the homepage, while also displaying call-to-actions that quickly segment your visitors. A site that does this incredibly is Turnstyle. You can either “Try for Free” or “Learn More”, dividing visitors by intent immediately.
Optimize your Headings
I mentioned in my last post how to optimize your description in Search Engines like Google to get the best click-through for your site. The second challenge is keeping people on your site, and that starts with headings.
There are three main types of headings: H1, H2, and H3. While a CMS platform like Wordpress will give you the ability to choose what type of heading your text is, they are easily identifiable by size/weight. H1 is the largest, followed by H2, then H3.
Why does this matter? Imagine stumbling across a site through a Google Search. The first thing you’ll look for is the heading (probably the biggest one) to see if it’s relevant to your search. Hence, the rule of thumb is to have maximum (1) H1 and (1) H2 heading on your page.
Your H1 heading should clearly connect to the purpose of the page. If your title is “10 Marketing Essentials”, your H1 heading/subtitle could be “What most small businesses miss”, and your H2 heading could be “Creating a Facebook Page”. The flow from title to content is smooth, and readers who are interested in that topic will be more likely to continue reading.
The 🔑 Words
With site structure and headings out of the way, the final step is to optimize the actual content of your site for SEO. I mentioned in my last post about you don’t want multiple pages fighting against each other for the same keyword. This ties into how you should think about your actual site pages.
If your site has a “Features” page, what keywords relate to your industry that you are trying to optimize for? A mattress company might look to target the words “improved sleep”, given that visitors who are looking for a mattress would favour that.
Likewise, mattress company Leesa.com has the words “better night’s sleep”, “cooler night’s sleep”, and “amazing sleep” all on their features page, with the first actually being included in a heading. This ensures that anyone who is looking for a mattress and stumbles across Leesa.com’s site through a search engine sees what they’re looking for right away.
Not a Lone Wolf
I’ve mentioned before that SEO is not the miracle that will springboard your site into 10x visitor traffic. The reality is that SEO is simply a compliment to your existing efforts. Having more engaged visitors may not necessarily make an impact if you aren’t creating content that resonates with them, or placing call-to-actions (CTAs) that get them to complete your desired goal (i.e. signing up for a newsletter).
Digital marketing is truly a cohesive game, and mastering only one part of the process can limit you as a versatile marketer. Pairing a mind for SEO with the ability to create relevant content can create a noticeable difference in how visitors interact with your site. I’ve written about how you can create content that sticks here.
If you’re a growing business that seriously wants to improve their SEO, then it might be worthwhile to seek some professional help. However if you’re a small business or simply want to have your site’s search traffic scale with its popularity, then following these tips are surefire ways to improve your ranking and visitor engagement.
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