Website optimisation is the process of driving more traffic to your site. If you are seeking to attract more visitors from search engines, but don’t know where to start, here are 5 tips to help you on your journey.
1. Know your buyer
Whatever your business, understanding the people you are trying to reach is the most important first step in the process.
Think about your buyer’s journey. Every business will have a different buyer’s journey and your goal is to decide the stages your potential customers will go through, before they make a decision to buy. This is known as creating ‘personas’ for your business. Read more about ‘creating online personas’ here.
You can define the journey into three distinct stages called ‘awareness’, ‘consideration’ and ‘decision’. Think about the type of questions that a visitor will ask during these 3 stages.
For example, problem-based questions such as ,”How to…?”, “When to know…” What is…?” will initially start a visitors journey during the awareness stage.
At the consideration stage, your visitor will be seeking solutions to their problem or challenge. This is when your buyer starts the evaluation process. You will want to show value and answer questions associated with benefits of using a solution such a yours.
Finally, at the decision stage, your visitor will be looking for brands and services to help them solve their problem. This is when you prove how your business provides the solution.
2. Choose your keywords
Once you have determined your buyer’s journey, you need to think about the best words and phrases they will type into search engines at each stage of the buying process. These are known as ‘keywords’ and your goal is to create a list of keywords according to each stage of the cycle. Choose the words, terms and phrases that mimic their language.
3.Create relevant content
Once you have created your list of keywords that best represent your potential customer during each stage of the buyer’s journey, start creating a list or editorial calendar of content topics and ideas.
Visual, video or written content, might come in the form of an e-book, white paper or interview – but content should be delivered in a form that is best suited for the buyer’s stage in the buying cycle. For example, you would unlikely use a customer case study in the awareness stage, but a customer case study on how you solved your customer’s problem for the decision stage, would work well. Here is a great post on how to align content to the buyer’s journey.
4.Optimise your content
To successfully optimise your content, configure each page and post around a primary keyword or phrase. This includes adding the keyword to the page title and URL. Add the keyword to the body, headers and image alt-text. Use the keyword naturally and remember to write for your audience.
Include relevant links with the content. Link to other sources including external links to outside resources and internal links to other pages on your site and place the keyword in the meta description. Here are 33 great examples of meta descriptions.
Your content should also offer a good user experience. Make sure the type is easy to read and your website is optimise for mobile as 2015 Ofcom stats show that 66% of internet users now own a smartphone in the UK!
5.Promote your content
When promoting your content put the same level of thought into the process as when you crafted your content. Remember to check your keyword purpose and relevance to the buying cycle before deciding which social platforms you will use to promote your content.
Other ways to promote your content is to reach out to your industry’s thought-leaders or others that compliment your offering. You could create a resource of ‘the-best-of’, interview an industry expert or ask an industry thought leader to write an introduction or give a quote. When working with an industry leader, they will most likely share your content and you can reach a wider audience with kudos to boot!
Linking to directories within your subject area as well as niche forums, social networking sites and Q/A sites are another way to find online communities in your keyword space. However, know that you have to contribute, as just pushing your content won’t get you the results you want. Social media is about being social first, pushing content second.
Finally, if your business is location specific, don’t forget to create a Google+ local listing page which Google will use in its search results and publish your content to your Google+ Page.
If you are looking for a little more help to optimise your online presence, or to even get started, there are plenty of options available to you. First Guide offers a range of free resources, videos and guides including ‘how to start a blog’ as well as the HubSpot blog all designed to help you along the way.