This is the first of 12 best practices in “the digital revenue engine” series, here’s what we’ve lined up for you this evening…
- Why you benefit – and big – from optimizing your website design
- The best practices of website optimization
- What agile website optimization looks like when executed
Website Optimization Strategy, today’s main topic, focuses on phase one of HubSpot’s now famous Inbound Methodology.
People still think “website optimization” means ranking at the top of search engines.
Website optimization does NOT equal search engine optimization, or “SEO” – not in its entirety.
Most of the marketing mediocre believe that website optimization means top rank SEO.
Depending on your role or department, it could mean…
…or just customer happiness as a whole.
In all honesty, website optimization is all of the above. So when optimizing a website, keep two groups in mind.
- The Search Engines
- The Searchers
SEARCHERS – People who buy your product or service, and people looking to do three things… something to do, something to learn, somewhere to go / something to get to from search (i.e., googling eHarmony vs. typing out the URL).
SEARCH ENGINES have the role of crawling the Internet and understanding its purpose, which they collect and evolve over the course of 30+ TRILLION WEB PAGES.
Googlebot is Google’s spider, or engine that does this crawling and understanding process. And along with people aiding it, Googlebot crawls for over 200 ranking factors that go into the ranking algorithm.
It determines the right content, at the right time for the right person.
Still think website optimization is JUST keyword chess?
Search engines do not buy your product, donate to your charity, or hire you to do a service unless you provide utility for them – and beyond that point, you have to provide solutions a problem – or pain point they’re seeking to solve.
A fully functioning website design will effectively attract, convert, close and delight users – but today, we’re going with the first – attracting visitors, or getting found online.
By writing for people, not search engines, you will gain the traffic and engagement that gets you to the top of search engines.
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on real data and some select educated guessing about demographics, behavioral patterns, pain points or motivations, and goals.
How to Optimize your Website Design
- Have a goal in mind for what you’d like to accomplish with your website.
- Make it easy for SEARCHERS to understand and SEARCH ENGINES to crawl.
3 WAYS MAKE YOUR WEBSITE EASY TO CRAWL & UNDERSTAND
The first thing you’ll want to do when trying to optimize your site for usability is to focus on Cognitive Fluency – or “the ease of which something is processed.”
What website experience do you expect when we say the words… (think of a brand category).
Now picture a brand.
Think about how you can evolve your website to make the same impact.
Researchers at Google have continuously found that not only will users judge websites as “beautiful” or not within one-fiftieth to one-twentieth of a second, but also that “visually complex” websites are consistently rated as less beautiful than their simpler counterparts.
The second step of conversion-focused user experience is content strategy.
This area should have three focus areas within itself. Your website content, keywords and topic focus areas should be rooted in…
- Relevant content based on users intent from search query.
- Relevant content to topic of search query.
- Value to searcher.
REMEMBER: Use the language of your buyer personas.
When it comes to how you can imply these tips to SEO, check out these free SEO resources from unfunnel and partners at Hubspot.
The last step in website usability best practices, which can easily be summed up as…
- Font hierarchy (subheads with different colors, sizes or font styles)
- Include pictures
- Short sentences & paragraphs
- Bold, italics and hyper-linked content
Most important, and if you read this blog – you SHOULD know this, a website should NEVER be static.
Websites should constantly evolve, and hopefully you’ve noticed the evolution of not only our website but our online revenue model (s) as well. We recommend you do the same! :)
SO REALLY, WHAT DOES WEBSITE OPTIMIZATION LOOK LIKE?