The world of SEO is evolving. Gone are the days when keyword density and meta5 Highly Effective Tips to Creating an Optimized Web Page keywords are the main focus; we are moving toward a world where you must keep the user in mind first and the search engines second. That said, here are a few tips to be sure that your business’s web pages are appreciated (and found) by as many people as possible.
1. Title tags
It’s very interesting that these parts of the page are still so important, yet many still forget to show them the proper attention. Let’s try to understand why by doing a Google search for a term like “air Jordan release dates”.
While having the term “air Jordan release dates” in the title tag of the page is important to the search engines, I seriously believe that they take click through rates into consideration. For a person like myself that is interested in release dates, I care about two things:
- Trustworthiness of a site
Both of these sites have covered #1 by putting the brand into the title tag to let the visitor know that the site posting the release dates is a credible one, but SneakerNews has gone a step further. SneakerNews included the term “2014″ in the title tag to let you know that there are no 2013 releases left, in addition to adding the words “just updated” in parentheses. This wasn’t done programmatically. This is actually a very clever tactic to further entice me to click on their search result over the other.
In today’s sneaker culture, if you want to get a pair of exclusive sneakers before they sell out, you have to know when things are coming out before anyone else. That said, would you rather click on a site that has had the same title tag since the page was created? Or the one that makes it seem like it was freshly updated right before you decided to run the query?
Do some research to really understand the types of people to which you are marketing. Once you understand that, start to speak their language in the title tag.
Here are some title tag best practices from Moz.
2. Show the User Some ValueHow many times have you landed on a URL after searching for something, only to find that it really didn’t give you the answer that you were looking for? Either someone built a bunch of links to the site to help it rank when it didn’t deserve to, or the industry hasn’t caught up with SEO yet, so someone figured out a way to manipulate the system.
Let’s revisit the release dates example. To the right are two pages that rank for the same exact “air Jordan release dates” query.
Again, this goes back to understanding your audience. Sneakerheads are VERY visual people. We don’t just want to see the shoes, we want to see a video of them. We want to see them on someone’s feet. We even want to see someone tear them apart and do something crazy with them. The last thing that we want to see when looking for the new Jordans is a list of a bunch of irrelevant links.
Find out what the user wants when they come to your page and give them exactly that.
I cringe when I see a site that worked hard to create some content for their site and they don’t have any plans of doing anything with it. What I mean by this is that, once the site gives the user what they want, they don’t “ask for the sell.”
Now, I don’t want to suggest that you should ask clients to buy something from you after you have shown them something (although in some instances it makes sense) but, using the “release dates” idea, it would be great if after I found out what pair is dropping later this month, the site had a blurb at the top of the page that said something like “want to get all the up to date release date information delivered to your inbox? Sign up for our newsletter today!”
Now THAT is how you build your brand and that is how you increase conversions. Even something small like “do you like this post? Feel free to click here to share it on Twitter.”
Do something to turn that valuable traffic into something actionable that can help grow your business and create loyal followers and customers.
4. Speak the User’s Language
I touched on this a little earlier in the post. I often see clients trying to be a little too cute with the language that they are using in the post, and unfortunately, they completely alienate their audience.
Let’s revisit the sneaker example. The Air Jordan 11 is an iconic shoe. It’s the shoe that changed the sneaker game forever and the first one that people could wear on the basketball court and with a suit. However, one issue that people had with the shoe is that the soles would change over time. As the shoe oxidized, it would turn an ugly yellow. In the sneaker community, we refer to a pair of shoes with fresh clear soles as “icy.”
So, let’s say you developed a product or process to either maintain the sole color or to return the shoe to its original glory. You wouldn’t name your post “Ways to keep your soles from oxidizing” but instead, a better title would be something like “How to keep your soles icy” like these results shown to the right:
Sometimes, car dealers can really screw this up. They want to use “pre-owned” over “used” because it sounds sexier, but your users don’t search that way. You also see this a lot with “cheap” vs. “inexpensive” terms.
So, speak your users’ language and you will find that they will relate to your content and want to consume and share it more frequently, which will help your business tremendously.
5. Keep The User Engaged
One big trend lately has been for websites to offer more content to keep the visitors on the site longer. I love this idea because I love consuming topical content from a source that I trust.
Do you know what other products people purchase after they have viewed a particular one? If so, why not add that at the bottom of the post to keep the user engaged. The longer they are on your site, the more likely they are to convert and become a customer. Here are a few examples:Now that you have a few ways to improve the layout of your site, let’s get to work and see that traffic grow! If you would like to follow me on Twitter and you like to hear about music, shoes and SEO, you can check me out here. Are there any other tips that you want to share for optimizing a site? Leave them in the comments below.
Or, if you’re ready for more optimization information, check out our free eBook, 7 Little Known But Highly Effective Secrets To Creating Killer Landing Pages!
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