Most of us know about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO for short); a methodology to optimise your site to make it attractive to search engines. It’s a blend of the content of your site with the behind the scenes HTML code, such as keywords, H tags, image alt tags and those various meta tags are all in place to make your website friendly to Google and other search engines.
But that’s not all, the effectiveness of your site also needs to take into consideration the user’s experience. Ask yourself, does your website ensure visitors are charmed once they arrive, given a warm welcome, provided with a clear and concise navigation structure with user-friendly page layouts and clear route that funnels?
Five Tips for Website Optimisation
A clean and contemporary look that’s appropriate for your market sector. If you are a car dealership with a prestigious brand then don’t make you site look like a back street, under the arches outfit. Use a consistent layout with easily readable fonts and colours. Split large paragraphs of text into smaller sections with sub headings or consider bullet points.
Now you’ve got them here make sure they know where they are, where they can go and how they can get back again. So include a well-organised menu system with appropriate tree structure and branch length. Breadcrumb trails help to indicate how they’ve got to where they are. Comfort indicator images to reassure them they are in the right place. If they feel lost or trapped they’ll soon shout – Get me outta here!
If you know where you want your visitors to end up (maybe your contact page) then think about how you are going to coax them in that direction. Create a route that funnels them in that direction. It’s better than leaving them to wander around a maze of pages trying to find the exit.
Declutter pages to avoid users wandering off at critical stages of a funnel. For example, when going through an ecommerce checkout keep the journey focused on the transaction to reduced dropouts.
In this world of mobile devices, tablets and smartphones, please make sure your site works on these devices and not just desktop computers. Don’t waste all of your marketing effects in a digital and social media world, if your website is not responsive. Think, money and drains, enough said?
They say content is king, and content is a key part of your web design. Good well written, appropriate copy that’s informative, valuable and engaging is a great start. But it needs to be kept fresh with updated and/or new content. Think of successful a High Street department store’s window display. How often is that updated, do people travel from miles around to see the Christmas display? Well, your home and landing pages are your shop window, make them good and give them a spring clean now and again, or more often!
If you optimise and get all of that right then you’d hope to see some changes. If you are new to Google Analytics then here’s three quick areas to look at that website optimisation can help to improve:
If your home and landing pages deliver the content that visitors are expecting to engage with, then they are more likely to stick around and hence reduce your bounce rate.
Time on site
You need to make them comfortable and to keep their attention with a well-constructed site that has sufficient relevant and valuable content. If they like what they see, then they’ll explore more and stay with you for longer.
Depth of Engagement
We’re back to content, content, content. Keep it engaging and give them value – in SEO talk, it needs to be sticky. You come unstuck when a visitor leaves your site – bye bye customer, come again soon, hopefully?
Now you’re going to rush off and have a look at your GA statistics. Good move, but guess who is already one, or many steps ahead of you? Well, that will be Google, they most probably know more about your website’s activity than you do. Your website’s performance may affect your search engine ranking as only the best websites deserve their place at the top.
Just doing SEO may get you more visitors, but say you get 100 visitors per day, isn’t that great? Now look at your bounce rate . . . at 70%, you’ve just lost the chance to engage with 25,550 visitors per year. Optimise your website and reduce your bounce rate and there is a whole new bunch of visitors exploring your website without any more marketing effort. And by now you’ve worked out that Google will like that improvement which should make you happy too – an ever increasing circle of happiness!