Despite our sun’s massive size and presence on our planet, less than 2% of sunlight ever reaches the ground in the Amazon rainforest. Every one of those plants on that forest floor has its own unique optimization techniques to absorb as much of that 2% as possible.
Just like the plants on the rainforest floor, your website also needs to adapt to survive. Especially in a world where audiences only look at the first ten results out of millions found on a search engine's database.
Luckily, it won’t take years of evolution to bring your website to its full competitive potential. In fact, you can start improving today simply by implementing our nine, easy-to-understand optimization techniques that will allow you to get the most out of your marketing strategy and grow your brand.
But before we get into each technique, it’s good to determine which aspect of your content needs improvement—attraction, conversion or overall performance.
Optimization Techniques for Attraction
Once you’ve written your content, you want it to get it in front of as many eyeballs as possible, right? The bad news is, so does everybody else. Also they were first and spent a ton of money to do it. The good news is that by following a few simple rules and by getting a little creative, it is possible to get your work out there in front of the right people.
- Throw Spears, Not Nets
Unless you’ve got millions of marketing dollars to spend trying to chase the same traffic as the fortune 500 companies, you’d better find a niche. Instead of pursuing short-tail keywords such as “build a website,” switch to long-tail keywords such as “high-performance website design.” By doing this, you’re no longer grasping at a large audience, but instead targeting a smaller, more qualified audience.
- Give the People What They Want
Way before you start creating content, you should determine if it is in a format that will grab your audience’s attention. Do they watch videos or prefer images? Do they like long, in-depth posts or do they want bite-sized, grab-and-go information? Figuring out what format resonates with your audience is key to grabbing their attention.
- The Bare Minimum
There are 7 places your keyword simply just needs to be:the title,meta description, URL, any headlines, within the content itself, image alt-texts and in your h1 tag.
Optimization Techniques for Conversion
Congrats, you landed a reader! They’re going to love the part about the—oh, wait...they left. If the analytics are saying that readers aren’t clicking your call to action (CTA)—or even spending enough time on your page to find it—you’ve got a conversion problem.
- Don’t write for robots
All the SEO in the world isn’t going to save your blog if audiences are greeted with a wall of text composed of links and keywords. While it may be tempting to pepper in as many search engine-pleasing words as possible, your readers won’t be as happy. In fact, Google has even started punishing pages for not being people-friendly. White space, passionate writing and relevant information are all necessary to keep your readers engaged.
- Provide Guidance
You don’t ever want a reader to be left with questions after they’ve finished your post. After you’ve solved their initial problem that brought them to your site, show them the next steps to take, more problems you can help them solve and whatever else can think of to demonstrate that the right action to take is to click on your CTA.
- A/B Testing
If users aren’t clicking your CTA, maybe there is something wrong with it. Perhaps your button is too low on the page or too hidden in the text. Experiment with changing the placement, color and type of your CTA, but only focus on one element at a time so you know which change was the most efficient.
Optimization Techniques for Performance
But hey, you don’t even need to worry about what to write if your website takes nine seconds to load a page or if it isn’t mobile friendly, your audience isn’t going to read it.
- Getting up to speed
4k HD images, widgets of every kind, and a cheap hosting plan are all things that can delay your page speed and drive readers away in a heartbeat. Don’t even know your page load speed? You can check it out for free at Hubspot’s super helpful website grader tool.
- Get moving on mobile
Obviously it’s nothing new to tell businesses that their site should be mobile friendly, but what’s new is Google’s transition to its Mobile First Index . With over 55% of search traffic coming from smartphones, being mobile-friendly isn’t just an afterthought anymore, it’s priority one.
- Cleaning your code
For our tech savvy readers out there, condensing your image files is just a start. There are dozens of guides out there to dive into the nitty-gritty and make your code more efficient. Here is Keycdn’s list of proven strategies from pre-loading pages to integrating PHP7 and HHVM (whatever that means!).
How to Start Optimizing Right Now
Unlike the plants on the forest floor, you've got access to thousands of helpful guides and online tools to help you along the way. Want to start optimizing right now? Fill out your email below to be sent a free website audit to determine how optimized for SEO your site is within the hour.