If you’ve been in business for any time at all, you probably have a good understanding of website optimization “basics”. However, online competition is growing at a rapid pace and taking website optimization to the next level will no longer be an option, but a necessity if you want to your brand to stand out from the competition. First and foremost, your website needs to pass the five-second test: Can visitors tell exactly what problem your company solves in the first five seconds of visiting the home page? And can they reach you from there? If your answer to either of these questions is no, you have some work to do.
- Don’t Hide
If social media is a focus for your brand, be sure to put your social links at the top of the website’s home page (as well as interior pages). Don’t hide those links toward the bottom of your website if you’re trying to drive traffic to them. Likewise, contact information should be at the top of the pages, preferably in the top-right corner. That doesn’t mean a link to your contact information; put an actual phone number and/or a general email address to make it easy to communicate with your brand.
- Make Navigation Easy
Having an easy-to-navigate website is key to a great user experience; you want visitors to be able to find the information they need quickly. In fact, you can help that navigation along with a great, simple top navigation bar as well as a comprehensive site map that flows with how a customer would interact with your company and buy from you.
- Ask and Ye Shall Receive
Speaking of buying, remember to actually ask for the sale! Make your call to action clear, straightforward, and visible, meaning it’s “above the fold”—where the customer will see it upon loading the page. While different pages on the site may have different calls to action, put your key driver on the home page, whether that’s to buy or sign up or whatever. You may want to create a two-step lead-conversion process that allows potential customers to share their interest and then buy in to a service or a longer sales process, through email marketing, for instance.
- Make Optimization a Focus
In the realm of SEO, be sure to optimize your website for all the ways your customers may interact with it: desktop, phone and tablet. That means you’ll need to have proper meta descriptions and title tags as well as a quick-to-load site. Both of those are integral to how your site will rank on search engines. If you’re taking online payments, it’s imperative that you have the proper SSL certificates; Google will penalize you if you don’t. You can quickly and easily test your website using Moz.com or Google’s PageSpeed to see how it fares.
- Encourage Positive Reviews
Ask customers for reviews on Google, Yelp and Facebook. Having five-star Google reviews actually helps your site rank higher, so they’re not just a “nice to have.” For the same reason, you should create and maintain a complete Google My Business profile and be listed in Google local guides. The latter will weigh heavier for SEO in the coming year.
Clearly, there is a lot of tactics that need to be applied if you want to rank for SEO. If we can assist you with your website optimization needs, don’t hesitate to reach out! We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 480-305-2017.