MarilynMonroeWhen it comes to optimizing your website content there are more than a few factors to consider. The first goal is to get people to visit your site. Next, you’ll want to keep visitors engaged for as long as possible. And, ultimately, you’ll want visitors to take a desired action. When creating and refining website copy, it’s important to get visitors’ attention and keep it long enough to sell them on your product or service… Marilyn Monroe might even agree.

“It’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absoluely boring.” – Marilyn Monroe

Give ’em what they want! – Check out Google Analytics or your preferred web analytics tool to see which search terms are driving visits and conversions. Google’s Keyword Research tool is also a great resource to find new relevant keywords you may not currently be optimizing on your site. Once you have a list of terms related to your business or services, as well as those phrases visitors are using to find your site, you can begin to optimize content to correspond to those keywords. However, as George Aspland mentions in his post on “How to Prioritize Keywords for Optimization,” not all keywords will be easy to rank for in Google searches. If a keyword is a top-searched word it may be fairly competitive and prove tough to rank for. You can easily see how competitive a keyword search is by performing an Exact Phrase search (put quotes around the keyword when searching for it in Google) to see how many files have been indexed with the keyword in content (i.e. “email marketing”); or an AllinTitle Search (search for the keyword in quotes with the phrase allintitle preceding it, i.e., allintitle: “email marketing”) to give you the number of HTML page titles that contain the keyword in Google’s index.

After determining which keywords are most competitive and deciding which ones you would like to go after, you can begin to alter the text on your site, page headlines or meta description tags to include them. Wherever you decide to manipulate the copy on your pages to correlate with keywords, keep content useful and make sure it sounds natural. You wouldn’t want to do the work to rank for keywords and then put off visitors or lose quality interaction with awkward content that was clearly manipulated to increase search engine rankings.

AllinTitle Keyword Search

Along those same lines, useful content will increase the rate of repeat visitors you have to your site, while helping to increase your search engine rankings. A blog is a great tactic to provide quality information to visitors while simultaneously helping your Google rank by including fresh content. Google’s goal is to rank sites that are most useful to its users the highest. So in layman’s terms, the best way to increase your rankings and keep them high is to provide content that answers search inquiries and gives visitors the information they’re looking for. By providing valuable content, you’ll attract more visitors overall, which will help increase your placement since Google also factors number of website visits when determining search engine rankings.

What do you want visitors to do? Before you make any decisions regarding the layout, content or images on your webpage, you’ll want to ask yourself why you want people to visit your site. Define what you consider a website conversion. Your priority may be for visitors to sign up for a free trial, purchase a product directly from the site, fill out a web-to-lead form or phone you directly. Regardless of which desired action you want visitors to take, it’s important to make the path to conversion as clear as possible. If your ultimate goal is for visitors to call, make sure your phone number is accessible, keep it above the fold (on the top half of the page) and give visitors a compelling reason to pick up the phone.

Marilyn Monroe once said, “It’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” I’m not suggesting you alter your site to make it ridiculous, but you get the gist. If visitors are bored with your site, it means you’re not selling your products or services well. Ultimately, you have to get visitors’ attention and keep it long enough to sell them on your product or service. Impress them by including testimonials on what your products or services have done for customers, include enticing images and videos that display the quality of your products and/or give them details on the ROI of your services. Your site is often the first interaction individuals will have with your brand. You’ll want to leave a lasting impression by making it apparent what it is you do and how well you do it. And, now more than ever, it’s key to include social icons on all of your pages to allow visitors to easily like and share your useful content on their own social feeds. This social momentum will help accelerate your SEO efforts and drive more traffic to your site.

If you’re going to make extensive changes to your site’s content or layout, it’s a good idea to perform a split test to see which page performs the best before completely turning one off. You can monitor overall visits and keyword conversions in Google Analytics or Optimizely, and perform A/B split tests or multivariate experiments to monitor your changes.

If you’re yearning for more on search engine marketing, we’ve got a great webinar for that: Get the Most Bang for Your Pay Per Click Buck.

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