The Beginner’s Guide to Web Optimization

The Beginner’s Guide to Web Optimization

To capture customer interest and drive sales conversion, users must be able to quickly and easily find your site. If they can’t, it doesn’t matter how much time and effort you’ve spent increasing page performance and creating great content — without top-tier search results, your site is effectively invisible.

And there’s no time to waste when it comes to getting noticed: Google now handles upwards of an estimated 2.2 trillion searches every year — and this number is only going up. So how do companies connect the dots between current content resources and potential search results? It all starts with web optimization — tools and techniques designed to get your site indexed by search engines and noticed when it matters most.

In this beginner’s guide, we’ll break down the basics of web optimization, tackle key techniques to improve your search standing and highlight some of the best tools available to get your site front and center.

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What is Web Optimization?

Put simply, web optimization is anything that helps your site get noticed by search engines. This starts with content that appeals to automated search engine “spiders” — pieces of code that comb the web for relevant, keyword-driven content.

But having your page found isn’t enough; your content must also pass checks for relevance, originality, and even search intent to be consistently displayed as a top result.

Given its focus on search success, web optimization is often called search engine optimization (SEO). Different SEO solution providers and industry experts have differing ideas about exactly what makes optimization efforts successful — for example, many focus on targeted keyword usage to boost your ranking for specific search terms.

And while this is both useful and potentially profitable, it’s not enough in isolation; effective web optimization requires the reevaluation of all component website parts and content to ensure the collective end result is ideally suited to satisfy search engine preferences.

But what does this look like in practice?

Key Web Optimization Techniques

Before putting time and effort into SEO and web optimization strategies it’s critical to define specific outcomes.

Here’s why: The sheer volume of tactics, tools, and techniques available to improve search-friendly design is staggering — by understanding where your website struggles and focusing your efforts to address these shortfalls you can maximize impact while limiting overall spend.

As a result, the best way to start any website optimization effort is with a complete audit of site performance and pain points. Tools such as Google’s PageSpeed Insights can identify loading and usability issues, while basic keyword research can help determine which terms your target market customers are searching for — and how your site stacks up.

For example, if you run a lawn care business in Detroit, you’ll want a high search ranking for terms like “lawn care Detroit” and “Detroit lawn service”. If searching for those terms doesn’t return your site as a top result, you’ve got work to do.

And while there’s no single, standardized solution to optimize your website, some common techniques include:

Pinpoint your market.

Before you can optimize your website, you need to define your target market. Start by identifying your ideal customer: What products or services are they looking for? How much are they willing to spend? What are their priorities when it comes to contacts, contracts and communications?

Develop your keywords.

Next, select keywords aligned with your target market and use them to return search engine results. If your site isn’t on the first page, top competitors provide key data to help optimize your content.

Optimize your content.

Great content relies on relevance; any blog post, video, podcast, or digital resource you create should be geared toward your target market. But it’s also critical to optimize your content for search engines by adding keyword-based page titles, integrating specific keywords where applicable (and without overstuffing), and developing meta-tags that highlight key concepts.

Account for user intent.

Improved, AI-driven analysis now helps companies like Google extrapolate user intent based on their search inquiry and display contextually relevant results. This makes it essential for site owners and operators to think like users rather than marketers when creating new content and optimizing site design.

Improve the user experience.

Better user experience means increased satisfaction — and can also impact your search ranking. As of 2018, Google began incorporating mobile page speed as a factor in search rankings, making improved performance a factor in favorable results.

Build better backlinks.

Backlinks from other highly-ranked sites can help organically improve your standing in search results. Best bet? Create and submit relevant, market-focused content to industry news or knowledge sites. It’s also a good idea to regularly search for your company or brand name to identify any missing attributions and ask for backlinks to be included.

Address image attributes.

Images optimization for web content is also critical. Start by giving your images file names that succinctly describe what they display; do the same for any image alt attributes. When it doubt, err on the side of plain language and straightforward descriptions — superfluous image details can result in penalties to your overall ranking.

Measure and monitor.

Effective optimization requires ongoing measurement and monitoring to ensure long-term ROI. Here’s why: As customer preferences evolve, top keywords change and search engines shift their focus. Regular evaluation of SEO efforts helps keep your optimization strategy on track.

Image Optimization for Web

The goal of any image optimization strategy is to improve web performance — and the single best way to do that is by compressing images on your site.

Compressing your images — while maintaining image quality as much as possible — is a crucial component to any broader web optimization strategy. Even if you spend hours optimizing every other facet of your site, if your image file sizes are too large, they’ll slow down your site’s overall load time — and visitors won’t wait around for them to load before bouncing.

To learn more about compressing images, check out our post on the subject here.

5 Great Web Optimization Tools

While the right techniques can help boost the impact of your site’s content and marketing campaigns, the right tools can help streamline the process and give your team more time to focus on what matters — building your brand.

With hundreds of tools now available both free and for-pay, we’ve compiled a list of useful options to help your site maximize optimization efforts.

1. HubSpot CMS

The HubSpot content management system (CMS) is a full-featured solution with optimization tools for marketers, developers, and IT teams alike. Optimized web pages can be easily created, managed and personalized for different visitors and modified to suit specific device types or conversion objectives. Interested? Try a 14-day trial to see what HubSpot CMS can do for your business.

2. Moz Local Listing Score

Moz uses multiple data sources to see how your local business listings are performing across the web. Designed for companies with brick-and-mortar storefronts, Moz shows how your listings compare and offers suggestions to help correct inaccurate data or supply more detailed, SEO-friendly information. Basic Moz checks are free, while more in-depth results come with a monthly fee.

3. Google Analytics

If you want to know how your site is performing across the world’s biggest search network, start with Google Analytics. This free tool provides both critical site metrics and actionable data about user behavior at scale to help better tailor online content and campaigns and rank higher in search results.

4. Ahrefs Backlink Checker

As noted above, great backlinks can help boost your site’s ranking in search engines and drive referral traffic. Ahrefs Backlink Checker lets you see the top 100 backlinks to your site to help improve linking strategy and drive better search results. The trial version of this tool is free, while the premium option comes with a monthly cost.

Worth noting? You can also use this backlink checker to evaluate competitor sites and capitalize on gaps in keyword strategies.

5. Google Keyword Planner

Google makes the list again with their keyword planner. This tool not only identifies the search volume of specific terms but also suggests potentially relevant keywords that reflect user intent and may not be on your marketing radar, in turn opening new avenues to help boost your site’s overall relevance and ranking.

Optimally Speaking

Want to boost conversions and generate better ROI? Make sure your site gets noticed with targeted website optimization.

Start with an evaluation of current site performance, then implement key strategies to capture the attention of popular search engine spiders. Finally, deploy the right tools at the right time to automate key processes and discover new optimization opportunities.

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10 Top Landing Page Optimization Tips to Boost Conversions

10 Top Landing Page Optimization Tips to Boost Conversions

Top 10 Tips for Landing Page Optimization | Online Expert 360

10 Top Landing Page Optimization Tips to Boost Conversions

Landing pages are a crucial element to any marketing strategy. They are also a big challenge for marketers. It takes a lot of experimenting, optimizing and observing to get things right.

But companies who do succeed, see the growth in conversions. For example, a study concluded that companies with more landing pages could generate a 55% growth and, even though, most landing pages have about 1-3 percent conversion rate, there are a lot of cases in which the numbers are well into the double-digits.

Here are some tips and tricks on how to optimize your landing pages:

1. Test Your Landing Pages

There is no better way of knowing what appeals to your audience the most than experimenting.

Create two identical landing pages and change details like font color, images, videos, CTA etc. This method is most commonly known as split testing or A/B testing. It will make it easier for you to track how your audience behaves and which page works better.

This is not a one-time thing since you’ll have to continuously update and optimize the pages to come-up with a good end-result.

Another thing that you should definitely test and pay attention to is the loading speed. If it’s anything more than two to three seconds, potential users will take off. Even though it’s optimal that you add imagery and videos to your landing page, you should try to make them as fast as possible. In other words, sometimes speed outranks images.

2. Implement Social Proof

Social proof is a good way to get people to trust you more. If you say that, for example, a lot of people have already used your service and have been satisfied with it, more people will come. This is pure psychology – people feel safer if they know that something has been tested before.

You can take it a step further and put a few customer reviews in there or a newspaper article about your achievements, certificates, badges etc.

All of this is to create a sense of safety for your customers and invite them into this community of happy consumers.

3. Understand Your Goals 

This is a pretty obvious one, but many companies and websites don’t quite get the hang of it completely. You see, the point of the landing page is to achieve your goal – one goal, not more. These companies include multiple offers and CTA’s and it can be quite confusing for the user.

The key is to present them with one solution in order to keep them focused and not let them get distracted.

Velaro, for instance, does a great job of talking about and presenting only one offer – the importance of live chat and how that could benefit a business. They offer a free download in turn for some information.

4. Use Images and Videos

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s hard to get someone to actually read what you have to say. People would rather skim through than pay attention and stick to a body of text. This is why you need to bring out the necessary emotions by using compelling imagery and informative videos.

When it comes to images, you should always keep them in sync. Your page header should complement the rest of the images. They should represent what you are trying to say and help you achieve your goals. You can find images on photo stocks or hire a photographer to take pictures specifically for that occasion.

Code Academy are masters at this – they use simple images with a lot of meaning. Breather, a website that finds meeting rooms for companies, is another great example as they introduce the viewer to peaceful and calming environments in their pictures.

Videos are a great way to provide information in a human way. Video content is popular and a great way to introduce your customers to an influencer who can make your business seem more trustworthy and inviting.

5. Create a Compelling Aesthetic

It’s all about your landing page looking good.

Along with videos and images, there are a few other important things that you can do:

  • Create a seamless flow of text
  • Make your page easy to navigate
  • Use clean designs and plenty of white space
  • Use complementary and contrasting colors
  • Use beautiful but easy-to-read fonts

There are plenty more things that you could do to optimize the visual aspects of your landing page. You can talk to designers, other companies or marketers and figure out what will work for you. There are plenty of community blogs that offer just this – Word Stream, for example.

6. Work on Your Written Content

Quality written content is easily the key to a successful conversion. It takes a lot of work to come up with the perfect lines of concise and appealing text.

There are a few things that you need to keep in mind:

  • Landing Page SEO – make sure that your landing page is SEO-friendly

“Many companies forget this entirely but it’s extremely valuable for your landing page to be SEO-friendly. There are a couple of reasons for that – it will make your page easier to find and it will help your overall SEO ranking. Don’t forget to optimize your landing page or to follow the best practices in landing page SEO just because it’s not a priority,” says Tina Jerrod, a SEO specialist from BestAustralianWriters.com.

  • Proofread!

Spelling and grammar mistakes are easy to avoid and a text without them is nothing special. But just think about how people would react to a content full of mistakes. This could ruin your reputation in front of your customers. If you are not much of a proofreader yourself, use tools.

  • Keep your content informative but concise

A landing page is not a good spot for you to go on and on about your offer. It’s perfectly fine to implement a short text packed with information and add, for example, a FAQ option that will answer any additional question. You can find this on Lyft’s landing page and it provides an invaluable clarity for the readers.

  • Learn how to properly format your text.

A wall of text will never do Use bold font for everything important, emphasize certain parts with italic, use subheadings and bullet points to keep everything readable and good-looking.

7. Include CTAs

Calls to action can often seem like they are only a button, but that is the best way to push users into action. The conversion rate of visitors converting on a landing page is affected by the CTA. Everything about them should be impeccable.

Use bold color, readable font and a message that encompasses everything that you are trying to achieve. The size of the button matters as well – don’t go overboard with a huge button that will scare them away. Make sure that it’s visible and easy to click on – both on the computer and on a mobile device.

For more information about marketing strategies for calls to action, visit marketing sites like Marketing Land.

Also, take a look at some of the popular websites and see how they handle CTA’s. Neil Patel, for instance, represents everything that a CTA should be on his homepage.

8. Optimize Landing Page Form Fields

People don’t like filling out form fields, plain and simple. However, if you make that experience seamless and entertaining, you are on your way to landing page greatness. Create a fun concept, or segment your form fields where users can track their progress.

There are companies that handle this really well.

Unbounce, for example, doesn’t even have a traditional form field but they get information from their users through a chat window. Bills.com uses multiform to attract customers by asking them how much of debt they have and then move on to gathering information from them. Landbot does a similar thing to Unbounce but enhances it by providing emoji and gif options in their chat information-gathering window.

9. Develop Trust and Consistency

This one isn’t easy. It takes time and patience. However, there are some things that you can do immediately to improve the trust users have in your company or website.

  1. Display your contact info – phone number, email address, physical address, etc. MyHouse.com does this and it definitely improves their business results and conversion rates. Being straightforward and easy to reach gives you credibility.
  2. Don’t oversell. This is a sure way to disappoint your users. Be honest about what you offer and then, if you have a way, surprise your users with something extra. This will be unexpected and it will make your users happy. It’s always better to underpromise and overdeliver, than the other way around.
  3. Keep your campaign consistent. This is essential. Make sure that all the messages you are sending out through various funnels are identical. Being inconsistent is what makes your customers doubt you.
  4. Show a face. People like to see a human behind the brand. Show a picture of you with your team or someone from your organization. A smiling face is even better, it promotes trust from the get-go.

10. Create an Offer

To be perfectly honest, even if you do all of the things above, you still might not see a difference. People are sometimes just not that keen on giving their information if they can’t see what’s in it for them immediately.

Make them an offer that will pay off as soon as they subscribe. This could be a book, a helpful guide, a discount or something for free. People love those things and will gladly subscribe if you offer them instant gratification in some way.

Conclusion

Creating a perfect landing page is not an easy feat. It requires thoughtfulness and a lot of strategizing. However, it’s a good way to gather information and garner a faithful audience. Following these tips is just a beginning to what will be a struggle of optimizing and updating as technologies and preferences change. Being on top of things is a good idea.

For now, though, implement a few of these landing page tips – or all of them – and watch your numbers grow.

Rachel Summers

Social Media Professional

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