- By Joël Franssen
- 23 March 2020
It is best not to start optimizing your website at random. You will undoubtedly be most successful if you define a clear step-by-step plan in advance.
- Search engine optimization
Technical – Is your website working properly?
Findability – Can search engines analyze your website?
Content – Is your website showing up for the relevant search terms?
- Conversion optimization
User Experience – Can your website visitors easily reach their goal?
Call to Action – Are your visitors convinced enough to choose your products or services?
SEARCH ENGINE Optimization
You may have a beautiful super intuitive website, but if search engines don’t know it exists, you will bring few, if any, visitors to your website. The first, and probably most important step, is making sure Google, Bing and the like know what your website is about.
You have a lot of online tools available that offer a technical analysis of your website. Of course, Applic Group can also do this for you.
Thanks to our completely free technical analysis of your website, you will immediately know where the work points for a smoothly performing website are.
Some important technical points in a row:
Your visitors decide very quickly whether they will stay on your website or not. A slow website causes frustration, so it is best to keep the load time of your pages as low as possible.
These handy tools will give you insight into the loading time of your pages:
Remove dead links
“Hmm. We can’t find that web page.” is undoubtedly the most annoying message your visitors can see. Scan your website regularly for broken links to avoid presenting your visitors with pages that do not exist or no longer exist.
These handy tools will get you started:
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)
An SSL certificate ensures a secure connection between your website and the web server. On the basis of a secure key, data is sent encrypted, so that it is unusable if intercepted. SSL is indispensable for sending passwords, credit card numbers and personal data.
Are search engines able to read the content of your website? Is the structure of your website clear to search engines? Which pages can search engines view? And which ones won’t?
Some common issues that get in the way of your findability:
An XML Sitemap is like a roadmap for your website. Both the actual location and the mutual relations between pages become clear to search engines thanks to the XML Sitemap.
Using the robots.txt file you can deny search engines access to certain pages. Think for example of the shopping cart of your webshop or the page with the general terms and conditions. By making it clear to search engines which pages they may or may not index, you ensure that your crawl budget is better spent and search engines more easily index your entire site in a single visit.
HTML is the underlying code of your website. The better this HTML code conforms to predefined standards; the better search engines are able to analyze and understand it.
For what keywords is your website showing up? Are these keywords being used effectively by your visitors? Are the keywords used correctly within your pages? Are you making optimal use of the meta section of your website?
Some common content issues:
The right keywords
When determining the right keywords, we distinguish 2 types; ‘short key’ keywords and ‘long key’ keywords. Short key keywords are search terms that consist of a single word (e.g. SEO). Because this type of search terms is by far the most used, they also offer the most opportunities. Unfortunately, the competition for these keywords is usually enormous.
For that reason, it is important to look for search terms that are more specific to your website. Long key keywords are search terms that consist of 2 or more words. (e.g. SEO optimization website) Although these types of keyword phrases are less used, they lean closer to the subject of your website making it – usually – easier to become visible for these words.
Some useful tools:
- Google Ads Keyword Planner (u heeft een Ads campagne nodig om deze tool te kunnen gebruiken)
- MOZ keyword explorer
On page optimization
Now that you know which keywords can provide the most opportunities, start incorporating these keywords into your pages. We list the most important tags for a title=”SEO” href=”/en/rank-higher-in-google/”>SEO:
Title tag: This text can be found in the top bar of your browser. Most CMS systems have a separate field to fill in this value.
Meta description: This text is displayed in the Google search results. The influence on your effective position is minimal. Use it mainly to convince your potential visitors to click on your link.
URL: With most CMS systems, this value is easy to set. Always make sure that your main search term appears in the URL.
Header tags: Thanks to header tags (h1, 2, 3, …) you can divide your content into clearly understandable sections. Header tags are similar to titles in a text.
Tekst: Of course, effective text should also reflect what your important keywords are. Incorporate the keywords naturally into your text for optimal results.
Now that you are bringing the right visitors to your website, the goal is of course to turn those visitors into customers. Many website owners lose sight of the needs of their visitors in their search for optimal visibility.
Websites are made for visitors, not for Google!!
Usually you know exactly what you expect from the visitors to your website. But do your visitors know that?
Make sure the goal of your website is clear and that your visitors can reach that goal without any problem. Do you want to expand your customer base? Do you want to sell your products? Do you want to build a community around your brand?
Your website or webshop may be super beautiful, but if the content you share with your visitors is not perceived as relevant, few visitors will reach their goal. With unique, original content that is tailored to your target audience, you will without a doubt achieve the best results.
Long pieces of text are considered boring by most website visitors. Short sentences and paragraphs are appreciated by your visitors. Lists, images and graphics enhance your content. If you highlight the most important words in bold or italic, your visitors will devour your content without a doubt.
A good text is a scannable text!
Call to action
The “call to action” is the final push your visitors need to reach their goal. The call to action (CTA for short) makes it clear to the visitor what action he or she can take. “Read more” or “Request a quote” are without a doubt the most common. Whether every CTA with this wording actually leads to more conversion is another matter.
A good Call to Action is indispensable for improved conversion. Unfortunately, there are no unequivocal guidelines for what works and what doesn’t. Test the message!
By varying the color, shape, and text of your CTA, you can test which combination creates the most online conversion.
Recent studies have shown that orange is the color that creates the most conversions. The concept is known in the world of online marketing as BOB, or the Big Orange Button. Yet this is certainly not the case in all situations.
A call to action should stand out above all else!
Choose a contrasting color for your CTA and experiment. Only by testing, can you find out which color generates the most conversion with your visitors.
The format of your CTA is also important. Obviously, your call to action should be large enough so that it stands out on your page. A border, hover effect or shadow will also make your CTA look clickable. Sharp corners are perceived as more aggressive than rounded corners (Bouba/Kiki effect). Experiment with the shape of your call to action to see which button works best for your visitors.
The effective message you use on your CTA is also important. Make sure your message is simple, clear and speaks directly to your visitor. Adding a second message, just like offering a choice, will reinforce your message.
So, don’t use deadpan phrases like “click here” or “read more,” but speak plainly.
Or check out other interesting files
Which button would you most like to click?