Why do you need to care about SEO? Well, SEO helps to bring increased visibility to your content. In turn, this increase in visibility can become an increase in customers. More eyeballs, more conversion rate opportunities!
Successful SEO is dependent on search engines correctly interpreting your content so they can determine where it should rank. Conversion rates depend on humans being convinced by this content to make them buy or sign up.
Traditionally, SEO and Conversion have been seen as separate digital marketing channels yet, as Google’s algorithm becomes more intelligent, it is rewarding higher rankings to web pages that demonstrate relevance, easy navigation, and rich content.
It can be a challenge for business owners and entrepreneurs to help both humans and search engine crawlers better understand precisely what their web content is about, but with better rankings, more organic traffic, and higher conversion rates as the objective, the challenge is well worth taking on.
Knowing what exactly is required on a webpage isn't as complicated as you might think and to help get you on track, I've broken down my top tips for better SEO rankings and higher conversion rates.
Approaching content creation with a trial and error methodology may seem faster in the short term but is a big waste of time in the long run.
A web page that is stuffed with text , videos or images, and no uniform structure or content plan might be quick to create but will do you no favours. There's no point crossing our fingers and hoping that our content will rank high and do its role in convincing others to sign up or buy our product.
I prefer to use a process that is structured and logical, and the below eight points are what I would do when creating a new webpage.
SEO is a continuous project that needs consistent updates and research, especially when you're up against powerful competitors. There are more elements to SEO including creating a link building plan, but that's for another day.
For now, let's concentrate on getting your web pages ranked so we can enhance your user experience, and improve conversion rates.
8 Tips for SEO and Conversion
1. Title Tags
It’s essential to write title tags that are clear and concise for search engines. Google usually displays the first 70 characters of a title tag, so it's best to remain within that range.
Also, it’s important to include keyword phrases you wish to rank for in a way that sounds both natural and engaging; base your titles on keyword research that is relevant to your target audience and visitors.
If a title is tedious, confusing, or spammy, searchers typically won’t click, and if they don’t click, Google will be less likely to rank your page, and you lose potential conversions.
2. Meta Description
Whilst meta descriptions are not a linear ranking factor; they can impact click-through rates; thus improving your organic traffic efforts.
A meta description is what is displayed in the search engine results. As with the title tag, if a narrative is tedious, confusing or spammy; searchers won’t bother visiting your website, losing not only traffic but potential business.
Google typically displays up to about 160 characters of a meta description tag, so make it this long.
Again, it’s critical to include keyword phrases you wish to rank for in a way that sounds both logical and engaging. It is these keyword phrases that will be displayed in bold, drawing searchers attention.
3. Bread Crumbs
Whilst visitors don’t need to use breadcrumbs to find the homepage, from an SEO perspective, breadcrumbs play a valuable role in SEO and your page or website's ranking abilities.
Breadcrumbs are simple text links that allow visitors to retrace their path from their current page back to their landing page. They should be located near the top of your webpages and accurately reflect the URL structure of your website.
Breadcrumbs aid search engines to better understand your content from a hierarchical perspective. By displaying how pages on your website relate to each other, they ensure that the correct pages rank for the right topics.
However, they also play a pivotal role in user experience by making it easier for visitors to navigate throughout a website, especially those websites with a correct multilevel URL structure.
This increases both trust in your brand and time on the webpage, thus boosting its relevancy signals to search engines.
People don’t read, they scan.
Visitors generally look for something more specific or something that catches their interest - this is where subheadings come in.
Subheadings break text into smaller, more logical sections. Including subheading in your content enables visitors to scroll directly to the content they want to read.
Subheadings also help search engines better interpret your content by demonstrating a hierarchy of the content published on the said page. By using heading tags from H1 down to H6 appropriately, both search engines and people can assess the importance of content sections. You do not need to use all six levels; in most cases, three or four will be adequate.
The smart use of images within your pages offers additional information and context that plain words cannot. It is imperative that all images provide value and further add to the message of your content.
Skip the meaningless stock photos of business people shaking hands, sitting in meetings, or randomly smiling for no apparent reason.
Map images and locations
Images demonstrating how to perform an action or task
If you must use stock images or photos, ensure they are cropped and adequately formatted to fit the web page. Use software to make some excellent banner designs - this will not only demonstrate professionalism but will be more eye-catching to the visitor.
Moreover, it is not enough to include useful images, though, because search engines can’t yet understand pictures on their own. You can help them understand what the image is about by correctly naming image files, using image alt and title attributes.
Tip: Image files should be named in a way that briefly describes the contents. Please don’t go stuffing it with keywords.
An accurate and identifying one-to-five word file name is satisfactory.
Concerning the alt attribute, the purpose is to provide supplementary information to visually impaired visitors. The key here is to include a summary describing what is in the image.
Plus, if an image happens to be a clickable link, the title attribute should explain what the visitor will expect if they click the link.
According to research from Cisco, video traffic will be 82% of all IP traffic (both consumer and business) by 2022, up from 75 per cent in 2017.
That statistic demonstrates the critical role video is now playing in digital marketing. It will only become more imperative as consumers insatiable demand for video content only grows.
From an SEO perspective, a video is a powerful cog in creating a positive user experience by:
Presenting information in a format people are more likely to consume
Foster brand recognition
Demonstrate authority and expertise in your industry
Plus, the use of video should keep visitors on your webpage longer, this reduces your bounce rate and increases the likelihood they will engage with your brand.
Moreover, your videos can be published on YouTube, potentially reaching a new, untapped audience and driving them back to your website.
When a visitor lands on a page from a search engine, they are searching for a unique piece of information.
If you make it harder for them to find that information, the visitor will likely abandon the page, and turn to a more easy-to-navigate competitor instead.
How do you make it easy for visitors to find exactly what they’re looking for? By creating a sitemap as either an ordered or unordered list - and from there hyperlinking the anchor text to the titles of your webpages. Namely, these are placed at the bottom of all webpages.
When implemented correctly, Schema can boost how your brand and web pages are displayed in the search engine result pages. Whilst schema is not a corresponding ranking factor; it does aid search engines to better interpret your content, thus improving ranking.
When you review a search engine, you will have noticed pages include reviews, featured images, event dates and restaurant menus. This is the result of Schema - and applications from Google to Pinterest are already using the Schema vocabularies to power experiences that are extensible and rich.
Almost 10 million websites currently use Schema. As more webpages are created, Schema will become more and more relevant, especially as voice search gains popularity.
So, focus on including:
Businesses and Organizations
Businesses creating landing pages should prioritize on well-placed structure and text, clean design, and strong CTAs to ensure stable organic rankings and high conversions.
So don’t just take a stab in the dark - follow this anatomy of a webpage and you will see your pages boosted in both SEO and conversions.
If you want further SEO tips and tricks check out our Big Book of SEO below.