Audit Your Website and Get Started
To move your website and sales into a higher gear often requires you to take a good look at your website. Here’s a check list of tips which you should consider doing the next time you decide to clean and improve your website.
- Make sure you do not clutter your website with useless links. Have a consistent navigation throughout your site.
- Consider adding a nice looking sitemap and search box to your website. If a visitor can not find what he is looking for, chances are he/she will try the search or site map. (If search, you may even gain new insights you can use when doing future site improvements.)
- Consider using mouse tracking solutions to see, e.g. visualized using heat maps, where users are looking when viewing your website.
- If you are selling products, be sure to simplify the purchase process as much as possible. Keep sign-up fields and choices to an absolute minimum.
- Provide contact information. It builds confidence in customers that they can email or call you if they have questions.
- Tailor your website to the purpose it serves. The layout and navigation should differ depending on if you are selling many or few products.
- If you instead of using crisp looking layout (which of course is subjective) use a boring looking website to present your products, you risk scaring off potential customers.
Using logs and other website analytic solutions can help you in a wide range of cases:
- Identify pages with relative low conversion and high bounce rates.
- Which countries give the best converting traffic and sales. (You may want to test different landing page prices as well when determining this.)
- Which sites give you high quality traffic. These are ideal candidates for focused advertising.
- Identify search queries you could bid higher on in e.g. AdWords and AdCenter.
- Always be running split tests if possible. Just like when testing different ads, you should be testing headlines, graphics etc. to see which help your landing pages the most.
Search Engine Optimization
Having done the other above things, you can start optimizing your website for organic search:
- Take care in getting your important keywords and phrases in page titles and headers. Consider which keywords best describe your products, which keywords convert better and finally which keywords may be the easiest to rank for. You can research the competition for specific search phrases to help you with the latter.
- Take care in making page titles and META descriptions unique and enticing. Sometimes, depending on the search query and other factors, search engines will show these in the search results. It is not just when doing PPC click-through-rate matters. While you may not be able to improve your position in organic search, you can still improve the amount of traffic you get from it.
- Beyond creating standard XML sitemaps, you may also consider creating image and video sitemaps to help search engines index your content faster.
- Submit your best work to high quality sites. It could be link list articles (e.g. “best tools for xyz”), website directories, social networks and similar.
- Mix your site marketing techniques. After the Panda and Penguin Google algorithm updates, you should be careful to never overdo anything that could be considered gray hat. This, however, is a moving target with e.g. now attribution links being a possible problem with regards to the Google Penguin algorithm update.
- Research sites that are ranking higher than you. Do they have better backlinks? More varied or focused anchor text? Better domain name? Redirects from other pages and/or domains? More or less SEO keyword optimized pages? Determining these things can help you discover new SEO strategies you can apply to your own sites and pages.
- Consider writing blog posts and articles which you submit to online magazines and major blogs in your niche, the latter is often referred to as guest posting. Doing these things will help brand your name and business. However, the downside to this is that you only rarely can benefit from posting the articles on your own website, primarily because of duplicate content issues and agreements you made with the site your guest posted for.
- Make it extremely easy for your visitors to tell other people of your products. An obvious thing nowadays is to add social like buttons on your website. However, you can also try entice people through newsletters, free reports, competitions and similar.
Running Your Website Like a Boss
- Outsource when applicable. For instance, I am not able to design even the most simple graphics without spending hours on it. While hiring professionals can appear to be a costly solution, you can get started with services like fiverr and Elance. You can always move on to more expensive and professional solutions later on should the need arise.