22 Dec Getting Your Website Ready for Search Engines
Let’s talk a moment about websites and website upgrades. You’ve done one, right? I know that pretty much everyone who’s reading this right now has a website for business or is about to build one… and one of the questions that I frequently get is, “Paul, how can I make sure that my website is ready for search engines?”
This question usually applies to people who are building a new site or doing a substantial upgrade to their current site (which is something I recommend at least once each 2 years to keep it fresh for customers).
Here are my top tips that you can use as a checklist to help you the next time you’re looking to update your site, or even to make change so that you START to get found in search engines.
(1) Make sure that your site has a clearly defined purpose.
– What are your goals for the site? This could be product sale or newsletter subscription or content sharing etc. There are many different goals that a site can have. You need to define at least two; a primary goal and a secondary goal and then make sure that your site is built to ACHIEVE those goals.
(2) Have a clearly defined understanding of what your CUSTOMERS’ goals would be when looking for a site like yours that comes up in the search results.
– The problem is that OUR goals and our customers goals don’t always align. It’s essential that you know what your customers want and *how* they want it. re they really looking to buy a product or are they just looking for more information on that product? The best way to know of course is to ask them via an online survey (or poll your existing customers)
(3) Once you understand your customers goals, go back and make changes to your site as needed. Make sure that EVERY page on your site has some kind of call to action…even if it’s just to ‘visit another page’. Guide your customers towards the fulfilment of your goals.
Example: Your primary goal is to sell a product. Your customer’s primary goals is to learn more about the product and do product / price comparison. You could have a dedicated page to listing the top difference between your product and your competitor’s; but then ask them to ‘download’ a video of the two products side-by-side in action… that gives you a chance to SHOW THEM your product while at the same time gaining a name and email address for follow up marketing via an auto responder… building your database of prospects (a secondary goal).
Which leads people to your primary goal… selling your product.
And you’re thinking, which has NOTHING to do with search engines, right? Wrong. It has everything to do with search engines!
Here’s the biggest problem that most people make when it comes to SEO… they optimise their pages for search results and NOT for conversions!
Truth is, I don’t care HOW MANY visitors you get from the search engines, I care about the number of CUSTOMERS you get!
See the difference.
So the first thing that you need to do to get your site ready for search is to build a CONVERSION website. The SECOND thing is to build search engine optimised pages, jam-packed full of information about your product type / your service type (note – it’s about the type of thing you offer, not the thing itself)…and each and every one of these pages include all the usually SEO features as like was listed in last week’s issue “Your On-Page SEO Checklist” and also has a good call to action to CLICK-THROUGH to one of your CONVERSION PAGES at the end of it.
People get pissed off at people trying to sell them stuff all the time. Stop trying to sell them stuff and EDUCATE THEM. Let them know that you want to do more than just have them buy; make it clear that you also want to address their questions, and look deeper into their needs and ANSWER their search queries.
That’s the key.
I watched a video today of some Guru telling people that the answer to the latest Google update was to target long-tail keywords. No, no, no! The answer is to stop targeting keywords and start targeting customers!
- What do they want to know?
- What else is there on the subject?
- Are there related subjects?
- Are there answers?
These are the things that need addressing, not just keywords.
And THAT is the KEY to getting your suite ready for search engines.
Here’s a video on my YouTube Channel with more thoughts
Have a great day.
– Paul Barrs