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8 principles for high Google rankings through user optimization
Do you offer your website visitors the best possible user experience?
It's important because it's the building block of high rankings and conversions.
You may think your website is providing useful information and deserves to be ranked high in Google search results, but the real question you should be asking yourself is, "What are people thinking?"
User optimization refers to creating memorable experiences for your users so that they can read your content and then take the right steps (e.g. subscribe to your email list and buy your product)
Optimizing your content for users improves your conversion rates and organic rankings, both of which are critical to business success.According to MarketingSherpa, 80% of marketers think increasing overall conversions is a high priority for their website optimization programs.
Here are 8 user optimization principles that will help you improve Google rankings and increase conversion rates as soon as you implement them on your website.
1. Optimize your loading time
How do you feel when you visit a website that loads like an old snail uphill?
Even if the page contains exactly the information you're looking for, it doesn't make a difference. That's just not a good first impression.
At 3.33 seconds I thought my page was loading fast, but there is still room for improvement.
Nobody wants to wait forever for a website. I hate slow loading pages. You also. I'd rather switch to a competitor's site if the site I'm visiting is too slow - even if my best friend were the owner.
Time is money, and wasting any of it isn't the best way to start a business online. People expect a page to load in 2 seconds or less.
A study by Akamai and Gomez of 1,048 online shoppers revealed that 47% of people expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40% to leave a website in more than 3 seconds.
The loading time is actually the first impression you make on your existing and future customers.
They haven't seen the content or visited your About Us page yet. They don't yet know how valuable your insights are. But the speed of your side definitely leaves an impression.
When everything else is balanced, pages that load in 1-2 seconds convert better than those that take 4-5 seconds.
TagMan carried out a test in collaboration with the online optician Glasses Direkt to examine page speed and conversion behavior.
This test measured the influence of the average loading time of a page on the conversion probability of a user. Unsurprisingly, a strong association was found. At about two seconds, the conversion rate began to drop, 6.7% for every additional second.
Research published in May by QuBit based on a survey of 60,000 customers across 80 websites from various fields showed that slow loading pages costing merchants billions due to lost sales.
The study measured the average conversion rate of online shoppers (4.35%) with the value of online sales worldwide (£ 496 billion or approximately $ 701 billion USD). Based on that estimate, online retailers could fare £ 1.73bn, or $ 2.5bn USD per year, worse.
The consequences of a one-second delay are huge. If your site loads faster, you can see a dramatic improvement in user engagement.
Optimization for users means that they come first when designing your website. Instead of going for a stunning or pretty design that loads forever, move on to minimalism; Choose a fast, simple and easy-to-navigate website for your users.
Google hates slow sites too. When Google ranks slow pages higher than faster ones, it knows that people are starting to use other search engines. So that doesn't happen.
Google rewards sites that quickly provide users with the information they want. This became particularly clear when Google presented its Speed Online Tool in 2011.
A description of the tool can be found in the central webmaster blog:
Page speed is one of the ranking factors that Google uses to rank pages like yours and mine. Moz points out that page relevance is still much more important, and page speed only affects your search query by 1%.
Nevertheless, the loading time can and should be improved whenever possible - not only for the sake of search rankings, but also to improve your overall user experience and conversion rate.
If you want people to visit your site, recommend you to others and buy your products, you should optimize your page elements so that they load within 2 seconds. According to Strange Loop, a one-second delay can result in a 7% drop in sales.
Fortunately, there are a ton of ways to improve page speed. First of all, you have to determine your current loading time.
One of the most effective ways to test your load time, besides checking the average (more on this later), is to compare your site with that of your competitors.
Follow these simple steps:
i). First step: Go to Whichloadsfaster.com. This simple tool measures with an accuracy of 100ms. A small pop-up window will appear explaining the deviations in web performance; just click “Got it” once you've read it.
ii). Second step: Enter your page URL in the left search bar and your competitor's URL in the right. Then click on “Go”.
iii). Third step: Compare the loading times.
Interestingly, Whichloadsfaster.com shows that NeilPatel.com loads faster than MarketingLand.com.
I know it feels good when your site is faster than your competitor's, but is it fast enough for your users? Remember that as an advertiser, you are not recruiting competitors, but your target audience.
Since the average loading time is 2 seconds, it is essential to check whether your page loads within this period. Follow these simple steps to determine your current loading time:
i). First step: Go to the Pingdom Speed Test Tool. On the homepage, enter your page URL in the search bar. Then select “Test Now”:
ii). Second step: Analyze your page speed. At NeilPatel.com, it's currently around 1.01 seconds, which is below the industry's 2-second average.
If your loading time is longer than 2 seconds, you can easily optimize your web pages by using the following sources:
2. Get the CONVERT model going on your landing pages
Steelhouse data shows that conversion rates are typically between 1-3%. This means that 97% of site visitors are not necessarily interested in your offer - at least not yet.
Website owners struggle to convert more visitors into customers. A study by Econsultancy found that only 65% of companies were able to improve their conversion rate in 2011, down from 70% in 2009 and 2010.
Your landing page attracts visitors and potential customers through more channels than you think. It follows that optimizing these channels is important, as the conversion rate varies depending on the channel.
Every website owner, content strategist and freelancer is looking for ways to improve their conversion rate.
According to Bryan Eisenberg, most websites have no traffic problem, but every website has a conversion problem.
Most websites don't have a traffic problem ... however, every website has a conversion problem.
In reality, visitor numbers and page views have no meaning. Conversion is the ultimate goal.
When people visit your website, they have different starting points in terms of the likelihood of converting. The majority of them will probably not subscribe to your mailing list, let alone buy your product, as they hardly know you.
The visitor snapshot tells us that the majority of visitors come to our pages by chance. Visitorwho surf the web to find content, land on your page and then tell us their intentions through their actions on the page.
If you are trying to convince first-time visitors to buy your product, you are wasting your energy. You're just not ready yet.
Instead, guide them into your CONVERT model - a systematic funnel (also known as a relationship funnel) to educate, motivate and ultimately convince your customers to buy from you.
The model is based on user behavior and tells you which customers are just looking and which want to buy.
User optimization is not limited to SEO.Everything is also related to your conversion rate and how you guide potential customers in and through your funnel.
Let's say you get 500 visitors per month through dynamic search. If you could just turn 100 of them into buyers of a $ 15 product, you'd still be making $ 1,500 a month in sales.
And you can stagger on that basis.
You can see that in order to convert site visitors into customers, one needs to understand every step of the customer purchase decision process:
i). Problem detection: As you may know, the conversion rate is a key performance indicator (KPI) used to measure the effectiveness of SEO and landing pages.
As a content marketer, you want to turn prospects into customers as soon as they get to your page, but that's not how it works.
The first step in the customer purchase decision process is problem identification - that's when your audience accepts that they have a problem. This in turn leads to users using a search engine in their search for answers.
Quick note: Don't try to sell anything at this point.Instead, customize your content. Solve the visitor's problem and don't ask anything in return, not even an email address.
If you offer enormous added value, these visitors will of course want to learn more from you.
Moz knows how to cater to your first-time visitors. They designed “The Beginner’s Guide to SEO” which contains the answers to the questions most frequently asked by these visitors. When they read this, users usually ask for more.
ii). Information search: Google is the universal portal for getting information online. In fact, 93% of online users start their online experience with a search engine.
After realizing their problems, they move on to the next step: they use Google to search for useful and relevant information.
At this stage, users are still not ready to buy anything. They might not even know that there is a practical solution to their problems.
Quick note:Aim for the right keywords, especially long key phrases, and use them already in the title of your article, as well as in video and podcast tags.
Make sure your content is relevant to the keywords people are looking for, but avoid "over-optimizing".
Since your target group is already specifically looking for information, you can now ask them to subscribe to your email distribution list or request a free sample of your product.
This will help you educate them and give them good reasons to come into contact with your brand.
Shopify, Volusion, KISSmetrics and other SaaS companies use the strategy of free test products to generate leads and seamlessly convert prospects into long-term customers.
iii). Review of alternatives: With so many results and websites online, people weigh alternatives and make decisions. Which site offers the best added value - yours or that of your competitors?
Quick note: As noted above, make your page load incredibly fast. This will convince your potential customers to consider your site as a trustworthy option.
iv). Purchase decision: Various factors on your landing page help the ideal users take the right steps. The most influential of these factors is the headline. According to Ted Nicholas, 73% of buying decisions are made while reading the headline.
If your headline isn't engaging or meaningful, people will leave your page. Once you've got people's attention using headings or titles, you also have to make an equally provocative introduction to steer it towards the content.
Quick note: Don't try to reinvent the wheel. Instead, try to rewrite virally successful headlines from the past.
You can use BuzzSumo to find content with the most social shares. Model them, make them your own and you will generate organic traffic, social shares and tips that will significantly improve your search rankings.
v). Sale: At this point, you're giving potential users good reasons to believe in you. You need to gain the trust of first-time visitors by answering their questions.
Quick note: You can get more people to buy if you use bullet points to highlight the benefits of your product or service.
Build a strong interest and desire in your product by sharing success stories, case studies, and offering a money-back guarantee.
vi). Post-purchase evaluation: User optimization goes deeper than sales. After you have successfully captured your customer base and convinced them to buy your product, you have to accompany their post-purchase experience.
Regardless of whether the post-purchase experience is good or bad, you can assume that users will spread the word. Bad news, in particular, spreads like wildfire.
Pivotal Labs data suggests that 53% of users share their experience on social media by leaving comments on various customer channels.
Users rate their purchase. The user experience can be broken down into one thing: satisfaction. If customers are not 100% satisfied, that will be reflected in their behavior.
According to Boundless, post-purchase behavior is "what happens when the customer evaluates whether or not they are satisfied with a sale."
Quick note:Stay tuned to the customer after they buy your product. Some of them may not be able to use the product at all, so you will need to communicate with them and may need to show them how to get the most out of the product.
As long as you follow the CONVERT model in your content, on your landing page and in your website design, you will build a customer base who believes in your offers and is willing to tell others about them.
These motivated people share your content on social media, refer to your advice, quote you and click on your links.
All of these activities correlate with off-page SEO, and in not too long ago you will see an improvement in search rankings.
3. Create a memorable content experience for your users
Content marketing drives user engagement. When trying to engage users, focus on your content and design.
When the time comes to optimize the content and design for users, here's a summary of the things you need to do:
Online customers rely on the content to inform themselves about their decisions. Companies do the same; According to the DemandGen report, "67% of B2B buyers now trust the content more for learning and making B2B buying decisions than they did a year ago."
Not all content was created with the same goal.Some content drives traffic, while others are designed to generate leads.
Spending enough time on blog posts, as much as you would on a static landing page, will help you add conversion triggers to your content.
Your headline needs to be engaging, but that is not enough. After all, Unbounce estimates that over 90% of visitors who read your headline also read your call-to-action.
As a savvy marketer, you will be able to create a memorable content experience for users to engage with your content willingly.
Your words need to be emotional with the purpose of reaching the audience you are desperately looking for.
You struggled with your blog post, formatted it in the best possible way, carefully formulated every phrase and finally pressed the “Publish” button.
And what happens then?
Nobody reads it.
No tweets, no Facebook shares, and no comments. Nothing.
If you want to avoid this devastating experience, you have to understandthat the average reader's attention span is limited.
Jakob Nielson's groundbreaking web usage study from 1977 shows that 79% of Internet users skim over text rather than read it.
Furthermore, the average attention span in 2013 was only 8 seconds, one second less than that of a goldfish. So you have 3-5 seconds to make an impression.
If you want to successfully get people excited about your content and improve your search rankings, you have to do more than you learned in German class.
Here are “8 Incredibly Easy Steps To Get More People To Read Your Content” from Copyblogger:
One post that will grab readers' attention from start to finish is Jon Morrow’s guest post, titled "How to Quit Your Job, Move to Paradise and Get Paid to Change the World."
You can see that this post has over 10,400 shares and well over 600 inbound links.
4. A / B test of user loyalty
Split tests help define the core of your marketing campaign. Econsultancy found that companies that test their campaigns increase their conversion rate from 28% to 32%.
You may think that A / B or split testing is something that only hardcore internet marketers use. But that is not the case. Obama actually raised an additional $ 60 million in donations thanks to A / B testing.
So there is no question: user behavior has an impact on SEO. But which behaviors have a greater impact on SEO?
The click-through rate (CTR) is usually high for all highly ranked list entries. But do clicks generate qualified leads or sales?
It is not easy to measure user retention with split tests because user retention encompasses different aspects of the user experience. So what you need to do is test out elements that users are engaging with, such as headings, text, calls-to-action, and images.
When testing your headlines, carefully consider how many headings you want to try. Upworthy says they create 25 headlines for each entry each time and test them all to see which people think best.
You need high traffic to measure the impact of many different headlines. For most content marketers it is best to compare 2-3 headings with each other.
Before you start testing, keep these Nielsen Group facts in mind:
- You have 10-20 seconds to make an impression with your headline.
- Users prefer straightforward headings that clearly highlight benefits
Movexa, a site that offers nutritional supplements for natural joint relief, tested 2 headlines for a landing page. Below you can see the control page they were working with.
The split testing team thought the word "dietary supplement" could clear the replica, improve landing page conversions, and drive sales.
Knowing that the headline is the most important element of a website, the conversion experts were hopeful that a simple A / B test could affect the conversion rate.
So they put the word "dietary supplements" in the heading, as you can see here:
The test result supported the team's original hypothesis: Adding the word "nutritional supplements" to the headline boosted sales by 89%. That's a sizeable increase, presumably because the headline was clearer, more persuasive, and better emphasized the benefit of the product.
You can test your text, your call to action, your lead generation form and your pictures. But remember that every test you take is not an end result - it is probably just a means of getting to the end result.
If users (especially those from search engines) are happy with the website they clicked on, they'll be delighted with your content. The time spent on the page increases, the bounce rate decreases and conversions are improved.
Google collects data about visitors to your site, including new and returning visitors. Your ranking may increase because of the user retention metrics that inspire Google.
5. Concentrate on the objective of your side, as well as on the call to action
Are you surprised that I combined goals with Call-To-Action (CTA)?
There's a reason for this: they're closely related. They also represent both goals that you need to work on in parallel if you want your business to run smoothly.
According to the small business section of the Houston Chronicle, "Your business goals are the results you hope to achieve and sustain as you operate and grow your business."
The goal of your website is the goal you want to achieve, while the call-to-action is how you can achieve that goal.
At QuickSprout, my goal is to help online business owners drive traffic to their pages and increase their sales. I make sure that the goal is clearly visible not only in the title but also in the CTA.
When a page's goal and call-to-action are aligned, your customers will immediately know that your page is right for them. They look no further as they can see at a glance that your site is fulfilling their needs.
Unbounce uses the same approach when building their landing page. The goal and the call-to-action harmonize with one another.
If the goal of your page isn't as clear as in the examples above, you shouldn't coordinate the headline and the call-to-action.Instead, give your visitors an insight into how your product works.
HubChat, for example, is a platform that helps you build and expand a community. On the surface, a headline or value proposition doesn't make much sense to a newbie.
So instead of linking the call-to-action to the headline, the folks at HubChat decided to show you what it's about. The button says “Learn how”.
6. Stay true to your target audience and follow conversions
This is pretty simple: Give your target group what they want and they'll stay with you.
The opposite is also true. Nothing frustrates users more than a website that doesn't offer them what they need or want.
This applies to information marketers as well as to e-commerce retailers. If you fail to deliver value to customers (especially the 99% of users who don't buy anything on their first visit), 25% will leave your site and never come back.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, "51% of B2B marketers indicate that they want to increase their content marketing spend within the next 12 months."
The question is, "How many of you actually understand what your target audience wants?"
If your content appears relevant, you will get a lot of engagement on your site. This in turn results in higher search engine rankings. And you already know that a number one ranking will catapult you to a 36.4% click-through rate.
A mistake I see with many content marketers and website owners is trying to convert visitors into customers while they don't yet know what they actually want.
Start by doing a quick keyword research. I like keyword research as it shows me what's going on in customers' minds. They reveal what they want right now.
Obviously I don't want to use these keywords in my content, but they show me a direction to go when creating content for my users.
To get questions that your target group asks, you can use the keywords (e.g. lose weight in one week) Copy it and enter it in the Quora search to see which possible questions your content could be about.
Start creating content to answer the questions your ideal customers are asking.
You can use it to improve your search rankings in no time at all. Brian Dean did it that way. I've done this in several cases. And you can too.
7. Aim for seamless integration of your keywords
We all know that the targeted keywords play a crucial role in your content. If these keywords are properly integrated, you can see an improvement in your organic search rankings.
The visibility of keywords in search results is a sign that you've listened to your customers and developed useful content without trying to manipulate Google.
One thing you need to understand is the shift from keyword targeted to targeted search results.
Before 2013, Google’s ranking was heavily influenced by keywords that were placed in the headline, the meta descriptions and the link text. But that has changed.
Sure, Google still wants you to target keywords, but not because of Google rankings. Instead, Google wants you to have the right answers to search engine users' questions, to offer a lot of added value and to improve the user experience.
If you enter any keyword phrase on Google these days, the results could be surprising, as the posts listed above do not include your keywords in the title. Let's try it out:
Are these search results relevant to the keywords you entered? Absolutely! They are relevant and helpful.
So what's going on? Over the years, Google has amassed data on the behavior of its users. The goal was to get the best possible results from user intent - "the goal behind the keywords."
In other words, why are people looking for it "Best practices to get pregnant"?
Apparently because they are out toGet tips to help you get pregnant.
They don't care whether you call them “best practices” or “tips”, or whether you share success stories with them. If your content is helping them conception, chances are you'll turn them into customers.
So when customers search for “best practices to get pregnant”, search results on Google were actually more likely to respond to “trying to get pregnant” because that is the intent of the user behind the main keyword.
Ideally, you should focus on long keywords. These are easier to rank for and they respond to users who usually tend to use longer keywords when they search for something on Google. In addition, these users come closer to the solution than those who only search for words.
When I started targeting longer keywords, I grew my organic search engine traffic to 173,336 unique visitors per month.
You will miss a lot of search traffic if you don't blog posts about lengthy searches.
Amazon generates 57% of its sales from longer variations of title words. That's because longer keywords - especially those with commercial intent - convert very well.
So how do you incorporate long keywords into blog posts and articles to improve search performance?
Follow these simple pieces of advice:
i). Build the keyword phrase naturally into your title: That is really easy. Let's say you've successfully found a keyword phrase -"Social media dashboard tools for small business" or "affordable virtual servers."
With a phrase as precise as this, you can get ranked faster in the search engines. Just naturally build the phrase into your title, as I've done in the following examples:
7 Small Business Social Media Dashboard Tools That Work
How to find affordable virtual servers for your web hosting
Remember, it's not about manipulating the search engines, but more about providing value. Read the title aloud: doesn't that sound like a catchphrase? Well if not.
ii). Write as you speak - only better: It's almost become a cliché, but it works. If you can write the way you speak, it should be easy for you to incorporate keywords into your content.
Over time, your web pages will appear for keywords for which they have not been optimized at all. Here's a post on Moz where the author naturally incorporated these keywords.
This is exactly what Google wants to achieve - that you write naturally without paying much attention to building in keywords.
If you've ever given engaging speeches, you need to transfer this skill to content writing.
Depending on the type of content you're creating, sharing case studies you've done personally can be a pretty easy way to naturally incorporate keywords.
A case study also allows you to develop your skills - not to make yourself look smart or particularly good - but because you can better empathize with your target audience and understand how you can help meet their needs.
8. Include useful links in your website
If you want to build a successful online business, you need to involve the search engines. ImFORZA data shows that “Search is the # 1 traffic driver for websites, outperforming social media by 300%”.
In order to drive organic traffic to your site, you need to be ranked high on Google. And you need the right links to improve your search rankings.
Link building is one of the main internet marketing activities that business owners engage in. A recent study by Moz showed that 37% of business owners spend between $ 10,000 and $ 50,000 per month creating links.
Why are website owners so obsessed with links?
It's because of the relationship between Google rankings and links.
Sites like CNN, BBC, Moz, Unbounce, Facebook and others are authoritative and trustworthy as they are visited by thousands of people every day, sharing their content, referring to them and forwarding others to them.
Popularity leads to authority. And the more popular a page becomes, the more often it is linked to.
However, not all links are created equal. A single link from Moz is worth 10 links from a new marketing blog.
In particular, you want useful links - the links that stay active on the referring pages and affect your search rankings by people clicking on them.
In email marketing, useful links can make up over 30% of an email campaign's revenue.
Although Google has developed an algorithm to target the willing users in a more targeted manner, the focus is still on useful links.
Google rates the relevance and added value of a page largely based on the number of functional and authoritative links that refer to it.
In the Google Hummingbird and RankBrain era, you have to try to maintain or build links that motivate people.
In summary, you have to get people to click on your links. That alone counts.
Of course, relevance is also important. But if you have to choose between a relevant link from an industry blog (e.g. bloggingpro.com) and a link from a much larger, more authoritative site (e.g. Entrepreneur.com) that is clicked on but not directly connected to your niche, then choose the latter.
Here's the difference: the first link (from a smaller blog with a smaller audience) might not be clicked. The second link (from a much larger, more authoritative page) generates thousands of clicks and ensures unique visits to your pages.
For better results, put your links in context. Make them part of your content.
In the eyes of Google, the second link is useful; he is active and that should be rewarded.
The first link, while relevant, looks dead. Nobody deals with him.
Here is an example of a useful link clicked on Entrepreneur.com:
When I wrote my advanced SEO guide to help people understand how SEO works and what to expect, I was overwhelmed by the feedback.
That motivates me to consistently create engaging content; this is exactly what 50% of B2C marketers struggle with.
Always remember that users should be the main focus of your blog, content, and all of your efforts to promote your blog posts.
Never lose sight of the goal. Stay tuned. It doesn't matter what new algorithm update Google comes up with tomorrow - you are always successful when the users guide your decisions.
Use these principles to optimally adapt to your users and watch your conversion rate skyrocket like never before.
What principles have you used to create better content for your users? What results did you get with it?
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