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Friday, June 6th, 2008

Web Marketing Tips by StepForth, Part 1

 

Over the course of a day we tend to run into situations where some basic and occasionally not so basic tips and tricks need to be applied to a website. Here are three that come to mind at the moment and might just help you improve your web marketing results.

  1. How to Get an Uncompetitive Term to Rank WellSituation: You have a keyphrase that is not incredibly competitive and you just can’t seem to figure out why it is stuck on the second page of results.

    Remedy: In the less competitive marketspaces where your phrase is either very niche (i.e. like part number searches or created with industry jargon) or detailed (i.e. 3+ words like “BMW Victoria BC”) you can just increase the frequency those words are used within the page. By increasing “keyword frequency” you leave less doubt that a search engine algorithm will determine your Keyphrase is what the page should be ranked for. If competitiveness is truly low this technique will work decently on Google and often very well in Yahoo.

    Frequency Tip: Don’t go nuts and add 20 more incidences of the Keyphrase if only 4 will do. Also, do not sacrifice the quality of your writing just to get a ranking or you will drive off visitors when they arrive. Take baby steps! Add only 2 occurrences of the Keyphrase within your content and watch how that affects your rankings. Then you can add or remove from there depending on how your ranking responds on the various search engines.

  2. Decreasing a Webpage’s Exit RateSituation: The numbers are incontrovertible, your home page has an intolerably high exit rate (percentage of visitors that enter by that page and quickly exit the site). So how can you lower the exit rate?Remedy: First do some research; what keywords are driving the traffic? Are they relevant? If not, ignore that portion of traffic because obviously you cannot make a visitor happy that is looking for something you cannot provide. By the same token look at the referrer of the traffic; it could be another website has misrepresented the purpose of your website thus sending highly irrelevant traffic; again strike this traffic from your view. Once you have considered these issues and separated the wheat from the chaff then you may just need to improve the stickiness of your home page.

    In order to improve the home page it helps to understand a little about your visitors and their needs. In some testing I have been conducting for a service-oriented website it was clearly determined that a home page (effectively your chief landing page) should satisfy two types of visitors.

    > Visitor A just wants to get to the heart of the matter and find out what price you are charging for the product/service they want. So they want an immediately actionable menu.

    > Visitor B needs to trust you and is fully prepared to read the content on your home page to get a feel for the kind of business you represent.

    So what now? The ideal step would be to create various versions of your home page and then use Google Optimizer to compare the reactions to each version and provide you with a clear winning design. That is what we do at StepForth and I can’t say enough how well that has helped us. That said, that may be too much for you so just make some changes to your home page and monitor the result over the next month. If you already have a high exit rate (75% or higher) then this test really can’t hurt and I imagine you will see some intriguing fluctuations in your page’s exit rate and your visitor’s time on site.

    When you do create a new version of your home page I suggest writing a quick intro to your services and having that appear first thing on your home page. The intro should have very visible and easy to click links to the key sections/products/services of your website so that hasty visitors can navigate quickly and effectively. Then follow up that intro with the detail and whatever personal touches you want to add to the home page to appease Visitor B.

  3. Essential Content Management System OptimizationScenario: Your website is operated on a large content rich Content Management System (CMS) which uses a nearly identical Title and Meta Description tag throughout the whole site. Your website is not ranking well and you cannot understand why since each page has a wealth of content and your prices are competitive.Remedy: Consult the documentation of your CMS or tap the resources of your programmer to determine how you can automate the creation of unique Titles and Meta Descriptions across every page within your site; much more feasible than manually optimizing these tags on huge sites. In most Content Management Systems there is a relatively simple fix that can be employed which will allow you to mass-optimize the titles and Meta Descriptions within your web site.

    For example, a real estate website may want to dynamically include the town name and area that a particular home is located within the Title and Meta Description tags; to increase the relevancy of the pages.

    Basic SEO Rule: Title and Description Meta tags must be unique to set the topic of the page for visitors and search engines alike. Also, I strongly recommend starting the Title tag with content unique to the page and then following it by any generic prose. For example Good = “Victoria BMW Sales – Sam Spade Inc.” BAD = “Sam Spade Inc. – Victoria BMW Sales”.

    Note: You can find more SEO tips in our comprehensive series of article on How to Optimize for Google.

More to Come
I really enjoyed sharing these tips with you and while writing I came up with even more so I will try to write a few more segments in the same format over the next few months.

by Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth Web Marketing Inc.
Celebrating over 10 Years of Web Marketing Excellence

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