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User Optimization for Your Website

By Site Strategics
January 12, 2016

This week on Edge of the Web Radio we talked user optimization; specifically, the components described by Neil Patel in his article “8 Principals of User Optimization That’ll Increase Your Search Rankings.” According to Patel, user optimization means creating a memorable experience for your users so that they’ll read your content and take the right actions.

A recap of user optimization-friendly behavior includes:

1. Optimize your site to load faster
Nobody wants to wait for ages for a web page to load. Time is money, and wasting it isn’t the best way to build a successful online business. Users expect sites to load in two seconds or less. A survey of 1,048 online shoppers by Akamai and Gomez revealed that 47% of people expect a web page to load in two seconds or less, and 40% will abandon a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load. The consequences of a slow-loading site are huge. For example, research published in May of 2015 by QuBit found based on a survey of 60,000 consumers across 80 websites within different industries that slow-loading sites cost retailers billions in lost sales.

2. Leverage the CONVERT model in your landing pages
Your landing page attracts visitors and prospects from different channels. Consequently, optimizing for these channels is important because the conversion rate by channels will differ. According to Bryan Eisenberg, “Most websites don’t have a traffic problem…however, every website has a conversion problem.”

If the bulk of your site visitors are casual, they’re the ones you want to channel into your convert model. Target the right keywords, especially long-tail key phrases, in your article title, video, and podcast tags so that visitors to your website find it easy to search for the information they want. And by sharing success stories and case studies, you’re offering content of value to people looking for specific information.

3. Create a memorable content experience for users
Patel says content marketing drives user engagement. If you’re looking to engage users, focus on the content and design. All content isn’t created equal. Some drive traffic while another content piece is designed to generate leads. Moreover, online consumers rely on content to inform their decisions.
According to DemandGen Report, 67% of B2B buyers rely more on content to research and make B2B purchasing decisions than they did a year ago. You must create a memorable content experience for users so that they’ll engage with your content willingly.

4. A/B test user engagement
Split testing (also referred to as A/B testing or multivariate testing) is a method of conducting controlled, randomized experiments with the goal of improving a website metric, such as clicks, form completions, or purchases. Econsultancy found that companies that test their campaigns increased conversions from 28% to 32%.
A common misconception is that A/B testing is something only hardcore Internet marketers do, but it’s an increasingly important tool for all marketers.

It’s also important to realize the impact of your headline. According to a study by Nielson Group, you have 10-20 seconds to make an impact with your headline, and users prefer straightforward headlines that offer clear benefits over more subtle or ‘clever’ ones.

5. Focus on your site objective and calls to action
Your site objective and calls to action are intricately tied together. They’re the two objects you need to work on simultaneously if you want your business to thrive in today’s ever-changing digital world. Patel describes the site objective as the goal you want to achieve while the call-to-action is how you achieve that objective.
When the site objective and the call to action are aligned, your customers will know instantly that your site is right for them. They won’t look elsewhere because they know they can see immediately that your page meets their needs.

6. Stay true to your audience and conversion will follow
Give your audience what they want and they’ll stick around. And yet, the opposite is also true. Nothing frustrates users more than a web page that doesn’t give them what they want or need. “If your content is relevant, you’ll get a lot of engagement on your page,” says Patel. “In turn, this will result in higher search rankings.”

7. Aim for seamless keyword integration
Targeting your keywords goes hand-in-hand with writing content. “When those keywords are properly integrated, you’ll see an improvement in your organic search rankings,” says Patel.

Prior to 2013, Google’s rankings were hugely influenced by the keywords in the title, meta description, and optimized anchor texts. However, that changed when Google changed focus to ‘provide the right answers to search user questions, provide immense value, and improve user experience.’ Note that long-tail keywords are often easier to rank for, and naturally appeal to users.

8. Build functional links to your web pages
To build a successful business online, you must consider search engines. To drive organic traffic to your site, you need to rank well with Google, and this requires attracting the right links.

A recent study by Moz stated 37% of business owners spend between $10,000 and 50,000 per month on link building. Many experts have weighed in on how to go about link building, but there’s no real defined recipe for success. Overall, it’s important to remember that the more popular a site becomes, the more people will link to it, which in the end increases your domain authority.

For more information on user optimization, we encourage you to check out Patel’s full article here. And check out Edge of the Web Radio each week for great information on optimizing your website and maximizing your marketing dollars.