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Content Optimization: Conversion Issues
Written by Brian Harnish
Monday, 21 May 2012 05:25

Are you having trouble with converting clients who arrive on your site?

Oftentimes the issue can be low quality content, and simply not providing relevant information that aligns with what clients are looking for in their search. Here are some simple tips to help you get to the bottom of your content issues, and items to consider including in your content.

bad content equals poor conversions

It is so important to focus on the reader of the content rather than writing the content solely for search engine spiders. Resist the temptation to include keywords as every other word or focusing on the mythological “keyword density”. There is no such thing.

Also, stop chasing the algorithm. That’s not going to help either, simply because Google is always updating the algorithm…every…single…day. So what things can you do in the meantime to ensure higher conversions and a higher quality website?

Where to Focus

You should certainly be focusing on your users and what they want to accomplish. So what does this involve focusing on?

You should definitely include keywords in your content (sprinkled throughout, NOT heavily spammed). You should absolutely include calls to action that compel your visitor to do what it is you want them to do.

The important thing though is that you should be asking yourself: so, what DO I want my potential client to do? Fill out a form? Call me? Or simply provide an email address? Do include links in your content to other internal pages that will be helpful for them.

Focus on the anchor text on your links. Focus on including H1s, H2s. Include images to dress up your content. Let’s have a look at these content improvement items in greater detail.

Do you have a call to action?

Just having paragraphs of content is not sufficient enough. It’s also important to structure the content in such a way that gives valuable information to the person reading it, AND compels them to take action afterwards.

Never waste a page of content on JUST content. Let your user become enthralled and impressed with what you have to offer.

So much so that the next thing they want to do is contact you through that call to action. So where do you place your call to action in the content?

Depending on how long the content is, perhaps consider including a contact form with minimal required information at the end. Such as requiring their email, phone number, and perhaps a brief comment. Or, maybe you want them to call you instead. Include a request in the content for them to call you as well.

Or, perhaps you want to provide recommendations for products from your related store that helps them accomplish their objective (why they’re reading your article). Then include an image and/or a link to that product that says “Buy Now” or “Purchase here”. Depending on your industry, the calls to action will vary.

Think about providing an obvious compulsion to that viewer to move forward on their action.

Include links in your content to other internal pages

In addition to providing link juice value to those pages from the page that currently has the content (assuming it’s an established power page), you can also point your clients over to that relevant page that helps them accomplish their objective.

This is helpful when it comes to exhaustive topics that require many pages to explain them in-depth.  With the advent of the recent penguin update, however, it’s important to not spam your anchor text with many keywords, or include anchor text that doesn’t tell the user where they’re going.

That’s why “click here” anchor text is seldom the most effective. Because you can say “go to the ‘keyword, keyword’ page to find out more”, which does help in terms of increasing rankings. But, don’t over optimize.

Over optimization could include say 3-4 links per paragraph on a 500-word page. Instead of actual numbers, focus on ratio.

Consider including only 2 or 3 RELEVANT links on that page linked to by relevant anchor text. Relevancy and avoiding over optimization so your site isn’t attacked by the penguin update is important.

Headings, headings, headings

Headings are also important to focus on. They help separate your page and help provide visual cues to the reader.

They help break up the page and provide pleasing aesthetic separation. They are also a great place to interweave keywords to explain what the content is about. This should be common knowledge already, but in case you don’t know – headings (H1s, H2s, etc.) ARE important for this purpose.

Include images to help dress up your content and improve its impact

Including relevant images in appealing ways throughout your content is important. Why?

Because they tell a story to your reader that helps supplement your content with emotionally grabbing cues.  You don’t really pay much attention to a page that has no images do you? So why would you expect your client to do that?

Remember to include relevant images that tell a story along with your content. This helps so much in breaking up the monotony of text throughout the page. A few other things to focus on when adding images can help as well:

It’s also important to focus on keyword rich alt text descriptions. How does this help with conversions? Cross-browser compatibility.  Can it help with rankings? Every little bit helps.

If your potential client is viewing your image with images turned off, or in a text browser, or on a mobile device with images disabled, then they will know that an image is supposed to be there.

But, without alt text, that will just show up as a blank space. Search engines work much in the same way. The only things they will see that are part of the image include the image file name, and the alt text that is embedded in the image.

Without alt text, you’re giving away valuable space that could be helpful in improving your rankings. How? By including keyword rich alt text descriptions for your images, you help the search engine spiders and you help your users as well.

While these tips are not exhaustive and do not discuss everything, they are important parts of ensuring that you focus on things that matter.

Remember, when writing and implementing content for SEO be sure to keep the end goal of what you want your users to accomplish in mind.

This can help pay off in the end by rewarding you with higher conversions.

Brian Harnish -

Building websites his Brian Harnish's passion. He's been building websites since he taught himself HTML and took a college Photoshop class to create the graphics in the summer of 1998 when he built his first real website. He thoroughly enjoys reading almost anything and everything he can get his hands on regarding SEO, search marketing, as well as web design & development.

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