How Can I Increase My Conversions?

Conversions are the end goals of every page on your website. You want to convince your visitors to progress in the sales funnel so that they’ll perform an action that turns them into a customer, whether that’s buying a product, downloading software, or donating to your non-profit.

No matter what your conversion goal is, there are some foundational ideas that you can use to increase the likelihood that someone will convert on your site’s pages.

Strong headlines

strong-headlines

Headlines aren’t just informative — they’re your first opportunity to catch the attention of your customers.

This age-old journalistic principle is the same for writing on the Internet. In order to start site visitors in the sales funnel, your headline should be captivating, eye-catching, surprising, compelling, or a combination of those qualities. Fortunately for beginners, there are lots of different techniques for writing good headlines available online.

The format of your headline is up to you, and if you’re really curious as to what performs best, you can A/B test the same pages under different headlines to see which works better.

Attention-grabbing starts

Since you’ve drawn a site visitor with your headline, now you have to deliver on your promise and provide an exciting start to your page.

Again, this is an old journalism principle, called a “lede,” that carries over into Internet copywriting. This is the place for you to further interest your readers and tell them what your page is about. Good ledes are written concisely with active voice, and they’re focused on one or two ideas at the most. In addition, ledes that attempt to be clever almost never work, so it’s good to stick to interesting information.

That doesn’t mean ledes have to be dry, though. In fact, your lede is your opportunity to set the tone and mood for the rest of your writing. So if you want readers to laugh, make a light-hearted introduction; if you want them to cry, make it heavier; and if you want them to trust you, be persuasive.

Calls to action

call-to-action

Strong calls to action are some of the best ways to encourage your readers to convert. This is your chance to tell customers directly what they can do to solve their problem, whether it’s purchasing a product, downloading a free trial, or contacting one of your sales representatives.

There are lots of different styles that you can use for calls to action, though the most successful tend to offer a personal appeal, list the benefits of converting, and use active verbs. However, calls to action aren’t something that you can copy by example — in other words, a call to action that works for one business won’t necessarily work for yours. But you can still learn from other websites’ successes and use those as inspirations.

After you have a call to action, don’t call it quits just yet. Calls to action require extensive A/B testing to determine which one is the best for your business. If you have a lot of ideas, just test two at a time and test the winners against one-another — kind of like a March Madness bracket — until you have the optimal winner.

Easy conversion

Regardless what your goal is for your customer, you have to make it easy for them to convert or they won’t do it. Reducing the number of clicks, screens, and loading time for a visitor all make it easier for them to become your customers. It’s also helpful to have clear signup fields, easy-to-read instructions, and attention-grabbing buttons that help users complete conversions.

Using these four standard tips, you can increase the conversion rates of your most popular pages. However, if you’re not seeing the results you want, it could be partner with an outside agency. Fill out our contact form below, and we’ll contact you and talk about how you can improve conversion rates for your business!

 

Why Is Site Design So Important?

A well-designed webpage is an excellent addition to any business. It looks nice, respectably presents your brand, and encourages customer participation. If you’re promoting your website using SEO, you can’t overlook the essentials of a sleek, modern, and intuitive site design.

Site design is important to your website for two main reasons:

  1. Search engines favor well-designed sites in search results.
  2. Well-designed sites provide better user experiences for your visitors.

With those ideas in mind, let’s look at some elements involved in creating a high-quality, well-designed website that both Google and users will like.

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Why Your Site Should Be Responsive

Are you in the process of creating or updating a site? If so, you may be a little overwhelmed with how many elements you are expected to take into consideration. From design to development to SEO, there are a lot of working pieces that go into a successful site, and it’s critical to have a handle on all of them.

As you work through the planning stages, there’s one more factor you should add to your list: responsive design. And although you may not love the idea of having another item on your checklist right now, you’ll be happy that you did a few months down the road when your site is attracting traffic and generating business.

So what exactly is responsive design? And how can you make sure that your site has it? Here’s what you need to know.

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Why Local SEO Is Important

If you’ve run your site through our grader already, you probably have a solid handle on which aspects of your SEO need a little work. You may need to work on adding keywords, building links, or boosting the quality of your site (or maybe all of the above), but there’s one more thing you should think about when you start working on your optimization: local SEO.

Although our grader doesn’t have the ability to analyze and grade your local SEO, it’s important that you do it. If you’re not sure how, you’re not entirely sure what local SEO is, this post might be extremely useful to you.

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What Other Factors Might Affect My Rankings?

Although we created our comprehensive website grader to give you a list many factors that affect your search engine rankings, and suggestions to improve them, the world of SEO is always changing. Because of this, the report you received from us covers the most crucial elements of search engine optimization, but it may not cover them all.

Here are a few of the other factors that might impact your ranking in search engines, and what you should know about them.

How visitors interact with your site

In order to prevent search engine rankings from being defined purely by factors that you could control — like keywords, links, and structure — Google built some factors into their algorithm that take the way visitors interact with your site into consideration. This prevents websites that don’t actually make any of their visitors happy from dominating the rankings.

If the majority of your visitors leave your website right away, without visiting any other pages, and go right to another listing in the search engine results, you are likely to rank less well. Conversely, if your visitors stay on your website for a long time, visit a lot of pages, and spend several minutes on each page before finally exiting, you have a better chance at ranking highly.

Your performance on mobile

It has been rumored for quite some time that Google will be favoring, in some way, websites that display properly on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. On the other hand, sites that require pinch zooming or do not display correctly on mobile devices may be pushed down in the results or even penalized in the future.

Currently, the same keyword will return slightly different results in searches depending on the device it is searched from, and whether or not the top sites are mobile-friendly or not. So this is already becoming a reality. If your site is not mobile-friendly, you should change that as soon as you can!

The quality of your links

In our report, we talk about the number of the links to your site. However, the quality of those links is important, too.

A hundred links from a hundred individual sites no one has ever heard of does not mean nearly as much, in the eyes of search engines, as one or two links from a major news website. If a major news website links to you, it is a very strong signal of trust. Anyone can make a website, but not anyone can make a successful news website that has been around for ten years — so that is why the latter link is worth more than a hundred of the former.

Local SEO

Local SEO is another topic entirely. If you run a local business, your results may be completely different dependent on how people are searching for you, where they are searching from, and what they are searching for.

Our report doesn’t take local SEO into consideration, but if you are searching for yourself using a local phrase — like “[products] in [city]” and not seeing yourself in the results with the map at the top, you have some work to do. This will involve creating a local listing with Google, optimizing your site for local keywords, and a few other local-specific actions.

Google penalties

Finally, if you are finding it very difficult to improve your site’s ranking — or if your site has disappeared from the search results entirely — it may be the victim of a penalty. Google issues penalties to punish sites that it believes are violating its Terms of Service, including those engaging in behavior that harms users or otherwise intentionally manipulates the search results.

Identifying a Google penalty can be difficult, especially because there are two types: algorithmic and manual. We recommend reading this chapter of our guide to Google penalties to find out how to identify whether or not your site is under a penalty, and to learn how to resolve it if you do have one.

As we mentioned before, SEO is always changing. It is difficult to guess what will happen next, and what factors Google will incorporate into its algorithms, or use to determine the sites that deserve to rank highly. However, if you focus on improving the core factors of your website — which we talked about on this page — you will have a better chance at reaching the first page than websites who focus on the minor details.

Do you have any questions about other factors that you worry may be affecting your SEO? Feel free to let us know! You are more than welcome to contact us with any questions you may have about your report, SEO, or ranking factors — we’ll be happy to answer them for you.

How Can I Boost My Website’s Traffic Quickly?

Are you looking for ways to increase the flow of traffic to your website? How about ways to quickly bring new visitors to your site?

Although traffic certainly isn’t the most important metric you can measure online, the more visitors you have, the better chance you have at getting sales, leads, or conversions from your site. So it’s for this reason that seeking out ways to boost your traffic quickly may be highly beneficial to you.

Here are a few ways that you can quickly increase your traffic and get more people on your site.

Launch a pay-per-click program

If you aren’t already running pay-per-click (PPC) ads, they can bring a large number of new visitors to your website in a matter of hours. Although there’s cost associated with PPC, if you choose your targeted keywords carefully, you may find that the ROI on these ads is very, very high.

PPC advertising appears on the top and side of searches when someone looks for a phrase you are targeting with your ad. If your ad is clicked, you will pay a set price for that click — but only if your ad is clicked. The visitor to your site can then go on to make a purchase or fill out a form as they normally would.

If you launch a large-scale PPC program, this can dramatically increase your traffic in a very short amount of time, and perhaps without much expense, if the keywords you are targeting are not in high competition.

Get a link from another site

Let’s say you recently created an infographic, and you are trying to draw attention to it. One way you could do this would be to send emails to larger sites telling them about it, and asking them to link to it.

One link from a very large site in your industry could lead to a surge of traffic to yours. Of course, this traffic may not all be valuable to you, but you could try to make the most of it by using popups to capture email addresses, by sending them to a targeted landing page, and so on.

Appear in the news

If you have recently done something newsworthy, let your local news stations, newspapers, and even bloggers know about it. Local sources are always on the lookout for a good story, and as long as what you have done is truly newsworthy, you may seen a flood of traffic to your website from local visitors.

Invest in advertising

Advertising can be extremely expensive, but if you are confident that your visitors will invest in you — for example, if you know you have a high conversion rate, and the average visitor to your site spends several hundred dollars — go for it!

You can opt for everything from radio advertising to billboards to a commercial. Or you can try something a little newer, like an online radio commercial or sponsorship on a television show — anywhere that your URL will be shown or read.

Go viral

Creating viral content is easier said than done — predicting what will succeed online seems more difficult than picking winning lottery numbers, even to seasoned marketing experts — but this is one final way that you can get your website in front of thousands of people very quickly.

Create an infographic, video, or piece of interactive content and promote it as much as you can. If it gets in front of the right people at the right time, and is about the right subject, and has the right features, it might go viral. But again, this is very hard to predict. Don’t plan on something going viral — if you do, you will probably be disappointed.

These are five ways you can boost your traffic overnight and get more people on your site quickly. Have any questions about this list? Or are you thinking about taking the slower, yet more reliable method of optimizing your site for search engines? Either way, don’t hesitate to let us know if there’s anything we can do to help you! Feel free to contact us at any time.

How Can I Improve My Website Grade?

So your website grade is lower than you expected. Maybe it’s just a little lower… or maybe it’s much lower. Either way, you have some work to do.

Now that you know your site needs improvement, it’s time to buckle down and get some important changes made. Here are some general tips we can offer to start you off on the right foot, no matter which areas of your website need improved.

Read our comments and suggestions

On your website report, you’ll see comments and suggestions for each specific area that we scored. Read these notes carefully — they often provide actionable advice and suggestions you can follow to improve your site.

If you’re confused by any of the comments, you can always contact us for clarification — we’ll be happy to offer you a more thorough explanation!

Check out the articles in our resources section

If you scored low in a certain area, and are looking for ways to improve that specific area — or need to know why, specifically, you scored so low — chances are, we have an article to help you.

Our resources section was designed to help you learn more about ways to bring up your website grade and boost your rankings. So if you scored low in links, look for the articles about links. They’re sure to put you on the right path for success!

Do research online

If you’re really committed to improving your score, you can do research online on the topics where you need improvement. Many reputable websites in the SEO industry often publish guides, articles, and tutorials that can help you build links, do keyword research, speed up your site, and improve your SEO.

Make an improvement plan with your team

Of course, you can’t simply assume that things will get better on your own. Unless you put the advice and ideas you get into action, you’ll never see your score go up!

Sit down with the team that works on your website and make a plan to improve each of the weak areas of your site. Set deadlines and goals for each area. For example, you may say you want to acquire 20 links in the next 90 days, or make all your title tags unique by a certain date.

Ask for help

If you can’t do it all by yourself, we completely understand. Why should you spend all your time struggling to improve your website instead of doing what you do best — that is, running your business?

Consider asking for help from an Internet marketing or SEO company. WebpageFX, the creator of this tool, would be happy to give you a hand! Feel free to contact us at any time to talk to our expert web strategists about how you can improve your grade and get your site ranking better.

These are a few ways that you can improve your website grade, no matter which areas on your report needed work. We wish you luck, and can’t wait to see you again when you come back to run a new report!

Which Factors Affect My Search Engine Rankings the Most?

As you work to improve your website’s SEO, search engine ranking, and score, you wonder which factors affect you the most. Is there one area you should focus on above the others? Or is there any one factor that can influence your SEO more than anything else?

Although there is no single “magic bullet” that can get you ranking #1 for your targeted keywords overnight, on this page we hope to educate you about the biggest factors that affect your ranking — and your website score. If you focus on these factors, you’ll stand a better chance at improving your site SEO and getting a better score the next time you use our grader tool.

Website content

Above almost everything else, search engines need to rely on the content of websites to rank them. Without content, Google wouldn’t be able to look for the keywords users searched for, check for relevant content to display when someone wants to read the news, or look for the metrics (like bounce rate and time on page) that it uses to determine the quality of a site.

If your site only has a few hundred words spread out between a few pages, you should work on improving this ASAP. Consider writing helpful articles, starting a blog, or giving your visitors more information about who you are and what you do. This can make a huge difference in how well you rank, as well as how useful visitors find your website — which can, in turn, have an indirect impact on your rankings.

Links from other sites

If your website is heavily linked by others, chances are good that you aren’t having any trouble ranking. But if it’s not, you’re probably struggling. Why is that? It’s because Google strongly values links from other sites.

Generally speaking, the more links you have, the better. However, obtaining a lot of links won’t necessarily help you. The quality of the links matters, too; there’s a strong correlation between your ranking and the number of links from websites with a high DA. (You can learn a bit more about domain authority, or DA, on this page.)

If you are lacking in links, try to put together a plan to acquire more. We made some suggestions that should be helpful in this article: How Can I Get More Links to My Website?

Code, usability, and structure

Finally, one big factor that affects your website’s performance in search is its technical backbone. Your website should be made up of clean code, well structured, easy to navigate, and friendly to both users and search engines.

There are a number of individual factors that make up this larger one. It’s difficult to pinpoint which could have the biggest impact. The thing you should be most aware of is that if your site is broken (that is, if the code used to create it does not work properly), search engines can’t crawl or index it, or if it is missing crucial elements, it will have a hard time ranking. Similarly, server errors can cause problems for you, too.

Other small factors, like your navigation, URL structure, and mobile friendliness can also have an impact on your ranking. However, the factors listed above are cause for immediate concern, while these are a bit lower down on the totem pole.

These three factors, in a nutshell, are what affect your visibility in search engines the most. There are many other ways to improve your SEO, which you can learn about by reading the resources section on our website.

Do you have any questions about these SEO factors, or any of the results on your website grader report? Feel free to contact us at any time to ask about them! We would love to hear from you.

How Does Site Speed Affect My Rankings?

If you’re looking for a way to improve your website, have you thought about improving its speed? Site speed is one of the last things that website owners think of when they’re working on their SEO, but speed actually affects your ranking in search more than you might expect. In fact, if you have a slow site, it could be holding you back from hitting #1!

Let’s take an in-depth look at how site speed affects your rankings, and how you can improve your SEO by speeding up your site.

Google’s decision to use site speed in rankings

Site speed hasn’t always been a ranking factor. Google announced that it would take this factor into consideration in 2010 in a post on its Webmaster Central Blog, stating:

Speeding up websites is important — not just to site owners, but to all Internet users. Faster sites create happy users and we’ve seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there. […] Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed — that’s why we’ve decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings.

Google stated that site speed wouldn’t carry as much weight in its ranking algorithm as the relevance of a page. However, it did stress the importance for both SEO and users, because site speed could affect both.

There was some confusion after this announcement, however, because website owners were not sure which factor of site speed would affect ranking. Would it be total page size? The speed of the server the website was on? Or the amount of time it took the full page to load?

The specific speed factor to consider

In 2013, a study done for the Moz blog found the “time to first byte” metric (or TTFB) is what seems to correlate with your website ranking:

timetofirstbyte

TTFB is, essentially, how long it takes the server your website is hosted on to send your browser the first byte of data after you click a link. So essentially, the longer it takes for your server to start sending visitors your website, when they request it, the worse you will do in this specific factor of the algorithm.

The takeaway to consider here is that if your website server is slow, your ranking could take a hit. So you should review your hosting plan and make sure it is meeting your needs.

Moz did not find much correlation between other website speed factors, but this does not mean that they don’t affect your ranking. These factors can affect you indirectly. How? Let’s look closer.

How user behavior affects your SEO

Google takes other metrics into consideration when it is ranking your website. One of these is bounce rate — that is, the percentage of visitors who leave your site without visiting any other pages — and another is time on page.

Let’s say you have a specific page that ranks very well, but takes a long time to load. Visitors may grow very impatient and leave before it finishes loading. So your average bounce rate on this page may be 90%, and the average time on page may be 0:10.

Over time, you will see that the ranking on this page is likely to slip. Why? Well, Google has no reason to highly rank a page that 90% of users leave after only ten seconds! It’s obvious that something is driving them away. So even if your TTFB metric here is perfect, the fact that your on-page content is taking a long time to load is affecting your SEO.

Generally speaking, Google’s algorithm can take the behavior of people visiting your site into consideration. So if page speed is driving them away, you are likely to see an impact on your ranking and traffic.

This, in a nutshell, is how site speed can affect your website rankings and SEO. Have any additional questions we can help you with? Or are you confused by anything you see on the results of your website report? Just let us know, and one of our web strategists will be happy to help you out! We’d be happy to talk things over with you and find out how we can answer your questions.

What Determines Domain and Page Authority?

Are you confused by the Domain Authority and Page Authority metrics on the report we provided to you? Are you trying to understand what determines these scores, and how you can raise them? On this page, you can learn a little bit more about why you earned the scores you did, and what these scores really mean.

Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) are two metrics created by Moz, a provider of SEO tools. You can read a little more about these two metrics and how Moz came up with them on this page.

Your website’s strength vs. other sites

DA and PA do not necessarily symbolize how good your SEO efforts are. You may have the best content in the world, be targeting the right keywords, and be making thousands of dollars a day due to being highly visible in search engines, but still have a low DA.

What DA and PA do tell you is how “strong” your website is compared to others. Basically, when you search for a topic and receive three pages on the same topic, the page with the highest PA is the one Google sees as the strongest; the domain with the highest DA is the one Google sees as the strongest. These are the ones most likely to rank the highest (although not necessarily).

The number of links you have

A very big part of DA and PA is based on links. Moz determines these numbers based on incoming links from other sites. Generally speaking, the more links you have, the better — although low quality, spammy links probably won’t do your website any good.

You will often find that websites with very high DA also have a very high number of incoming links. Additionally, individual pages that have a high PA will typically obtain that because they have received links (pointing directly at that specific page).

How much you can be trusted

Moz uses another one of their own metrics, called MozTrust, to influence DA and PA. They explain it as such:

We determine MozTrust by calculating link “distance” between a given page and a seeded trust source on the Internet. Think of this like six degrees of separation: the closer you are linked to a trusted website, the more trust you have yourself.

Essentially, if you are only one or two link hops away from a trusted website (like the NASA site or CNN), you are more likely to be trusted than a site that is seven or eight hops away.

This, in a nutshell, is how DA and PA are determined. Many tools and individuals rely on these two numbers to determine how trustworthy you are, and whether or not your site is worth linking or working with.

How do I increase my PA or DA?

Links are the key to improving the scores associated with your page and domain authority. The more high quality links you have, and the closer those links take you to the “trusted” seeds in the MozTrust database, the higher those metrics will rise.

Keep in mind that your PA and DA do not have an actual impact on your SEO — they will correlate, but can not change your ranking in search engines. So just keep in mind that PA and DA matter for different reasons than the rest of your SEO.

Do you have any questions about page and domain authority that this page didn’t answer? Or are you looking for answers to questions about your website grade that you can’t find in the resources section on our website? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us — we’d be happy to help you in any way we can!