SEO depends on search engines correctly interpreting your content so they can determine where it should rank. Conversion depends on humans being convinced about what content is on the webpage to make them buy or sign up.
Traditionally, SEO and conversion rate optimisation have been seen as separate digital marketing channels, yet as Google’s algorithm becomes more intelligent, it rewards web pages with higher rankings that demonstrate relevancy, navigational ability and has highly rich content.
It’s a job for business owners and entrepreneurs to help both humans and search engine crawlers better understand precisely what our web content is about, so it will rank better and receive more organic traffic.
The challenge is what entirely is required on a webpage to ensuring both understand our content?
Some of us approach this through simple trial and error methods.
A web page will be created with a bunch of text or videos and images. There is no uniform structure or content plan, hoping that each page created will rank well and do its role in convincing others to sign up or buy their product.
However, I prefer to use a process that works, and the below eight points are what I would do when creating new webpages.
The good news for you is that I do have a robust structure of a webpage you can implement from an SEO and conversion perspective.
The not-so-good news is that as always with SEO and human emotion, nothing is guaranteed.
In many cases, especially when competing with powerful competitors, you will still have to put significant effort into link building as well.
The beauty of this approach is that whilst it helps a web page to rank better, it also enhances the user experience that helps to improve conversions.
1# Title Tags
The title tags for a web page is one of the most vital on-page factors, providing valuable context to help search engines understand not only what a page is about, but what is displayed in SERPs. That’s why it’s essential to write title tags for your targeted visitors, and not just for search engines.
Google usually displays the first 70 characters of a title tag, so it’s best to remain within that range. Also, it’s important to include keyword phrases that you wish to rank for in a way that sounds both natural and engaging.
If a title is tedious, confusing, or spammy, searchers typically won’t click, and if they don’t click, they won’t visit your website.
2# Meta Description
Whilst meta descriptions are not a linear ranking factor; they can impact click-through rates, which works to improve your organic traffic efforts.
A meta description is what is displayed in the search engine results. As with the title tag, if a narrative is tedious, confusing or spammy; searchers won’t bother visiting your website, losing not only traffic but also the potential business.
Google typically displays up to about 160 characters of a meta description tag, so make it this long.
Moreover, it’s also critical to include keyword phrases you wish to rank for in a way that sounds both logical and engaging. It is these keyword phrases that will be displayed in bold, drawing the attention of searchers.
3# Bread Crumbs
Whilst you probably won’t need to use breadcrumbs to find your way to the homepage, from an SEO perspective, they play a valuable role compared to your competitors who don’t use them.
Breadcrumbs are simple text links that empower visitors to retrace their path from the page they are landed on, and then the ability to view browsed pages back to the entry page. They should be located near the top of your webpages and accurately reflect the URL structure of your website.
Breadcrumbs aid search engines to better understand your content from a hierarchical perspective. By displaying how pages on your website relate to each other, they ensure that the correct pages rank for the right topics.
However, they also play a pivotal role in user experience by making it easier for visitors to navigate throughout a website, especially those websites with a correct multilevel URL structure.
This increases both trust in your brand and dwell time on the webpage, thus boosting its relevancy signals to search engines.
People don’t read, they scan.
They look for something more specific or something that catches their interest – this is where subheadings come in.
Subheadings break text into smaller, more logical sections. Visitors then scroll down to locate precisely what they want to read (or scan).
Subheadings also help search engines better interpret your content by demonstrating a hierarchy of the content published on a particular page. By using heading tags from H1 down to H6 appropriately, both search engines and people can assess the importance of content sections. You will not need to use all six levels; in most cases, three or four will be adequate.
Images offer additional information and context that plain words cannot, so it is imperative that all images provide value and are not used to simply fill up a page.
So, skip the meaningless stock photos of business people shaking hands, sitting in meetings, or randomly smiling for no apparent reason.
- Product photos
- Map images and locations
- Images demonstrating how to perform an action or task
If you must use stock images or photos, ensure they are cropped and adequately formatted to fit the web page. Use software to make some excellent banner designs – this will not only demonstrate professionalism yet be more eye-catching to the visitor.
Moreover, it is not enough to simply include useful images and be done with it. This is because search engines can’t understand pictures on their own. You must help them understand what the image is about by correctly naming image files and adding image alt and title attributes.
Tip: Image files should be named in a way that briefly describes the contents. Please don’t go stuffing it with keywords.
An accurate one-to-five word file name that identifies what the image depicts is what you should aim for.
Concerning the alt attribute, the purpose is to provide supplementary information to visually impaired visitors. The key here is to include a summary describing what is in the image.
Plus, if an image happens to be a clickable link, the title attribute should explain what the visitor will expect if they click the link.
According to research from Cisco, video traffic will be 82% of all IP traffic (both consumer and business) by 2022, up from 75 per cent in 2017.
That statistic demonstrates the critical role video is now playing in digital marketing. It will only become more imperative as consumer demand for video content continues to increase..
From an SEO perspective, a video is a powerful cog in creating a positive user experience by:
- Presenting information in a format people are more likely to consume
- Fostering brand recognition
- Increasing engagement
- Demonstrating authority and expertise in your industry
Plus, the use of video should keep visitors on your webpage longer, that subsequently reduces your bounce rate and increases the likelihood that they will engage with your brand.
Moreover, your videos can be published on YouTube, potentially reaching a new, untapped audience and driving them back to your website.
When a visitor lands on a page from a search engine, they are searching for a unique piece of information.
If you make it harder for them to find that information, your searchers will likely abandon the page due to frustration and look for a more easy-to-navigate competitor instead.
So how do you make it even easier for visitors to find exactly what they’re looking for? By creating a sitemap as either an ordered or unordered list – and from there hyperlinking the anchor text to the titles of your webpages.
Schema is a community activity with a purpose to create, maintain, and promote structured data on the Internet, especially on web pages.
When implemented correctly, Schema can boost how your brand and web pages are displayed in the search engine result pages. Whilst Schema is not a corresponding ranking factor, it does help search engines to better interpret your content, thus improving ranking.
Within search engine results, you will have noticed there are reviews, featured images, event dates and restaurant menus. This is the result of Schema – you would probably agree that this captures your attention more than ordinarily ranking results.
Surprisingly, less than one-third of websites currently use Schema. As more webpages are created, Schema will be used more and more, especially as voice search gains popularity.
So, focus on including:
- businesses and organisations
Businesses creating landing pages should prioritize on well-placed structure and text, clean design, and strong CTAs to ensure stable organic rankings and high conversions.
So, don’t just take a stab in the dark – follow this anatomy of a webpage and you will see your pages boosted in both SEO and conversions.
This article was first written for Vanilla Forums.