The very first, and arguably most important, aspect to your conversion optimization setup is the planning you will need to do in the beginning. The planning is one of the most crucial parts of the conversion optimization process because it ensures you are on the right path for your specific brand and your specific target audience. You can’t appeal to every single person in the web universe, nor should you want to. Your brand/product was designed for a specific set of users, and those are the ones we want to get in front of. By following the 5 basic steps of setting up your Audience Architecture, you will be narrowing down your playing field and getting just that. So, here’s what we’ll cover in this post:
Step 1 – Define Your Audience
This brings us to step 1. Before we can narrow the field and get in front of these users, we need to first and foremost make sure we are recognizing the correct segment of the market for your particular needs. More than likely this is something you already did when you initially created your brand / product, but just in case we will use this as a refresher. First, think about what it is you are trying to offer. Are you promoting yourself or a particular service, or are you promoting a specific product? From there, think about who it is that ideally and realistically uses this product, service, or brand. Of course, we all want to be the number one brand in the world that will have every person on Earth using their products, but that’s just not realistic. For a specific service or product, the more you can narrow and specify your audience the better off you will be. Think of this in terms of quality vs. quantity. You will be decreasing the size of your target audience, but increasing the quality of the leads it brings in. By narrowing your audience, you will be sure to be getting in front of users that are actually going to be interested in your offering, which will in turn lead to qualified visitors coming to your site.
Step 2 – Think Like Your Audience
Once you have narrowed down your segment of users and defined your target audience, the next step is to start thinking like your audience. Thinking like your audience is important so that you will know what it is they are searching for to look for similar brands or products. Are they looking to solve a problem? Are they looking for a new way to do something? What exactly is it that they are using search engines to find? In order to know where to maximize your efforts you need to know what it is that your audience is typing into google. Take a step into their shoes, and think about what they would be looking for in order to find a similar product / brand to yours. Once you know what it is they are looking for, you will be able to craft much better search engine marketing strategies for your business around this.
To understand this fully, think about this as if you were a business that specialized in shoes. If you were attempting to sell your classic red heels online, you need to break this apart and think about how your audience is thinking about it. Are they going to take to google and just blindly search for “shoes”? Probably not. Even if they did, chances are they wouldn’t be finding your product from this search, as millions of different options exist for just “shoes”. On the other hand, if they search for “red stiletto heels”, their chances of finding your product immediately go up, as it cuts out any that don’t match with that description. If they have a product in mind, they will more than likely begin by typing as much detail into the search as possible so their results can be very specific. The more detailed key terms you can think of that someone might use to find your brand or your product, the better off your audience will be.
Step 3 – Get Acquainted with All Necessary Accounts
One of the most important steps in the website optimization setup process comes when you need to get acquainted with all of the necessary accounts you will need to accurately track your progress. These can seem like a lot at first, but once set up can be extremely useful in ensuring you are on the right track for your future success. In this step, you will need to get familiar with Google WebMaster Tools, Google Trends, and MOZ.
The below section assumes you have GWMT setup, if you do not, then you should do this immediately, and you can skip this section for now. Make a note to come back to it in a week after you have some data to look at…
Google Search Console (Formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools) is a reference site that can be used to gain insight into how Google crawls your site, see what it sees when it does a crawl, and view a general status check on your site as a whole. Any errors that are reported during the crawl can also be seen so that you will be able to return to your site and fix the errors. Once fixed, you can notify Google that it has been fixed so that it can recrawl your site and make sure the errors are gone. The less errors you have the better, as this will affect your score for Google’s search results. Inside of Google Search Console, you can also see an overview of what phrases or terms users are searching for to get to your site. By going to Search Traffic – Search Analytics, you will be able to see all terms or phrases users are searching for. This is extremely beneficial, as it directly relates back to thinking like your audience.
Also inside of Google Search Console, you can see how many pages of your site have been indexed by Google. This is an important piece to take note of because if it ever starts to decline or abruptly flatlines, this is a definite indication that something is wrong within your site. This would mean that Google is no longer indexing pages, and no longer sees your site as relevant or up to date. However, the best way to keep this number active is to be continually writing new content and adding pieces to your site. New, fresh, content keeps you relevant and up to date, and will always ensure that Google is coming back to index more pages.
The last important aspect of Google Search Console is that you can submit your sitemap manually to Google from within. What’s a sitemap? By submitting the sitemap yourself, you are basically telling Google that you have added new content and your site is ready to be crawled again. This bumps the priority up for Google and will ensure that it crawls your site in a timely fashion, which is great news for your search engine optimization strategies. After you submit the sitemap, it will also tell you the status directly on your dashboard, so you can be positive that it was submitted.
Next up on our list of necessities is Moz. Moz is a great paid service that can be used to track keywords for your site and compare how you directly stack up against the competition for the given keywords. Once you register for an account with Moz, you can then load in a list of keywords for your given site. You are limited by the amount of terms you are able to track, so you will again want to narrow down how many you load in. After they have all been added, Moz will provide you with a high level view of how you stack up to others in your market and how the terms are working for your site. Once inside, you can view a basic SERP report- Page Authority will show you how well a given page will rank, and Domain Authority will tell you how well a given site will rank. Another extremely helpful aspect is the Tracked Keywords Overview, which will show the overview rankings for all of your shared keywords. At the end of each month, you can easily export a .csv from here and go over the reporting to see how you did for the previous month.
The Page Optimization section allows you to enter a keyword and a particular page, and will show you some suggestions on how to improve the page with the given keyword. Links will track any other domains that are also linking to your site. Interlinking with other sites is greatly beneficial, as it will help you seem more relevant and will increase your SEO even higher.
As you can see, this is just the tip of the iceberg and there are a lot of great things you can do with Moz, Google Search Console, and the like to help increase your website optimization. However, to ensure they are all used to the best of their abilities, we suggest using them in conjunction with the Google Adwords Keyword Planner. To fully understand the benefits and the best way to use this to your advantage, keep a keen eye out for our next post – Building Your Keyword List.