Feature relevant keywords
Keywords are words or phrases that people type into search engines to find something. All areas of your website—including page names, headlines, site copy, image captions, page descriptions, and URLs—need to include keywords in a natural way that doesn’t sound too forced.
Since people search with specific needs in mind, your keywords should be “long tail,” meaning descriptive and narrowly focused. For example, “wedding photography Newport RI” will work better than just “professional photography.” Specific keywords will bring in less traffic overall, but ranking for more detailed searches will result in a higher conversion rate.
Have a clean site structure
Make sure your website is organized in a way that makes it easy for users and search engines to travel through your site and find what they’re looking for. Internal links from one page to another within your site should provide content that educates your visitor, answers a question about what you offer, or engages them in some other valuable way. Internal links give Google more clues about what your website is about, so it can send relevant visitors your way.
Feature substantial content
Create website content that’s relevant to your top keywords and hefty enough to be valuable. While punchy, skimmable content is great, keep in mind that Google wants content that solves the search intent, so pages with fewer than 200 words will not be highly ranked. If you want to add meat to your copy, be sure each page solves a problem, answers a question, or moves a visitor forward in their journey through your site.
A title tag or page tag is the “headline” for a page when it appears in search engine results pages (SERPs). The words or phrases in your title tags should be specific and descriptive. Think, “Learn How to Paint Landscapes and Portraits" instead of "Painting Class."
Combining this with the meta description—a longer blurb in search results that says more about what your content provides—encourages users to click through to your website. Title tags also appear in your visitors’ web browser tabs and in social media when your content is shared. This is easy to do in Mailchimp’s website builder. Simply go to the page settings and edit the SEO title to create a title tag and the SEO description to write a meta description.
An alt tag is a text description of an image. It serves 3 important purposes. Search engines can’t interpret images, so alt tags help them identify and rank these pieces of content, improving your SEO.
They also help website visitors when an image doesn’t display properly on their screen or load quickly by providing a clue about what image they should be seeing.
Last, and definitely not least, alt tags are easy for screen readers to decipher, so they help with web accessibility. Alt tags should be short and descriptive—think, “paddle board on lake with smiling boy” or “chocolate cake with vanilla frosting and strawberry.”
Optimize for mobile
Google prioritizes mobile websites, so making sure your website is mobile-friendly is critical. This means providing a visually pleasing and easy-to-use experience no matter what device someone is visiting from.
Mobile sites also must load quickly on a 3G connection, render properly on any sized screen, have well-spaced site elements that users can easily tap on to take action, and feature content that’s entirely visible without having to scroll left or right. Mailchimp websites are built with mobile in mind—the website builder allows you to preview your website on a mobile phone to see how it looks.
Enable fast load times
Ideally your pages should load in under 2 seconds—less than 3 is a must. If they do, it’ll improve your search rankings. There are several things that can slow down your load time, including issues with your content management system (CMS), poorly written code, low bandwidth that can’t handle your traffic volume, or numerous large images on a page.
Use Google PageSpeed Insights to test how quickly your website is loading. Be sure you host your website on a platform that enables fast load times.
Install Google Search Console and Analytics
Google Search Console will help you see if Google is finding and indexing all of the pages on your website to highlight places you can improve performance. It can also help you set up your own site search tracking.
You can connect to Google Analytics from your Mailchimp dashboard to monitor your traffic, see what pages are being visited the most, and what links direct visitors to your website. Here's a guide to help you set up Google Analytics.
Make sure your website and URL are secure
Google considers HTTPS encryption a top priority, and will show a security warning in search results if a website is not HTTPs encrypted. Work with a website builder that makes security a priority. All websites created with Mailchimp include an SSL certificate—this encrypts data and guarantees the authenticity of a website to visitors.
If you want to get the most out of your website, you need to use website optimization tools that can help you. There are plenty of options available, and you need to find the right tools to meet your needs. Some of the top options to consider include:
1. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is one of the most popular website optimization tools available. It is easy to use, will help you make sure you have plenty of images and videos, and can help you improve your website architecture. It will also track your keyword density for you to make sure you are using the right terms in the right spots. If you use WordPress to build your website, there is a convenient plug-in you may want to take advantage of.
2. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is also a very important website optimization tool. Given that the vast majority of search engine traffic still comes from Google, it makes sense that you should figure out how Google interprets your website. Google Analytics can help you review certain components of your website to figure out how you rank for certain terms and phrases. You can also use it to keep track of your SEO campaign to figure out what is working and what is not.
If you want to improve the performance of your website, you need to understand the user experience. That is where Hotjar can help you. This is a powerful tool that can help you track the online behavior of your visitor. One of the biggest advantages of using this tool is called heatmaps. You can figure out where your visitors are spending the majority of their time, which can help you figure out what traffic is working well and what is not.
One of the most popular website optimization tools on the market today is called Semrush. This is a comprehensive digital marketing platform that can help you handle everything from search engine optimization to content marketing. It can even help you improve your social media marketing, which you can use to drive more traffic to your website. There are both free and premium versions of this tool available, so you need to figure out what works best for your needs.
5. Moz Pro
You might also want to take a closer look at Moz, which provides you with access to a variety of digital marketing tools. There are some free tools that can help you with your search engine optimization campaign, but you may want to invest in the premium options if you want to get the most out of Moz. You can collect lots of reliable data, use analytical tools to measure the performance of your search engine optimization campaign, and take advantage of advanced APIs to help you make nuanced changes to your website that can dramatically improve the performance of your digital marketing campaign.
Prepare to be found
When people type a query into a search engine and then make their way to your website based on the results, they’re likely to have high engagement potential. A solid website on which you layer SEO best practices will provide an experience that attracts high-potential visitors and makes them want to engage.
“A good, clean website structure with relevant content that offers value and features keywords throughout will be respected by Google,” says Ade. “And that will deliver results.”