Issue 1 – The first step – Choosing keywords
Issue 2 – Planning your site – Making the structure
Issue 3 – Social Media – Building your brand
Issue 4 – Tell search engines where you are
Issue 5 – Link building – Get your votes
Issue 6 – Write your articles – Blogging
Issue 7 – Building your network – The social kind
Issue 8 – Spending money – Paid advertising
How do you plan your site, especially when it comes to SEO?
Now see, SEO in my mind is never really just about appearing at the top of the search engines. You really need to move to your next steps. Firstly, appear, secondly, get people to click, thirdly, get your site to convert.
In this article Planning Your Site, part 2 of my series on SEO, we’ll discuss how you can plan your site properly, and what you need to do, not only as you are building, but also where to go after you deploy. Make sure you read issue 1 – The first step and then head on over to get building.
Okay, let’s go.
Firstly, you need to decide this very important thing “What is your conversion?” When a person lands on your site, what is your win? What do you want them to do? After you’ve decided your win for your whole site, you need to plan your pages. In this article, we’re going to use DigiGround’s designs of pages, direct from the website.
In the beginning, when building the DigiGround site, we sat around and asked each other “What is our conversion?” the answer came from the Creative Director (Gokce) “We want to show people our skills.” This was actually 100% true. For our kind of company, with a large array of people with a giant array of experience, we actually didn’t really have anything when we started. I mean, we all had skills, knowledge, ability individually, but the company DigiGround had nothing. So, we went BIG. If you look at our website home page, you’ll see a huge number of different functions. Check them out below:
1 – Rotating, animated banner that tells a story. See how the guys gets close. It’s like we are waking behind him, bringing ourselves into the light. And the messaging in the text tells everyone something about how we work and what our company does, but without spelling it out directly.
2 – Plain text, and a list of skills. Each one of the icons was custom made by Cesia with text written by Lily.
3 – Unique photography that captures the personality of each individual that was taken by Jon with a creative title for each of us invented by the individual and a blurb written by Enrique
But it doesn’t stop there, when you click one of the people you get a lightbox with a video again, scripted, filmed and narrated by Jon:
4 – Our blogs! Where we really show off our expertise:
5 – Our social platforms, not only does it allow you to follow us, but it shows just how many social platforms we can manage:
6 – Finally the obligatory form with our awesome creative DigiGround stamp. This form is actually fed direct into our CRM by the way (fully created in house in conjunction with our development partners):
So, we got our win for the home page, but really, when you think about it, that does nothing. What you really came here to find out is what is YOUR conversion.
There are only three real conversions on a landing page. I’ll mention them below and put up some examples.
Number 1 – Getting the user to scroll down and read more:
To get a user to scroll down and read more, you need to show them that there is something below. If you look on the DigiGround home page, we have a hero image that is full screen and the menu at the top. We don’t really target people scrolling down or doing the other two types of conversion on the home page. We target showing our skill, so, we put the menu at the top to let people know there is more to the page, and they can also scroll down if they want. BUT, we do have pages that we want people to scroll down on. Our individual Services pages are these. Have a look below:
You can see from the landing that there is something cut off, therefore there must be more down there right? And, as you scroll down, you’ll continually discover more. Our Services pages are there to encourage people to scroll down and read the content to make an informed decision. Yes, there is a form at the top of the page, and the overall win for this page is to collect details in the form, BUT, the purpose of the page is to get users to scroll down, read, discover what we offer, and THEN complete the form when they have all the information.
Which brings us to the second type of page.
Number 2 – Getting a user to complete a form
High volume advertising landing pages are a dime a dozen, you can get millions of templates on the internet to copy, but when people download the templates, they’re not really being told why or how they work. Now, once again, it’s all about how the user lands.
When the user lands on an advertising landing page they’ll see something like this:
You can see, a big banner and text telling you what it is (SEO MANAGEMENT), a tagline to convince you that you’re at the right place (SOAR HIGH WITH YOUR RANKING WITH OUR SEO), then, an offer (FILL OUT THE FORM NOW TO RECEIVE A FREE SEO ANALYSIS OF YOUR WEBSITE).
Now, there is also things on the page known as “Call to Action” (it’s either calls to action or call to actions, I don’t know, but either way, it’s definitely CTAs). These are actually there to create a sense of panic in the user with demands hidden as suggestions. On this page there are 5 calls to action. See if you can find them..
Could you find them all? Well, check out the picture below to see them:
- Fill out the form now
- Fill out the form
- Get started now
- Email me
- And, the DigiGround tagline ‘DigiGrow With Us’
Now, we could actually stand to put a couple more on there. A header line with a “Call us now” and our number and “Email us directly” and our connect email.
All these calls to action are driving people to the form that is on the right. But, did you realise there is more to this page? You can actually scroll down and see more. More everything, more, more form, more demands, more offers.
Now, we are on to number 3
Number 3 – Getting the user to buy something
Now, on DigiGround we don’t have a shop. So I can’t use this to show you how to drive conversions. But I can tell you to check out something like www.musocity.com.au (this site was not made by us). This is a very well designed, high converting eCommerce site which has junction boxes at the top detailing the categories, a main menu repeating them, to drive customers to click through, scroll down and complete the form. Because that is what you want an eCommerce site to do. A combination of number 1 and 2.
So, how do you decide what you want? It’s easy. What is your website for?
Is it an information sharing site, then scroll down? Is it for lead generation for your sales, then fill out the form? Is it a shop, then eCommerce?
So, now you’ve decided. What do you do?
You now need to plan your site, what information do you need on there? This will tell you what pages you need and how many. You then need to write those pages down and note them as what kind of individual conversion they will drive for you. Will they be an information page (like an about us) or a lead page (like a services page) or, will they send people to your shop?
Once you have that, you then work out your user flow. Think of yourself as the user, not as yourself. How do you interact with websites?
Do you, land on the main page, then read about the company and products before making a decision? Or do you research the site, then land on a webpage like yours and just buy?
You need to think like the user and how they will work, then you need to construct your pages around this.
Once you have that, you’re now ready to start building.
So, you take each page you have, and you decide your best possible keyword for it. You then write your content around a few Google based rules.
- One heading 1 tag (H1) with the keyword in it
- No more than 150 words
- Another heading tag, this time H2-H4 with your keyword in it
- No more than 150 words
- Another heading tag, this time H2-H4 with your keyword in it
WAIT A MINUTE! I am detecting a pattern.
That’s right, you need to write content for your page which has at least 300 words overall, but no more than 150 words in between each heading tag. You need to only have one H1 tag on the page, and you need to ensure that you are only using your keyword a certain amount of times on the page. You need to make sure you have an image, and the image has the keyword in the filename, and an alt tag with the keyword. And you need to make sure you have diversified inbound links pointing to your page with no more than 40% using your keyword as the anchor text. You need to make sure you include your keyword in the title tag as the first words, and in the description tag as well, and you need to make sure that another site is linking to this page using this keyword.
You need to make sure that your page is mobile optimised, and also has a good desktop and page speed, and that there is open graph markup on the page, and there is schema markup on the page and the URL is optimised with the keyword in it and the words in your URL are separated correctly and that your URL contains only valid characters and your URL structure is good and there are no broken links on the page and the keyword appears in the first paragraph and there is no meta refresh or 302 redirect and and and and and and and and and.
There are thousands of contributing factors to on page search results, and no one knows them all. Google engineers don’t even know them all.
And anyone who tells you they do, well, they’re lying straight up. Which is why optimisation should never just be about appearing first on search engines, but also ensuring your pages are built properly for conversion.
This is one of the most difficult things to learn, but if you need help, feel free to send me your page link by email or Skype or on Facebook or anywhere else. I’d be happy to have a look over it and give some free advice. In fact, I’d enjoy it.
And finally, watch out for my next blog on SEO and social media. Social can be annoying, time consuming and confusing, but it is important for SEO!
If you are a charity and need help with your SEO then get in touch with us today! We may be able to help as a part of our DigiCare Program.