Optimizing Your Website for Search Engines

James Page

By James Page

March 10, 2021

After selecting the right keywords for your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) campaign, the next step is to optimize your website. In this tutorial, we’ll teach you how to make low-effort improvements that can have a big impact on website performance.

Optimizing your website simply means improving the way your website works to meet a specific objective. You can optimize your website for search engines, page speed, mobile devices, or conversions.

In this tutorial, we’ll focus on two objectives: optimizing for search engines and optimizing for conversions. This way your SEO campaign can produce two very important results:

  1. More website users from search engines
  2. A higher conversion rate for all website users
Tools You’ll Need:

  • Access to log in and make changes to your website (or the ability to email your web developer to request these changes)
  • Google Analytics – Sign in to Google Analytics Here

How to Begin Optimizing Your Website:

Establish Website Goals

Before optimizing your website, we need to know what we’re optimizing for. Write down the most valuable actions that someone can do on your website. These actions are also called ‘conversions.’ The percentage of users that complete these desired actions is your conversion rate.

Here are some common website conversions:

  • Order Online
  • Make a Reservation
  • Click to Call
  • Get Directions
  • Form Submission
  • Sign up for the Newsletter
  • PDF Download (i.e. a Menu, Specification Sheet or Whitepaper)
  • Click to Email

Sitemap Review

Now that we’ve established our website goals, let’s review all the pages on our website. Do you have a dedicated page for each of your website goals? For example, if a restaurant offers both Online Ordering and Reservations, we should have a dedicated page for each of these (with different text, imagery, and website goals for each page).

You may also have other buttons throughout the website that link to “Order Online” or “Make a Reservation” which help boost and repeat these dedicated website goal pages. The repetitive nature of these links will help website users when browsing the website, as people tend to use websites differently than one another. 

Copywriting for Search Engines

There are three major areas to focus on when optimizing website copy for search engines. The goal is to feature your target keywords in these areas as frequently as possible, while still drafting text that makes sense and is on-brand. You’ll need to write unique text for each page on your website for these areas:

  1. Page Title & Meta Description
    Page Titles and Meta Descriptions are short pieces of HTML code found in every web page on your website, they do not appear physically on the page. Page Titles should be 50–60 characters in length and Meta Descriptions should be 120–160 characters in length.
  2. Page Heading (or “h1”)
    The page heading is the bold title at the top of every web page. For example, many websites have an “About Us” page; it’s better for search engines (and humans) if the heading on this page says something more descriptive than just “About Us.” Get creative and see if you can write a new heading that uses one of your target keywords.
  3. Body Content
    The body content on each web page is the most obvious area where you can use target keywords in normal sentences. Remember, the words you use on your website are the words that search engines will scan and associate with your website. If you want to rank for specific keywords, you need to include these words in the text on your website. An easy way to organize this optimization is to choose one word per page to focus on.

 

Pro Tip: Don’t forget that humans read this text! Make sure to use your target keywords in normal language so that the text is attractive to both humans and search engines.

Location Information

Ask yourself, “What’s the most common reason that someone is visiting your website?” Is it to see if you’re open? Get directions? Or call your business? While photography and other creative elements can make the website look attractive, these elements should not disguise the most common information that users are looking for. Make sure your business name, address, phone number, and operating hours are located near the top of your landing page and are easy for users to find.

Tracking Performance

Be sure to install Google Analytics on your website so you can track how website visitors found you and what they’re doing on your site. If you’re migrating to a new website, you will want to migrate your existing Google Analytics property to the new website so you can compare the performance before and after migration.

The Website Goals (or conversions) that we established in Step 1 can also be configured in Google Analytics so that you can track and measure these actions over time. We won’t be going into detail in this tutorial on how to set up these goals, but if you’d like more information you can click here to learn how to create, edit, and share goals in Google Analytics

How Will You Know if it’s Working?

Here are some test criteria you can use to check if your website optimization work was done correctly.

  • Use a colon to search your domain and one of your target keywords to see if Google has recognized your website for this keyword i.e. “site:[your-domain] keyword.” You can also use this method to review your Page Titles and Meta Descriptions by omitting the keyword “site:[your-domain].”
  • Get Google Tag Assistant to verify that Google Analytics has been installed properly on your website. 

 


Written By
James Page

Jimmy started Hudson Creative over 10 years ago as a one-man web development company. Since then, he has published hundreds of websites, developed an unmatched knowledge of search engine optimization, and built the Hudson team to rally around a simple mission: execute our unique, proven digital marketing tactics to help clients reach their business goals.

Subscribe

Sign up for the Hudson Hub newsletter.

Receive new blog posts straight to your inbox as soon as they are published.

More from the Hudson Hub

Optimizing Your Website for Search Engines

After selecting the right keywords for your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) campaign, the next step is to optimize your website.

Read More >
Choosing the Right Keywords for SEO

Today I’d like to provide you with insight into how our agency chooses keywords for a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) campaign. Your target keywords represent the market position for your website in search engines. These are the “key” words that your website and brand will come to be recognized for on the web. Choosing the […]

Read More >
Hudson Creative Digs In With Pepsi

This month we’re thrilled to announce our participation in PepsiCo’s consumer-facing, multi-year platform, “Dig In,” a rallying cry for people to double down on supporting Black-owned restaurants. As part of this platform, Hudson Creative will provide Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services for hundreds of Black-owned restaurants across the United States.  Beyond the opportunity to work […]

Read More >
Top 5 Digital Marketing Strategies for Reopening Restaurants

The Hudson Creative team has compiled some advice for businesses looking to conquer Coronavirus' marketing challenges.

Read More >

Business Growth Starts Here

Are you ready to speak with someone about reaching your online business goals? A marketing professional from Hudson Creative is standing by ready to help.

Contact Us