Whether you’re adding a few pages to your website or you’re creating a brand new site altogether, keeping website optimization top of mind along the way can help you rank higher in search engines, keep your audience engaged, and increase lead quality.
When I talk about website optimization, I’m referring to both search engine optimization and user experience optimization. Your website should be created with two general audiences in mind: humans and search engines. If you ignore either of these audiences, your website is likely not performing as well as it could be.
These optimization tips are fairly easy to implement and can have a big impact on your website’s overall performance. Without further ado, here are my top 5 tips to incorporate when adding a new page to your website.
1) Add a custom title tag and meta description
Concise, relevant, unique title tags let search engines know what each page is about.
Unique, descriptive, persuasive meta descriptions entice people to click on your site from the search engine results page.
If you serve your local community, this is an opportunity to use geographical terms that let search engines know where your business is located. Geographical keywords help search engines accurately serve your website to people in your local area and in turn will help drive more qualified traffic to your site.
2) Mark up headings appropriately throughout the content
Each page should have an h1 heading at the top that clearly describes what the page is about. Search engines use this as a key source to understand the content on your page.
It’s also a good practice to mark up your content with additional structured headings (i.e. h2, h3) to make your content easier to read as well as easier to understand in the eyes of search engines.
3) Open external links in a new tab
Pointing to an external source doesn’t need to take people completely away from your site. By opening external links in a new tab, you’ll keep people on your website in the background so they can refer back to it after visiting the external website you’re pointing to within your content.
4) Optimize new images that get added to the site
Adding alt text to an image helps search engines “read” what it is about. This can help with image search visibility, especially if you’ve created something unique and educational like an infographic that provides value and can drive qualified traffic to your website.
It’s also important to format images to the smallest possible file size so they load as quickly as possible. If images don’t load in a matter of seconds, this can deter people from staying on your web page.
5) Ensure there is a clear call-to-action near the bottom of the page
Next steps or calls-to-action are typically most effective toward the bottom of the page. This gives people the opportunity to first read about your offerings and then take action after learning more and becoming interested.
If you leave off a call-to-action on your web page, it increases the odds that people won’t know where to go next and will exit your website.