At Online Image® we are constantly looking at what the near future holds for our client sites, but what about beyond the near future? How do we continue to maintain the traffic and rankings gained in the first 6-9 months and what is the next step?
We spend a lot of time in the first 6 months studying the technical on and off-page elements of a site in order to raise search visibility and attract qualified traffic. These early phases include optimizing current pages and content and building new pages that target unified keyword topics.
After a site is built out and the content is aligned and optimized to keyword and early KPI goals, what happens next in the process?
Every site is different, but here are a couple of our most powerful steps to take after traffic and rankings are obtained:
- Usability studies – this means evaluating a site for how easy it is to use, how easy it is to complete the main goal of any given page or site as a whole. Additionally, is the site optimized for mobile users? The 2014 numbers are in and not only is mobile search gaining more and more ground versus desktop users, mobile searches now account for almost 50%. Almost 1/3rd of paid search conversionsWhen a visitor does what you want them to on your page, that’s a conversion. You can set any conversion goal, but common ones are phone calls, form submittal, newsletter signups and purchases. now come from smartphones and tablets. This means that if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you are missing out on a huge chunk of potential traffic conversions. If a mobile user cannot complete your web form because it doesn’t work in the Internet Explorer browserA program or application (app) used to navigate the World Wide Web, such as Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari or Mozilla Firefox., that user will leave your site and find one that works for them.
So, some elements we look to adjust here include responsive design templates and/or CMS plugins that help a site become mobile friendly, page load time, evaluating ineffective image sliders and carousels (very few users click on these), web forms, drop-down menus, futile splash pages, browser testing, and many other common site elements that are now known as conversion killers.
Optimized usability leads to:
- Conversion Rate Optimization – this means resolving the issues uncovered in the Usability Study phase by applying it to pages with plenty of traffic but that struggle with conversion<. If we can figure out why users aren’t converting on a certain page, we can make the necessary adjustments to turn that bounce into a conversion. This is an intensive time for a site during which content, forms, and design element versions are tested against each other to discover the most optimal version of the element.
This is a simplified explanation of what happens and the reality is that the extended process of long-term internet marketing is messy and confusing but ultimately you can either put your site in the hands of experts accustomed to grinding forward despite the uncertainties and reap the rewards or just let it sit and never explore how to make your site the best it can be.