A properly optimized website supercharges a content marketing program.
Hosting your content assets can build your brand authority with search engines and help you capture new leads. It could even turn into an automated sales machine.
But here’s the thing: Many factors go into optimizing website content, and many are ignored, overlooked, or dismissed.
Consider six elements that don’t always get the attention they deserve. Addressing them will help turn your website into a profitable powerhouse.
Mistake 1: Not optimizing for mobile first
Think about these two Statistics: In 2022, more than 92% of global users accessed the Internet through mobile phones, and only about 66% accessed the Internet using laptops or desktop computers.
It’s a mobile-first world, so why not optimize for mobile on desktop devices? Here are some ideas on how to do this:
- Design your site for mobile and then make sure it adapts to other devices instead of designing for desktop first.
- Use short meta titles and descriptive because they are easier to digest on mobile.
- Avoid pop-ups, or at least make sure they don’t cover important content.
Mistake 2: Ignoring website performance
In 2023, site visitors have no patience for slow, lagging, or poorly performing websites. So make sure your website team performs routine speed checks.
You can use a free tool like Google’s PageSpeed Insights, which provides a score based on performance, accessibility, use of best practices and site SEO. It also allows you to shoot your Web Vitals report from Google.
Fix any issues identified by the tool, some of which may require developer assistance. Whoever helps to fix bugs must also know Google well. Web Vitals initiative and resolution of potential issues related to the loading experience, interactivity, and visual stability of page content.
Mistake 3: Forgetting to optimize images and titles
To fail at optimize images and titles creates a major accessibility issue for people who depend on screen readers and text browsers. It also means your content won’t “speak” well so search engines can understand the content.
To optimize text-related elements around your content:
- Make sure every page – and every piece of content – contains a meta title and meta description incorporating the targeted keyword.
- Include an alternative title and alternative description for all image and video media. If relevant, include your target keyword in both, but be sure to describe what’s in the media.
- Create a separate URL for all content items (i.e. blog posts, gated resources) and include the target keyword.
Mistake 4: Designing without considering user experience
From the moment they land on your site, visitors should feel comfortable browsing it. While appearance is important, the sitemap should have an intuitive layout with category tabs placed where they make the most functional sense.
To create a high quality user experience:
- Tailor your website copy, visuals, and aesthetics to your ideal audience.
- Add elements of trust such as accolades, stats, testimonials, and experience to boost your credibility.
- Present tailor-made solutions to the main pain points of your target audience.
- Test your website often from the user experience to make sure it’s intuitive.
- If you collect relevant user data through cookies to enable a hyper-personalized site, remember to include a cookie consent banner and stay up to date on all compliance laws.
- To use Headlightan open source and automated tool, to obtain additional information on improving the quality of the pages.
- Add a feedback form to your website and encourage users to provide constructive criticism, so you can improve their experience.
Mistake 5: Not having a solid website architecture
Wondering why Google hasn’t indexed your site? The culprit could be your website architecture.
When identifying and resolving issues, work with a developer who is familiar with SEO and knows how to build an SEO optimized site architecture. Google’s Matt Cutts gives a useful overview of how it all works together:
Mistake 6: Not optimizing content items for search
When you publish content, you must have a search intent strategy behind.
To maximize the optimization of your on-site content:
- Organize your content into dedicated hubs and include all your assets – blog posts, white papers, case studies, etc. – around this topic. Create a “resource” tab under which these hubs are hosted.
- Create topic groups in hubs with the related topic. Include relevant links to parent and child pages and maintain the integrity of the site architecture.
- Identify and target keyword phrases for every web page and piece of content on your website.
- Target and secondary place key words naturally and strategically in your pages and resources.
End Mistakes and Start SEO Success
When you know what to avoid and what to include, your website can attract more visitors, leads, and customers.
But it all starts with avoiding common mistakes, including not focusing on mobile or preparing the site and content to attract search engines. Ready to start?
All tools mentioned in the article are identified by the author. Feel free to suggest additional tools in the comments.
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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute