Even the best texts are of little use if they cannot be found. And even the most beautiful website makes little sense if it doesn’t bring any conversions. But how does content have to be designed so that it can bring traffic to the site on the one hand and achieve the set goals on the other? Two key words: search engine optimization (SEO) and conversion rate optimization (CRO) – the two best go hand in hand.
The starting shot for better content
Before you can start optimizing, you have to do a few homework: Which people do you want to reach with which type of content? How could it be searched for? For which search terms and keywords do you want to be visible? And what should users ultimately do on the site?
When these questions have been clarified and you have a clear picture in your head of where the content journey should go, on-page optimization can start. There are countless levers here that you can pull. The following checklist contains the most important pillars that should be observed.
On-Page SEO and CRO – Basic Checklist
The metadata “Title” and “Description” can be set in the website’s CMS. Google often uses them to display search results:
The title and description should contain important keywords and search phrases and be written in such a way that users will happily click. A call to action or essential advantages of the offer are usually good click drivers.
Note: Do not confuse metadata with meta keywords. They used to be important to Google, but are no longer important today!
- Choose the right content format
Google is a matchmaker between supply (the content on the Internet) and demand (the users’ search queries). What kind of content is a good hit from Google’s point of view depends on various factors, e.g. the search intention of the user. To get a feel for which content format matches which search query for Google, you can simply google the keywords yourself and analyze the search results more closely. Are product pages from online shops more visible or advice articles? Whitepaper? Checklists? Videos?
At the beginning of the content creation the question is: Who am I writing for and what keywords do these people search with? These keywords and suitable synonyms should then be used in the text. But important: In addition to keywords, the benefit for the user is also relevant. Text length can also play a role. How long a good SEO text is depends on many factors. As a rule of thumb: the topic should be covered as comprehensively as necessary. And – quality over quantity.
Texts should not only be interesting in terms of content, but should also be beautifully presented to the eye. Everything that creates structure like users and Google. Texts should always have a strong main heading and can then be meaningfully structured with subheadings. Tip: Above all, think of the keywords here! Enumerations, lists, highlighting, such as bold print – anything that makes the text more legible is welcome.
To be a good hit, texts should always have a thematic focus. It is better to cover different topics on their own sub-pages than to produce cabbage-and-beet content on one sub-page.
It is not only important that the content is found, but that it also fulfills a specific goal – e.g. contact inquiries or sales. A well-placed call to action (“test for free”, “inquire now”, etc.) shows users what to do and leads to more conversions.
Tip: if there are email addresses or phone numbers, they should always be clickable. This saves users unnecessary “copying work” and also promotes the conversion rate.
- Improve internal linking
The individual contents should always be linked to one another. Well thought-out internal linking not only helps users, but can also improve Google’s ranking. So that Google can actually find all content, each subpage should be linked at least once. In addition, you can show Google which content is particularly important. The more frequently a subpage is linked internally, the more relevant it becomes.
When writing, it should be ensured that links can be set with strong keywords. Link texts like “here” or “read on”, on the other hand, should be avoided.
Tip: keep links up to date! From time to time it is worth checking whether the internal (and also external) links are actually still working.
In addition to content-related aspects, functioning technology is also important. There are often quick wins, especially when it comes to page speed. Page Speed can be easily tested with the free Google tool Page Speed Insights – recommendations for improvement included. If not much has happened in this regard, you usually benefit from uncomplicated things, such as optimizing the images (compression, dimensioning). There are also helpful plugins for WordPress and Co. for topics such as caching and compression, which can make the site faster in a simple way.
If you keep an eye on these eight basics on your own website, you’ve already done a lot right. The most important thing, however, is not to lose sight of the user. Content that is only written for search engines will not make users or Google happy. Better useful content that people love to read instead of endless keyword stuffing with no added value!
About the author: Tamara Zimmermann
Tamara has been helping otago customers, such as Pfizer and Fronius, to conquer search results since 2017. She also passes on her know-how in workshops and lectures on the topics of search engine optimization and online marketing – currently online at otago SEO jungle (until 9.9.2020). Their passion for usability, design and marketing not only let them cast an SEO eye on their customers’ websites.