SEO: More than Meets the Eye
As we all know there is a purpose the every page we add on our website, posts included.
Most of the time, the purpose is simple: to rank highly for a particular keyword, usually long-tail. However, that is only half of the battle, my friends.
Once you get that visitor, what is that you want them to do?
Well, there are five actions that most webmasters want their visitors to take. These are:
• Click a link to go to another page
• Buy (either your product or affiliate)
• Register (again, your site or affiliate)
• Click/View an ad (image and/or video)
• Share the page/article
Which of these actions you want your visitor to take depends on your niche and how you are monetizing your website.
So if you are building a webpage, writing the content, finding the image, etc. (or paying somebody to do all this for you) you are investing time into it. Now if you are trying to rank the site, you again are either investing time or money. Therefore, if your site ranks and gets visitors you clearly do not want them to just bounce off the page. You want to capture their attention, stir their creativity, or even excite them about a concept or product. Here we will talk about how to get visitors to stay on your page and become users.
It is often said in marketing that you have a split second to capture a person’s attention, after that anything you do (including juggling fireballs) will not stir their decision.
Many websites fall prey to over-optimizing. Meaning they try to please everybody but end up reaching nobody. They lack a focus on their pages. Visitors come but, feeling confused by too many options, most of the leave.
“What can I do then, Vlad?”
You have to decide the key action you want people to take. Do you want them to sign up for a free trial? Or buy X, Y, and Z? Subscribe to a newsletter?
Tailor each page on a focus on one thing. For example, create one page that offers the free trial, another that has the newsletter sign ups, and etc.
Here is a good example of a website that has one clear goal/action that it wants users to take: www.barkbox.com/
Do you know where people divert their eyes to when they first land on you page?
If not, you should try to research and figure this out. Here is a website that can help you out a great deal: www.feng-gui.com/
Before deciding on a layout for your page it is often good to consider what you are trying to accomplish. For example: if you are going to be doing a lot of advertisements it would be good to have a darker template with a dark background so that the ads (which are usually of brighter colors) can “pop” more.
On the other hand, if you are trying to sell a service, then you would most likely want to use a more minimal, lighter theme with a very spread out layout. Your color scheme should feature light, friendly colors like orange, green, and yellow. This would make your service seem more friendly and personable. The light background (usually off-white) will not distract the user, and instead steer their eyes towards the bright green “BUY NOW” button.
Some Design Thoughts:
Web desing is an artform in its own way. And as far as art goes, rules usually don’t apply. However, there are a few rules that web designers follow. Not for their benefit, but for ours (the webmasters):
1. Blocks of color will steal the eye’s attention
2. Human faces (sometimes even things resembling human faces) will steal the eye’s attention
3. Readability is in the whitespace – space out your article. Keep the paragraphs short and use headings and bullet points whenever possible.
A page’s success can often times be measured by one measurement:
How many visitors did you convert into doing _______ (whatever it is you want them to do)?
Too often though, this is blurred by other aspects of SEO and design that limit us on what we can do.
For example, our current budget might not allow for a complete redesign of your landing page. Or your designer might not even know how to implement a change that you want. In those times we are almost forced to work with what we have.
Many result to taking up coding on their own (with often terrible results). However, a lot of change can happen just by switching a few key elements of your page. I recommend to take a look at, www.whichtestwon.com, which does split tests on many website to analyze how small changes affect conversion rates.