Among the many factors that impact website performance and ROI is on-page optimization. Conversion rates often depend on the tiniest differences in layout, content and other on-page elements.
On-page optimization is simplified by the availability of free tools like Google Website Optimizer and Google Analytics. By using these applications, you can conduct split and multivariate testing for efficient optimization. You will be able to measure all types of conversions including sales, e-mail subscriptions, form submissions, content sharing and user registrations using tracking and analytical software.
The importance of site architecture
While it is vital to create optimized pages, the overall website architecture is also an critical element in the performance of each page. For example, the URL should be short, with a relevant keyword for each specific page, to appeal to search engine algorithms. Do not pack the URL with too many words, as this may dilute topic relevance.
Make sure that you use canonical URLs, if identical content appears on pages with different URLs. This way, search engines will not penalize the site for duplicate content.
To ensure that search bots find all your important pages, it is a good idea to create a XML sitemap and a robots.txt file. Google and other search engines use these files for scanning your website. The robots.txt file is placed in the root directory of your site and can also be used to prevent search bots from indexing private data files on your server.
Fast is good
The issue of page loading speed remains as important as ever. Not only does it have an impact on search rankings, but it can also determine whether visitors stay onsite or go elsewhere.
Google Analytics allows you to check your page loading speed with tracking reports. Even small differences in website speed can sometimes have a major impact on your performance with users. In order to improve loading speeds, make sure to limit the amount of content on any single page, and avoid using too much resource intensive multimedia. You also need to use a hosting service that provides good server performance.
Content is king
Remember the most important factor in a website’s success is content. Without compelling content, you are wasting your time and resources in trying to attract visitors to your site.
Content should be as fresh and as focused as possible. Content management software can make updating articles, videos, photos and other content much easier. You can even automate content updates using newsfeeds and syndicated content.
However, it is also important for you website to have its own original content that cannot be found anywhere else. Original content is important both for search engine rankings and user satisfaction.
Other important factors
Links are still considered the key factor in achieving high search engine rankings for your pages. External links are, of course, the most important, but this is another subject.
For on-page optimization, you will need to consider the number of internal links and the anchor text used for these links. The anchor text should relate to the keyword focus of the linked page.
Other on-page optimization factors include new trends like rich snippets. However, you should have a good idea now of where to start.