When I first started out in business… I made a ton of mistakes.
Mistakes that cost me thousands of dollars but even worse…
Thousands of hours of wasted time.
If I were to start over, I would have loved if someone provided me with these 5 steps to wildly improve my website!
Whether you are designing your website homepage or your landing page for a specific product or service, follow these best practices to skyrocket your conversions.
1. Update Your Title Tags & Meta Descriptions
“Title tags are the second most important on-page factor for SEO, after content.” – Moz
What are page title tags?
The title tag is the blue headline text you see in the search results after you type something into Google.
Underneath it is the URL in green, and then the meta description in black, which is a snippet of supporting text about the page.
This is what people AND search engines see as the title of your page. It’s usually the first thing they’ll see, and that’s the primary reason why it’s so important to update your title tags!
Always remember to cater your title tag toward the keyword that people are most like to type into Google.
For example, if you are a Naturopathic Doctor in Phoenix your title tag should be something like:
- Good Title Tag: Phoenix Naturopathic Doctor | [Your Business Name]
- Bad Title Tag: Your Business Name] Helping You Regain Control of Your Health!
PRO TIP: Make sure your main focus keyword is in your title tag. If you’re an accident attorney, make sure “accident attorney” is inside your title tag. Same goes for “dentist”, “gym”, “bike repair”, etc. For best results, try to put your focus keyword as close to the beginning of your title as possible.
Remember… Google is a ROBOT! Without including the keywords that people are searching how would Google ever know to show your website?
How long should your title tag be?
Title tags should be short. Google shows about 60 characters of the title tag, however, the optimal length of a title tag is 55 characters.
At this point, you are probably wondering… what the heck is my title tag! Am I doing this right?
Glad you asked!
Click here and then copy and paste your website URL like shown below to see what your title tag is.
Please Note: The image above shows me reviewing my title tag for pages within my website. Each website page should have a title tag describing what type of content is on that web page.
The most important title tag is your home page; however, if you have multiple offices in your city you should have multiple pages with different content and different title tags.
I learned this when building Student-Tutor. We literally had to build out hundreds of pages of content with different title tags.
By doing so it allowed us to rank on the first page of Google nationwide! Now we get over a million annual page views!
Pretty cool right?!
Now there is obviously more strategies that go into getting your website to rank on the 1st page of Google. But for now, just make sure you have the right title tags injected into your website.
Seriously… pause reading this article for a second and check to ensure you have the right title tags! 🙂
Ok, awesome! Now you might be wondering… but Todd how do I change my title tag?
How to change your title tag:
- If you are using WordPress, the plugin Yoast SEO allows you to edit your title tag and meta description of each page very easily.
- If you are using another CMS like Weebly, Spotify, Squarespace, etc. you should be able to reach out to chat support and they can help you!
- If you have a custom coded website, you’ll need to ask your web developer to make the change.
- You can also find dozens of YouTube videos around this topic!
After you get your title tag squared away don’t’ forget about updating the meta description!
Remember the title tag was the blue text and the meta description is the text that explains the result.
Contrary to popular belief the meta description does not have much effect on your SEO or getting your website seen on Google.
However, it has a HUGE effect on the click-through rate of the user.
21 Essential SEO Tips & Techniques, Search Engine Land says…
“The meta description tag won’t help you rank, but it will often appear as the text snippet below your listing, so it should include the relevant keyword(s) and be written so as to encourage searchers to click on your listing.”
When editing your meta description this is your chance to make the user want to click and go to your website.
If you are interested in going the extra mile Eric Siu, the CEO & co-founder of Single Grain, created an awesome tool to optimize and split test your meta descriptions called Click Flow.
ClickFlow allows you to test the effectiveness of each page (or groups of pages) to increase your organic traffic without the hassle of building links or writing more content.
However, if you are just getting started. You can skip this step for now!
2. Convey Your Value Proposition on Your Website
A value proposition is a simple statement about what your company does best for its customers and should be listed several times across your website.
Ask yourself these questions to come up with ideas for your unique value proposition:
- What problem does the product or service solve and how does it do it?
- What are the benefits of using the product or service?
- Why and how is the product or service better than the competitors?
To get your value proposition right, answer this question: “Why should I buy from you and not your competitor?” It’s a unique promise that can solve your customer’s problem, remove their fear, and offer them a compelling reason to act.
Do NOT do this with your value proposition:
- State how many years you’ve been in business or how much experience you have.
- Use generic phrases like “satisfaction guaranteed” or “we care about our customers”
- Do not focus on your company
It is about THEM. It is not about YOU.
Here’s a great example from the Neil Patel Digital Agency website:
Here are 3 additional points to remember about the value proposition:
- Clearly verbalize your value proposition, BUT ALSO make it stand out very well.
- Try to describe the value proposition benefits that matter most to your customer.
- Your value proposition needs to matter to the people you’re trying to help.
3. Give a Clear Call to Action to Your Audience
A call to action (CTA) is a word, phrase, or sentence with a single job: to convince your visitors to take the next step you want them to take.
To get leads for your business, you can ask your website or landing page visitors for their contact information.
A good way to do this is to offer a lead magnet in exchange for their information, like a free report, or a tool to use.
A great tool that we love to use with our clients is called Lead Quizzes.
Why use a quiz as a call to action?
Quizzes are more effective than regular lead magnets because they’re more engaging, they give visitors immediate personalized feedback, and you get to segment those leads based on their answers.
In addition, they take less time and money to set up.
Who has time to create a 20-page e-book? Who has time to read a 20-page e-book you created?
Give the user something quick and easy they can digest, provide a ton of value, and then move them to the next part of the buyer’s journey.
Your CTAs also need to provoke action and excitement. If they are boring, no one will take action.
Keep it simple. No need to be fancy or clever, but it should communicate the value and use of language that isn’t expected.
The value proposition on Dean Graziosi’s page is not great. It only talks about himself, however, he’s a celebrity in his niche, so it works.
As a small local business owner, make sure you put more thought into the value proposition and communicate it in way that is more about the customer, not you.
Regardless, Dean’s website has a wonderful example of a clear CTA. He is giving out a lead magnet, which is a free book. In exchange for the book, he is asking for a name and email, so that he can followup with the leads he generates.
Here are the reasons his CTA works well:
- The CTA sits “above the fold,” meaning that it’s seen before the viewer has to scroll down the page.
- The CTA button is a contrasting color from the rest of the website.
- The text inside the CTA button is not boring. It speaks to the viewer and it’s not a generic phrase like “submit” or “subscribe”
- The copy is compelling. The power words “FREE” and “New” attract attention.
- He’s giving away a really good offer! It’s not just a free consultation. It’s unexpected and much different from what you’re used to seeing.
- The CTA is not competing with any other clickable content on his page. It stands out much more than the social media buttons or the menu links at the top. There is no confusion about where the viewer should click.
Here are two more examples, one from Vistaprint and another from Netflix.
4. Add in Your Credibility Icons and/or Testimonials
Strengthen your value proposition with credibility icons and testimonials.
Images of smiling happy people work well for visuals. Also, talk about the number of customers you serve or use video testimonials. You want people to relate to your message.
Don’t overdo it, 3 video testimonials in one row are plenty of social proof, as long as they discuss the value you provide through your product or service.
This, of course, is not a set rule. Sam Ovens, the owner of consulting.com, has posted over 3,000 video testimonials on his website. He has a whole page devoted to this. It’s not easy to get 3,000 video testimonials. Sticking with 3 is plenty.
Credibility icons are logos you add to your site to show places you’ve been featured or awards you’ve received.
The Digital Marketer website does this well. They show an impressive list of companies they’ve worked with, including Uber, Infusionsoft, and Shopify.
5. Set Up Your Google Tag Manager
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” – Peter Drucker
What is the Google Tag Manager and why should I care?
You may be familiar with Google Analytics which is usually the number one source for analyzing website data for most businesses.
You can see amazing statistics and create very useful reports on numbers like a number of users, sessions, bounce rates, click rates, and much more.
Below is a report from my other company Student-Tutor.
To connect Google Analytics to your website, you would have had to add a snippet of code to the header section of your website. This code is simply a “tracker” that keeps track of who visits the pages on your website. That way, when you open the Google Analytics dashboard, you can see all the useful information about your visitors, like how long they stay on your page and what they like to click on.
Well, you may also have a Facebook page for your business. Facebook has its own tracking code, called the Facebook Pixel. Again you take the Pixel code and add it to the header of your website, so now you can keep track of the visitors to your website that comes from Facebook.
Similarly, there are tracking codes for all types of online tools. This can get cumbersome as you continue to add tracking codes for the different software and platforms you use online.
Because of this, Google created the Tag Manager. It helps you manage any codes that need to be installed on your site.
It’s very easy to use and was built for the business owner to use on their own, without needing to know code really at all.
All your codes are in one place, hassle-free.
“Tag management tools are some of the best time-saving tools on the planet when it comes to marketing.” – Neil Patel
To set up Tag Manager just follow the directions at this link!
I understand that if you are new to the online space these steps can be a bit overwhelming.
BUT… do you know what is even worse? You wasting hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars getting mediocre results because you didn’t take the time to do it RIGHT!
Please, if you are reading this article and have a website do yourself a HUGE favor and take the time to implement these 5 steps.
- Update Your Title Tages & Meta Descriptions
- Convery Your Value Proposition on Your Website
- Give a Clear Call To Action To Your Audience
- Add in Your Credibility Icons or Testimonials
- Set up Your Google Tag Manager
By following these five simple steps you will see a huge increase in your traffic to your website, conversions, and the ability to track all your marketing efforts!
What do you think? Do you have any questions about this process? Any additional insight? Please let me know in the comments below!
PS: For a limited time, I am offering a FREE website analysis and 15-minute consultation. Click here to book a call!
Latest posts by Todd VanDuzer (see all)
- 5 Actionable Steps That Can Wildly Improve Your Website Performance. - August 23, 2018