You have decided to start using marketing automation, which is fantastic, you’re using Sharpspring, Leadonics or another product and you’ve created all the customer personas, and developed a great understanding on what content you can create to nurture your customers, at all levels of the buying cycle, however, now you need to look at your website, and how it can be best optimised for Marketing Automation.
We’re going to look at why you can benefit from site optimization and what are the best practices. This should not be confused with SEO Optimisation, as that is an entirely different kettle of fish. This is a guide on Marketing automation Optimisation.
One thing to note; we are not looking at conversion tactics for your site, meaning we’re not developing the User Experience to get the most number of sales, we’re working on driving traffic to your site, so the first level of marketing.
Website Optimisation overview
Let’s refresh ourselves on what Optimisation is. The dictionary meaning is:
an act, process, or methodology of making something (as a design, system, or decision) as fully perfect, functional, or effective as possible
Which is pretty straight to the heart of what we’re looking into today, the process of making something awesome is the goal here. But there must be a differentiation made right at the very start of this, we’re not talking about SEO or Search Engine Optimisation, as that is only one part of the story.
There are many types of Optimisation for a website as it really depends on who is doing the Optimisation. predominantly the marketing department will care about the SEO of the site, they want traffic on site, and lots of it. They want the User experience and they want the conversions.
Sales however, they are more interested in conversions and qualification and then support. They care about how happy the customer is, and if the customer can find the answer to the questions that users ask. So website Optimisation can mean so many things to so many departments.
The key is to optimize for everything. Website Optimisation is about all the elements working together in harmony, as a fully optimize site, should attract more visitors with content, links and referrals. It should encourage users to convert more and enquire with more targeted questions, It should close more sales and make more money. Lastly, the site should make your users happy. They should want to come back again and again for all the awesome stuff that you provide on your site and they should want to tell others about it.
Best Practices for Optimisation
When optimising, we need to keep a few things in mind, firstly, the searcher or user and secondly, we should be pleasing the search engines. This is true for all websites, no matter what you are selling. Education, products, services, information or advertising, you will only ever optimise for these two segments.
Firstly we will focus on the searchers, as they are the real bodies behind the screen and they are the ones that are going to give you their money or attention. So creating a website experience that will appeal to the users should be the focus here, as it’s their wallet that you are trying to open.
According to Google search quality guidelines, most searchers have only 1 of three tasks that they are hoping to complete. This is to either accomplish or do something such as to buy, watch, view, stream, download or read.
The second task is that searches are hoping to learn something, maybe read a blog post from an awesome SEO company, and lastly; the guidelines say that people are trying to go somewhere, or go to something. Maybe to go to a home page, contact details page or a specific site like Reddit or Facebook.
Knowing the intent of your searchers will help you to refine and develop the strategy that you will optimize for.
Let’s turn our attention now to the search engines and what they are. A search engine is a very smart computerbot that will create a massive database of all the websites and their pages in the world. It will then rank them in any given order for any given search term. Contrary to popular belief, Google does not have your website on their server, it only has an understanding of what your site talks about and what it thinks would be good to show on your site to a user.
The googlebot, will go from site to site, through links, social signals and other triggers and then index and make a judgement on your site. Is it pretty, is it fast, is it full of useful information and so on. Then it puts that into its database, and then if someone looks up a keyword your ranking for, it shows your site, and then if they click on that link, off they go to your site.
That is why they care so much about broken links. If that link sends a user to a page that is no longer live, they will not find what they are hoping too.
There are a few others things to take into account here. It will also look at the user metrics of your site over time to make a better judgement on your site, so their free tool Analytics is a fantastic way for them to be given the information about your searchers without having to ask.
There are lots and lots of factors to why one site will rank over another, and that list of factors grows almost daily (current count is over 350). It is far too complex to go into in this one post when you take into account that Google are now using artificial intelligence and machine learning to assess the quality of a site.
Users first and search engines second.
Who are the searchers though? If you go back to an earlier post about buyer personas, you will see that I outlined a way to think about your customers on line, and now we are putting that into practice, we need to optimize for each level of searcher based on their different segmentation factors.