I am still getting questions about my session “25 Ways to Improve Your Website” that I presented at Affiliate Summit West 2012 so I decided to share my slide deck from that. Below is the slides content in text form, it is a little tough to read so If you want to see the slide deck it is also below. You get bonus points if you spot the mistake.
1. 25 Ways To Improve Your Website Take Action Guide To Improve Your Website. Vinny O’Hare Vincent O’Hare Consulting
2. Who Am I – Spent 23 years in outdoor advertising industry. Started on the Internet in 1999 – EBay Powerseller. 2001 Started making content filled websites focusing on affiliate programs. 2009 Started affiliate managing and teaching. Co-host on AffiliateABC’s podcast.
3. What We Will Discuss – This presentation is set up to show 25 topics and break it down by three items for each topic. I call it first glance – second glance – third glance. Be prepared to write on your worksheet. All links in this presentation can be found at Vinnyohare.com/help
4. Your Website Now – Current Rankings! – Where are you now? Why so bad? – Are you doing something wrong? Competition – What are they ranking for? Before you start you have to take a good look at where you are now so you can judge your results. Google webmaster tools can show your average rankings for free. Don’t get caught up in stats.
5. Keywords – Do you have a keyword list? Are you sure you are using the right keywords? Keyword ideas – check your competitions. Free Tools – Google Keyword tool, Compete.com, Google Alerts, Soovle, YouTube Keyword Tool, Wordtracker.com has free sample. Chrome extensions SEO site tools, SEOquake. Paid Tools – Raventools.
6. Colors – Is your site welcoming? Can color blind people read your website? Do you have good font and font size? Dark gray fonts on gray backgrounds should be illegal! Just because you think your site “Looks Pretty” doesn’t mean others will like it or buy something.
7. Title Tag – Is your keyword mentioned? Under 70 characters long? Is your keyword near the front? Do a Google search on your keyword and see other titles and see what others are using and take notice what they are missing and what you can do better.
8. Meta Description Tag – Do you have one? Less than 150 characters. Keyword in beginning and a Call To Action or Curiosity near the end. Same as the title tag do a Google search and see what can be done better than the results that are showing.
9. Meta Keyword Tag – Do you have one? Less than three? Page should only have one focus on one keyword Most search engines ignore this tag – I still use one – It is optional. Most SEO’s will tell you to ignore this tag. Bing claims they use it to catch spammers.
10. Search Box – Do you have one? Is it above the fold? Does it work? There is a reason why 90% of ecommerce sites have them above the fold. You can’t read customers minds or intentions. If you are using Google analytics you can see what people are searching for and develop new pages based on those terms or freshen up old pages.
11. Logo – Do you have one? Is it any good? Does it link back to the homepage? Make sure your logo is optimized for faster loading and includes “alt tags” for Google image search results. Don’t be afraid to get constructive advice on your logo. Lesruba.com is who I use to design mine.
12. About Us Page – Do you have one? Is it personal? – Explain your POD (point of difference) Easily found on your site? The about us page is your chance to build trust with your readers. The page shouldn’t be all about you, it should be about how you are going to solve the customers problem. Great example Derek Halpern SocialTriggers.com about page.
13. Blog – Does your website have one? Structure – is it WordPress – Paid Theme? Are the permalinks set correctly? Blogs are good for interaction with customers. It also provides a fresh place for the search engines to spider. Make sure your blog has all the social media sharing buttons. Have others spread the word about your site.
14. Contact Us Page – Do you have one? Is the information correct? Methods of contact – phone- email etc. Let user know how long a response usually takes. Readers that choose to contact you want answers a.s.a.p. be available in many different ways. Use a contact form to avoid spam. Readers questions can become content on a FAQ page.
16. Trust – Does your site have it? Would you buy something from your website? Be honest with yourself. Always a job to improve it. Building trust is an ongoing thing. Would you trust your website with your credit card? Have a neighbor or a relative sit at your computer and go over your site and see their reaction.
17. Email Newsletter – Do you have one? Have an offer to encourage sign ups. Have an auto-responder series. Gets users back to your website. I use Aweber which sends out my blog post as a newsletter automatically. No need to write content just for a newsletter. You can use current content on your site in an auto-responder series. Use Twitter and Facebook to get people on to your list.
18. Navigation – Is it easy to find items? Is it helpful to visitors? Driving visitors to a trusted landing page. Have to make sure your navigation is spider-able. It is worthless if your navigation is not able to be crawled by the search engines.
19. Backlinks – Do you have any? Always have a plan to get more. Find competitors backlinks – get some from them. Blekko.com – Type in link:competitorswebsite.com Contact the websites that show up and try to get backlinks from them. Firefox extension – Quirk Search Status quirk.biz/searchstatus
20. Images – Does your site have any? Customers like them. Are they optimized for fast loading. Alt Text – Do you have them optimized? Free tool picnik.com for easy optimizing. They also have a chrome extension and a Firefox add on.
21. Videos – Do you have any? Make “How To” videos explaining solutions. Self hosted or YouTube or both. Videos build trust, users love them! Never have them auto play. You can make short videos featuring a solution to a problem. Have your videos transcribed. Speechpad.com
22. Landing Pages – Call to action. No other distractions. Quick checkout or wherever you want customers to go. Getting the user to your shopping cart or to the merchants site in the least amount of steps possible leads to the best results. No sidebars – No navigation – no leaks to other pages.
23. Internal Linking Site Structure – Link at least one page to every new page. Natural Flowing – Only link where it is needed or contribute to the existing page. Link to Right Pages To Help Consumer. If you are on WordPress there are plugins for this. Internal linking helps many things happen on your website. Time on site, bounce rate, spiders.
24. On Page Content Keyword Density – Keep in mind as you are writing. Keyword bolded on the page once. Usually in my headline. Keywords in the anchor text to product or landing page. I keep my keyword density under 3%, not a rule just always done it this way. I use it as a guide. Content is always quality! If it isn’t then it shouldn’t be on your website. If you suck at writing outsource it or take classes to become a better writer. Iwriter.com or Elance.com
25. Site Speed – What is your site speed? How can we improve it? What is holding us down? Google webmaster tools has page speed tools. Cheap hosting is not worth it. Gtmetrix.com great resource to see what is slowing down your site.
26. Blogs in Niche – Find similar niches. Leave a good comment. Nothing spammy! Look for backlinks for your site in other users comments. There are a lot of quality sites that can be found on quality comments. Contact them for a backlink or possibly a guest post on their blog. Use Google alerts with your keyword phrases. Instant results delivered to your inbox.
27. Forums – Find a similar niche – Competition there? Participate – Be helpful. Good signature with your social media urls. When you find a good forum become the expert there. I usually dedicate some time once a week to check forums for new post. As long as you are not spammy the forum admin will be happy to have you answering questions.
28. YouTube – Do you have an account? Build subscribers and friends = recurring visitors. Make helpful videos – “How To” videos are huge. Place a link in description to your website product page. Including the link with an http:// makes the link clickable for users. Leave comments on high ranking videos in your niche to gain subscribers.
29. Twitter – Do you have an account? Is a keyword in the bio? Are you interacting? Build followers in your niche or problem solving. Find someone influential in the niche and follow who they follow. If you have a local website follow the local news or radio station accounts. Get their followers to follow you! Be funny and informative. Use tools when you can to help get out your message. Examples: Hootsuite, Tweetdeck.
30. Facebook – Have an account? – 70 million+ people do. Set up a fan page? Put your url in the about section. Have Facebook contest. Builds fans and returning customers. Use a Facebook approved app. Use Facebook to get readers on to your email list so you can market them forever.
31. Google+ – Do you have an account? Set up a business page? Find the most popular person in your niche and see who they are following and follow them. Share good information and you will build a loyal following. Follow Chris Brogan and Trey Ratcliff. Findpeopleonplus.com – Great way to find others to follow.