The average website visitor spends about 3 seconds on a web page before they decide whether or not they’re in the right place. Whether they’ve come to your website from a direct link, a search or maybe a pay-per-click ad (PPC), they’re looking for something. They have a need, whether it be something they want to buy, information or maybe they just need a good laugh but they came to your website to find something. Do you have what they’re looking for? Even if you do, will they stay on your website long enough to find out? Website visitors are a little like Arnold Schwarzenegger in “The Terminator”.
They’re searching, doing a quick scan and either they think they’re in the right place or as Shania Twain would say… (sing actually)… “I’m outta here!” So, what can you do to make a website visitor stay long enough to recognize that your website (amongst the hundreds of thousands of other websites with similar products or topics) has exactly what they’re looking for?
Well for starters, you’ll probably want a professionally designed website (or at least one that looks professionally designed). But ultimately, it’s the content that’s going to satisfy their needs – keyword rich content. So, for starters, let’s take a quick look at what a website visitor is going to see when they land on a page of your website.
Opportunities for Keyword Rich Content
Looking at the screenshot above, (taken of this blog post actually), you’ll notice 5 black arrows pointing to the 5 key areas of your website page: page-title, URL, your logo/business name (to me – this is your brand), post-title and your content area. Each of these areas are an opportunity to incorporate keywords (the search terms that someone would use to find your website). Even a graphic such as the banner that I use with my logo and name is an opportunity to use keywords through the use of alt-tags.
If you look at the URL (the web address at the top of this page), you’ll notice that the title of this article is part of the web address. There should be no doubt where you are. You clicked on an article called “Are Your Website Visitors Sticking Around” and that’s where you are.
Changing your “Permalink Settings” in WordPress
Funny thing is though, if you have an out-of-the-box installation of WordPress, the title of your articles in your address bar won’t include the title of your post. By default, your URL would include something vague like “?p=567“. Most people prefer to show the title of the post to take advantage of keywords. If you want to do this, in your WP Admin panel, go to Settings | Permalinks and select “Post name”.
So, the moral of this story is that keyword-rich content will help:
- People find your website using search engines
- Your website appear higher on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page)
- Website visitors know that they’re in the “right place“
Keyword Optimization and the Latest Google Algorithm Update
You’ve probably heard about the new changes that are coming to Google’s algorithm. The intent is to penalize over optimized websites while at the same time, rewarding quality content. (This topic deserves a post of its own.) So, while we need to optimize our sites, we also need to stay in Google’s good graces. If you’d like to learn more about how the algorithm changes will affect you, check out Catherine Lockey’s recent post: The New Google Smackdown: Bye Bye Over-Optimized Websites.
What do you think? Do you have other tips that you can share with us? Are you worried about how the new algorithm changes might affect you?
Article Originally Published on: July 15, 2010