posted on May 06, 2010 16:17
Are you optimized? “Optimization” can mean many things, but when we talk about it in a web development sense, we take it to mean something a little more specific. At MemberPath, we refer to a website as “optimized” when it does an effective job of driving traffic and visitors to the places and pages where you want them to go. When your site is optimized, you are utilizing the tools you have available to you online to their utmost efficiency in a way that successfully directs web users to your website.
So how do you know if you’re optimized? For starters, there are 5 main questions that your organization needs to be able to answer. If you can answer all of these, then chances are you’re well on your way to being optimized!
1. What are the top 3 goals that your website supports for your organization, and how do you measure its success?
In order to have a successful web presence, you need to start with the basics: your goals. By having a strong knowledge of what your organizational goals are, you can utilize your website and social media to support those in the best way possible.
One of the key characteristics of good goal-setting behavior is the ability to define goals in quantifiable, measurable ways. Being able to measure the success – or failure – of your goals is an essential part of optimization.
2. What other sites send the most relevant traffic to your website?
Another important aspect of optimization is knowing where your traffic is coming from. This question, and the next one, are both answered best using a measurement tool such as Google Analytics. When you know where your traffic is coming from, you’re more easily able to fine-tune your website to cater to those visitors. Or, if it’s not coming from where you want it to, you’ll be better able to decide how to fix it and what changes you should make to attract the right traffic.
3. What search terms have you utilized on your website, and more importantly, how do you know they are the most effective search terms?
Google and other search engines are a powerful means of obtaining traffic for your site. Through Search Engine Optimization (SEO), you can figure out what search terms people are using to find your site, and then make sure to utilize them to the utmost in order to capture as much potential traffic as possible. Again, tools such as Google Analytics can help you discover what search terms are leading the most visitors to your site – and the results may surprise you!
4. Who are the top bloggers in your field or industry, and what are you doing to help them?
Bloggers are increasingly becoming a strong force in the web industry. Many people now turn to blogs for information, reviews, and even news before they turn to other sources. Bloggers work hard to build up a reputation in their field, and it’s a good idea to seek out the top bloggers in your industry who may have already built up a following of people who could be interested in your organization, product, or service. By linking to blogs from your website, you’re helping those bloggers gain more traffic from your visitors. And, in turn, this can catch their attention and they may link back to your site, giving you more traffic as well. Regardless of whether they drive traffic back to you or not, however, by linking to well-known blogs in your field you show your visitors that you are actively engaged in the community built around the common interest of your industry.
5. What online forums and social media sites are people going to looking for information you can provide?
Finally, the last piece of the optimization puzzle is seeking out where your target audience is already congregating on the web. By figuring out where people are talking about your field, you’ll have a much better idea of where you should be targeting them. Is there an active forum about your field? Are people talking about it on Twitter? Or is Facebook where your target audience congregates? Knowing where your audience is will tell you where you should be – if they’re on Twitter, you need to be on Twitter. If they’re on Facebook, you need to be on Facebook.
Optimization can be a tricky concept to grasp, but it’s extremely important for the success of your website. Want more help and ideas? Check out MemberPath’s “TrafficGrow” service, and contact us for a FREE TrafficGrow consultation!