How To Perform Research & Analysis To Properly Form Your Website Optimization Strategy.
This is part 2 of a 7 part series on Web Design Optimization. Subscribe to receive our latest tips and news.
At the very start of a website design optimization project, before all of the excitement about content planning and link building and sales funnels begins, you should do some research. It always starts with research.
Think of it this way: research provides the foundation for your website’s strategy, content, sales funnel, inbound and outbound links, and calls to action.
When you start planning to optimize your website, put together any research you’ve already done about your target customers and clients, your competitors, and your business model. And then be prepared to research a little more.
We can’t say it enough. You can only to get to where you want go if you take some time to research and plan before acting. In this article, we will cover:
- 3 things to research in order to optimize your website
- How to research the best keyword concepts
- The benefits of doing brand analysis and competitive analysis
3 things to research in order to optimize your website
First, how do customers find businesses like yours? People go about their day doing various things.
When they need a product or service that your company provides, how do they find it? Be careful not to assume that all of your customers go straight to Google to find you or your competition.
The biggest disappointment happens when business owners find out that there aren’t as many online searches for their business as they thought.
At the same time, if it turns out that most customers find businesses like yours via word of mouth, for example, value that insight!
Armed with that knowledge, you can properly plan marketing funnels that will actually work. To be clear, your business needs a website, and your website needs to be designed well and optimized phenomenally in order to compete today.
On top of that, studies show that people go online more often than not to either find what they want, or research what they want.
The key is figuring out how people use the Internet to find you or your competitors. Use that insight to plan your strategy.
You also need to understand which customer acquisition strategies work best in your industry.
A customer acquisition strategy is your plan for getting new customers to your website. Every industry is different. The customer acquisition strategies that work best are based on the knowledge of how customers buy. This is why research is essential.
One example of a customer acquisition strategy is targeting customers who are looking for a “guide” related to your industry, and then providing one on your website.
Requiring an email address to get the guide turns prospects into leads.
Finally, determine which content marketing strategies work best in your industry.
Part of solid website design optimization is creating quality content. To get that content in front of the right people, research content marketing strategies and tactics by industry to learn a little about what works best.
Content marketing includes blogging, social media marketing, ebooks, podcasts, white papers, email subscription lists, and other digital resources, including images.
Let the research give you insight into your own strategy. Anytime you create a piece of content, regardless of the type, you can create a marketing plan around it so that your target customers see it and engage with it.
How to research the best keyword concepts
Google and other search engines are very intelligent now. It’s no longer about identifying a single, perfect target keyword.
Now, it’s about framing up the content on your site as a keyword concept, or idea. Think of a keyword concept as a group of keyword phrases that are related to the keyword.
If you’re a florist, a search engine might think of your website as suitable for wedding flowers, funeral flowers, Valentine’s Day bouquets, floral delivery, and more.
You don’t have to target only the word “florist” to show up in search engines for it. Ultimately, search engine algorithms decide what your site is about according to its content.
You can only influence that determination.
There are three primary steps involved with researching the best keyword concepts. Keyword concepts are themes – ideas that revolve around your product or service.
- DECIDE THE PURPOSE OF YOUR SITE (TRAFFIC OR CONVERSIONS) – When people come to your website, what do you want them to do? It’s okay to want more than one thing here, but focus on the top one or two most important purposes. Also factor in other marketing methods. If you’re a small business and your website is your primary marketing tool, focus on conversions.
- RESEARCH SEARCH TRENDS AND RELATED SEARCH TRENDS – Use tools like Google Keyword Planner or the Yoast Google Suggest Expander to learn more about how people search. Start with a basic, primary keyword or phrase that defines your business, product, or service. The tool will then provide some ideas based on data – what people have been typing into Google search. Data is critical; it’s okay to target one or two unpopular phrases. But in general, you should optimize around words and phrases people already use.
- BRAINSTORM, ANALYZE, REWORK, REPEAT (BARR) – The BARR method is simple. It starts by brainstorming your keywords and phrases. Then, you analyze them using tools. Next, you rework your target keyword concepts based on research. Finally, repeat this process. Repeat it over and over again until you have a set of keywords/keyword phrases you can optimize your site around.
Benefits of doing brand analysis and competitive analysis
One major benefit of doing some brand analysis and competitive analysis is that you can eliminate wasted time.
Do the research upfront so that you can spend more time later on other things. If you don’t, you will find that your site either lacks a point of view or is too similar to the competition.
When a new website is very similar to an existing site, search engine algorithms have to make the educated assumption that the older site, which likely has more inbound links, is probably more relevant. Competitive analysis can avoid this.
Learning about your brand and your competitors also helps you stay on target. It’s exciting to plan and launch a new website.
Many business owners want to include as much information as possible. Keep in mind that the website has a purpose and you must focus on its purpose.
Separate the tool (the website) from the brand (your business). If your website’s purpose is to drive more calls, optimize around that intent first. The rest is secondary.
Lastly, focus on brand analysis and competitive analysis so that you can outsmart your competitors. Not enough business owners take the time to write down on paper what their strengths, weakness, threats, and opportunities are in comparison to their competitors.
They don’t really understand what gives them an edge. Be objective when researching competitors so that you do not deceive yourself.
If your competitors are not optimizing for a keyword concept that is powerful, you have an opportunity. Use it to your advantage. For more details on how to perform a competitor analysis, we suggest you check out this guide from Hubspot.
Research gives you an advantage when planning your website design optimization project. With it, you stand a chance to sweep the competition by getting in front of your clients and customers first. But without it, you might spend time on a strategy that isn’t well informed, and a site that doesn’t meet their needs. Research takes a little time, but it’s always time well spent.
At One & Zero, we take research seriously and enjoy the process. If you’re interested in working with us or learning more, contact us today.