Making a convert

One of my top priorities at the moment is optimizing conversions: getting people to visit Xero.com and signup.

At the Web 2.0 Expo I picked up some really valuable tips that I wanted to share.

Stephan Spencer did a great session on SEO. Here are some of the key takeaways I got from it:

  • Anchor text (the text of inbound links) is one of the greatest determining factors in setting page rank for your keywords (we want to rank high for online accounting so please link to Xero with that anchor text!!!)
  • Avoid duplicate content on your blog (main page, post, category page) because it dilutes page rank, instead use excerpts to increase keyword traffic and concentrate Google juice to your permalink blog post page. Spencer has a detailed write up on SEO for blogs.
  • Conserve Google juice for high value pages by using nofollow on low value pages (ie, privacy page, terms of service page). I’ve dug into this a bit deeper and there’s some controversy over this advice.
  • Google serves different results for different locations, not just countries, but down to the city level
  • Track and fine tune unique and precise meta descriptions and page titles to boost keyword ranking
  • Measure and fine tune visit-to-signup conversion rates on a daily basis for high value pages
  • Short URLs result in higher click thrus from search results. The theory is that people innately trust that the source is more precise.

Here are slides from a few other awesome sessions that provided great insights and advice:

4 Comments

Simon Gianoutsos
April 30, 2009 at 2:38 pm

Nice post and some great pointers to other sessions. Thanks.

Charles
May 4, 2009 at 4:42 pm

Thanks for the shout out to Stephan. You may be interested to know that he was also an expat here in NZ for about 7 years after he moved downunder to set up the Auckland office of his agency Netconcepts.

Scott
July 10, 2009 at 3:14 pm

Good advice, I wonder if you will be doing any A B testing to see what works best too?

Accountant Christchurch
August 18, 2009 at 11:04 pm

Thanks for this. Some interesting tips to investigate. SEO is such a fast moving field. Luckily most websites are build by designers who don’t build sites to rank well. Often doing the basics well is enough to rank well.

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