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Optimizing your website in order to attract visitors, convert them into qualified leads and beyond requires a great strategy. Before you can start planning anything though, you’re going to need a clear understanding of just who those people are. This starts with developing your buyer personas.

Once you have a clear picture of your dream customers, you can begin creating a lasting website experience that takes them all the way through the buyer’s journey with great content, great design and proper keyword optimization.

What does optimization even mean?

One of the most common buzzwords you’ll hear in online marketing is Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. Many businesses and even some marketers believe that SEO is the be all and end all for acquiring new traffic. But optimizing a whole website for your buyer personas involves so much more than just making sure you rank highly in search engines. The goal of a truly optimized website is to make the entire experience as effective and functional as possible.

So how else can a website be optimized?

You can optimize a website for all three phases of the buyer’s journey. Making sure search engines rank your content highly is important, but your real optimization effort should be on the people using those search engines. After you’ve attracted these visitors, how is your website going to convert them into leads, or give new customers a big honkin’ can of fabfuel that they can spread like wildfire with all of their friends?

Fire. If it’s not working, you probably are aren’t using enough of it.

A legitimately optimized website accounts for every phase of the sales process. Whether your business is B2B, B2C, non-profit or anything else, you need to optimize for searchers and search engines. The people who are using search engines to find your website are not robots. They have real problems that they need to solve, so by focusing on those personas and not just search engines you can make sure your content has maximum impact.

Google even tells us that when people perform a search, they are generally looking for 3 things. First, they’re looking to accomplish or do something. That could include anything from printing a document to buying a crate of used ShamWows. Second, they want to learn something. Third, they want to go somewhere. This usually means that instead of typing facebook.com into the address bar, they would just Google it instead – you know, like your parents do.

So now that you know why you need to optimize your website for more than just search engines, you can begin understanding what the searcher’s intent is. Then you can start creating quality content that speaks to those personas and optimizing your website for each portion of the buyer’s journey.

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