There’s a reason why SEO efforts are often hailed as one of the biggest things that any company with a digital presence needs to focus on. After all, statistics show that roughly 91.5% of traffic share for any given Google search goes to results found on the first page of that search.
Hitting that point is the reason why so much effort goes into keyword research, to try and find something that a lot of people are looking for, but other sites haven’t optimized for. While essential, good SEO and traffic generation is only the first part of what every digital marketing strategy should be thinking about. The second part would be conversion optimization and boosting those conversions!
What Conversions Matter For Me?
Many of the best SEO experts get tunnel vision and believe that if they are bringing increased traffic to a site, that they are doing a good job. This isn’t always true, though. For example, if you see a large bounce rate that indicates people who find your search end up leaving your site quickly afterward, there are some problems at hand. This generally boils down to one of two problems.
1. You are optimizing for the wrong keywords, meaning that people who are finding your site in Google search results aren’t looking for what you offer.
2. There’s something wrong with your site or marketing strategy that isn’t turning your traffic into conversions.
A conversion is basically any type of action that a visitor to your site takes, and knowing what type of conversion you want is the first thing you should think about before even researching your first keyword. Common examples of conversions include:
- Making a purchase online
- Visiting a physical location to make a purchase in person
- Making contact to book an appointment/reservation
- Participating in an offer/contest
- Downloading/reading material like an e-book or article
- Signing up for an email list or newsletter.
- Sharing, commenting, or some other type of interaction on social media
All of these require different SEO approaches. For example, if you want people to buy something, you should focus on keywords that are strictly focused on a product, like “patio heaters in Toronto.” However, if your aims are more informational, something like “what should I look for in a patio heater in Toronto” will make a better fit. In general, most businesses need a combination of the above conversions to be successful, so keep that in mind.
The Balancing Act
So, what is it that gives digital marketers trouble when it comes to balance SEO goals and conversion goals? In some cases, your needs may be more lopsided, like with e-commerce copywriting. In general, by the time that someone gets to a single product page, their goal is to try and learn as much as possible about the product before buying it. This means that your product description copy should be less about getting in keywords and more about filling that need. In practice, this means sticking to product description essentials like:
- Maintaining brevity
- Focusing on benefits as opposed to features
- Presenting these benefits in an organized way
Implementing keywords that you want to rank for, but don’t need in the copy, run counter to this idea. For this reason, your SEO efforts should be focused on areas that can’t be seen on the page, like optimizing alt tags for your images or using schema markup to add new information to your pages when they show up in Google.
In other cases, you may be focusing more on the SEO than the conversion. Thought leadership marketing is a big piece of this. The general goal is to try and build the authority of a figure within a company, and the company by proxy. Thought leadership material is generally very low on salesy-language as a result. However, you do need heavy keyword optimization to make sure that your material reaches your audience.
In some cases, there may be problems even outside of your SEO strategy that hurt your conversions. For example, calls to action should be prominently displayed throughout all your marketing material. This is basically the linking point between said marketing and your conversion. For example, if you were to send out a marketing email, there should be a call to action to redeem an offer or go to your website to buy something at a discount. If the message is garbled or difficult to understand, this will hurt your conversion numbers.
We should also take a moment to talk about technical issues. If your site has trouble loading or displaying on mobile, this essentially causes a break in the link between marketing and conversion. The more time a customer has to spend between thinking “this copy seems interesting” and “I’m going to buy/redeem/read/share,” the easier it is for them to get distracted and move on to something else, the last thing you want to see.
Getting Outside Support
It can be difficult for business owners and SEO professionals to get the most out of their SEO copy not just in terms of traffic, but conversions afterward. Any single given site can have multiple pages that are fishing for different conversions and keywords, and this can radically impact how you construct them on the front and back end. Ultimately, it’s a lot easier to take all these questions into account when you are putting together your initial SEO strategy, rather than trying to adjust things after a flawed one is already in play. This is why you want to reach out to SEO professionals sooner rather than later to help guide your efforts.