Within the first instalment of the conversion rate optimisation series, we discussed a crucial starting place within any conversion process; attracting the right type of traffic. By delivering these visitors, the likelihood for them to complete your desired goal will be significantly higher. But to simply isolate the focus on selecting the right type of keywords would be naïve, because if they land and notice the offering and accessibility of the site is lacking, then the careful and strategic SEO planning will invariability be wasted.
SEO & Its Misconception
Often an SEO campaign can be deemed successful once rankings have been achieved which then coincided in an upsurge in traffic. But when this traffic does not materialise into the expected end goals, a negative and unnecessary misconception of SEO usually takes place. In that the person may feel ‘SEO is indeed Dead’ and halt any activity in favour of a different marketing approach in an attempt to reach their site objective with greater success.
But once this new approach you adopt fails, what next. Do you suggest that any marketing activity is flawed and is all nonsense?
Of course not, because if you have thought through your strategy and planned each avenue, then the rewards are certainly possible.
Keep Calm, Carry onto Your Road to Conversion
Everyone experiences moments were they simply want to give up, pack their bags and wish they never started their ‘apparent’ failure in the first place. These moments are evitable and arguably beneficial as it allows you to seek out new information and experiment ways to avoid a reoccurrence of the failure. And although that can be seen as a life lesson, it is certainly important within the achievement of your websites goals simply because the online marketplace is not only really competitive; but people who browse the web want things to be shown to them with ease and minimal hassle.
That last part may sound simple, however by making something obvious to the visitor isn’t necessary obvious to the webmaster.
First Things First
Researching your competitors can be a good starting point, but what if they aren’t doing it right either. What if they are ranking number one for all of your target market keywords, but they have simply missed the point in terms of their pricing, site layout, the obscure placement of calls to action or they have completely misjudged their position in the marketplace which is instead dominated by other big players whose allure will entice visitors to them as a result of their trust. Remember being number one in Google does not necessarily mean you are the best in the eyes of the consumer. So as shown below, you will need to develop ways to get them on your side.
CRO, Onsite & SEO: Integrate, Never Separate.
A quote from Jamie at SEOmoz says that “Well, SEO and other online marketing initiatives are certainlycomplementary. But I’ll be honest with you: you will see more sales from focusing on conversion rate optimization and site optimization alone than from SEO alone. That said, I’d never recommend you do only one…”
So effectively within this triangle an authority figure within SEO claims that CRO and Onsite are fundamental to the sales process. But what he proposed within these elements is that the entire business model needs to be reviewed to cater exactly for their customers needs before, during and after the customer’s decision making process.
This simply encompasses the decision making process for a customer to become interested in completing a sale. So factors such as price, product quality & diversity, preconceived notion of the site based on its design compared to the competition and the trust element of the brand can be viewed as top level aspects which contribute to that initial thought.
However, this can be taken a stage further because going back to a previous point; users need to be given what they need without complications. So for them to analyse your suitability; clear and obvious calls to action needs to be complimented with an easy to navigate user journey which allows them to flow through with ease.
And as the search engines are now placing ever increasing emphasis on user experience, getting this right will also pay dividends within your SEO.
An onsite aspect of this would relate to how easy and effectively can you make a goal once you have decided that this product/service is what you require. And unfortunately, this is where many sites can fall short. Either the check out is too confusing and long, or the sales people conducting it aren’t helpful or knowledgeable enough to deal with their specific request.
For many businesses this can be seen as a neglected part of the conversion process because they simply forgot about those who actually purchased from them to then instead place complete emphasis on gaining new sales. New sales are fundamental to a business, but considering according to Accenture, “the cost of winning back a customer after they’ve defected is 50-100 times the cost of retaining that customer. Researchers have found that in some industries, a mere five percent increase in retention raises profits by 25-95 percent, with twice the return on sales and gains in market share from year-to-year.”
So by rewarding and enticing those customers to revisit is something which needs to be within a websites business model. Measures such as a FAQ section to respond to complaints or queries can showcase that trust and human element; discounted prices for any future purchases or perhaps follow up respondents to ensure that what they received is as expected and if any additional support can be delivered. This will not only aid conversions from those customers, but you will inevitability start to assemble a variety of brand advocates who are willing to suggest it to others and positively promote it via social media avenues.
If you have any additional points to make on this series, then please leave a comment below because the range of tactics involved in gaining a conversion varies depending on industry.