You’ve likely become familiar with the term search engine optimization (SEO) as a means to increase your ranking on search engines. It’s an important piece of a content marketer’s arsenal as the first position in a Google search receives 33 percent of the traffic compared to only 18 percent for second position. Those who successfully implement good SEO tactics often see their site’s traffic rise quickly and even see an uptick in their mailing list.
Everything seems to be going fine until they start selling their product. Somehow all of those site visits and subscribers don’t translate to good conversion rates. Why does this happen?
The biggest mistake of many SEO guides is omitting your audience from the equation. When focusing on increasing traffic to your site via SEO, you may be building an audience, but it isn’t a cohesive one. Your SEO traffic results will often bring in people who may be interested in your product in a broad sense, but not necessarily what you’re selling. For example, a baseball blogger might be getting search engine terms like baseball betting, watch baseball online and how to play baseball. If your business focuses more on selling baseball equipment, you won’t interest those who want to watch the game or bet on it.
As you can see, while getting thousands of hits in traffic might feel nice, if none of them convert then that number doesn’t matter. In order for you to improve your chances of converting search engine traffic you need to attract people interested in your niche and the product you’re selling.
So how can you bring in the right kind of traffic?
Identify Your Customers
Many marketers approach SEO backwards. They focus on getting the raw numbers hoping to generate leads, push them through a sales funnel and turn them into customers. However, for successful conversion from search engine traffic, you need to view it in the opposite manner and find a way customers will find your site through specific keyword phrases. You can do this by understanding the types of people in your niche. Naturally some niches have attract a more diverse group than others.
Once you’ve identified all the different types of people who would be interested in your product you can then narrow down the specific keyword phrases for your SEO.
Evaluate Your Content
After you’ve finalized your keywords and phrases, it’s time to take a good look at your content. Check out Google Analytics and export all of your content in the behavior segment and filter for search traffic. Here you can see exactly what keywords people use to get to this page to see what kinds of people show interest in this topic.
It’s likely much of your content is non-targeted. If it’s already generating traffic, there’s no reason to delete it. Instead consider the following:
- Add additional internal links not only to build upon your authority but also to direct people to more targeted pages.
- Consider monetizing this audience differently from your main one. Add them to different mailing lists and pitch them different products. If you don’t have a relevant one, consider an affiliate.
Reduce Your Keyword List
There’s not too much you can do about your older SEO mistakes, but you can learn from them. Perhaps the most obvious step is to reduce your keywords. Focus on the ones that will attract the right audience for your business. You can do this by going through each of your keywords and identifying the type of people who would search for it. If those aren’t the types of customers you want, remove it from your list.
If done properly, you’ll have a much smaller, but more targeted list. It might lead to a drop in traffic, but those who come to your site will be more inclined to convert.
Why it Matters
Conversion is everything for any eCommerce site. In order to increase profits and stay in business you need to convert visitors into shoppers, or at least generate some leads to later turn them into customers. After all, the whole reason marketers pursue SEO is to convert that traffic into loyal customers.
Luckily, you’re not the only one struggling to turn search engine traffic into conversions. In fact, only 2 percent of businesses are very satisfied with conversion rates.
In order to ensure higher rates, you need to view SEO traffic as a conduit for conversion. Once you realize this and start changing the way you optimize your content, you’ll start seeing results.