If your company has a great-looking website, but that website isn’t converting visitors into buyers, you’ve got a problem. Having great products and services isn’t enough. Having a slick website isn’t enough. The online marketing competition is simply too stiff.
Having a clear marketing strategy that uses SEO for more than just getting found on Google, however—now you’re getting somewhere.
SEO and conversion optimization are not two different things, they're part of the same package that makes a successful website. Of course, smart SEO isn’t the only way bring customers to your website and nudge them through checkout, but it’s an incredibly useful tool that can boost your bottom line if done with the goal of bringing the most interested, qualified leads to some hand-picked landing pages.
Here’s how it’s done:
1. Long-Tail Keyword Phrases Catch the Right Customers
The online marketing landscape is constantly shifting, and Google’s frequent algorithm changes are usually part of the earthquake. For a long time, companies have been competing to show up in search results using the most popular set of competitive keyword terms.
Unfortunately, this method doesn’t convert very well because
a.) there are too many other companies competing for those terms
b.) they cast too wide a net (bringing in less-qualified leads) to convert effectively.
For an SEO and conversion optimization win, however, you should focus heavily on "long-tail keyword phrases", based on target market research. Instead of just one word, these can be three to four-word phrases that very specifically hone in on what your best-qualified potential customers are looking for in your products.
This type of SEO strategy eliminates less-qualified customers or those who are just looking, replacing them with highly-interested leads who are more likely to purchase.
2. Create Customer-Intent Landing Pages
Building on the long-tail keyword idea, the next step for SEO and conversion optimization is to create specific landing pages with quality content that exactly matches the descriptions of the key phrases your potential customers use to search for you through the search engine.
For example, if your lead searches for big mermaid-fabric handbags, you would create a specific landing page that just has a listing of big mermaid-fabric handbags, and not just take them to your homepage to make them drill further down.
You make it easy for them to find exactly what they’re looking for when they type in the long tail keyword search and they’re far more likely to buy because they're delighted you took them right to the exact thing they want.
3. Speed-Up Load Times
It might not seem initially obvious in terms of SEO and conversion optimization, but two critical audiences absolutely hate slow-loading pages: Google and your potential customers.
In Google’s case, its algorithms have factored load times into search rankings clear back to 2010 (which is centuries ago in internet life). That means slower-loading pages rank lower on the SEO scale than faster-loading pages.
As for your potential customers, their attention spans and patience level with load times continue to drop
precipitously (and, quite frankly, their patience level was never that high to begin with).
And studies have shown that faster pages can actually net more sales than slower pages. Almost half of website visitors will abandon ship if your landing page takes more than 2 seconds to load—and even 1 second of extra load time can reduce conversions by 7 percent. Boost your page loading times, boost your conversions!
4. Mobile is the Way Forward
For a few years now, more people have been searching Google and buying from their mobile devices than from their laptops or desktops—and that trend continues.
Mobile-optimized websites are factored favorably into Google’s SEO equation, while desktop-only websites are falling into the SEO abyss. So even if you are using smart long-tail keywords, creating great landing pages and boosting your loading speed, if all of this isn’t optimized for mobile devices, it’s still going to hurt your conversions.
If your website is using these four smart SEO and conversion optimization steps, however, you are going to drive higher conversion rates for your website—which is exactly what you want!
Focus on using good market research data to hone in on long-tail search terms your most qualified leads are likely to use, create fast landing pages tied directly to those search phrases and make sure they load fast on all devices.
You’ll spend less time fretting over a pointlessly-slick website and more time developing great customer relationships and a better bottom line.