SEO conversations generally center on creating content and promoting it. Something important that is rarely mentioned is in my opinion one of the most important considerations: conversions.
A conversion, in the context of search marketing, is when someone performs an action that the publisher wants them to take.
Generally conversions are thought of in the context of sales: When a site visitor purchases a product, that’s called a conversion, the site visitor converted from a visitor to a customer.
Considerations about conversions play a role outside of sales, too.
Conversion actions can be said to play a role in almost every step related to SEO. From the title tags you write to the link outreach emails you send, conversion analysis helps you engineer more positive responses to what you are trying to achieve.
Thinking in terms of conversions goes beyond the narrow scope of just sales. It expands the scope to every single customer touchpoint where they interact with your brand.
In the early days we used to talk about conversion analysis in the context of reducing the friction between a site visitor at the home page to the site visitor at the checkout page.
That usually meant making the page fast to download and doing things like making the buy button as giant as possible and in a color that contrasted and made it pop out.
All of those optimizations contributed to an incremental improvement in sales.
But I noticed early on that conversion analysis was useful in other areas, like link building, title tag writing, and even in how I titled an article.
Link Building and Conversion Analysis
Here are examples of how conversions play a role throughout the SEO process:
- Obtaining links is a discussion about conversions.
- Getting people to open your link building email is about conversions
- Getting people to read your link building email is about optimizing for conversions
SEO and Conversion Analysis
- Writing title tags and meta descriptions so that people to click to your site is about conversions
- Convincing people they need to click your affiliate link is a discussion about conversions.
- Making people trust your site, that’s about conversions
SEO and Marketing is a Discussion About Conversions
Almost every discussion about SEO and ranking should at some point be put into the context of conversions.
You can’t convince someone to link to your site without convincing them that:
- Your site is useful
- Your site is trustworthy
- Your site is helpful
That’s all about conversions.
Online Success is a Conversation About Conversions
Every marketing plan is really a discussion about conversions, beginning with the content.
- Content leads to links
The content “delights” readers who then link to the content and tell others about it.
- Links lead to ranking
Links generated from the enthusiasm about your content cause Google to rank the site higher.
- Ranking leads to site visitors
Ranking leads to site visitors who now must be converted to link, tell a friend or to buy.
- Convert site visitors
Converting visitors is about trust and convincing them your product or content solves their problem
- More earnings
Understanding that they need a product leads to ad clicks and sales
Every single step of the way is a discussion about conversions.
- Which color is your buy button?
- How many words do you use on your web page?
- What images do you choose to show on your web page?
These are critical questions that need answering.
Images Help Conversion Rate
For example, your image can give your site visitor a mental picture of the success they will have by using your product, how popular they will be, how they will be a better or happier person.
The image in your web page can reflect who that person is. If your typical customer is a young woman then it’s apt to put an image of a young woman.
If your typical buyer is a male outdoorsman, then use a happy outdoors person at a summit enjoying the view or catching a fish or camping.
Images are a powerful way to communicate the message that a site visitor will be happy with your product. It’s a way to enable them to see themselves using the product and experiencing whatever it is they want to achieve with your product or service.
Images should never be used to adorn a page. Images should be considered from the perspective on how they can help convert a site visitor into a buyer.
How about Trust?
Nobody will buy from your site or click an affiliate link if your site is not trusted. That too is a discussion about conversions. Getting people to trust your site is about converting them from a skeptical site visitor to a trusting site visitor, a visitor that not only trusts your site but will actually recommend it to friends and family.
Building trust can happen by itself.
But it happens more often if you engineer it.
Converting someone from a skeptic to a trusting site visitor involves showing them that you are like them (images), that your organization shares the same values, donate to organizations they support, are associated with organizations they are familiar with and even offer testimonials from peers.
All of that is commonly discussed as “building trust” but it’s really about conversions, converting a skeptic into a believer.
How I Was Converted to Consult for a Client
A small company I’d never heard of contacted me. Visiting their home page I saw a banner that said something like, “Trusted by over 300 of Fortune 500” and my immediate reaction was to take them seriously.
They converted me.
That’s a conversation about conversion.
Review Your Site From Perspective of Conversions
So the next time you’re trying to figure out why a web page isn’t working, step back and think in terms of conversions. What part of the conversion conversation is being left out?
I can almost guarantee that you’ll begin to see new ways to improve earnings.