Optimize Your Landing Pages For User Intent: Interview With Jonah Stein

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As part of our SEJ interview series, I caught up with Jonah Stein of ItsTheROI to discuss conversion rate optimization.

Jonah has 17 years of online marketing experience and specializes in ROI driven SEO and PPC initiatives for both established brands and startups.

I took this opportunity with Jonah to ask what are some of the signals marketers should be looking for from their visitors in order to better optimize their landing pages.

Hear his response in the video below:

Here are some key takeaways from the video:

  • Google has gone to great lengths to explain why they can’t access data from social media sites, they say they can’t see these social signals because they’re behind firewalls. However, what they’re leaving out of their explanation is that they have all kinds of instrumentation in place to see where traffic is coming from and where it’s flowing to. Because of this they actually get a ton of great data from Facebook since they can see what users are clicking on and what content they’re spending their time with.
  • Jonah says too many people in the search industry are paying attention to external factors, and leading themselves to believe that on-site SEO is dead. But anybody who lands on your site is a user that has the potential to provide positive or negative data.
  • Instead of focusing on the percentage of people who do exactly what you want them to do while on your site, Jonah suggests to step back and realize that every visitor comes to your site with their own intent.
  • If you optimize for only the 4 or 5 percent of people who end up converting on your website, you’re totally leaving out the other 95% of people who came to your website wanting to do something else. That’s why Jonah says you should optimize your site with every user in mind and value all of your traffic, not just the percent that converts. If you do this then you’re getting a lot closer to what Google is looking for and what they judging sites on.
  • For many sites, the search engine is the front door. People usually don’t come to your site by typing in the domain, they come to your site because they searched for something that lead them there. If your visitors are landing deep into your site, you should be paying attention to what your top landing pages are and what percentage of those you even think about on a regular basis.
  • Jonah says many site owners are surprised when you tell them what their top landing pages are, and few of them even care because those particular pages don’t convert. But if you’re optimizing for the user intent you can get a lot more value out of those pages.

Please visit SEJ’s YouTube page for more video interviews.

John Rampton
John Rampton is an entrepreneur, full-time computer nerd, and PPC expert. Founder at payments company Due.com. I enjoy helping people and am always online to chat +/@johnrampton
John Rampton
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  • Norton Loomer

    If you try to optimize for every visitor, you will inevitable optimize for no visitors.

    • Norton Loomer

      *inevitably*, that is.

    • https://plus.google.com/+VijayAgarwal Vijay Agarwal

      One cannot optimize for the “intent” of every user landing on page. But yes one has to design page so that visitors feel thay have landed on the page with info they intended to search for. For example one can have a Facebook Comments widget so that visitor can go through the comments already posted to get a feel of what other visitors think. This gives them a sense of affinity.

  • http://www.rugtec.com Richard

    That’s the problem i’ve come across before. Sometimes we assume why a customer landed on a particular page and force them to follow a certain path, when in reality they might want something completely different.

  • http://www.cpasitesolutions.com/ Norm

    Do others really, I mean really, believe on page seo is dead, or even close. I mean really? I do hear a lot of bad information, like the over stated importance of site map xml files (especially for static sites), but I did not think people were thinking on page is dead.

    Just this last week, I was researching why traffic was down to one of our sites, which provides websites for accountants. The goal was to figure out if we cared about the reason the traffic was down. For example, we determined that we didn’t care about traffic to our blog and help systems being down because this traffic was largely coming from our existing client base, and not really generating new leads.

    Your comment has completely changed my thinking. We do care about that traffic. However I am still not sure how we serve EVERYBODY. For example, I discovered that last year we were getting traffic from people looking for a local accountant, whereas our website is about delivering websites for accountants. Google (correctly) is no longer sending us that kind of traffic, but if they were, I am not sure it would behoove us to change our home page to better cater to that traffic. Especially when we evaluate every pixel on the page and specifically designed it to cater to people looking for websites for accountants.

    So while you did change my way of thinking about traffic, let’s face it, Google does not always send relevant searches to high authority sites. I don’t think it is reasonable to optimize for 100% of your traffic