When planning your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) strategy, it's important to consider the 'bigger picture', and think in terms of your overall objectives for digital marketing, rather than just "ranking on page 1 for Google".
Otherwise, you may fall into a trap that we commonly see when reviewing websites, where SEO has created reasonable traffic flow, HOWEVER the conversion rate is poor.
People are visiting the site, but are not taking the next step to contact the business by filling in a contact form, sending you an email or picking up the phone and calling you.
While the visitor numbers may look good on your Google Analytics report, it doesn't help your bottom line if you can't convert them into living, breathing, paying customers.
Design EVERY web page as a landing page
While it depends on the structure of your website, the days of deciding which page will be a 'landing page' are long gone. Search engines don't look for relevant websites. They look for relevant PAGES, and will rank whichever page on your website has the information the person is searching for.
For example, when people search for "Marketing Copywriter Brisbane", there's no telling whether the search engines will rank our specific copywriting services page higher than our home page, as we have optimised BOTH to be relevant for people seeking copywriting services.
The only time you CAN pre-determine the landing page is when you are using pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, when you can set the target page for the traffic you generate.
So, against that background, you have to assume that people could land on any page of your website. This means that you need to design every page as though it were a free-standing landing page... complete with a strong call to action to encourage visitors to take the next step.
Digital marketing means catering for low commitment
One of the challenges with converting website traffic is the reality of a low commitment level from your potential customer.
To illustrate, let me compare your website to a retail outlet.
Let's say that you have gone to the hardware store to buy a hammer. You have a clear purpose, and you have made a fair commitment to walk in the door.
- You set aside the necessary time.
- You drove to the shop.
- You found a park.
- You walked in.
With that much commitment, if you can't find the hammers immediately, you are VERY unlikely to turn around, walk out and start over looking for another hardware shop. You'll have a good hunt around. And if you still can't find the hammers, you'll ask for help from an assistant.
Your website is not like this!
The only commitment people made to get there was to do a quick search and make a few clicks. So, if you don't have a clear path to what they are looking for, it is VERY easy for them to click away to a competitor.
Clearly, you need to be mindful of this, and make it very easy for people to take the next step!
So what WILL get the conversions you are looking for?
Only testing and measuring will tell. However, some helpful tips are:
1. Don't make people think.
Keep it simple, with one (perhaps two but no more) "next step" offers on the page.
It is fine to present it numerous times and in different ways, but keep the options to a dull roar. The underlying message should be "I understand your problem. I know how to fix it. HERE is what to do to get the soothing benefits you are looking for".
2. Show a clear path.
Make sure your Call to Action is obvious. If you want people to register an email address or other details, make the form prominent on the page. If you want them to ring, make the number very easy to see.
Whatever you want people to do, make it EASY for them to do it and tell them, clearly and persuasively, how to go about doing it.
3. Ask for less.
In an ideal world, every prospect would happily give you their email, phone number, postal address, and anything else you want.
Alas, ours is not an ideal world.
Generally speaking, the more information you ask for, the fewer people will respond.
While you can't make a horse drink, you CAN put a little salt in his water and make him thirsty. Tests have shown that giving people a REASON to cough up more information can increase responses by a few percent. Depending on your margins, this can make a significant difference to your bottom line.
4. Add value to your offer.
This is associated with the point above. You must ALWAYS remember that buyers don't know all the wonderful things that you know about your product or service. Nor do they know all the good things there are to know about your offer.
So, you have to tell them!
The amount of lost opportunity and lost business resulting from poor web copywriting is staggering. Time after time, we see websites with what COULD have been a compelling offer made weaker by poor writing.
For goodness sakes, get your web copywriting done properly! It is a VITAL part of your website, and it must be as persuasive and compelling as it can be.
5. Test different offers
Finally, to take us right back to my earlier point... you must TEST various offers and angles over a period of time to see which has the most appeal -- or how the SAME offer can be presented differently to increase it's appeal.
- Is a free consult more appealing than a paid one? Test and find out!
- Is an on-site visit more appealing than an in-house one? Test and find out!
- Is a complimentary 2 week trial more appealing that "14 days FREE"? Test and find out!
Last words about SEO and digital marketing ...
To finish, let me say... one more time... that you must (seriously, you really MUST) take a holistic picture with digital marketing. As I said before, SEO gets the rankings on the search engines, but that is only part of the story.
Rankings don't make money. Customers who convert on your website do!
Need some help with improving your website's conversion rate?
We'd love to help you to grow your business, and you can be sure we will take a genuine interest in you, your ideas, your objectives and your challenges. So get in touch with us today by arranging a no-obligation chat about improving your website and your overall marketing needs.