This probably sounds like a silly question, but actually it’s a very important one. Is there any point in carrying out SEO on a website which isn’t going to convert traffic into anything of any benefit?This simple answer in my humble opinion, is no, there is no point in working to get traffic to a website which isn’t setup to convert that traffic.Imagine a plane with no wings – it doesn’t matter how powerful an engine you have, that plane isn’t going to leave the ground. It doesn’t matter how much traffic you send to a website, if it’s not setup to convert that traffic into useful things, such as new customers, sales, signups to your list – then what is the point?Whenever I start a new project, I look at the website & make suggestions for ways to increase the conversion before starting on the SEO.Here are some suggestions for ways to increase conversion on a website before working on increasing traffic:
Is the sales copy well written? Depending on what the website is promoting, the copy is going to be different – what works well for selling online information products, for example, isn’t necessarily going to work well for selling T-shirts. Common sense will usually predict what kind of sales copy is used initially – and then testing will tell you for sure.
Is there enough content, and product info? Websites with very little in the way of content, especially product information, don’t tend to convert very well. If someone is looking for a product & the first website doesn’t give them the info they need, they’ll click back & surf to another website to find that info, and it’s unlikely they’re then going to browse back to the previous website to buy.
Does the website utilize list building & marketing? A very small percentage of people will actually buy from a website on the first visit, on average we need exposure to an idea 7 times before we’re ready to buy. A benefit of getting people onto your list is you can then communicate with them on a regular basis, ensuring that it’s your website they come back to once they’re ready to purchase – and once they purchase, they’re a customer, and you can move them into a new database to concentrate on converting them from customer to repeat customer.” The money is in the list” may be a cliché’, but it’s true.
Is the price right? It’s quite risky to start off with a price much higher than your competitors. Yes, pricing higher is a way to increase perceived value, along with having a great website with lots of information, and offering a great service – but in my experience it’s usually best to start off with competitive pricing until you’re well established, and you can get a good idea of the conversion rates you’re getting with competitive pricing, then test price increase & track conversion. Starting off with higher prices can be a difficult approach.
Test. Work out current conversions, and test various aspects of the website in order to increase conversion. Test headlines, sub headers, use of testimonials & so on, and test price points. Depending on the kind of website & the products you’re selling, you may want to use sophisticated A/B testing scripts, or just do it manually, as long as you can work out what effect the change has had on conversion. If you’re testing manually, just test one change at a time so it’s clear which changes have brought about the results.
If you’re doing SEO yourself, or hiring an SEO consultant – just make sure it’s set up to convert well first, so that your time effort & expense in optimizing your site to receive good traffic levels from the organic search engines, isn’t wasted.