I don’t care what any agency says, SEO is not that hard to do. Yes, it takes time but the rules are pretty well documented. The tricky part is what you do once you get people to your site. And this is where conversion rate optimisation kicks in.
Every agency and their rare-breed dog are writing blog posts about SEO. Google even gives away pointers. Build a site technically well, make the content good and relevant and get people to link to it. It’s simple.
However (and here is the kicker), what happens if this was all to change? The truth is, it has already. A significant percentage of web users will visit Facebook before Google, which means their navigation method becomes social recommendation, rather than searching. It is far harder to “optimise” a recommendation than a website algorithm. In fact, Google has been saying for ages that we should build our websites for people, as opposed to search engines. Maybe it knew something before we did!
This leads us to an interesting point. Attracting website visitors in the future will definitely change and the old rules of SEO will need to be thrown away – but what do we do with them once we actually get to our site? This is known as conversion rate optimisation.
The first assumption is that you actually know what you want your website to achieve. If you don’t, let me help you out. Your website should be used for one, or a combination, of the following: prompting a phone call; capturing a lead; making a sale or engaging a visitor's attention; improving branding; or creating community.
To get visitors to do more of what we want them to do we must optimise a website, an iPhone app or even a social network to guide people in the right direction.
Take Google, for example. It doesn’t have one big search box in the middle of its page for nothing. It wants people to search.
The one big takeaway for any entrepreneur is to think about the conversation, don’t just concentrate of what the site looks like. If you know people come to your site confused about a product or a service, then the big question for visitors isn’t ‘Should I buy or not?’, it’s ‘Does this website clear my confusion?’ The site should be built around that promise, with plenty of ‘Are you confused?’ calls to action, ranging from ‘Call us' to ‘Download this’ or ‘Email us’. That is the start of the relationship.
A while ago we were at a conference and heard a true master talk about the secrets of conversion. Check out our conversion rate optimisation blog post for another 21 secrets of top converting site.