There’s been a lot of hype around Search Engine Optimization (SEO) over the years, and for good reason. A study by Conductor concludes that organic search accounts for up to 64% of website traffic. The purpose of using SEO is to get your website pages to show up in search engine results so you can capture as much of that traffic as possible. We also know that the majority of search engine traffic comes via Google. In a recent survey, 75% of respondents listed Google as their primary search engine. So it’s no surprise that the majority of SEO efforts are focused on helping websites show up on Google.
Discover more Google search stats – and see just how many Google searches have been performed so far today - compliments of Internet Live Stats.
So you know how important good SEO is in order to get people to visit your website. But, what happens once they get to your site? That’s where your conversion rate comes in. A conversion can be defined as getting website visitors to do what you want them to do when they visit your site – whether it’s to buy something, download something, sign up for something, or just interact in some way, shape or form. Given this definition of conversion, your conversion rate is simply the percentage of people who do exactly what it is you want them to.
The Ultimate Goal of SEO is to Increase Conversions.
Sure, there are many other goals along the way…
- having your webpages indexed by search engines,
- having your webpages show up in search engine results for keywords that your target audience is searching for,
- having your target audience click through to your webpages,
- having your visitors spend valuable time on your site and not just bounce off at first glance;
but the be-all and end-all goal is to…
- Convert your visitors so you can continue to build a meaningful relationship with them! After all, if you don’t convert your visitors, why even have a website?
This is what conversion rate optimization (CRO) is all about. The concept of CRO has been around for a long time, but it has recently been thrust into the spotlight. Website owners are realizing that getting traffic is one thing (with the help of SEO), but what can really impact the bottom-line is increasing their conversion rates (with the help of CRO). So how do you go about optimizing your conversion rates? Start with these 5 steps…
5 Steps to CRO
Step 1 – Define the conversion.
Without knowing what you want your website visitors to do, you can’t measure your success. And if you can’t measure your success, you can’t optimize to increase your conversions.
EXAMPLE: We want visitors to our landing page to download our latest white paper.
Step 2 – Measure the conversion rate.
Measuring your initial conversion rate provides insight into how many visitors are doing what you want them to. This gives you a starting point to know whether your updates make a difference or not.
EXAMPLE: We had 10 downloads from 100 visitors for a 10% conversion rate.
Step 3 – Optimize to increase conversions.
After you know your current conversion rates, you can start optimizing to increase that number. If you have multiple conversion pages, this will also help you decide where to start optimizing.
EXAMPLE: We update the page title on our original landing page to include a stronger value proposition.
Step 4 – Measure the conversion rate.
Is there an echo in here? There should be. After making the change to your landing page, and once you have enough additional traffic, you’ll want to make sure to determine your new conversion rate.
EXAMPLE: We had 20 downloads from the next 100 visitors for a 20% conversion rate – a 100% increase!
Step 5 – Optimize to increase conversions.
Once you know how well your initial change works, you can move on to another update. Even if your previous change brings great success, there is always room for improvement.
EXAMPLE: We update the supporting graphic on the landing page to make it more enticing.
Whatever you’re optimizing for (search engines? conversions?), don’t rest on your laurels. Being satisfied with current results is where good results go to die. Continue to optimize!