Search Engine Optimization or SEO, is often regarded to be at the center of internet marketing.
But SEO can be no good and no much of a use if it doesn't help your website convert.
A website that converts, means that the website is able to make its visitors perform actions that the owner of the website wants them to take.
Through its web pages, the website can turn a normal wandering visitor into a lead to then a buyer by purchasing a product from the website, or view and ad to then click it, subscribe to a newsletter, and so forth.
SEO here should be part of a website's conversion, and not by stopping midway after visitors visit the website.
In other words, your SEO strategies should expand to the scope of every single customer touchpoint where they interact with your brand.
The first thing that should come in mind, is the context of reducing the friction between visitors at the landing page, to the visitor the checkout page for e-commerce websites, or directly to the ad slot, or to the call-to-action button.
This usually involves making the page fast to load, and make what visitors should interact with, located at the position that is distinguishable from the rest of the website's design elements, and easy to reach.
All of those optimizations should contribute to an incremental improvement in conversion.
But there are other areas too.
Putting basic SEO methods aside, like creating an engaging title, optimizing the meta tags and aiming for the best keywords, let's not forget that for a website to be able to convert well, it needs well-placed backlinks and appealing content that answers whatever visitors have in mind.
SEO should always play a role throughout the process of conversion.
The more backlinks you have, the higher the chance that search engines will see that link and index the page within, and the more people will see that link and visit that link.
But backlinks should be placed only on those places that are relevant.
If the web page you're promoting with the backlink is all about technology, placing the link on a web page about healthcare for example, won't translate to good conversion, despite the latter is a highly-ranked website. While you may benefit from a higher traffic, but your website, your brand, and your link can be considered a spam.
As a result, your website won't convert.
In other words, obtaining backlinks should open the way to conversion. And getting people to open that link is by making sure that the link is placed where it's expected the most. This way, you have a higher chance of making people trust your website, and in turn leverage your brand to become a respectable one.
Search engines and citizens of the web hunger for information.
Whether it is looking for up-to-date news, gossip, how-to articles, Q&A, tutorials and so forth, an increasing number of people use the internet to satisfy their hunger for something, or to simply 'exist' on the web for their own purposes.
As a website owner, you should be able to reach those people with convincing information. If backlinks are your first attempt to make people visit your web page, the content of your page is what makes people stay there, to then hopefully convert.
Here, you should create contents to make your website useful. You need to also make your pages trustworthy and helpful. All that is to ensure that your SEO methods help with your website's conversions.
Conversation About Conversions
Every marketing plan is really a discussion about conversions. And that should start from the very beginning.
Breaking them down:
- Content leads to the creation of links: If the content appeals your visitors, they will again share that content with others, and tell more people about it.
- Links should help your website to rank higher: The links are shared, they will certainly attract search engines into ranking your website and its web page higher.
- Ranking leads to more website visitors: Higher ranking will translate to even more visitors coming to your website.
- Converting your visitors: Besides well-placed call-to-actions, conversion involves trust and your website's ability to solve their problems.
- More converting visitors means more earnings: Understanding that visitors need will lead to purchase, ad clicks and more.
And speaking of trust, you should know that "trust" is earned. You cannot force anyone to trust you if you don't have anything good to offer. It takes time to build trust. But if you're doing all the steps above in a convincing manner, trust will come and happen by itself.
Another way of saying it, "building trust" is really about conversions, meaning that it's literally a way to turn a skeptic people into believers.
Further reading: The Three Modern Pillars Of SEO