Where should you focus and put your SEO efforts? Traffic or conversions

Business websites use SEO for improving sales. To sell more products or services businesses need more people coming to their web site and more visitors could potentially mean an increase in sales. It is quite natural that whenever we talk about SEO, the focus is on high visibility that drives more traffic to websites. The stress on more traffic stems from the understanding that more people means more customers. This is where the problem starts because there is a flaw in equating traffic with customers. Rather, the correct way of looking at traffic is to see it as mere visitors many of whom have the potential to become customers. This is evident from the experience of many websites that despite enjoying high traffic suffered from poor conversions. The heavy traffic that goes to the website does not help the business to earn revenue and defeats the very purpose of SEO Seattle.

The problem is quite big for businesses operating in some niche that does not have a very large audience. The business might have only a few hundred or thousand people around the world who are interested in the products or services that narrows down the list of potential customers and aggravates the problem of poor conversions. However, for businesses that enjoy a wide span of the audience attention would suffer less because the higher number of people that take an interest in the website would give better opportunities for conversions.

Trying to increase the number of visitors will ultimately reach a saturation point when you cover all people in your niche, or the niche might be so vast that reaching out to more people would turn too expensive and not at all feasible.  However, a more practical way is to try to increase visitors who are truly interested in your products and ready to buy it. The focus must be on conversions more than on increasing traffic because it can be four times more effective than the effect achieved by improving the number of visitors. The increased customer base and revenue paves the way for new marketing opportunities.

Think about modifications

Minor website modifications that are not at all expensive can provide surprising results in marketing.  Not all modifications will work for you, and you must choose the ones that suit your business and website. Going through the process of trial and error by picking one modification at a time you can test the ones that would work well for you.

Changes in the area of search marketing

The quality of traffic that comes to the website must have the potential of conversions and should not consist of casual visitors who aimlessly wander on the internet and happen to visit your website by chance.  This is very important because you must ensure that the traffic that reaches your website have higher chances of conversion and is actually converting. If you suffer from low conversion, then have a look at the keywords that are sending visitors to the website without any potential of converting into customers. Change the keywords and re-focus your efforts on the new keywords that have a higher potential of sending visitors who are eager to buy something.

The text of the content and the type of sentences used for conveying messages might have something to do with conversions. To increase conversions, you can alter the phrasing of the text in such a way so that it addresses the concerns that your customers might be having and maybe even eliminate them completely.

Monitor the purchasing journey of visitors

Many visitors despite intending to make purchase often drop out at some point of the purchasing journey for various reasons. It can happen if there are extra and unnecessary steps in the purchasing process that make them wary. Therefore, you must review your purchasing process by having a close look at the purchasing funnel to monitor the movement of visitors right from the time that arrives at the website up to the time they complete the purchase. Identify the unwanted steps that frustrate buyers and drive them away resulting in losses of millions of dollars for your business. Making the checkout process simpler by making the sign up process optional, resulted in a massive increase in sales to the tune of 33% of a company. If you want visitors to sign up for an account, you can ask them after completing the purchase instead of insisting for it midway during their purchasing journey.

Content impacts conversion

Text content no matter how informative and useful it may be, it might have lesser appeal than videos created on the same topic. For example, video tutorials are much high impacting and keep visitors closely engaged all the while as compared to text content or even infographics.  Using video content can increase conversion many times provided the topic is most suitable to explain through videos. This does not mean that you must use video content only and replace all your text content but strike the right balance by mixing the two types of content and creating videos for topics that suit it most. You can even use videos within text content to explain some portions of the content in a better way.

Look at the design elements

Colors have a high impact on human psychology and dictate their behavior. The way a person reacts on seeing a red colored object will not be the same the way they would react when seeing something in blue color. Likewise, by changing the color and size of buttons on your website, it is possible to improve conversions. The buttons for a call to action (CTA) are especially important as one company found that switching over to red button from green button increased the number of users who clicked on it by three times. The warmth of red color is so attractive and inviting that it drives people much more than a green or blue color.

Ease of visitors moving around the website

If visitors to your website feel that you are making them rush through the process, it could prove counter-productive especially for them who have not yet made up their minds for making a purchase. Once someone has decided to purchase, you can then minimize the steps to take them through the process quickly. But before visitors take the decision, you must give them enough room and ample time to spend time on the site to take the decision.  If your website has elements that do not allow the space to visitors, rectify it quickly and see how things change for the better.

For example, the message under the buttons on the home page gives direction to visitors about the next action they should take.  Suppose, it is written ‘Free trial’ under the button on the home page and it would be useful only for those who have already made up their minds to make a purchase. However, there are many more visitors yet to take a purchasing decision and would not use the button at all thereby stalling their progress in the purchasing journey. However, to encourage such visitors to take the next step, rephrasing the text of the button as ‘See Plans and Pricing’ would make them come forward to sign up and move ahead.

Button placements

Call to action buttons move visitors close to conversions, and you must not have any similar looking button close to it with some different purpose like ‘reset form.’  Placing the Reset button beside the CTA button can sometimes make users click on the wrong button inadvertently although their intention was to click on the CTA button. It can be so frustrating for them to repeat the entire process of filling forms and start again that they would prefer to quit. Similarly, providing an ‘Empty Cart’ button can not only be quite confusing, and it does not have any use for visitors as they would be happy to remove items separately from the cart instead of emptying all items at the same time.

When are small changes effective?

Small changes to the website are undoubtedly quite effective, but it does not work for one and all. The current level of conversions influences the impact of small changes. It might happen that despite doing most of the changes, you hardly find any improvement. No, there is no reason to doubt the power of the changes because it might happen that your earlier conversion level was so low that even an increase of 200% seems to have no impact on the flagging sales.  For the improvements from small changes to look significant, your earlier conversion level matters a lot.

When you find that you are stuck in the middle and small changes are unable to give the desired results, it is time to think about some big changes. When design changes are not enough to improve conversions to the extent you want you may have to start from scratch. You can test by creating two different designs on the same page to see what kind of results you get. Using your current conversion rate as benchmark, test different page designs to see which give significant improvement.