Converting Visitors Into Customers - The SEO Way

Apr 17 17:44 2007 Daniel Gibbins Print This Article

SEO is becoming the 'hot potato' of interent and website development. Without it, the expense of developing a website is wasted. SEO deserves to take equal standing next to website design - so many people still do not understand what it means, or even that it exists as a tool to improve visitors and ultimiately customers to your website.

What is SEO? What exactly is Search Engine Marketing? Why do so many people say it’s so important? These are just three of the many questions that we are frequently asked. As Search Engine Marketing and SEO Consultants,Guest Posting and providers of advanced web design, you’d think we’d have a clear answer to these questions.  We find that our answer changes depending on the person asking, but we have found that one response encompasses everything.

Because Search Engine Optimisation and Marketing has so many different features, and with more being offered within the label of SEO, it is becoming increasingly difficult to describe its function within website development and online marketing in simple terms any more. It’s like asking the question: what is education? I could spend a number of days writing about High School education alone, and the individual subjects and curricula that are taught throughout the UK to pupils aged 11-16 in state-maintained schools. But what about private schools? Primary schools? Sixth From Colleges? Institutes of Higher Education? Universities? Adult courses? The same can be said for SEO and Online Marketing – there’s never a quick and easy way to quantify Search Engine Optimisation, so the job of any good SEO Consultant is to provide you with the things you need to know about SEO that will make the most impact into your online presence.  

We looked at the three questions at the top of this page long and hard. We considered 1001 responses that we thought answered the questions. Some of them were extremely pretentious. Some of them were far too simple – some far too complex. Then we started to think: hold on, what is the end result of SEO? Why do we want to achieve success online? It is without doubt that the end result of any SEO or Online Marketing is to generate more ‘conversions’ – yet another word that is used to describe the work that we do, but never fully explained or understood (even by some SEO Consultants).

Hopefully, when you developed your website, you were asked by your web designers to come up with a list of targets for your site: targets that you hoped to meet eventually, in order to make your website do exactly what you intended it to do when you started. Without those targets, your website doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of being designed around your needs – something which is absolutely essential if the return on your investment is to be fully achieved. Most of our commercial-based clients, those whose main target is to generate more revenue, would consider their conversion to be the transformation from a site visitor into a customer. This would be quantified by the accumulation of revenue through the website. However, a not-for-profit website that extols the wonders and virtues of a visit to the Snowdonia National Park in North Wales, for example, would ultimately consider a conversion to be someone who asks for more information, even something as simple as completing an online questionnaire can be regarded as a conversion: you are essentially engaging your site’s visitors with your online content, whether that is through sales or by completing an online information request form. Why do we focus on conversions? If you do not know what you want your conversions to be before starting a web design project, you may as well save your money and take your family or friends to Euro Disney for a weekend, because without knowing your target audience and what you intend that audience to do with your site, your website will spend the rest of your domain registration treading water in the virtual sea of the information superhighway. Your conversions should inform and shape the build and design of your website. Making it ‘conversion friendly’ is the key to any successful website.

Think of conversions as a transfer of status from visitor to ‘customer’ (it’s no accident that in rugby a ‘try’ must be converted to a real result). A change occurs; a switch is thrown; a transfer is made at the point of conversion on your website. Choosing and developing the right conversion point can mean the difference between a new customer and someone who clicks on the red X on the top right hand corner of their browser and exits your site. Why, you may be wondering, when we post the question ‘What is SEO?’ have we chosen to focus on ‘conversions’ in this article? Well, quite simply, it comes down to a matter of results – what do you really want to achieve from your website? Whatever you answer, if you aren’t currently achieving that, then you need to start looking at developing an SEO Plan.

What is SEO? If you were a client we’d explain that it’s the process we go through in order to increase the conversions on your site, generating you more revenue for commercial sites or increasing the visitor frequency to a particular page on your site for not-for-profit websites. What exactly is Search Engine Marketing? Well, again, we would tell you that it’s what we do to ensure your targets are met, that people are able to find you and more importantly become a converted visitor. Why do so many people say it’s so important? Because it is! Gone are the days when you just need to have a website address, a dot com or dot org to advertise your company or organisation. The days of businesses reluctantly putting money into developing websites are long behind us: we are entering a point of online development that is seeing billions of dollars being spent on website development, SEO and online marketing by businesses across the world. SEO and online marketing are more important, and in some cases the most important area of site development, than the way the information is presented on the screen – because, quite frankly, if your site can’t be found, what’s the point in having a site?

You may be asking yourself at this stage: “how do I get more conversions?” We would say: “develop a good SEO and online marketing plan”. Find and research the best keywords for your product or service; rewrite your website to make it more engaging and include the search engine friendly keywords. Plan your strategy of conversions – target perhaps 3-5 pages that will become ‘conversion pages’ (areas of your site that you will want your visitors to interact with your content, whether that means spending money or sending you an email). You can take a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink! In the SEO world, this is not the case. You can take your visitors to your conversion page and you can also make him or her convert to a customer. How? Develop the best SEO Plan you can possibly afford, whether you do it in-house or invite an SEO firm to guide you. I cannot over estimate the importance of having a strong and well-developed SEO Plan. Take the leap today and contact an SEO company and ask how they can help you generate more conversions and exceed your online potential.

If you would like to discuss how we can help guide your SEO development and provide advice and support for your online marketing needs, contact us today – we are always happy to hear from people who are taking their first steps into the SEO and online marketing world. We offer website design and specialise in advanced SEO and online marketing solutions. Visit our SEO pages today at www.cortinawebsolutions.co.uk/seoindex.html

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About Article Author

Daniel Gibbins
Daniel Gibbins

Daniel Gibbins is the Managing Director of a website development company. He specialises in SEO and online marketing and currently heads up the SEO department at Cortina Web Solutions.

Daniel is always available to discuss SEO issues or provide a sounding board for your own ideas - visit our website and contact us today, we are standing by to offer whatever advice and support you need: www.cortinawebsolutions.co.uk

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