The Conversion Rate: Death by SEO and Social Media

seo conversion rate website editor writer

via Sean MacEntee, Flickr

It turns out that common strategies, like putting extra effort into search engine optimization and social media campaigns, may spell the death of your site’s conversion rate. If you want site visitors to interact with your web page and become leads, you’d best ignore standard wisdom and employ a few targeted tactics that, while perhaps not raising your unique hit count, will amp up your conversion rate. Once your conversion rate is at the level you want it to be, it’s safe to fall back on social media and SEO.

“Conversion Rate” is an online marketing term that means, quite simply, the number of people who take a desirable and measurable action, such as contacting you or signing up for a newsletter, as a result of visiting your website. Before you spend more money on advertising and marketing, consider reframing your site from the reference point of this key measurement, turning visitors into clients, and clients into loyal repeat customers.

Your main area of focus should be the website proper. Using Google Analytics or a similar metrics platform, isolate your problem pages–that is, pages with high exit and bounce rates–and fix them (if possible) by tweaking them to load faster, rewriting copy to be more persuasive, and/or directing visitors to make a purchase with a clear, suitably placed call-to-action. Those pages that can’t be fixed in this manner should be scrapped altogether.

There are a number of other pitfalls your website may be suffering from. For one thing, your site may have more distracting–and therefore, unnecessary–content than you think; for instance, promotional banners and images may take away from the key information and call-to-action. Clear clutter as much as you can to ensure that visitors see the most important parts of your site first. For another thing, you may be making your site cool at the expense of usability. Keeping things user-friendly trumps the cool factor every time; looking good should come second to being easy to use for your website.

Another important point revolves around your site’s meta tags. A common mistake that many webmasters make is over-inflating their title and description tags–meaning, they repeat the same keyword phrase far too many times in their meta tags in hopes of appearing at the top of search results lists. This leads to the creation of search engine listings that look canned and bot-generated; definitely not something that a living, breathing human being would ever click on. For that reason, limit yourself to a maximum of two instances of a keyword phrase, using the rest of the space to include action words and a brief summary of what your site is all about.

Improving your website’s conversion rate shouldn’t be a matter of ever-more-intensive SEO and social media marketing. Driving traffic should not be your only concern. Therefore, to increase conversion rates, work at ameliorating your website to be the most persuasive, clear, user-friendly and dynamic it can be for those visitors who already frequent it. Then worry about getting more people to visit.

Word Count: 508;

December 12, 2012:

editor writer


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