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Conversion Not Placement
Posted 22 June 2004 - 09:35 AM
I have on online e-commerce site. I am looking for qualified leads that will place orders.
A high ranking for a keyword does not guarantee that. I get a lot of traffic on certain keywords, but these people just do not order.
If the person does not place an order, my next thing would be for them to sign up for my newsletter.
When I do a follow up on a sale I find that most people found me in this order Magazine Ad, search engine, referred by a friend.
Am I crazy?
Posted 22 June 2004 - 09:40 AM
That's not the way we see things around here. SEO is, in my opinion, about working to make a web site meet its owner's goals. If those goals are just to rank well in a search engine and not to convert visitors into customers, then those people are really missing something about why they have a web site in the first place.
Posted 22 June 2004 - 09:56 AM
Some people want better conversions. Some want more traffic. Some want to rank better than their competitors in spite of them. The goal of the SEO or SEM then is to try to facilitate those goals the best they can.
Posted 22 June 2004 - 09:11 PM
So you are right on the money!
Posted 23 June 2004 - 09:11 AM
The only ones that come close to this are the people that do XML Feeds. They place a tracking cookie on the site then show you the numbers.
Posted 23 June 2004 - 10:56 AM
Posted 23 June 2004 - 11:16 AM
Eventually you WILL rank, but you will be ranking for phrases that matter, and when your visitors get to you, they will be presented with an optimised site that they can find their way around, and do what they want it to, (which should be the same as you want it to do).
Professional SEO is about EVERYONE winning, it is a complete symbiotic relationship
Search engines - They win as they are provided with a set of pages that are easy to understand, and contain the quality information that their visitors search for.
Searchers/clients - They win as they are getting what they ask for from the search engines, they search for buy blue widgets, and get a page about blue widgets, where, in fact they can buy, blue widgets.
Site owner - They win as they are getting quality visitors who are doing what they want them to do, be it post, read, register, buy, whatever the end goal for the site is.
SEO - They win because they get paid for making all parties concerned happy.
That IMO is how professional SEO should be considered, it is not about getting pages ranked, it is not about beating the search engines (although most good SEO's have this inbuilt desire to win) it IS about being the catalyst for a win win win situation, where the only losers are the people who have not hired you, and see their competition leapfrog them in the results, or often don't even see this, as they are actually appearing for the wrong phrases. All they know is that their bottom line is dropping away, but can't for the life of them work out why.
Posted 23 June 2004 - 12:57 PM
Posted 23 June 2004 - 09:09 PM
Well, you're singing my tune for sure!
You're absolutely correct. Conversions are vital. All the rank in the world isn't going to sell hotdogs if the way to purchase them is confusing, or hard to find.
This is why inside pages count so much. The ones that are optimized for a certain topic are a dandy drive-in to the rest of the site, especially if the designer remembered to place call to action links and easy to learn navigation on those pages.
A copywriter trained in persuasive writing is another key person to have on your team, or pick up Bryan Eisenberg's book, "Persuasive Online Copywriting: How to Take Your Words to the Bank" to get pointers on doing it yourself.
There's lots of usability and information architecture elements that when added to a site, convert clicks to sales, or traffic to newsletter subscribers, or move potential customers to sales lead forms.
First, there's the search. Then, there's the hook.
Posted 23 June 2004 - 09:12 PM
IMO, a lot of times specialists will fixated on specific measures and not see the bigger picture. That isn't always a bad thing...the whole point of being a specialist is to specialize.
It means, though, that somebody else needs to keep an eye on the bigger picture. One way - as OWG suggested - is to hire a strong SEO company that has a little broader view. Or - as Jill suggested - hire a consultant to delve into all aspects of the online experience.
If those ideas don't work out for whatever reasons, you can also consider having more than one type of agency, with you acting as "conductor" to help coordinate activities.
Whatever solution you end up with, IMO it should make sense to you. You know your business nuances and goals better than any outside consultant can. If a recommendation doesn't seem logical to you, chances are it isn't.
Posted 25 June 2004 - 12:20 PM
They(business side) spends more time trying to get more traffic (paid and organic) and not fixing the whole conversion issue.
Still cant see why someone would want to go after 5000 more people a day when they convert at 1% when you could work just as hard to convert the traffic you already get, and THEN target more traffic.
I will say it is fun to look at things from the techie view and try and see why they do what they do. One day I will figure it out - maybe.
Posted 25 June 2004 - 12:25 PM
But do I feel responsible for making their customers buy?
Not a chance. There are way to many variables I can't control. Somewhere along the line, the client has to take some responsiblilty for closing the deal. I can drive traffic to the store but if it's got a lousy floor plan or useless sales staff or if the product doesn't stand up against competitors' quality and pricing, I'm sorry. If your website is hard to navigate or butt ugly or simply offering stuff nobody wants, you have other problems that SEO can't fix.
If my client wants me optimize a site for searches for appropriate keywords, my success should be measured by the ranking I get for those keywords. If I'm paid to get a visitor to the right place on the site to get the information they need for a buying decision, my success should be measured by their experience with the navigation and the on-page content.
SEO is not a panacea for the entire marketing process. I've known clients that think great graphic design or a strong media buy should automatically make their sales take off; SEO is just another part of the mix, I figure. If you want to combine complete web development and web marketing consultancy with SEO services, that's a great package, but they aren't synonymous!
Of course it's important for every player to understand the business process and to contribute to it, but each us are entitled to be judged by our specific performance in our specific role. As far as I'm concerned, "conversion" in SEO means that a searcher finds you and clicks through. Once you're past that, you're on to a different step in the process.
Posted 25 June 2004 - 12:34 PM
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