Fundamentals of Improving Organic Search Traffic Conversions

Posted on Thursday, May 24th, 2012 by Print This Post Print This Post

Categories - Consumer Experience, Featured, SEO

If you’re a Search Agents fanatic, as you should be….then you saw Cassandra Caswell-Stirling‘s post on Monday entitled Fundamentals of Paid Search Landing Page Optimization. Not surprising, this also happens to be a hot topic on the organic search team as well. Although search optimization can help increase traffic to a website, this traffic may not always result in increased conversions. There are hundreds of reasons why an organic search may not result in a conversion, but I don’t have the time or the level of experience necessary to provide insight and advice on every single pixel on a web page and step in a conversion funnel. So instead, I’m going to provide you with three key steps to improving organic search traffic conversions.

1.      Focus on Keyword Intent, not Search Volume

Before you even look at the page your organic traffic will be landing on, you want to make sure you’re going after search terms that align with the activity you want your traffic to do. This means looking past search volume and focusing on intent.

For example, let’s imagine you’re a provider of search engine optimization services. Here are some of the keywords you may want your website to rank for:

As you can see, “SEO” has the highest search volume. BUT, you have to think for a moment on how people search. Someone just doing a search on “SEO” or even “Search Engine Optimization” isn’t necessarily looking for someone to help them with SEO. They may be just looking for information or articles or what Search Engine Optimization even means. If you’re looking to get more clients, you’d be better off focusing on the term “Search Engine Optimization Services.” The intent of this search is more in line with achieving your conversion goals. Someone searching for “services” is obviously looking for someone or something to help with their search engine optimization.

Focusing on keyword intent instead of search volume will help you increase traffic from people who are more likely looking for the product and/or service you are offering. Of course the next step is to dig through your analytics and see which keywords actually result in high user engagement and/or conversions, but I’ll let the experts speak on identifying keywords that convert .

2.      Create Some Sort of Call to Action

I’ve seen too many web pages that just don’t have a clear call to action. The page may be quite informative in regards to the specific topic someone is searching for online, but there’s no clear tie to the topic and the product/service the website offers or is promoting. So, come up with at least one call to action. Call to actions can be presented in the following ways:

-        Banner at the top of the page

-        Call-out box on top right of page

-        Form fill on right side bar

-        Video

There are hundreds of ways to create a call to action and even more when it comes to improving lead generation; but regardless of which of the calls to actions you use, you want it toward the top of the page. Having your call to action as the last line or item on the page reduces its visibility. Also, you may want to consider creating custom call to actions based on the topic/category of the page. It’s always better to tailor your message to the overall topic/message of the page.

3.      Test!

The only way to really get a sense for what’s working and what’s not is to test some different page designs, content layouts and calls to action. Unfortunately with organic landing pages, traditional landing page testing can create some SEO issues. So be creative. Establish a few design changes you’d like to test for a page type and create a schedule of when you’d like to change them. The important thing is to monitor traffic, bounce rate, and page views during this time so you have a sense of how visitors interact with these pages while certain design changes are in place. Of course you may need to account for seasonality, but changing out the placement of content, the specific language of a call to action, and even font types could help you identify which visuals and messaging resonate better with your target audience.

There are hundreds if not thousands of individual elements that could be analyzed, discussed and best practices provided when it comes to optimizing a landing page for better conversion, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. You need to tackle these three items first before you can really start to figure out what will increase your conversions.

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5 Responses to “Fundamentals of Improving Organic Search Traffic Conversions”

  1. Still way undervalued as an SEO tactic, SEO landing pages are no longer working in a vacuum and excluded from ROI standards – away from pure traffic and more justification of $$ to the bottom line.

    Great article on the core of what all SEO’s should be thinking – and if you’re a TSA client you already know that :-)

    Cheers

  2. Ahura says:

    It’s a really great post, I’m glad to read that all the SEO actions I focus on are right!:D The keywords and content are the two factors wich I think all the SEO is built on. The proper keywords research and then tracking website’s position by keywords brings me an exhaustive knowledge of the keyword and hence the content efficiency.
    I also track my competitor’s position by the same keywords with Colibri Tool

  3. Mona says:

    Great article!

    Testing is undoubtedly a key factor to improving landing page conversion.

    I find that people take the fact that things work for granted, and do not step outside of the box enough, especially after they’ve been in an industry for a long time. We begin to assume that everyone knows where to find the “Click Here” link or that everyone knows what we want them to do… Imagine a first time user! Make it so simple a toddler could figure it out.

    Happy landing page optimization!

  4. Excellent post. I used to be checking continuously this weblog and I am impressed! Very helpful info specially the last part :) I care for such info much. I was looking for this particular info for a long time. Thanks and best of luck.

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