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Fundamentals of Improving Organic Search Traffic Conversions


If you’re a Search Agents fanatic, as you should be….then you saw Cassandra Caswell-Stirling [2]‘s post on Monday entitled Fundamentals of Paid Search Landing Page Optimization [3]. 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  [5].

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 [6]; 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.

About David Waterman

David Waterman of The Search Agency+ works in SEO, Content Development and Online Marketing, at The Search Agency - 11150 W. Olympic Blvd., Suite 600 Los Angeles, CA 90064 as a Director of SEO/Search Marketing - Website: http://www.thesearchagency.com [11]

David Waterman+ [10] manages all SEO efforts for an assortment of clients. He has over 8 years of Search Engine Optimization experience with a specific emphasis on content optimization and website taxonomy/organization. He sets strategy for a wide array of top-tier clients in various industries and has experience managing international search marketing teams and servicing international clients. In his spare time he enjoys going to garage sales and swap meets in search of vintage and collectible items.

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