Optimise for Visibility & Conversion
Optimisation is an ongoing process and not a one-off event. If you don't optimise your competitors will. It's applicable to your website and other channels that you may use to reach prospects. To keep things simple we're going to focus on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO).
SEO is concerned with maximising visibility, while CRO is concerned with maximising the number of visitors who do what you want them to do. This may be to buy directly through your website or it may be to call you. It may also be to download a brochure or give you a review. The point about a conversion is that it should represent something of value to your business.
The process of optimisation starts with investigation, which then leads to identification. Once you've identified what needs to be optimised you can then improve website rankings or conversion rates.
One of the really great aspects of the web is the abundance of data. You can acquire data about users to your website. You can acquire data about what people are searching for. You can acquire data about your competitors. There is no shortage of data that's available to you to assess how well your website is performing. More importantly the data will reveal how big the gap is between your current performance and what it could potentially and realistically be. We call this the value gap.
"What gets measured gets improved." Peter Drucker
Knowing your value gap is one thing but knowing why the gap exists and how you can bridge it is another. Before starting to change anything you need to be clear about what you expect the outcome of a change to be.
Unless you know what your value gap is you can't be certain you are achieving the best you can from your web site. The chances are you already have a sense that you could be achieving more. We're here to help businesses just like yours to pinpoint where improvements can be made and more importantly, what value will come from making the improvements.
If your site is not listed on page one of organic search results it's virtually invisible, unless you pay for it to be listed. The primary aim of our SEO service is to get your site ranking on page one of multiple search results pages. The analysis we perform before we take action will set specific objectives for specific search queries. You will know before rankings are achieved what the target rankings are worth in terms of additional visitors to your site.
“There is no black magic to successfully attracting customers via the web.” Rand Fishkin
SEO is a constant process because your competitors are not standing still and search engines, like Google, regularly update the algorithms that determine how they rank web pages. Your website resides in an environment that's always changing.
You need to be aware of the impact of the changes that are occurring because of what search engines decide to do, or what your competitors do, and even what you might do. Yes, sometimes your own actions can have an expected negative impact of your sites search rankings.
The aim is always to ensure you are getting the optimal number of relevant visitors to your site pages, and this means you must be towards the top of page one of search results. Being towards the bottom of page one is better than not being on page one at all. However, for many sectors more than 50% of visitors will be on small mobile devices. This means the bottom of page one is a long way for prospects to scroll, so paying attention to rankings on different devices is important.
A number of key groups of factors come into play that influence how well your website ranks for given search queries. [Click on the headings to expand or collapse each factor].
On-page factors relate to each of your sites pages. This set of factors are the easiest to do something about. Improving on-page factors means changing and even adding to the content visitors can see when they look at a web page. It also means changing and adding some elements that the human eye doesn't see but search engines do.
Unless your business operates in a low competition niche market it's unlikely that improving on-page factors will see your site pages achieve high rankings for high volume search queries. Top page rankings for high commercially valuable search queries will typically involve more than tweaks to words on a web page. However, web pages do need to their content optimised to align with the search queries you want them to rank well for.
Off-page factors essentially boil down to how many sites link to your site (physical backlinks) and how much your site is being mentioned (inferred backlinks). What type of sites link to your site and what they link to your site for has a big influence on how search engines decide to rank your site. Make no mistake, highest ranking sites will have good quality backlinks.
There was a time when quantity of links seemed to be the only thing that mattered. This is firmly no longer the case. Quality of links now rules. Earning high quality links is far from straightforward. You have to identify the types of sites that can provide high quality links, and then you need to work out how you will earn the links you're aiming for. Sitting back and waiting for other sites to link to yours is not a good tactic.
If your site pages load slowly it will affect how your pages rank. If your site is not mobile responsive it will affect how your site ranks, particularly in mobile search results. If search engines find too many errors when crawling your site pages then this is going to affect your site rankings. A technical audit of your site should be performed in order to surface any technical failings that may adversely impact how your site is ranked.
Unless you are an experienced web developer all technical SEO improvements will need to be handed to an appropriately skilled person.
Not all conversions need to be about a sale or a lead but for the purpose of this brief overview this is what we're talking about. If you feel that not enough of your site visitors are buying through your website, or contacting you for a quote, or calling you to make an appointment then you first need to get some idea of what rate of conversion you should expect, relative to your business sector.
“The success of a page should be measured by one criteria: Does the visitor do what you want them to do?” Aaron Wall
Conversion rates do vary by sector. They vary by channel. They vary by device. And they can vary by season. It's easy to get distracted by the headline conversion rate, particularly if it looks ok. This can lead to a false sense of few opportunities existing to gain additional conversions. The reality is that there are likely to be many opportunities to achieve more conversions. To reveal them you need to dig beneath the headline conversion rate.
If you have healthy levels of visitors to your site it makes a lot of sense to investigate if more conversions can be achieved. The investigation and identification stage that precedes action will have revealed what CRO opportunities exist.