Traffic is useless if it doesn’t convert.
SEOs haven’t always taken responsibility for revenue. Their job has always been to increase traffic. In my many years on both the client and agency side, organic traffic has been the main metric for SEO success.
Traffic is good. But…what about revenue? What about leads? What are your clients really looking for?
For many websites, an increase in conversion rate optimization (CRO) from 2% to 3% can mean millions of dollars in revenue.
“Sure, brand presence and high engagement are important. But when it comes down to it, it’s hard to beat revenue. And SEOs should have a piece of that if they want to thrive.”
Losing Traffic in Order to Get More Customers
A while back we noticed that one of our clients’ traffic growth had slowed down: only increasing about 10-13% over six months.
When I did a deeper dive into their keywords using Conductor Searchlight, I noticed that one of the keywords they ranked on page 1 for — which had over 50,000 searches a month – wasn’t actually deeply relevant to their services or industry.
Looking even further, I realized that when people were searching for this term, they were looking for a particular brand (not my client’s). As a result, the client was ranking at number 6 for traffic that would never convert. This is one of the primary reasons why their traffic didn’t go up as much as their revenue.
So, we took the keyword out of everything. We took it out of the page title and the content. They went from position 6 to position 15 and I was trying to get them to rank even lower.
Now, we’re increasing our ratio of quality, converting traffic to the whole. We’re focused on their revenue – which has gone up a whopping 50%-60%. We’re capturing traffic from people who didn’t just click the site by accident. We’re getting more specific with keyword themes. Why? Because these are the keywords most likely to convert.
I want to get to the point where every single week I can tell a client that their revenue has gone up. Because that’s how you keep clients and that’s how you make them happy. Our goal here is to help other people’s businesses and you can’t effectively do that without thinking about CRO in your SEO strategy.
Good SEOs Work Closely with User Experience, CRO, and Revenue
Getting the right, qualified traffic is important but what is important once you get them to your site? One of the quickest ways to increase revenue for clients is to create a better user experience, which we know is a ranking factor for Google.
The wrong approach is separating strategies: someone dealing with conversion rate or user experience optimization but not working with the person who does SEO. If a content strategist makes a change to the website, that might change how the website’s going to look and how it’s going to flow. Likewise, if the conversion optimization specialist changes the design of the site, it might affect your SEO.
“The wrong approach is separating strategies: someone dealing with conversion rate or user experience optimization but not working with the person who does SEO.”
I have a feeling that user experience and conversion rate specialists are going to have to learn as much content and SEO strategy as some of the top people in the field. They’re going to be so cross-trained that it’ll eventually meld into the same thing. Maybe it’s called Customer-First Marketing.