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SEO is pointless if your website does not convert

Getting listed on Google's first result page is great. It's not so great when you find out that you get a lot of visitors through your high search engine rankings but only a few customers.

Search engine optimization is pointless if your website does not convert visitors into customers. You'll actually lose a lot of money if you don't take the time to optimize the conversion rate of your website.

Why is optimizing the conversion rate of your website important?

Suppose you sell a product for $50. If the conversion rate of your website is 1% then 1 out of 100 website visitors will buy your product. That means that you will sell 2 units if 200 people visit your website.

If you want to double your sales, you have to double the number of visitors that come to your website. That's usually quite difficult.

If you optimize your web pages so that you have a conversion rate of 2% then you can double your sales without getting more visitors. Increasing the conversion rate of a website is usually easier than getting more customers.

What can you do to improve the conversion rate of your website?

There are several things that you can do to improve the conversion rate of your website:

Drive traffic to the most relevant pages on your website

Your website visitors should come to the most relevant pages on your website. If you advertise on Google AdWords for the search term "buy blue suede shoes" then your landing page should be a page about blue suede shoes and it should be possible to buy these shoes right on the page. The same applies for visitors that you get through your regular search engine rankings.

Check your website statistics for your pages with a high bounce rate

Analyze your website statistics to find pages on your site that have a high bounce rate. If too many people leave your website without fulfilling the desired task then you have to improve your pages and make them more relevant to the user's query. Also check your statistics to find "404 not found" and other errors.

Add a call to action on all of your landing pages

Every landing page should contain a call to action. Chances are that a website visitor will see only a single page of your website. That's why all pages should contain a call to action so that your website visitors know what to do.
Further information on how to improve the conversion rate of your web pages can be found on pages 238-246 of our free SEO eBook (zipped PDF file).


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June 2009 search engine articles