Is Conversion Optimization Part of Your SEO Strategy?
:: By Travis Bliffen, Stellar SEO ::
A near endless amount of information, discussions and how-to guides flood the Internet every day, each offering the next quick, easy or secret method of getting more traffic to your website. I like traffic every bit as much as the next guy, but I understand that the quality of that traffic and how those users behave while on your website are every bit as important as how much traffic there is.
When you hear conversion optimization, many of you instantly think about landing pages, A/B testing and various elements that should be present on a website to increase its trustworthiness, leading to more conversions. While all of those things can result in additional conversions, we need to take several steps back to lay the groundwork for our strategy.
Great Keyword = Higher Conversions!
Most of you know that selecting the right keywords for your SEO campaign is imperative to your overall success. Even so, many websites fail to study and optimize for the most profitable keywords. One of the best ways to determine how well a keyword may perform is by testing it with pay-pay-click advertising. On average, the conversion rate for SEO is much higher than PPC, so if a PPC keyword is generating clients, you can safely bet ranking for the same term is going to result in more customers.
Before you can run a PPC campaign to test your keywords, you still need a list of keywords to start with. One of the easiest ways to find a seed keyword list is with a competitive analysis. Tools like SEMrush make the process pretty easy by showing you top keywords for your competitors and what percentage of their traffic come from said keywords, here is an example (to zoom in, click on the image):
Once you have a starter list of terms, you are still not finished. The real goal of keyword research is to find the term closest to exactly what you are offering that is regularly searched. In the Keyword Research Guide, we covered how to find good terms in great detail, if you are not certain about keyword selection, I suggest reading it.
Once you have a list of potential terms you can determine the value of each keyword using the following formula:
Search Volume X Click thru Rate X Website Conversion Rate X Average Profit per Sale = Keyword Value
Using that formula, we can see that higher volume terms that convert less often or lower volume terms with higher conversion rates could yield the same profitability for your website. When you consider the fact that long tail keywords will often be easier to rank for, and you consider the cost savings into the equation, you can clearly see why long tails keywords are so sought after.
Test and Tune
As mentioned earlier, once you have a list of long tail keywords that you believe are going to be profitable, you can use PPC to test their performance. Since traffic from a PPC campaign is fairly consistent, this would be a good time to set up split testing on your target landing page. If you are not familiar with conversion optimization, Website Magazine’s Conversion Corner features a roundup of some excellent CRO tips.
As with anything in life, taking the time to build a solid foundation will pay off for years to come. In this case, spending extra time finding the right keywords will build a solid foundation for your website and can lead to increased conversion rates for years to come.
Over to You…
What is one of your best kept secrets for boosting conversion rates or finding great keywords?
Travis Bliffen is the founder of Stellar SEO, a digital marketing agency specializing in search engine optimization. If your business is ready for more leads and sales, it’s time to get #stellarized. Connect with him on Twitter @theseoproz or Facebook.