Should My Website’s Landing Page Be SEO-Focused, Conversion-Focused, or Both?

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A nearly endless amount of information floods the internet about how to get more traffic, but seldom do you hear people talk about what you need to do with that traffic. Someone once said traffic without conversion is a traffic accident. Likewise, Conversion Rate Optimization without traffic is futility. Traffic is great, but it has to be quality traffic which can be then converted into paying customers—that is the most important bit.

Converting traffic is the most important thing.

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Traffic in itself is useless unless it is converting; thus, conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is the holy grail of online business. If you can combine SEO and CRO into a formidable marketing strategy, your business will experience the growth you have always desired.

The two are good friends that can complement each other to produce tremendous results when done properly. So, SEO and CRO can join hands to boost site rankings, reduce bounce rates, improve click-through rates, improve engagement and grow conversions.

How do the two work together?

SEO brings in the traffic—the leads—by:

  • Boosting your site ranking in search engines
  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Provide niche domination
  • Provide viral potential
  • Grow social following
  • Increase page views

CRO on the other hand converts traffic—the leads become paying customers

  • Increases your revenue
  • Potential customers become paying customers
  • Improves ROI
  • Deals with the competition
  • Reduces costs per customer acquisition
  • Increase product appeal
  • Increases the effectiveness of your landing page/website

As you can see, SEO and CRO are meant to complement each other. They can play well together to improve results.  Simply stated, CRO is the logical point of SEO. Let us look at six ways you can use SEO to improve CRO:

6 SEO METHODS THAT WILL COMPLEMENT YOUR CONVERSION OPTIMIZATION

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One thing that repeatedly comes out on top of clients’ list of worries is how to convert their traffic to paying customers or subscribers.  Having a website with a lot of traffic and low conversion rate is like carrying water in a bucket with a hole. So the bottom line is to bring in traffic that is more targeted and likely to graduate from visits to buys, subscribes, downloads or signups.

Here’s a nice graphic from HubSpot to illustrate that point:

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1. Target long tail keywords.

If you are not targeting the long tail of search traffic, you are missing out on quality traffic. According to SEOmoz, long tail search traffic contributes 80% of total search traffic.

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There is so much traffic in the long tail territory that it is hard to comprehend. From the graph above, even if you had the monopoly of the top 10,000 keywords, you’d still be missing out on 81.5% of total search traffic.

People that enter very specific search long tail terms are most likely to end up on your website and most importantly, they are the people who are most likely to convert. The best way to know which keywords are going to perform well is by using PPC software such as Google AdWords. PPC software like Google AdWords gives you the search volume and competition of each key phrase.

Remember, the real goal of keyword research is to find a keyword that is closest to exactly what you are offering. You must also understand your visitors’ intent when deploying your keywords. An effective landing page uses keywords that let the customer know they are in the right place.

2. Tags and Meta Descriptions

All the pages of your website should contain keyword-rich title tags as well as Meta descriptions.  These are useful because they often form the first impression when the visitors come to your website. They also help your page to be recognised and to rank in search engines.  The work of title tags and Meta descriptions is to interpret the page to the search engines to increase click throughs.  To make your title tags and Meta descriptions effective, focus on doing these two things:

  • Make each tag and Meta descriptions unique. Each page in your website serves a unique purpose and that should be reflected in the Meta description and title tags. Also, include relevant keywords in your Meta description.
  • Make them short. Your page Meta descriptions should be short—about 150 characters or less and your title tags should be no more than 70 characters. So be thoughtful when coming up with Meta descriptions and title tags.

Here is a great example of how a Meta description and title tags should look:

example-meta-and-title

As you can see, the Meta description is short and precise. If I wanted copywriting services, I’d probably click through to see what the company offers.

Tip: Try to focus on transactional keywords as well as informational type keywords. This type of keywords still has value.

3. Use attractive headlines.

The headlines of your posts or products are very critical when it comes to influencing the number of visitors that come to your site, spend some time to think about catchy headlines.  Expert marketers say you should spend as much time writing headlines as writing the content. Yes, that is how important headlines are. If conversion is a house, then the headline is the outward appearance of the house. To lure people into the house, the appearance must look attractive.

Headlines and subheadings should be:

  • Useful to the reader
  • Convey the idea that the content is unique
  • Have a sense of urgency
  • Ultra-specific

However, sometimes there is no way of knowing which headlines are going to perform the best. Split tests can be used to test the most effective headlines. Many marketers commit the cardinal sin of regurgitating common headlines that have little value to the customer. You can also read the article from Mashable and learn how to optimise your headlines for Google and humans. Improving the relevancy of your H1 tags by using compelling keyword-rich text is a must. Apart from being an important element of SEO, H1 tags can greatly improve your conversions so they are vital.

4. Optimize content and map out your best answer path—call to action

When a visitor comes to your website, it is obvious they are looking for something. Either they want to buy something, or they want to gather some information.

Whenever possible, make sure your content is not only useful but also optimised for action.  Spotlighting important information above the fold is obviously a great conversion strategy. Make sure your layout emphasises the uniqueness and importance of your content. It should define a clear value proposition.  Use organised and clear structures to make your content scannable.

Many websites leave their visitors confused as to what to do next. Therefore, you should map out the best answer path for the customer queries.

This is another way of saying you should include a clear Call-to-Action once your visitor has found what he/she was looking for.  For instance, if a visitor was looking for information on how to format his windows, you can include a subscription form on the page for more tips. The Call-to-Action button should be clearly visible.

The CTA should be obvious and should lead the customer to your conversion funnel. Don’t lose your visitors by introducing so many pages, but lead them to your CTA. The idea is to seal all the holes that might act as an escape route for your visitors.

5. Social Proof

Did you know that consumers trust social reviews more than the sellers’ claims? Social proof is an important SEO and CRO element for any business. It is easier to trust other’s opinion than to follow your own path. Other people’s opinion will always be more believable, more persuasive and wiser than you. Social proof can be any the form of product reviews, social media mentions, celebrity endorsements and user comments on your website.  So don’t forget to include social proof in your site.

6. Speed up your website

A slow website can drive away valuable traffic and deny you the opportunity to convert your visitors.  Google has now started taking page load speed into consideration when ranking sites. There is no point in making big investments in other aspects of SEO and CRO when the page takes an eternity to load. Use the Google PageSpeed Insights tool to analyse your website speed. The tool will give you suggestions on what areas you need to improve to increase your speed.

Why should I care about page speed?

You should care because low page speed results in higher bounce rates.  Unfortunately, page speed is still an issue for many website owners because they are probably ignorant of the fact that the average person expects a page to load in less than 2 seconds. 40% of visitors will abandon a website if it takes more 3 seconds to load and 52% of shoppers say a fast web page is an important factor for their loyalty to a site.

To know how to speed up your site, it is important that you know what is slowing it down. Here are six quick reasons why your site could be slow:

  • Too many ad codes, especially JavaScript-based codes
  • Bloated HTML: This increases the amount of data that must be transferred to the users
  • JavaScript-based analytic tags: Do not use multiple analytics unnecessarily because they could slow down your site
  • Unoptimized images: Reduce the size of images.
  • Forgetting to GZip your site: Make sure your server is configured to apply GZip compression to CSS, HTML and JavaScript; otherwise, you are probably transferring a larger amount of data than you should.

There are other culprits for slower sites. Here are 20 more reasons why your site could be slower.

As a conclusion, your landing page should be SEO-focused and, at the same time, conversion-focused. With SEO, you can get more traffic to your site while CRO ensures that you convert that traffic into paying customers. The two should work together if you want to get the most out of your website and your digital marketing efforts.

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Joe Ryan is the Founder & CEO of UK online marketing agency, Digital Search Group, which specialises in smart internet marketing. He is a specialist in online marketing strategy and brand building. When he’s not considering the next best online marketing strategy with his team, he enjoys travel and spending time with his family.