The Link — SEO.com's Newsletter August 2012

The-Link-SEO.coms-August-Newsletter

It’s Not All About Traffic

Everyone with a website loves traffic, and although attracting an audience is a big goal, it isn’t the main goal. Website traffic in and of itself does not keep you in business—it’s those who follow through with your call to action.

If you focus solely on increasing your number of visitors, you’re missing an opportunity. Improving your site can increase the percentage of visitors that make a purchase. Optimizing conversion is more than selecting the right color for a button or deciding on the best placement for a contact form. Conversion rate optimization is evolving. The new definition of conversion optimization encompasses emphasizing engagement, relationships, value, and your processes.

Here are three overarching principles that will help you with your conversions:

The user’s experience matters most.
Problems with conversion can range from usability issues to delayed load times. In an era of convenience, the online tolerance of the average person is low. Streamline your site to make it as easy as possible for your visitors to access the information you are providing. The more information you request the greater the risk that they will exit your site. Only ask visitors for what you really need, and make your content clear and concise to help visitors navigate efficiently.

A little known way to cater to the customer is to let go of using a CAPTCHA. It’s nice to protect yourself from spam, but the three extra seconds it requires of your user could be a deal breaker. An interesting study showed that with a CAPTCHA turned off, only a few automated submissions were received, but no conversions were lost. Shockingly, using the CAPTCHA resulted in 160 failed conversions. Consider if it is really worth it.

Provide adequate information.
Improving the user’s experience also relies on providing important information to simplify their product research process. One way top converting ecommerce sites do this is by inviting customers to leave feedback.

Unbiased reviews left by customers offers proof that your product or service is worth it. Allowing potential customers to see candid reviews increases the chance of conversion. Because users love to research online, providing reviews or testimonials on your site makes this stage of the process easier and gives them a favorable impression.

Ongoing effort is essential.
Many businesses make one of two mistakes when it comes to online marketing data: they only track small pieces of information or they track everything but only utilize a small portion of the information. If you want to be certain your changes are working, look at more than the volume of sales. Be sure to identify how your visitors are engaging with your site, checkout abandonment and delve deeper into your purchasing process to gauge if things are underperforming.

If you do ongoing research into the barriers of conversion, you can address the root of the problem and find a solution.

Overall, conversion rates are personal. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that what worked for your competition will also work for you. Be sure to continually test your conversion tactics and their effectiveness in order to find best revenue-generating version of your website.

Client Spotlight: Driving School and Driving Website Traffic

Stats suggest that nearly 50 percent of new drivers will be convicted of a traffic violation during their first year of driving. Clearly, the need for a thorough driver’s education program is obvious. The Driver Training Group goes beyond traditional driving lessons by offering driver’s education through 911 Driving School, taught by current or retired police officers to improve the roads.
Drivers education
Because distracted driving has a whole new definition in our era of iPods, smartphones and GPS, driver’s education means teaching students to focus. The 911 Driving School adapts its courses to help encourage a collision-free life.

“We leverage police officers and their experience in our classrooms. The benefits of having a police officer are they understand the rules of the roads and they’ve seen it all,” said Joe Pruskowski, marketing coordinator for The Driver Training Group. “They share their knowledge in the classroom and things aren’t just rules of the road–they offer real consequences.”

While some high schools still offer driver’s education courses, others do not. Teenagers looking to complete the required courses and necessary hours to obtain their license are forced to find a decent program to appease their parents and prepare properly.

According to 911 Driving School, graduate drivers from the variety of programs offered receive fewer violations and collisions than the average for other driving schools located in Washington. The school is also offered in additional states including California, Colorado, Ohio and South Carolina.

“We have a strong brand and a great product with great instructors. The trick for us was figuring out how to get noticed,” Pruskowski said. “With search [marketing] there is a national component as well as a local component and we need both to get ranked so people can find our brand.”

911 Driving School required a good boost in the search engines in order to do their part to change the driving environment for everyone. After seeking the help of SEO.com, the driver’s education program has seen success.

With an aggressive campaign, 911 Driving School experienced an increase in organic search traffic and organic ecommerce revenue.

“Nothing works quickly, not even SEO, but we’ve been diligent and patient and we’ve been able to see results,” Pruskowski said.

In a mission to educate and inspire better driving, an in-depth look into the 911 Driving School makes a 16 year old teen driver behind the wheel seem a little less frightening. And when 911 Driving School sees results, the roads are seeing results as well.

SEO Tip: Experiment With Unique Content

 When it comes to inbound marketing, regularly creating content is a must. For those who already know this, it’s likely you have a blog and a few social media accounts. As you must also know, providing continually compelling content can get tough and it is far too easy to produce boring overused content.

Visual content is really becoming a huge necessity for any content cocktail. When planning your next move for content, keep in mind that variety matters. If you want to shake things up to stand out against the competition, we suggest trying out in some of these under-used ideas.

Animated GIFs
Websites like Reddit and the blogging platform Tumblr have resurrected GIFs. Animated GIFs add a touch of eye-catching movement to break up a content heavy site and are a social sharing magnet.

Infographics
Infographics may not be new to the scene of content, and we have definitely highlighted the power behind this technique before. However, we still want to encourage this form of visualization to spice up a blog post and entice social sharing. We might even add that infographics are a nice source of linkbait.

Memes
Memes offer fun, shareable content for all social platforms. Do a little research to find out about the current popular memes and adapt them for your brand. Memes can be catchy, clever, and memorable and can work toward your advantage in terms of marketing.

User-generated content
While you may have the financial ability to create your own content, sometimes giving the power to the people is cost-effective and more creative. Rather than offer a typical testimonial, embed a positive tweet about your company instead. Embedding tweets can both promote your social media and your brand.

Mix up your content marketing strategy and test new forms of content. If your competitors haven’t tried these newer forms of content, you are likely to really set yourself apart.

Industry Events

Inbound 2012: Boston; August 27-30, 2012
Marketing Sherpa B2B Summit: Orlando; August 27-30, 2012
SMB Digital Marketing 2012: Chicago; September 17-19, 2012
SMX East: New York; October 2-4, 2012

SEO.com Events

6 Months of Free Local Marketing Giveaway — Enter to win!

Get Internet Marketing Insight For Your Company - SEO.com

2 Comments

  1. Kyle Clouse says

    This is so key…you can have all the traffic in the world but if none of it is converting you might as well have none.

Leave a Reply