Some marketing managers may measure the impact of their SEO strategy by looking only at direct conversions from organic traffic, or even worse, by relying on organic sessions as the main KPI.
Getting users to visit your website is the first and most important step when it comes to organic reach, but this traffic is only valuable if they convert to customers. If you’re looking to grow revenue and maintain, or even decrease, your overall customer acquisition cost, then working to improve conversion rate and make the most out of your existing traffic should also be a high priority. Here are five actionable steps you can take in 2020 to drive more conversions without increasing traffic and with little investment. Some of these actions may apply to other traffic sources as well, but they are especially effective for leads coming from organic search.
#1 Implement Relevant CTAs Across Your Pages
Users land on different pages of your website with different search intentions. Those landing on your homepage are likely there to learn more about your product, while your blog or other landing pages may be attracting more informational queries—where users are looking to solve a problem, understand how to carry out a task, research your industry and so on. While you’ll ultimately want those users to get a quote or finalize a purchase, the truth is that many of them are just not ready to do so. In other words, you may be attracting the right audience, but in a stage where they are not ready to convert. While this may sound obvious in theory, most websites only have a fixed set of calls to action across all pages, resulting in many of them lacking relevancy and not fitting within the context of the rest of the page.
The first step to improve your conversion rate, on this front, is to identify your top landing pages by traffic and conversion rate and categorize them by user intent. This process can be more or less complex depending on the URL structure of the website and its total reach.
To mention a couple of examples that may apply to most businesses, users may land on a specific page out of interest in:
- How the product works
- Best practices
- A “how to” tutorial
- Entertaining content
- General advice
Offering these users something valuable could mean linking to an explanatory blog post, creating a specific guide that’s available for download or simply adapting your call to action to improve its relevance.
#2 Test New Content Formats
Aside from ensuring that your CTAs are relevant, you should also test different formats. For example, you can provide value to your users by offering them:
- Online courses
- Free Tools
And the list goes on. Offering gated resources, like those listed above, will allow you to test for the most effective ways to engage with each persona. The best part is that, in most cases, you may already have the right content, which will just need to be reused in a different format.
#3 Retarget Users for a More Granular Reach
Even if you rolled out your content for a well-defined persona, and included relevant CTAs to maximize conversions, most users will still leave your website without converting. That doesn’t mean that the effort invested in acquiring that traffic should go to waste. Having attracted those users puts your company in the unique position of being able to target them in a granular way and, even if attributed to a separate marketing effort, these conversions stem back to the initial traffic obtained organically.
Whether you run campaigns on social media platforms or display networks or native advertising platforms — the basic principle is to shape your campaigns around a contextual element, rather than a generic advertisement of your product or services.
The same landing page analysis, performed to understand user intent, can be used when it comes to building targeted audiences. Once you create those audiences, find out which CTAs and formats brought the most conversions. Then, apply them to different campaigns.
Once those audiences are in place, the information gathered, from success with different formats and CTAs that are high-converting, should be applied to the different campaigns.
Both accounts performed quite well from the beginning, but our campaigns on CoworkingResources showed an ROI almost 3-times higher than Kisi, all thanks to a hyper-focused audience.
#4 Improve Navigation and User Flow
Should you link your blog from the header? Should your homepage drive users to sign up for a trial, request a quote or, rather, to discover more details about how the product works? Understanding how users interact with your website is crucial and, as a marketer, the only way to make impactful decisions is by looking at the data. For a basic (yet solid) analysis, Google gives you click-through data at the landing page level within the behavior flow module of Google Analytics, as well as via their Page Analytics extension for Chrome.
Regardless of the tools, it’s important to understand which are the best flows to drive users to what they are looking for. This is especially important when your customer base is composed of a mix of different personas.
#5 Apply the 80/20 Rule
Chances are that around 20 percent of your traffic is generating 80 percent of your conversions. Needless to say, such pages should always require extra attention—even beyond the CTAs used or potential retargeting of those users. If a specific landing page is generating, say, more than 1 percent of your revenue, then any action to improve it might make sense, even if that requires extra effort.
Some examples of actions to take include:
- A page redesign, in order to improve user experience
- Developing new specific resources for a page
- Improving page load speed
- Improving internal linking to the page
Another important aspect is going beyond an analysis of all entry pages. Aside from performing a funnel analysis, an effective way to understand what pages are “assisting” your conversions the most is the page value metric in the behavior module of Google Analytics. This will highlight the real impact of pages that users may not be landing on directly, such as “how it works” or “pricing” pages—but those that are a fundamental touchpoint for those users that end up converting.
A holistic view of all marketing efforts will not only help to improve marketing attribution, but it also leads to generating more revenue and managing budgets and resources more efficiently. Shaping an SEO strategy that is focused on conversion rate as much as it is on traffic growth will lead to better results, but it also requires marketers to constantly adapt and test new approaches to generate business value.