Fundamentals Of SEO Conversations
Turn traffic to attention and attention to sales
The point has just been made that traffic alone is not good enough. The traffic must be targeted and your web page must appeal to the searcher who discovered it via the SERPs. (Read previous article)
Heres a very strong statement the vast majority of people searching the web do not want to buy anything. If you can accept this as being true (and it is) then why do so many websites offer to sell the searcher something on the home page?
This does not make sense unless you treat the Internet as just another catalogue. Sadly most companies do just this they take their offline catalogue, pay an expert lots of money to design a flashing, moving dancing and singing website and wonder why the traffic is poor and the conversion to sales almost non-existent.
On the web we can only generalize
Searchers are, in general, and most of the time just looking for information to resolve a problem, or they are looking to make comparisons if there is an intention to perhaps buy at some stage. Or they are trying to find out if you are reliable, know what you are talking about, are honest and trustworthy.
Presenting a catalogue on the home page rarely provides the level of comfort required. The result is the searcher goes elsewhere. Do seriously consider this truth below the source of this information is a wonderful data base called Wordtracker.
It is important to gain trust before trying to sell because after all on the web we are ultimately asking people perhaps thousands of miles away to part with credit card details, home address and whatever else.
It is extremely difficult to sell on the Internet and presenting a catalogue does not help until the time the catalogue is required conventional wisdom talks about 7 (seven) distinct contacts are required before a successful sale is made.
You don’t have a plan website but it does help
Don’t get me wrong. There is a place for prize winning web design and no website should be so ugly it is detracts from its main job which is to tell the searcher they have arrived at the place where the searchers problem will be resolved better by you rather than anybody else. And as you’ve seen you’ve got less than 10 seconds to do this.
There is however something far more important than the appearance of ANY website and that is giving the searcher what theyre searching for. Think about a searcher who is looking to save money on short term insurance premiums car, home, trailer etc.
Lets follow a typical web searcher through the search process and in this case we will use the South African search engine Ananzi and we will query it for the 3 word term, save insurance premiums.
STEP 1 EXAMPLE SEARCH
Heres the SERPs page on May 19th 2005 (SERPs do change)
Searcher Enters query save insurance premiums on Ananzi.
STEP 2 EXAMPLE SEARCH
Number 1 on the SERPs page after the Sponsored Link Ad includes the words Save Insurance Premiums in the heading of the SERP and tends to confirm in the mind of the searcher that this is a good result to click on (URL called insuringdirect.com also confirm that this is probably a good SERP to click on).
SERP Confirms Save query and gives searcher confidence to click.
STEP 3 EXAMPLE SEARCH
On arrival at insuringdirect.com this is what the searcher sees. There are 3 instances of SAVE. This is meeting exactly what the searcher is looking to do. The chances are extremely high that this web page will get true attention from that searcher. The question of site appearance does not enter into the argument.
Three Times the Searcher IMMEDIATELY Sees SAVE on the web page visited from the SERP
The image below shows a section of the web page no work of art, no prizes for appearance but its done the job and most searchers will be happy with their click result. This does not mean to say the conversion has been successful. It just means the searcher will probably read more of the web page.
If the searcher had clicked on the sponsored link this image below is what would have been seen. There is no mention of the word SAVE in fact the site is not about the searchers needs at all which is a BIG mistake.
A competing sponsored links page.
There are many tricks and spam techniques but not in this article
This article will not help you if you want to get high rankings using spam techniques of any kind.
Beware promises … nobody can ever quarantine page 1 rankings for useful markets on any major search engine.
You’ll see promises like this all the time and I can even make the same promise and probably succeed but not for search terms with any meaningful traffic or commercial ROI. It is impossible for anybody to make such guarantees.
If you do fancy your chances with a guarantor make sure you get the actual search terms you want guaranteed written down on paper and by when you can expect to see results and what happens if the guaranteed results do not appear.
CSS and DWT
I have one highly significant regret about 4 years down the track of doing my own websites.
My big mistake was not to take the trouble to learn CSS (cascading style sheets) the jargon and web speak scared the life out of me. Not learning and implementing CSS has cost me a great deal of wasted time and no doubt lots of lost money-making opportunities. And you know what the sad bit is Basic CSS is a piece of cake, a walk in the park. Its just made to look difficult for some reason best known to the web community.
Heres a place you can go and get 4 free chapters of a book and thats about all you’ll ever want to know unless you want to become a proper web designer.
http://www.sitepoint.com/store/the-css3-anthology-4th-edition/ this is where we learnt what we know.
Im not going to teach you any CSS here but if youre gong to do your own websites take up this minor challenge and before you do your very own first website learn basic CSS.
By the way DWT stands for Dynamic Web Templates for now be aware that if you use them theyll give you, as a mere mortal, great web design power
This chapter has been a quick and maybe rude awakening. It covers in the broadest possible terms much of what successful Internet Marketing is. Everything else in this book is geared towards taking these fundamentals and making them work for us in practice.
Summing up why you need targeted traffic first and foremost
Compare Pick n Pay off-line shopping with Pick n Pay online shopping. Lets start with the real thing. The store as we all know it if you stood outside the store and monitored the number of people who bought something what do you think your answer would be?
My guess is that not less than 98% come out having bought something.
Shopping in the off-line store converts at very high levels
Now go and sit outside the virtual Pick n Pay (if you could) and see the percentage. Now I don’t know the answer but if it is 1% or more Ill be greatly surprised.
So here is the same great company with the same products. Why is there such a vast difference? It has much to do with experience, habit, comfort and lack of internet skills by both store and searcher.
The home page of Pick n Pay on the web (At the time of writing this article).
The point of this comparison is to drive home the need for lots of Internet traffic to make any level of significant sales.