Traffic is useless unless those visitors become customers

Recently I have said something online that caused a bit of controversy.

“Traffic is useless unless those visitors become customers.”

Although I wasn’t talking specifically about ‘money exchange’ I am starting to think that even experienced digital marketers have started developing ‘tunnel vision’ blinded by clever online articles or viral memes. I will repeat again so it’s clearly understood that I wasn’t really talking about ‘money exchange’ and it that matter the word ‘customers’ is probably not the most descriptive one, but I’d like to ask everybody who says conversion rate is not important a simple question:

What business can survive without income?

Heard it so many times “Omi, my site is highly optimised for the search engines and my rankings are great. I don’t understand why no one is buying.”
I will tell you why. Because your SEO (agency or digital marketing guru) like so many SEO’s out there is focusing on ranking your website high thus reporting (blinding you) the good numbers in the end of the month.
So many people nowadays think that SEO is pointless or a black magic. So many businesses don’t even have an SEO strategy because they feel like they are wasting their money.

And the sad truth is so many of them do.

Don’t get me wrong – they are not stupid. Many of them don’t know the true meaning of ‘digital marketing’ and us SEOs want to keep it that way. Bringing visitors is so much easier that making money online, trust me on this one. In fact, so many people that know nothing about SEO or digital marketing are making so much more money than the self-proclaimed ‘digital marketers’. I don’t have to give you examples – you know them.

The idea that once you have web traffic the rest would take care of itself is true only in the SEO world.

But don’t get me wrong. I am a huge fan of measuring website traffic and working to increase it. I measure and report traffic every single day. But I will be the first to tell you that you should start looking beyond traffic. Measuring subscribers and downloads is a good thing to do, but you should know why. Are downloads the end goal of your business (what business are you in? I wanna work for you.)? Can you pay your bills win ‘referrals’? Didn’t think so.

The talk about potential benefits in the future like referrals and downloads is good, but there is one problem. It can’t continue forever unless you earn enough to sustain your business. Don’t be scared (be stupid) to talk about SEO and money. SEO (and CRO) is a part of the big picture called ‘success’. You need traffic and you need sales. In other words, you need to be an integral part of your business and not something that looks alien to your business partners or superiors.

Let’s see what Bruce Clay thinks about it:

“Conversion optimisation and SEO are two pillars of an overall marketing strategy. Without conversions, there is only traffic, which is no bottom line at all.”

So let me tell you a secret. Conversion optimisation and SEO are not that different. They can and they should work together. Let me give you some examples:
Single product pages. Who thinks that single product pages are not good for search engine optimisation? Single product pages optimised for a specific search term. But did you know that single product pages also vastly increase conversion rate too?

Create unique product descriptions. One of the biggest mistakes eCommerce websites make is using manufacturers’ product descriptions. First search engines may see this as duplicate content, but not indexing this content is probably the biggest worry. Product descriptions are your single opportunity to write distinctive copy in order to entice visitors to buy your products.The best way to differentiate your store from the various copycats out there. Specific product descriptions will also bring more traffic to your website. I can call it SEO and conversion synergy.

Why Is Understanding Your Target Audience So Important?

Know your target audience in order to bring ‘qualified’ traffic to your pages. Keyword research is still one of the most important pieces of the SEO puzzle. Choose the ‘wrong’ keywords and you get low-quality traffic and weak sales. Choosing the right keywords can help you attracting highly qualified consumers and achieving huge sales numbers. Tip: Aim for long-tail keywords – search phrases that contain two or more words. Consumers who search using a long-tail keyword typically know exactly what they’re looking to purchase, so a product page optimised for this has a higher likelihood of attracting and converting a customer who’s ready to buy.
Last but not least unique, gripping and enthralling content. When it comes to SEO content gives you links and traffic. When it comes to conversion optimisation it wins you customers.

Conclusion:

Understanding how your SEO strategy connects to real-world business can give you the opportunity to gain more support and investment within your company. SEO is not a separate subject, but an integral part of the overall digital marketing world. Don’t alienate your SEO department by not talking about conversions and revenue. We all do what we do because we love it, but bills are paid with real money. Your business pay you salary so you should be actively supporting and improving the ‘money making’ process.