Why Focusing on SEO is NOT Enough
We have been talking about Web site conversion on our last couple of BLOG entries. I just want to emphasis again, that if you’re just focusing on SEO and getting traffic to your site you’re missing the boat. Traffic is great. Don’t get me wrong on that, but what is your traffic doing on your site is a question you should be asking.
Many may think that more traffic to your site means more sales. Yes, that is true. There is a direct correlation to site traffic and results, but what would it mean to you if you got more results first from the traffic you have now?
Look at our page on Increasing Sales, and you’ll see how we explained that if you could increase your site conversion ratio by 1% you could increase profits by 160%! Before you spend a dime more on SEO or Adwords first take a look at the performance of your site.
What should you look at? That’s a good question. We have clients that many times want to review their site statistics on their own. We encourage everyone to be actively involved with their own site, but many times we find that most people have no idea what they are looking at when it comes to site statistics. Who can blame them when many stat programs can produce hundreds of reports?
Let’s first consider some simple things. First, what are you trying to accomplish? That’s different for everyone and the type of site you have. We take a look at for now, a lead generation site.
Most lead generation sites have some type of Contact Us form. We’ll start with that page. Find out how many unique visitors you have on your site in one month. Eventually, you should know how your reporting tool counts unique visitors but we’re going to keep it simple right now. Keep in mind that we are going to consider trends over all. Don’t get too hung-up. Trends can tell you a lot of information and it’s a good place to start for beginners.
Next, look at how many unique visitors came to your Contact Us form page in the same month. That number is your first conversion number. Let’s say you get 1,500 visitors to your site in one month. Of the 1,500 unique visitors 120 come to your Contact Us form page.
To get your conversion rate take 120 divided by 1500 and you will get 0.08. So your conversion ratio for the page is 8%. That sounds pretty good. But let’s look a little closer at that number and what is going on.
Next, let’s see how many people completed the form. Depending on your statistical package the only way you may know this number is to look at your responses in your database or email – however your form is programmed. We’ll say that you have 30 responses.
What is conversion ratio now?
From visitors on the page to completed form your conversion ratio is 25% (30/120= .25). That looks great, doesn’t it?
What is your conversion ratio from site visitors to complete form? That is only 2% (30/1500= 0.02).
The questions you should be asking include:
- How many people started to complete the form but didn’t finish it?
- If they started the form and abandoned it, where in the form did they stop?
- Why didn’t more people complete the form?
- How do I get more people to complete the form?
- How do I get more people to the form page?
- Are the people filling out the form quality leads?
- Where are the people that complete the form coming from? How did they find out about the site? How often did they come to the site prior to completing the form? What else did they look at?
Those are all good questions and I’m sure you can think of more questions. Let’s consider the first question. How many people started to complete the form but didn’t finish it?
I’m always surprised when people don’t think to ask this question. In fact, I have clients tell me, at first, that if site visitors are interested in the product they’ll complete the form. They’re thinking that the only reason someone didn’t complete the form is because they don’t have an immediate need.
Well that may be part of it. Then I ask them this question: How many sites have you been on where you are highly interested in the product or service and for some reason didn’t complete the form or stopped in the middle of it. Everyone I’ve talked has abandoned a Contact Us form for one reason or another even when they were highly interested in the product or service.
You may not have the tools or program that can tell you where in the form a site visitor stopped. Depending on what you’re selling and how important a lead is to you, getting that information may be extremely valuable to you. Most sites do not have the capability of giving you that information but there are other ways to find out the pit falls of your form.
If you don’t have tools that can tell you where on the form someone stopped you might want to try a usability study on the form. You may think your form is simple enough to complete and anyone that can read can complete the form, so why take time and money to test it? You’ll be surprised at how little changes on your form can make a big impact on results.
Next we’ll talk about how to improve this conversion ratio and what a lead means to you in dollars.