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As a business, the general desire is to generate traffic to one's website with the goal of converting visitors into sales. However, not all traffic is equally valuable, and if traffic is to lead to conversions, it requires the right strategy.
The average conversion rate for websites varies quite a bit depending on the platform, but analyses often place it between 1-6%. B2B may have a higher conversion rate than B2C, but at the same time, the search volume is often lower.
Therefore, as marketing managers, our goal is naturally to get the most out of the traffic that is generated to the site.
Since there are also different types of search intentions from users - potential customers - it is important to understand how we humans go from stimulus to a final purchase.
A well-known model that tells about this is ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth). A model that in many ways can be translated to the decision-making phase on a search engine and thereby SEO.
It is crucial for companies to be visible in this search phase, contribute value-adding information, and deliver an appropriate product to create conversions.
When we have a stimulus (whatever has activated it), we need to search for information. Information that makes us smarter, that compares, and that generally guides us on the way to making a choice that meets the need - our stimulus.
Therefore, it is the companies that are most visible in the search phase, contribute the most value-adding information, and deliver an appropriate product, that typically end up creating the conversions.
When we use a search engine, our searches are divided according to four classic intentions:
Navigational: A user who is searching for a specific page.
Informational: A user who is searching for information about a topic.
Commercial investigation: A user who is searching for options and comparisons for a given product or service.
Transactional: A user who is searching for a product or brand.
Value-adding information is based on content that provides the user with information that helps in making a decision. This means knowledge that matches the need behind the search, as well as insight into a topic that leads to either the search for more knowledge on the site or an action that could be a transaction.
At Bonzer, we typically work from a pillar-cluster model, which is about creating topical coverage through E-E-A-T and Google's most important algorithms. Something which is crucial to become successful with SEO.
It almost goes without saying, but to be able to convert, your product must of course live up to the quality that users expect, as well as a price they can afford.
Ways you can optimize here are through information about the product, answers to typical questions, and good images/videos that show the product and how it is used.
The modern funnel - also visualized as a loop at times - goes from 'awareness' to 'buy'. Here, channels can intersect, where SEO is often known to take part in the overall funnel.
The goal here is to create awareness through visibility and a website that meets or arouses interest, which should ultimately end in a conversion - "buy".
This should happen through a site that is technically strong, has content that matches a search intent, and is generally well-promoted in the industry.
Therefore, a strategy should be laid out that leads your user through this funnel.
In the following, you will be guided through how, based on the above user journey, you use SEO and associated 'toolboxes' to create traffic that converts.
So now that we have all the theory in place, we dive into how you as a company maximize the value of the traffic - and as always, you must understand before you can optimize.
As a marketing manager, you cannot just focus on more traffic - you need to attract 'valuable' traffic that contributes to the bottom line.
Therefore, we describe in the following how you build a strategy that - based on experience and best practices - optimizes your website for commercial traffic. Traffic that has the potential to become future paying customers.
Dive into the understanding of your target audience based on familiarity - for example, experience - as well as numbers from your domain. Use your data to paint a picture of your conversion funnel and analyze how different types of content serve different types of search intents across your funnel. Use this data collectively to optimize for ongoing conversions.
This may mean that you need to better combine informational top-of-the-funnel content with bottom-of-the-funnel landing pages that are closer to conversions. Therefore, analyze your target group's behavior and optimize the website from there. Pay particular attention to your money pages (landing pages) to increase the conversion rate.
It is therefore a good idea to know your current user journey, as well as which types of search intents you primarily address/write to today. The user journey can indeed start with different intents (information-seeking or purchase-ready) and end in different types of conversions (soft or hard).
In addition, it is of course crucial that you, based on your target group, know what information needs they have today vs. just a year ago. Do they know more and therefore search differently, and have new needs generally arisen that you need to be aware of?
All this is relevant, you cover in your content, so the target group feels taken by the hand. In this way, you will also be able to increase the value of the content, which will thus be able to lead the traffic closer to a conversion.
Understand the difference between 'traffic-focused' SEO and 'conversion-focused' SEO and get into the value behind.
While increasing traffic is super important for your brand awareness, it is business-critical to guide users through your conversion funnel - or user journey if you will.
Therefore, it is recommended that you review your current strategy. Are you just bringing in traffic, or is the traffic also contributing to achieving your goals?
In SEO, the initial goal is to create visibility and traffic through rankings. But if the traffic does not create value - that converts - one should examine whether it is due to the keywords or the content. If it is the keywords, it is about laying the right strategy, and if it is the content, one can work even more with engagement by adding targeted sprints that increase the conversion rate.
Therefore, optimize your current plan if necessary with sprints and get the website optimized not just to attract users, but also to guide them to perform the desired actions on your site.
With SEO, you can already from the start lay a conversion-focused SEO strategy that matches keywords that can lead to desired actions. Actions that result in transactions, more contact forms, or something completely different.
We therefore recommend that you already in your keyword research especially think about how you can attract 'top-of-the-funnel' traffic by going after keywords that have a high commercial value.
Here you possibly already know a number of keywords that are relevant and that match products that have a great interest for you.
In addition, it may be a good idea to use CPC (Cost-Per-Click) data to understand the value and intention behind searches. CPC indicates the price of a keyword in Google Ads, and the higher the price, the more people will pay to be on the sponsored results. This we can often use as an indicator to find relevant searches that match commercial traffic - something we also call 'traffic value'.
As users come through your funnel, it is important that each step in your content helps facilitate the user journey towards conversions.
Optimize your landing pages so that each one becomes a catalyst that helps convert your traffic into customers. This involves the pages being tailored to meet the search intent and needs of your target audience and guide them to take action.
This requires that a thorough content analysis and plan be made, from which you then continuously build and optimize the content. With an optimized content strategy - which is executed - you will be able to achieve top placements as well as convert.
Here it is not enough just to deliver content with a lot of text. Often you have to work with several content formats, including images, infographics, and especially video, which can help increase the conversion rate significantly.
One thing is optimized landing pages - another is that they provide a good user experience.
Therefore, you must ensure that you create a user-friendly page that has both structure, design, and functionality in mind. This builds on everything from navigation to page speed. Areas that are SEO-wise today are seen holistically and are among some of the most important for search engines like Google and people.
Therefore, it is recommended that you make use of both tools and experienced competencies to optimize the experience for the users. Competencies that can help you strengthen the technical user experience as well as optimize the structure of the content based on principles from CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization).
Make sure to implement effective tracking tools to monitor the ongoing performance that comes from your optimization of everything from technical structure to content.
The ongoing tracking will give you an understanding of what works well and what works less well. This makes it overall that you will make decisions based on necessary information.
There are a number of tools that can be used - including Google's own - where you find impressions, traffic, and conversion rate. Analyze these continuously to keep an overview of KPIs and performance.
Remember in extension, that performance does not come from rounded projects - but from your ongoing optimization. As Google itself says; "consistency is key". Therefore, we also recommend that you at least have a baseline strategy that optimizes all the essential areas in a strategy.
Attracting traffic that can convert requires a strategic and data-driven approach to SEO. By understanding your target audience, setting the right focus in your funnel - from traffic to conversions - and continuously optimizing your site based on data, you as a company can attract and convert users into customers.
The most important thing here is that you use search intent and user behavior directly in your optimization, so you create value with the content you make. In addition, the consistent pace is crucial if your strategy is not just to see results in a snapshot but as sustained growth.
CPO & Partner
Thomas er CPO samt Partner, hvorfor fokus til dagligt ligger i evig analyse af Googles algoritme og udvikling af SEO som produkt. Thomas har arbejdet med SEO i flere år med stor passion for at sprede know how på, hvordan man som virksomhed implementerer SEO bedst i sin forretning. Ved siden af Bonzer bidrager Thomas med viden til læserne hos bl.a. Search Engine Journal, DanDomain og Detailfolk. Herudover har han også undervist i Digital Mediestrategi på Copenhagen Business School i København. Har du ønsker eller spørgsmål vedr. SEO universet, kan du altid kontakte ham på [email protected].