You’re wasting valuable ad dollars if you’re driving traffic to a bad site. Paying all this money to rank high on Google — just to lose the sale when they arrive at your site?

A lot of people think the purpose of SEO is to drive people to your site. Which, even agencies present it this way. Showing you reports of the traffic they helped you acquire. But that…that’s only half of it.

The other half is to actually turn that visitor into a customer. To do that, we need to look at more of your marketing funnel. They get to your site, and then what?

What action should they take?
What happens after they fill out a form?

You could literally cut your ad spending in half by optimizing your website for conversions. Instead of 1 out of every 100 visitors connecting with you, what happens when it’s 2 out of every 100 instead?

Instead of spending $3,000 in AdWords, you could spend $1,500 — drastically lowering your cost of acquisition per customer.

We’re going to look at small, incremental changes which can be responsible for large chunks of revenue. An area of revenue that most businesses don’t examine because they’re more focused on driving people to the site, when they should be looking at getting the sale.

A bad site is any site that is not optimized for conversions

Website optimization starts with defining the purpose of your website. Your site is not meant to inform everybody about every thing your business does. It’s to help someone take the next step in your sales process. This comes in the form of a user flow. Knowing exactly what your ideal customer should do.

Defining the user flow is as simple as playing the “And then…” game. A person searches online and sees your website pop up in a list of search results. Great! ….and then?

Then they click on the link and go to your site.
Awesome….and then?

Then they read some stuff and fill out a form.
Yeah?! Cool.….and then?

Then our team sends them an email.
Ouuu, alright…and then?

And on, and on, and on.

Each of these actions should be defined. Even the “read some stuff” should be clearly defined. What are they reading? What are they looking to read?

There is a very big difference between telling a reader what they want to hear vs telling them what you want to say.

When you take the time to learn more about your customer, you begin to understand their needs. From there, you know exactly what they need to hear to make a decision to fill out that form.

Design decisions should be based on data & analytics, not the gut instinct of a creative director.

You can use heat maps and analytics to analyze customer behavior in a quantitative manner. Watch screen recordings to see how people interact with your site to understand where they’re reading and where they get held up. Create customer surveys, do review mining, and talk to customers to acquire more qualitative information about your product/service.

All of these actions paint a picture of why your customers want to buy from you. When you know that, you can take them through a process.

Conversion rate optimization can have incredible effects on your site

Through just a few, small A/B tests you can find dramatic ways to increase revenue and conversions. In this first chart, only two words on the website were changed.

You read it correctly, just two words.

We updated the call-to-action button with a new action. With that, the person’s website concluded that changing those two words:

• Has a 90% probability of increasing revenue 26%
• Created a 25% increase in the number of transactions
• Increased the conversion rate by 27%

In this second A/B test no words were changed. Instead, the order of items on the home page were rearranged.

With this, the website:

• Showed an 86% probability that this provides an average uplift of 40% per transaction
• Resulted in 14% more transactions
• Saw a 21% increase to the conversion rating

Before you can run these kind of tests, you need to know what to test. It’s not necessarily about button colors, or placement — it’s a combination of factors.

To start, you should have an established website framework

Something with a specific sales narrative and a pre-determined user flow. We need to know what someone is reading on your site and what actions we want them to take before we can look to optimize that process for them.

And optimization doesn’t stop with a web form or a purchase. It continues through the funnel and should further evaluate how your sales team is then handling those leads. Are you promoting your company’s personal attention but then sending an automated, impersonal email after somebody reaches out? All of these components need to be evaluated if you intend to use SEO for its real purpose — to acquire more customers.

With an optimized website you have a better chance at improving the customer experience, capturing more leads, and cutting your ad spend. Practices like CRO and conversion-based copywriting help you understand more about your customer. It helps you use the voice of your customer and encourages them to take the next action in your sales process.

If you’re not using data to drive your marketing decisions, you’re already behind

If you don’t understand what is truly important to your customer, you’re already losing money. If you want a website that’s strategic and not just pretty, I’m happy to help. Can email joe@martinchicago.com to get a conversation started.


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