Search engine optimization focuses on driving consumers to your site. But traffic alone doesn’t pay the bills. Success depends on converting those visitors to customers.
Organic search traffic converts to revenue, on average, roughly 3 percent of the time, according to the studies I’ve seen, although the top converting sites reach 10 percent or more.
Remember that searchers drop onto your site with no navigational context. Searchers that query your brand typically have a goal in mind. Helping them accomplish that goal increases the likelihood of a purchase or at least a positive impression.
Others won’t know anything about your company. They haven’t seen the rest of your site — most of them won’t see your home page. They have no knowledge of the products you carry, the promotions you’re running, or what distinguishes your site.
Use these five tips to convert more searchers into buyers.
Converting Searchers into Buyers
1. Don’t rely on brand recognition. Most searchers chose your listing because it seemed at a glance to meet their needs. It wasn’t because they recognized your company or the brands you carry.
For that reason, sites organized by product brand instead of type or feature will struggle in organic search. It’s harder for brand-oriented sites to rank for the non-branded queries that most people search for. It’s also harder for those non-brand searchers to navigate your site for the products and information they’re looking for.
2. Highlight promotions on every page. Prices are a major purchase consideration in most ecommerce sectors — the smaller your brand, the more important the price.
Unfortunately, most consumers coming from organic results will miss out on home page discounts or promotions. Spotlight those promotions on every page in some way.
Some sites use static or rotating banners across the top of all pages. Others display (i) a pop-up modal upon a visitor’s initial entry, (ii) a flag in the corner or on the side of the page, or (iii) a banner that slides up and down from the bottom of the page.
Test which of those work best for your audience and your site’s design.
3. Make them feel confident. There’s a good chance that any searcher you’re trying to convert has never been to your site. He might not have heard of your company.
Brands that are less prominent need more proof points than household names. Help searchers feel confident about purchasing from your site by displaying instant signs of trustworthiness, such as:
- An about us page to give tangible substance to your business;
- Trusted symbols and logos such as Google star ratings, Trustpilot, Better Business Bureau, and industry affiliations;
- Your phone number. If your brand is a household name, placing the phone number in a less prominent position, such as your footer, is fine. If not, make it obvious as a sign that shoppers can contact your company quickly.
- A chat feature for instant support.
4. Include product reviews. I’ve heard all of the objections to product reviews:
- What if no one reviews anything?
- What if there are negative reviews?
- We don’t have time to moderate.
None of those outweigh the benefits. Reviews offer other shoppers an independent indicator of value. And for SEO, product reviews serve as an excellent source of unique, user-generated content, which enriches the product page‘s keyword theme overall.
If you don’t have product reviews, resist the temptation to add a raft of Google business reviews. They don’t help your SEO, and it reinforces the absence of reviewed products.
5. Help them choose. Most searchers, again, will have no experience with your brand. Thus they’re going to have a harder time choosing among your offerings. Incorrect choices lead to more returns and frustrated buyers.
Offer size guides, help icons, product comparison charts, and other features that inspire confidence and increase the likelihood that shoppers will choose the right product the first time.