SEO is a complicated business. On the one hand, we are tasked with delivering more organic traffic to our client’s websites, but on the other hand, it’s important to maintain a strong conversion rate.
These two things don’t always go hand in hand.
Sometimes, in fact, increasing organic traffic can sometimes lead to a drop in your conversion rate.
Many reasons exist for the disparity between increases in traffic and drops in conversions, however, there are some common issues that can lead to issues with conversions to your key landing pages.
Here are some of the most common.
You are targeting the wrong customers
One issue we have seen in the past when we have picked up a new client is the optimisation work that has previously been carried out on the site.
When a website optimises for keywords that are not that relevant to the business, this can lead to an increase in traffic, but a huge drop-off in conversions.
So, why would a business target the wrong keywords? Put simply, chasing volume.
There is no doubt that some keywords look much more appealing than others due to their high search volume. This can lead to many businesses and agencies chasing the numbers, rather than targeting the most relevant keywords.
Whilst ranking on the first page for a high-volume keyword might look great for your organic traffic numbers, if those keywords are not relevant to your business, or they don’t correlate to the content on the landing page, then this can lead to a negative experience for customers, with visitors bouncing back to the search results and lowering your conversion rate.
Of course, sometimes this might happen by accident. Whilst you might think you are optimising a page for a searcher’s intent, they might be looking for something else when they search for that particular query and your page simply might not deliver what they need. That’s why it is important to continually monitor the keywords you rank for and track the conversion rate on those landing pages.
It’s not only organic traffic that can drive down the conversion rate on specific landing pages. Google Ads (or social advertising) can also have a negative impact on conversion rates. If you are targeting the wrong keywords in an attempt to drive more clicks or you are making promises in your ad copy that you can’t deliver on, it is likely that you will see a drop in conversions.
Your content doesn’t grab a visitor’s attention
We all know how important a headline is for grabbing people’s attention and this is especially true when you are looking to improve conversions.
According to Copyblogger, on average, eight out of ten visitors will read headline copy. Only two out of ten will read the rest.
That tells you how important the headline is when it comes to getting people to do what you want them to do on the page, including reading the rest of the content on the page.
Of course, you can’t simply write great headlines and neglect the copy on the rest of the page. But it is important to get people to take the next step.
It is important to structure the content on your landing pages to make it easier for your visitors to scan the content on the page. There are a few things you can do to make scanning your content easier (and make it much more likely that visitors will convert).
- Use keyword research to drive every single heading on your page
- Use structured headings (H1, H2, H3 etc) to indicate the structure of the content on the page
- Make sure your content is legible on all devices
- Use a consistent tone with your audience – that could be formal or casual but make sure it is consistent
- Use FAQs on your page to answer questions that might be causing pain points for your customers
Focus on user experience
Even if you get the right customers to your page and you have structured your content in a way that makes it easy for people to read, it can still fail to engage a visitor if it delivers a poor user experience.
Poor user experiences can occur for a number of reasons.
Maybe the site has been poorly designed making it difficult to consume the content. Maybe the colours of the fonts on the page are hard to read. Maybe they are not big enough. Maybe there are too many moving parts on the page. Design is crucial to the way in which people consume your content so make sure you prioritise the layout of your content.
Speed is another potential issue. Even the best content, which is well written, well researched and well presented, can fall down if the page load speed is slow.
There are so many factors that can lead to a slow-loading webpage, but if you have pages that are taking longer than 3 seconds to load, then you might want to look at the images and videos on the page that, if un-optimised, can really slow down the page load speed.
Driving more conversions is not necessarily about driving more traffic to your website.
The content on your website needs to match the searcher’s intent, it needs to be well-written, and it needs to grab a visitor’s attention from the minute they land on the page.
It also has to load quickly.
If you manage to tick all these boxes, you stand a good chance of turning more of those visitors into conversions – whether that’s submitting a contact enquiry, clicking to view more content on your site or making a purchase.
Conduct a content audit to see which of your pages are leading to higher conversion rates and look at the reasons why they convert so well – then look to replicate this on any new landing pages or landing pages that don’t convert as well.