Optimising your website for search engines is good for attracting visitors, but may not be effective if your site’s copy is not helping to convert them into customers once they are there.
You might liken this to having a bricks-and-mortar shop that is attractive enough to entice people in to browse, but doesn’t lead to them buying anything!
Your site might send potential customers packing because it just has too much copy – the pages are trying too hard to be all things to all people, or you’re telling everyone everything there is to know about your business all on one page.
Having too much copy in this way can quickly dilute the message you want to convey. People are also often time-poor – they simply want to know what you’ve got to offer, what it will cost them, and why they should buy, subscribe or take some other action.
Here are a few ways that supporting good search engine optimisation (SEO) could kill your conversion rate optimisation (CRO), and how you can get your SEO and CRO to play together nicely – whether you’re using Google in Australia or Baidu in China.
Ways your SEO could be killing your CRO
• You don’t know your target audiences well and / or do not understand where they are in the purchase process. Understanding your audiences is always vital, whether you have a local website or one that you have developed for the market in China.
• Your content has too many keywords, causing the copy to be hard to follow or understand.
• Your web pages contain too many offers, or too much information for people to swallow.
• Links on your landing pages. This is not usually a good idea – especially if it sends people away from your offer.
Ways your SEO can support your CRO
• Make an effort to alter your copy according to whether someone is a visitor, a purchaser, a returning buyer and so on.
• Break your copy into digestible bites, and try to limit each web page to one message only.
• Write succinct, clear, and relevant headlines for all your content.
• Avoid the overuse of keywords; they really should not be present in every second sentence.
• Know what people want and what it takes to persuade them to take action. This can be done by considering the questions people are likely to ask, and in what order. For example:
o What is on offer here?
o What’s included and what will I need to pay?
o What makes it worthwhile compared to other offers?
o What do the reviews say?
o What do I have to do next?
• Consider using light boxes on your website. These highlight pertinent information at the front of the screen according to what your user is looking for, and fades interesting but less vital information to the background.
• In general, keep it simple. Your copy should explain clearly what your offer is and what people need to do to take action.
Lastly, don’t worry about optimising for conversion hurting your SEO. In fact, it might just be that the opposite is the case. This is because search engines tend to rank pages that give audiences what they are looking for, so having good CRO could well improve your SEO in that sense.