Here are my instagraph notes from his presentation “Stupid SEO Mistakes You Didn’t Even Know You Were Making.”
There is an insidious voice speaking to your visitors from the moment they click through to your site. It camps in the back of their minds, setting up a tent and proceeding to talk your visitors out of taking action. While there are many angles this voice can work to fill visitors with doubt, there is likely one that is common to a large number of your visitors.
It’s “the thing.” Dun – dun – dun.
If you can discover and address “the thing” – the major concern shared by a significant number of your visitors that keeps them from converting – then you can make some major improvements in your conversion rates and revenue per click.
When testing, we have found that this thing will fall into one of five areas: risk reversal, value proposition/messaging, social proof, user interface/user experience, and credibility/authority. All of these nagging questions may be present to some degree, but one of them is more pressing than the others — and addressing it will give you wins early and often.
- Risk Reversal
- Value Proposition & Messaging
- Social Proof
- User Interface & User Experience
- Credibility & Authority
There are two ways to increase conversion: get more qualified traffic or turn more of that traffic into leads, sales and subscribers. SEO is key for the first of these: visitors that need what you offer. Here is an excerpt from Your Customer Creation Equation on Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
From Chapter 6: How Content Fuels Conversion
A Search Engine Translator
Regardless of how good your advertising and marketing are, one thing is certain: More and more of your traffic is going to come from search engines.
The top search engines on the Internet now include Google, Bing, and YouTube, and these are influenced by social sites like Facebook and Twitter. Social networks benefit from a community that helps to sift and tag your content.
Google, Bing, and YouTube suffer from a fundamental lack of comprehension. Your site has the burden of communicating its content and value to these search engines, and it’s a lot like talking to the autistic savant Raymond from the Tom Cruise movie Rainman.
Raymond was the character who could repeat facts and do calculations with amazing precision. However, Raymond—like the search engines—could only understand the literal meaning of what he heard and read.
Google has made efforts to reward sites that have plentiful content, and prefers sites with frequently updated content. Hire an SEO specialist to ensure that your content is being found by the search engines. Your efforts will be rewarded with increased standing for your site, which will translate into more traffic.
From a conversion standpoint, look for SEO experts that have the following characteristics:
They talk about traffic, not ranking.
If they are overly focused on your ranking, proceed with caution. You can easily rank for keywords that aren’t being searched, or for keywords that bring the wrong kinds of eyeballs—eyeballs that don’t want what you offer.
They are picky about the pages they send traffic to.
The best SEO firms have a conversion practice. They will want to optimize pages that are designed to convert visitors.
You can optimize the home page for search all day long, but it is your product and landing pages that will convert search traffic best (as you will soon discover). That is what they are designed for. Hire a search resource that is focused on optimizing effective pages.
Original content is a key to their strategy.
The algorithms that Google and Bing use to prioritize websites like yours change once or twice a year. One strategy that seems to be consistently effective is original content.
Your search engine translator should encourage you to use original content to create keyword-rich content for your site, to place that content on other sites, and to use it in social media. These activities work to build the authority of your site.